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fertility awareness

What is fertility awareness?

Fertility awareness is exactly what it sounds like - being aware of your fertility. This method is about understanding your body, your fertile and infertile times of the month, and how you can avoid getting pregnant by using your own biology!

By becoming familiar with your menstrual cycle and understanding when you are fertile, you can plan to only have penetrative intercourse in windows that you know you are not able to fall pregnant. 

Fertility awareness can work well as birth control, however, compared to other contraceptive methods there is a relatively high risk of pregnancy as it is completely user-dependent.


The risk of pregnancy is 25 per 100 women with typical use, but

can be as good as 3 per 100 women if used perfectly. 


does this mean?

Doctors discuss the

effectiveness of contraception

by "perfect" and "typical" use.

This is because some methods are affected by human error: 

Perfect use:

The method is used perfectly

(no human error)

   Typical use:

Accounts for human

error (e.g. forgetting

a pill) 


How good?

OK - pretty good when used perfectly (97%)

One of the highest risks of pregnancy of all birth control methods

How easy?

Need to record ​every day in order to understand your cycle 

Need to be able to abstain (not have any penetrative sex) or use condoms during you fertile window

Side effects?


How hard to get?

Learn how to do this and you don't need to see any doctor or pay for anything

How much?

No cost

Fertility awareness

How does it work?

Fertility awareness works by recording a few different things: 

  • Cycle tracking

    • Simply tracking your cycle (the time in between your periods) - the average is between 26 - 32 days 

    • Part of the cycle is set, so we can work backward and work out when you ovulate based on dates alone

    • The best ways are with apps (Clu, Flo, etc); they crunch your numbers and can predict your cycle rhythm​ and fertile periods

  • Body temperature

    • Your body temperature goes up when you ovulate

    • When your body temperature is up for two days compared to the previous seven, you know you have ovulated

      • You are not safe to have unprotected intercourse​ at this time!

  • Cervical mucus

    • Cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle; it is thick and white-ish when you are in an infertile period versus thin, clear, and stretchy when you are fertile. 

      • You can get pregnant from the onset of this fertile mucus up to 3 days after it stops ​

    • You check your mucus by placing one or two fingers into your vagina and reaching up to your cervix

    • We recommend measuring this every day

      • If you have had intercourse, sperm can make this assessment difficult, so you may need to do it every two days​​​

Fertility awareness works best when you use the multiple methods above

  • You will have a higher risk of pregnancy if you use only one method

We also highly recommend being taught by a trained professional as the body can be complex!

Image by Towfiqu barbhuiya

how long does it last?

  • You must be recording every day; it only works as long as you are on board

why would it suit me? 

Fertility awareness can be particularly helpful if:

  • You want to understand your body

  • You don't want hormones or barrier contraception

  • You wouldn't mind falling pregnant 

  • You are ok with not having sex or using another method for part of your cycle (at least 7 days in a month) 


  • You are in control 

  • Better understanding of your body 

  • Once you know how to do it, no GP visits or ongoing cost for contraception!

  • No hormones or barrier contraception 


  • You need to be invested. Every. Day.

  • Ideally, you would be trained in the method

  • Requires self control

  • Cycle tracking doesn't work if you have irregular periods

what next?

Start understanding your cycle! Write down what you experience and when. Buy a temperature probe, and maybe invest in an app to help you with your tracking. 

We recommend meeting with a trained professional to teach you the best way to manage this method. Check out the following services available to help you: 


Your GP

Family Planning

You can download fertility charts to record your findings from here

In the future...
luna health hope to provide a birth control service that assesses eligibility for each birth control method.

This will save you time and money
meaning you only need to physically see a doctor once

Share your experience

help others decide what is best for them 

Your experience
How satisfied are you?Very dissatisfiedA bit dissatisfiedPretty satisfiedSatisfiedVery satisfiedHow satisfied are you?

your experience

Beach Day

Lucy, 26

I use calendar and temperature. 

Been doing this for over a year and finally feel I have more control over my emotions and learning about my body after being on the mini-pill for over 10 years!

Abstract Colors 5

Anon, 30

I track my cycles with the Flo app to work out my fertile window and use condoms during this time.


Loren, 29

I track my period and use condoms when I am ovulating and none the rest of the month. This has provided me with 6 years of effective contraception.

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