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Fertility Tracking

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 2 minutes read
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Also known as “natural family planning”, fertility tracking is a natural and hormone-free method of contraception and fertility aid. By recording different ‘fertility signals’, a woman can identify days when she is fertile and likely to become pregnant.

‘Fertility signals’ that can be measured are the cycle length, body temperature changes and cervical mucus. This fertility aid informs us when conception is likely to take place.

Types of fertility tracking devices available

Fertility tracking by measuring cycle length and cervical mucus requires no additional devices or kits. However, many smartphone apps provide guidance and make the process much easier. Fertility tracking through measuring body temperature will require using a digital thermometer. This should be taken every morning before getting out of bed or after rest for 3 hours. This is known as the basal body temperature. Various kits and subscription services are available for this technique, but you can use a fertility tracking chart template online at the FPA website.

Ovulation kits are available and measure hormone levels in the urine to predict if a woman is in her fertile period.

Is it accurate and reliable?

Natural family planning can be 99% effective if used accurately and correctly. This method requires patience and motivation because recording ‘fertility signals’ is needed daily. It can take 3-6 cycles before a woman is comfortable enough to read and understand her cycle. If this method is not used correctly, the effectiveness can be lower. Stress, illness and other lifestyle factors can affect a woman’s cycle and make it harder to interpret ‘fertility signals’ effectively. Recording a combination of different ‘fertility signals can improve the effectiveness and accuracy of fertility tracking, and using a variety of natural family planning and barrier methods like condoms can increase effectiveness even more.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • No hormones or invasive devices needed: safe for women who cannot take hormones for any reason
  • No side effects
  • Acceptable to most faiths and religions
  • Help a woman to understand her cycle and recognize typical characteristics vs abnormalities

Disadvantages

  • Effectiveness can range and fluctuate depending on user error and other factors such as illness and stress
  • Requires daily monitoring of ‘fertility signals’
  • High fertile days will require abstinence or other forms of contraception

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Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
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