We get asked about methods of contraception that don't mess with your hormones on the reg, so we asked friend of Eve & Fertility Awareness Educator, Melissa Vranjes to give us a run down of the method she teaches, known as the 'Sympto-Thermal Method.'
Here's what she taught us.
When my teacher told me I could have unprotected sex without contraception on certain days of every month, I thought, how is this possible? I started thinking back to all the anxious pregnancy tests, the nail-biting late periods and the time wasted trialling hormonal birth control.
She was right! You can be safe and have unprotected sex but before you get hump happy - there’s a method to learn, and a few rules to incorporate.
If you’ve never heard of a Fertility Awareness Method then I’m about to educate you on the Sympto-Thermal Method, a double-check method to both avoid and achieve pregnancy.
I’m talking no more nasty hormonal disruptors and your arousal rhythm back to ebbing and flowing naturally. Here’s how it works...
1. What is the Sympto-Thermal Method?
The Sympto-thermal Method is a Fertility Awareness-Based Method (FABM). There are many different types of FABMs; however, this is the most effective. This involves tracking your basal body temperature (BBT), and recording your cervical mucus. This information pinpoints when you are most fertile and can be used to avoid or achieve pregnancy and track hormonal health.
2. What are the benefits of the Sympto-Thermal method?
Here’s a 2 for 1, this method is reversible which means you can learn it to avoid pregnancy and then if you decide you want to conceive you can change the rules. There are no devices, no pills and no hormonal disruptors which means your brain and ovaries can chat all day without any chemicals ruining the flow. You can feel confident having unprotected sex with your partner and nothing interfering with your natural arousal rhythm, it’s a win-win.
3. How effective is the Sympto-Thermal Method in helping couples avoid pregnancy?
With perfect use, it is 99.4-99.6% effective in avoiding pregnancy and 98-99% effective with typical use. That is, with typical use of the method over one year, less than 2 pregnancies occur per 100 women. This is as good as hormonal contraceptives like the IUD and Depo-Provera injection.
Is it okay to use this method if you have irregular periods?
Short answer, yes! This method is designed to work with your unique cycle and will better help you to understand what’s happening in your body.
Where can I find more information and learn how to use this method?
Working with a FABM instructor is the first place to start and I can support you with that. Head to www.melissavranjes.com to book yourself in for a free 15-minute consultation and we can chat about where's a good start for you.
Sources: Frank-Herrmann P., Heil J., Gnoth C., et al. “The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple’s sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study.” Human Reproduction 22 (2007): 1310-1319. 2. Frank Herrmann P., et al. “Natural Family Planning with and without barrier method use in the fertile phase: efficacy in relation to sexual behavior: a German prospective long-term study.” Advances in Contraception 13 (1997):179-189. (Note: In this paper, effectiveness was calculated when barriers were not used during the fertile period because barrier use is its own method.)