The Symptothermal Method


Fertility awareness-based methods are methods women use to track their ovulation in an effort to prevent pregnancy. There are a number of fertility awareness-based methods, or FAMs, and the symptothermal method is one of them.

The Symptothermal Method

The symptothermal method of tracking one's ovulation is actually the use of a combination of a number of other, established fertility awareness-based methods rolled into one. The cleverness behind doing it this way is that a woman can use the indications she gets from one method to confirm indications she gets from other methods.

As such, this method can be very accurate for a woman who is trying to determine which days she'll be 'safe' (meaning when she can have unprotected sex with some peace of mind as it pertains to getting pregnant).

The methods used in the symptothermal method include:

Cervical Mucus Method

The cervical mucus method depends upon the hormones that have control over one's cycle. They also produce mucus that gathers on the cervix and in the vaginal canal. Since this mucus changes in both its quality and in how much of it is produced prior to and during ovulation, it can be used to determine when they are fertile and when they are not.

Temperature Method

In the temperature method, a woman charts her basal body temperature. Her temperature should be lower at the beginning of her cycle and rise slightly following ovulation, where it remains until the end of the cycle.

Calendar Method

The calendar method involves charting the first day of one's period and the number of days in that cycle. It is recommended that it be done for at least 12 cycles so that it is reliable, and women whose cycles are under 27 days can't use this method. By keeping a charted count of each menstrual cycle, a woman can get a good idea of when she is fertile (and therefore when she should or should not have unprotected sex).


The symptothermal method is by no means the easiest method of determining fertility, but by combining other methods, a woman can greatly increase her odds of knowing when (or when not) to have unprotected sex and feel reasonably comfortable about the results since they are in essence triple-checked.


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