FAMs are safe, inexpensive, and hormone-free. But they can be inconvenient and hard to use correctly, so they’re less effective than other types of birth control.

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How safe are fertility awareness methods?

Fertility awareness methods are totally safe. Because you’re not taking any medicine, they’re completely safe and have no side effects.

How effective are fertility awareness methods?

FAMs are about 76% effective: that means 24 out of 100 couples who use FAMs will have a pregnancy each year.

If you use the temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar methods together, they’re more effective at preventing pregnancy: between 1 and 20 couples out of 100 have a pregnancy each year while using these 3 methods combined.

FAMs don’t work as well for people who can’t track their fertility signs daily, or don’t want to avoid unprotected sex on fertile days. They’re also not good methods for people with irregular menstrual cycles. It’s best to have a nurse, doctor, or counselor who understands FAMs give you instructions and help you use them correctly.

Want a more effective way to prevent pregnancy? Take this quiz to find the birth control method that’s best for you.

Do fertility awareness methods have any side effects?

There’s no risk of side effects with FAMs. But certain things can change how effective these methods are for you, like if you’ve recently been sick, used the morning-after pill, been pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Can anyone use these methods?

FAMs are safe for everyone, but they only work to prevent pregnancy for certain people.

FAMs won’t work for you if:

  • Your periods are irregular.

  • You or your partner doesn’t want to avoid vaginal sex or use another form of birth control for a certain number of days each cycle.

  • You have a sexually transmitted infection, vaginitis, or a lot of discharge that isn’t normal.

  • You can’t track your fertility signs daily and keep careful records.

What are the advantages of fertility awareness methods?

The benefits of fertility awareness methods are that they’re usually free or cheap, have no side effects, and help you learn about your body and your fertility.

Do fertility awareness methods protect against STDs?

Nope. Fertility awareness methods do not prevent sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are the best way to protect yourselves from STDs, and they give you extra protection from pregnancy, too.

FAMs

  • 76% effective

  • Up to $20 for supplies

  • Dedication required

  • No sex on certain days

FAMs don’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with FAMs to help protect you from pregnancy and STDs.
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