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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.

Want to learn how to track your fertility?

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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 77-98% effective: that means 2-23 out of 100 couples who use FAMs will get pregnant each year, depending on which method(s) are used. If you use multiple FAMs together, they work even better.

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? Explore different birth control methods to find which method may be 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.

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  • 77-98% 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.
See All Methods

Need Help? Chat Now

Chat online or text "PPNOW" to 774636 (PPINFO) to get answers about pregnancy, birth control, emergency contraception, STDs, and abortion. 

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