Are more women opting for ‘FAM’ pregnancy prevention?

If you’re not sure what FAM stands for, it’s probably because–in the realm of pregnancy prevention–hormonal methods are at the top of list for usage and reliability. Most women are advised to use long-term contraceptives, and because there are a number of cost-effective products and assistance programs available, alternatives to hormonal prevention aren’t even mentioned. SEE ALSO: Remote-controlled…birth control? There is a growing movement of women, however, who have opted to prevent pregnancy through FAM, otherwise known as fertility awareness methods. These women either can’t be on hormonal options or don’t like the potential side-effects hormonal prevention can cause, and because of this they take matters into their own hands, trusting their body to warn them when pregnancy is a possibility. “I can’t afford to get pregnant,” 25-year-old Aisha Mukooza told CNN. “I have my thermometer under my pillow. I take it, and then take the reading and put it in Kindara. The temp, when I ovulate, it rises.” Kindara is an app used on smart phones or other devices to monitor certain body functions in an attempt to predict when a woman is most likely to become pregnant. Apps like Kindara are simply the latest technology for FAM, but this form of pregnancy prevention has been around for decades. Materials from Planned Parenthood explain FAM, also known as natural family planning, is simply a way to track ovulation. “FAMs work by keeping sperm out of the vagina in the days near ovulation, when a woman is most fertile — most likely to become pregnant,” stated the organization. “To prevent pregnancy, women can abstain from vaginal intercourse on their fertile days. Or they can use withdrawal, a condom, a sponge, a diaphragm, or a cap on those days. Or they may enjoy other kinds of sexual activity instead of vaginal intercourse on their fertile days.” For FAM to be successful, a woman must become well-versed in her monthly cycle. This means not only knowing when ovulation is about to occur, but understanding how the egg and sperm interact within the body. For example, an egg lives for approximately 6 days after ovulation, and sperm can survive in the female for approximately 6 days as well. This means, generally speaking, there is a 7-day window of optimal fertility for a woman. Unfortunately, ovulation patterns can be unpredictable and not every woman is the same when it comes to her cycle. Some eggs may live longer than others, which is why FAM isn’t a fool-proof method. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicate FAM is the least effective method of birth control available. SEE ALSO: IUDs recommended as birth control of choice for girls “You hear about 25 percent, 1 in 4, who use it correctly can expect to get to get pregnant.” Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola, an OBGYN with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told CNN. Other experts feel FAM is more successful, but caution that even one miscalculated day can result in an unintended pregnancy.  This is the primary reason FAM is not more widespread or recommended by medical professionals. The individual using FAM must be 100 percent committed to doing it everyday without fail or it will not be a reliable birth control method.The post Are more women opting for ‘FAM’ pregnancy prevention? appeared first on Voxxi.

Will using FAM, or fertility awareness methods, really prevent pregnancy? (Shutterstock)

If you’re not sure what FAM stands for, it’s probably because–in the realm of pregnancy prevention–hormonal methods are at the top of list for usage and reliability. Most women are advised to use long-term contraceptives, and because there are a number of cost-effective products and assistance programs available, alternatives to hormonal prevention aren’t even mentioned.

SEE ALSO: Remote-controlled…birth control?

There is a growing movement of women, however, who have opted to prevent pregnancy through FAM, otherwise known as fertility awareness methods. These women either can’t be on hormonal options or don’t like the potential side-effects hormonal prevention can cause, and because of this they take matters into their own hands, trusting their body to warn them when pregnancy is a possibility.

“I can’t afford to get pregnant,” 25-year-old Aisha Mukooza told CNN. “I have my thermometer under my pillow. I take it, and then take the reading and put it in Kindara. The temp, when I ovulate, it rises.”

Kindara is an app used on smart phones or other devices to monitor certain body functions in an attempt to predict when a woman is most likely to become pregnant. Apps like Kindara are simply the latest technology for FAM, but this form of pregnancy prevention has been around for decades.

Materials from Planned Parenthood explain FAM, also known as natural family planning, is simply a way to track ovulation. “FAMs work by keeping sperm out of the vagina in the days near ovulation, when a woman is most fertile — most likely to become pregnant,” stated the organization. “To prevent pregnancy, women can abstain from vaginal intercourse on their fertile days. Or they can use withdrawal, a condom, a sponge, a diaphragm, or a cap on those days. Or they may enjoy other kinds of sexual activity instead of vaginal intercourse on their fertile days.”

Pregnancies aren't always expected
Even miscalculating one day using FAM can result in a pregnancy. (Shutterstock)

For FAM to be successful, a woman must become well-versed in her monthly cycle. This means not only knowing when ovulation is about to occur, but understanding how the egg and sperm interact within the body. For example, an egg lives for approximately 6 days after ovulation, and sperm can survive in the female for approximately 6 days as well. This means, generally speaking, there is a 7-day window of optimal fertility for a woman. Unfortunately, ovulation patterns can be unpredictable and not every woman is the same when it comes to her cycle. Some eggs may live longer than others, which is why FAM isn’t a fool-proof method.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicate FAM is the least effective method of birth control available.

SEE ALSO: IUDs recommended as birth control of choice for girls

“You hear about 25 percent, 1 in 4, who use it correctly can expect to get to get pregnant.” Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola, an OBGYN with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told CNN.

Other experts feel FAM is more successful, but caution that even one miscalculated day can result in an unintended pregnancy.  This is the primary reason FAM is not more widespread or recommended by medical professionals. The individual using FAM must be 100 percent committed to doing it everyday without fail or it will not be a reliable birth control method.

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The post Are more women opting for ‘FAM’ pregnancy prevention? appeared first on Voxxi.