What is the rhythm method?
The rhythm method is a way to reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. It's also known as natural family planning. It's so unreliable that it's not really a method of birth control. back to top
How does the rhythm method work?
The rhythm method means you try to keep from getting pregnant by not having sex during the time you ovulate
. Here's how it's supposed to work. You can get pregnant only if an egg is fertilized by a sperm
within a day or two after the egg is released. If you don't have sex around the time the ovum is released, you can't get pregnant.
It sounds very simple—just avoid sex around the time you ovulate. But the reality is much more complicated.
Most girls ovulate
14 days before their next period. If you have regular periods, you can guess when your next period will be and count back 14 days. But most girls don't have regular periods, so it's almost impossible to tell when you'll release an egg.
The other problem is sperm are pretty hardy. They can survive for 5 days or more inside your body. So really you can't have sex for up to 5 days before you ovulate and for another 3 days after. back to top
Is the rhythm method a reliable form of birth control?
No, the rhythm method is really unreliable. In fact, there's an old joke about the rhythm method. What do you call people who use the rhythm method? Parents!
The rhythm method is not a good form of birth control for girls because their periods are not usually regular. So you can't accurately predict when you'll ovulate
. Even if you know when you ovulate, it's very difficult to have the self-control to not have sex for 5 days before and 3 days after.
The rhythm method is not really a form of birth control at all. It's just a way to reduce your chances of getting pregnant from unprotected sex. back to top
Can the rhythm method protect me against sexually transmitted diseases?
No, the rhythm method does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases
. You must use condoms
to avoid getting a sexually transmitted disease. back to top
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