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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Fertility Awareness - effective?

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Author Topic: Fertility Awareness - effective?
tbelle
Activist
Member # 32076

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My boyfriend and I have been using condoms only and I'm beginning to realize that we should use 2 methods.

I was taking a look at the page: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method - Buddy System

I'm still confused about "perfect use" vs. "typical use". Should I pay more attention to the typical use percentages? For example, using condoms alone with typical use has an 85% effectiveness percentage, which seems dangerously low. However, we have been as careful as possible when using them.

I have questions about this:


Male Condoms + Fertility Awareness = 99.96% effective with perfect use - 97% effective with typical use

Male Condoms + Emergency Contraception = 99.78% effective with perfect use - 96.25% effective with typical use

I was wondering why the condom paired with fertility awareness is considered more effective than condom and EC?

I thought EC pretty much guaranteed pregnancy prevention if you use it within the right time frame.

Are condoms and fertility awareness really a good pair? How does one go about tracking their fertility? Is it easy or very difficult?

We were trying withdrawal and condom use, but that is only 95% effective with typical use. Are hormonal methods always better? I am just not ready to commit to something that will change my body's chemistry.

Thanks in advance.

Posts: 107 | From: New England | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tbelle
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Member # 32076

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Okay, so after doing some reading it sounds like Fertility Awareness requires regular cycles to be effective. Mine are definitely not, so that's no longer an option.

I guess I still don't understand why it got a 97% rating if the FA method has a lot of room for error and if condoms alone are only 85% effective.

[ 03-06-2011, 04:30 PM: Message edited by: tbelle ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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When you combine two, it ups their effectiveness considerably.

But for sure, if you don't have regular cycles, FAM is not an option for you, because you're not going to be able to predict fertility without that consistency. That said, the lowest and highest effectiveness rate of FAM is higher than the lowest and highest for EC, which is why you get the difference in rates like that. (If I recall correctly, we also had to do the math for EC a bit differently because we don't have a yearly rate for EC like with all other methods, but a one-time use rate, which is pretty different.)

With perfect vs. typical, I'd say you want to look at typical, and then figure how you're using a method. If you know you are using it really well, figure you can average out the perfect and typical use rates, and you'll probably be right about there or higher.

Know that with condoms part of that low typical use rate has to do with people not using them at all. In other words, the way we get to typical use rates, in the broadest way, is by asking people what method or methods they use and then how many pregnancies, if any, they have had in one year. A lot of people who say "I use condoms" mean they have them around, and nothing else, and that sometimes they use them and sometimes they don't, because one of the big issues with condoms is how many partners refuse to use them, or how women can lack assertiveness to insist on use.

[ 03-07-2011, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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In making your choices with this, by the way, I'd say you just want to consider how much of a risk you want to take in becoming pregnant. I totally understand not wanting to use hormonal methods (or not being able to), but if you want the highest protection you can get from pregnancy, than a hormonal method or IUD is going to be the way to go.

It might help to remember that pregnancy also changes our body chemistry, and can, in fact, change our bodies for years or even the rest of our lives. So, in some ways, any way you slice it, if and when someone with a uterus is having the kind of sex that can create a pregnancy, they're potentially facing chemical or physical changes to their body.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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