This is a method that allows somebody to monitor and record different fertility indicators to predict when they might be fertile.

It is best to receive training on this from a specialist before you commence.  

It is best to measure the length of your menstrual cycles, daily temperatures and changes in your cervical mucus.

It is not recommended to only measure one indicator as this will not give an accurate indication.

By putting all the information together, you will be able to predict a fertile window in which you should avoid sex or use a barrier method.  

If followed perfectly this method is 99% effective, however there is a failure rate of up to 24% if not followed consistently and correctly, such as only using one indicator.  

Most can use fertility awareness methods however a more reliable method of contraception should be considered for certain situations such as a risk to your or a baby's health if you were to fall pregnant.

Additionally, this method may not be most suitable if your periods are irregular, you are taking a medication that affects your cervical mucus, you’ve recently given birth or have had an abortion or miscarriage, you travel through time zones frequently.  

It is advised that it can take three to six months to fully learn the method, so until this point barrier contraception is recommended. 

Fertility awareness can be used both to avoid and plan a pregnancy.

Once the techniques are learnt no further input is needed from a healthcare professional.

Fertility awareness does not protect against STIs, periods of abstinence or barrier use can be longer than expected for some up to 16 days.

It can be affected by illness, stress, travel and lifestyle.