Feeling prepared for the zombie apocalypse used to be one of the things I liked about the fertility awareness method of contraception (FAM).
And here we are – no zombies, but a pretty apocalyptic situation.
Not a great time for popping to the GP or pharmacy for pill supplies, or getting a contraceptive injection or implant.
So how is FAM holding up?
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed the failure rate for fertility awareness as contraception. It used to be 24%, which meant it failed one in four women, and is now between 2% and 23%, depending on the method used.
This change means the CDC advice is now closer to that of the NHS website which says "If natural family planning (fertility awareness) instructions are carefully followed, this method can be up to 99% effective. This means that 1 out of 100 women using natural family planning correctly will get pregnant."
Of course this does not mean that fertility awareness suits everyone. Find out if it's right for you here.
More about the evidence:
A better way to judge fertility awareness and the need for a better app (letter to BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health)
I loved the start of this film from the Victoria Derbyshire programme. At last, women with terrible experiences with hormonal contraception getting a hearing!
Of course it would be even better if women didn’t have a horrific time with side effects – or get “laughed out of the room” if they ask for help with the diaphragm – but at least they were being listened to.
If you want to get pregnant, the NICE Fertility guidance recommends vaginal sexual intercourse every two to three days.
You might think this is great news. At last – freedom from birth control! Woo Hoo!
Or you might not. Maybe your patience is limited, or you want to know how to improve your chances.
So you download an app. But which app should you use, how much data should you record, and how much can you trust them?
Fertility awareness (natural family planning) practitioner and advocate working in London. Wants to see fertility awareness become a routine contraceptive option, not the only option. read more...
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