Natural methods have two things in common: on the one hand, they are completely harmless to health (even if sometimes psychologically stressful), on the other hand, they are accompanied by restrictions on sexual intercourse. Most are less secure than the other contraceptives. Therefore, you should use them only if you accept a possible pregnancy.
Since antiquity, the known and most uncertain method is coitus interruptus, in which the male pulls the penis from the vagina shortly before ejaculation (Pearl Index: 4-18).
The calendar method according to Knaus and Ogino is based on the calculation of ovulation and thus the limitation of the lying around on average 8-9 fertile days (12-16 days before the start of menstruation). In this time is then renounced intercourse. The Pearl Index is 9.
Hormone and temperature measurement
In the hormone and temperature measurement by means of microcomputer (eg Persona®), the hormone concentration in the urine or the temperature in the morning (basal body temperature) are determined and calculated from the fertile days. As with the calendar method, sex is renounced during this time.
In the case of the hormone measurement method, the Pearl index is 6, and the temperature method is 0.6-3.5. These methods are not suitable for women with irregular menstrual cycles and irregular everyday life.
Also the appearance and the consistency of the cervical mucus can be concluded on the fertile days (Billings ovulation method). Currently being tested is a device that measures the carbon dioxide content in the air as an indicator of fertility.
Which method is suitable when?
The best individual contraceptive is best found with the help of the gynecologist. Young girls will often opt for a low-dose pill with a combination of estrogen and progestin. Good alternatives are the vaginal ring and the contraceptive patch.
In older women, the risk of estrogen-related complications such as heart attack, stroke or pulmonary embolism increases. Therefore, switching to a pure progestagen or non-hormonal contraceptive methods such as the copper spiral or the pessary may be useful.
During lactation, methods are suitable that do not affect breast milk. In addition to condoms, these include barrier methods such as pessaries, portiocaps or Lea Contraceptivum®. Pure progestogens also appear to have no influence on the milk quality or the growth of the child.