Periodic abstinence, also known as fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) or natural family planning, is a method of birth control that involves abstaining from sexual intercourse during a woman’s fertile period, which is when she is most likely to become pregnant. This method relies on tracking changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle to determine when ovulation occurs and to identify the fertile window.
There are several methods of periodic abstinence, including the calendar method, the basal body temperature method, and the cervical mucus method. In the calendar method, a woman tracks the length of her menstrual cycle over several months to determine the approximate time of ovulation. In the basal body temperature method, a woman takes her temperature every morning before getting out of bed to identify the slight increase in temperature that occurs after ovulation. In the cervical mucus method, a woman tracks changes in the consistency and quantity of cervical mucus, which become thinner and more slippery as ovulation approaches.
Periodic abstinence can be an effective method of birth control when used correctly and consistently. However, it requires a high level of commitment and careful tracking of changes in the menstrual cycle. It is also important to note that periodic abstinence does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Periodic abstinence may be a good option for couples who are looking for a natural and non-invasive method of birth control. It may also be a good option for couples who have moral or religious objections to other methods of birth control. However, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider to determine if periodic abstinence is the right choice for you, and to learn how to track changes in your menstrual cycle accurately.