Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM) depend on identifying the “fertile window,” or the days in each menstrual cycle when intercourse is the most likely to result in a pregnancy. FABMs require accuracy in the method of identifying the actual fertile window, the ability of the person using the method to correctly interpret the information to identify the fertile window, and the ability of the couple to follow the instructions of the method. About 2-23 out of 100 women may become pregnant while using FABMs.
Benefits of this method include: increased knowledge of the reproductive cycle, no menstrual changes, and the couple working together.
Risks include: the difficulty to use with irregular cycles, the lack of reliability if ill, breastfeeding, or stressed, the requirement of abstinence at certain times, and the need for discipline and commitment.
There are several different methods of Natural Family Planning, and you can discuss with your provider which method would work best for you.