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Natural methods

Overview of natural methods and their reliability to avoid a pregnancy.

Reliable natural methods of contraception use typical changes that occur during the female cycle to determine a woman's fertile and non-fertile days. The well-known calendar method is not a reliable natural method, as cycle length and thus the day of ovulation can change at any time, for example because of stress. Reliable natural methods recognise and take account of this.

The reliability of natural methods is dependent on(11):
1. a method's quality - this is reflected in the Pearl Index
2. the couple using it - their motivation and discipline
3. the quality of information and guidance available

Advantages of non-hormonal contraception:
+ no side effects
+ improves body awareness and a feeling for one's fertility
+ shared responsibility strengthens relationships

Disadvantages of non-hormonal contraception:
- surrounded by a lot of prejudice and superficial knowledge
- abstinence or barrier method necessary on fertile days
- users need to be prepared to take responsibility


A comparison of the most common natural contraception and family planning methods:

Natural methodReliability = Pearl Index (1)What is analysed?
NFP Sensiplan0,4 (2)Temperature + mucus or cervixclinical studies, 20 theses
NER Rötzer0,2 (3)Temperature + mucus or cervixmedical studies
Fertility monitor Lady-Comp0,7 (4)TemperatureClinical studies, medical device
Fertility monitor Daisy0,7 (5)Temperaturemedical device
Temperature method according to Döring0,8 (6)TemperatureVery reliable, but for many cycles data can not be evaluated
Fertility monitor Cyclotest1-3 (7)Temperature + mucus or urineNo clinical studies
Billings ovulation method1-6,8 (8)MucusMore reliable in developing countries than in industrialised societies
Hormone monitor Persona6 (9)UrineVery well-known but too unreliable
Saliva microscope23 (10)SalivaVery unreliable
Calendar method Knaus-Ogino9-40 (11)Cycle lengthVery well-known but highly unreliable
Coitus Interruptus4-18 (12)Very well-known but highly unreliable

Sources on the reliability of the natural methods:
  1. The Pearl Index is the number of unplanned pregnancies if 100 women use a method correctly for one year.
  2. Supported by several clinical studies: www.nfp-online.de/Sicherheit.14.0.html - http://trainyabrain-blog.com/2012/10/mit-dem-express-zum-nfp-kongress/
  3. Retrospective study by Rötzer, 1978 Source: "Natürliche Familienplanung Heute", Raith-Paula et al., p. 172, 4th edition 2008, Springer, Heidelberg.
  4. http://zykluscomputer.dita.de/lady-comp-studien
  5. uk.daysy.me Daysy uses a modified variation of the Lady-Comp method
  6. "Natürliche Familienplanung Heute", Raith-Paula et al., p. 170, 4th edition 2008, Springer, Heidelberg.
  7. www.cyclotest.com
  8. www.billings-centre.ab.ca/ and "Natürliche Familienplanung Heute", Raith-Paula et al., p. 206, 4th edition 2008, Springer, Heidelberg.
  9. www.clearblue.com/de/persona/fureinandergeschaffen/ ist-natuerliche-verhuetung-zuverlaessig.php
  10. docserv.uni-duesseldorf.de/servlets/DocumentServlet?id=2686
  11. BZgA, net-doctor, Raith-Paula et al.
  12. Based on Raith-Paula et al. p.157.

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