8 Important Things To Know About The Rhythm Method, A New Form Of Birth Control

There are a number of different forms of protection that people use. Some people use condoms, some use birth control pills, and some use a combination of the two. Then there are those who like female condoms, IUDs, and more. Another thing you might have heard when talking about sex is the rhythm method.

If we’re getting real here, it’s not a form of protection. Some people might consider it as a way to prevent pregnancy, but it’s risky business at best thanks to the real threat of STDs and pregnancy. Want to know more? Here are eight things to know about the rhythm method. 

It Has People Planning Sex Around Ovulation

The rhythm method is basically where people coordinate when to have sex based on the woman's menstrual cycle and avoid sex during ovulation, aka the time when there's the greatest chance of getting pregnant. That's also why it's sometimes referred to as the calendar rhythm method or calendar method.

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It's Risky

You're relying on a calendar, your period being regular, and a lot of guessing. So, yeah, the rhythm method is risky. If your menstrual cycle changes even slightly, everything can get thrown off and you can get pregnant. What's more, you don't really know when you're ovulating. You can research the stats, but ovulation can vary from a week to even four. Let's also not forget that not having any barrier between a P and a V means that you could be exposing yourself to STDs.

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People Forget How Long Sperm Can Live In The Body

Here's a crazy fact for you: Sperm can live inside the body for up to five days. For real. Many people might not factor that into their calendar planning. Or, they might and not realize that they've started ovulating on a different day. Starting ovulation just one day early could be the difference between a surprise pregnancy or not. Scary thought.

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You Should Be Tracking Your Period Beforehand

If a person were to engage in the rhythm method, they should have tracked multiple periods before they start using the calendar method to hook up. And they should do it without any forms of birth control pills or even other medications because they can mess things up. If someone doesn't track their own personal cycle before doing the rhythm method, the chances of getting pregnant are higher because they'd likely be going off stats rather than their own cycle. Cycles can range from 26 to 32 days. It might not seem like much of a difference, but it is when you're gambling with pregnancy.

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It's Classified As A Fertility Awareness Method

The rhythm/calendar method is a fertility awareness method, or FAMs, and is basically a method when you're aware of when you're ovulating. Planned Parenthood reports the other two methods are cervical mucus method, where you check your vaginal discharge, and the temperature method, where you check your temperature in the morning to track ovulation.

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Other Forms Of Contraceptive Birth Control Are More Effective

Planned Parenthood states that the FAMs are 76% to 88% effective. On the other hand, IUDs are 99% effective, condoms are 85% effective, and The Pill is 91% effective.

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It's Not The Same As The Withdrawal Method

The withdrawal method is where a dude removes his penis from the vagina before he ejaculates. Some people practicing the rhythm method might also do this, but be aware that they're two different things. The thing that they both have in common is that they're risky and leave people open to STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

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It Doesn't Work For Certain Cycles

Hopefully by now, you've realized that the calendar rhythm method is risky business. If you still haven't, here's something else to consider: Planned Parenthood reports that those with cycles less than 27 days won't have an accurate planning method.

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What did you know about the rhythm method? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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