"Fertility awareness techniques are not widely known, but they can be incredibly useful for birth control, for planning a pregnancy, and for gaining a better understanding of our own bodies." - Fertility Awareness: Birth control and beyond by Bedsider
Hooray for more discussions about Fertility Awareness!
*April 2, 2014 Update: see below…
PS - This Bedsider blog post says, ”…women have three basic ways to learn about their body’s fertility patterns: cycle tracking, cervical mucus, and temperature.” *And then later states, ”The most effective FAM in the real world is the Standard Days Method®.” I disagree, and the Standard Days Method and CycleBeads do not take into account cervical fluid and temps!
This review discusses the effectiveness rates for the highest quality studies of the various Fertility Awareness-Based Methods. The effectiveness rates for the Sympto-Thermal Method on the table in the blog (80-98%) are *inaccurate based on this study published in 2007 that reports the “real world” effectiveness of the STM to be over 98% (correct-use effectiveness is over 99%).
The author of this blog post, “Victoria H. Jennings, Ph.D., is Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University.” Full disclosure… this is the same organization that developed and promotes the Standard Days Method and CycleBeads… which is evidence-based, but relies on mathematical calculations and statistics (cycle tracking only).
All of the different Fertility Awareness-Based Methods certainly have a time and a place. As a Fertility Awareness Educator, I teach the Sympto-Thermal Method (an evidence-based method that relies on real-time data from observations of fertility signs - cervical fluid, temp, and cycle tracking) in classes and consultations in Denver, Colorado or via an online streaming Natural Birth Control class video.
April 2, 2014 Update:
Today, Liz at Bedsider sent me an email saying that they looked into the outdated numbers in the blog post and worked with the team at Georgetown to make some tweaks. Bedsider is INVALUABLE and I’m so glad that they continue to provide “accurate, up-to-date information about all birth control options.”
I wanted to reach out and give her a virtual “high-five”!!!
So this is what they changed…
OLD: With typical use—our best information about how people use these methods in the real world—it’s 76-88%.
NEW: With typical use—our best information about how people use these methods in the real world—it’s 80-98%.
REMOVED: The most effective FAM in the real world is the Standard Days Method®. Out of 100 women using the Standard Days Method for a year, 12 get pregnant.
The numbers in the chart were also updated and corrected. Thanks Bedsider :-)