Many couples don’t want to have a baby, but they also don’t want to use the conventional birth control options. Hormonal birth control works by altering the hormones in women.
For some women, hormonal birth control causes too many adverse symptoms to be a viable option. The other popular approach are the condoms. However, they too can be vetoed by the couple because of many reasons.
Some women are allergic to the material of the condoms, other men don’t like the lack of skin-to-skin contact that is the premise of condom use. IUD, implants, sterilization are other options available, but they don’t work if a couple wants to have a baby, soon.
While you should always discuss your birth control options with the best gynecologist in Islamabad, there is another popular birth control method, known as the rhythm method.
What is the rhythm method?
Also commonly referred to as natural family planning and fertility awareness, rhythm method involves keeping track of the menstrual cycle, and avoid sex on the days women are most likely to be fertile.
Some couples also then use contraceptive like condoms, diaphragm etc. during these days.
The idea is to prevent the chances of the egg meeting the sperm. During ovulation, the female body releases the egg, which remains good for around 24 hours. However, sperm can remain in the uterus for approximately 4 to 6 days. Hence, this time, also known as the fertile window, is when couple refrains from sex, or unprotected sex.
The entire ordeal can last for around 10 days. The success rate of rhythm method is around 80 to 87%.
Does the rhythm method work for all cases?
Unfortunately, no. Rhythm method works for in cases where women have been tracking their cycle, so they can predict the time they are most likely to ovulate. Similarly, the method also cannot be practiced by women who have irregular periods, as they don’t know when they’d be ovulating.
What are the signs of ovulation?
For to determine the period that the couple has to avoid, tracking the cycle for around 6 months is important. But they must also know the signs of ovulation as well. It helps in determining the D-day.
Some hallmarks to watch out for include:
Changes to the cervix: To facilitate the sperm, cervix also undergoes changes around the fertile window. It moves higher up on the canal, becomes softer, moister, and more open.
Cervical mucus: Cervical fluid becomes thicker and transparent, resembling the consistency of an egg white. This change occurs prior to the process of ovulation.
Increase in basal body temperature: During ovulation, the basal body temperature tends to increase by around 0.5 degree. However, to detect this increase, you must check your temperature every day, at the same time, to find the increment.
Ovulation kits: There are available ovulation kits and strips that also detect the hormonal changes that tend to occur around 24 to 36 hours before ovulation. Women have to pee on the stick around their ovulation, and the strip can then change accordingly.
Saliva strips: There are also strips present that predict your fertile window based on the changes to your saliva during this time.
Should you consider rhythm method?
Tracking the fertile window may seem a lot of work, not to mention the risk involved in miscalculation. Still, many people opt for the rhythm method.
There are various reasons for their preference for choosing natural family planning. It does not entail making any hormonal changes to the method. There is no requirement of visiting the doctor, no need to remember to always pack birth control and increases female awareness of their body.
However, there are downsides to it as well. There are huge chances or error, it does not work for women with irregular periods, who then need help from a gynecologist doctor in Rawalpindi, and it requires a lot of homework.