The 4 Rules of Charting for Birth Control

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    sassmass

    These rules are all really helpful! Thank you! If I'm still a little dubious about the FAM method, can I use the pull out method as well? :)

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    Courtney

    Hey sassmass, if you're not yet confident about your ability to use FAM, I recommend you use a barrier method (such as condoms) until you ARE confident enough. The pull out method is risky, and I can't recommend it as a form of birth control...unless you're totally OK with the possibility of getting pregnant. 

    I know charting can be confusing at first, but stick with it! After a few cycles, I think you'll get the hang of it. And, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask :)

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    netfonze

    Hi, I'm wondering if rule 3 supercedes rule 4 when usng FAM to avoid pregnancy. That is, does peak plus 4 trump temp plus 3 so that one should always wait until the 4th night after peak CF to consider oneself infertile? Thanks!

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    taair.shatz

    Hi! Not sure you can answer this but still I will ask... Since I am new to this and contraception in general, If the charts and my fluids says I am fertile, is it still safe to have protected sex with a condom and say that I will not get pregnant? I mean in the fertile window, do you know how effective condoms are? Not sure it is the right place to ask again but still ^^

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    Courtney

    Hey netfonze - To be extra safe, you'll want to wait until whichever comes later - the 3rd day after your temp shift or the 4th day after your peak day. However, if you had a clear temperature shift that's been sustained for at least 3 days, it's pretty safe to say you're infertile for the rest of your cycle.

     

    taair - if you have sex during the fertile window, the effectiveness of the Fertility Awareness Method is as high as the effectiveness of the barrier method you're using. So for condoms, that's about 98% with perfect use. 

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    kels.pierson

    Hi! I just quit The Pill a week ago. Waiting for my thermometer to arrive in the mail still but wondering if I should chart the withdrawal bleed? Or when to start? Thanks

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    Courtney

    Hey kels, You can start charting right away! You can chart any bleeding and cervical fluid you observe (and cervical position if you want to start charting that as well) for now. Just keep in mind that if you're new to charting, it's a good idea to use a barrier method of protection (such as condoms) for the first few cycles that you're charting, so that you can get the hang of the method. Also, it may take a few months for your cycles to go back in balance after coming off the Pill - so keep in mind that your signs may not seem to follow much of a pattern right away. 

    Since withdrawal bleeding doesn't count as a real period, you may want to just mark the bleeding without starting a new cycle (or you can start a new cycle, just to make your chart easier to read - it's up to you!). If you decide to mark the bleeding without starting a new cycle, you'll need to turn on the manual 'Start New Cycle Today?' row. To do this, tap More in the bottom right hand corner of the app, then tap Settings, then tap the slider next to 'Start New Cycles Manually'. Then, you can enter data in the Menstruation section without starting a new cycle in the app.

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    sarahbruze

    Hi Courtney, I'm wondering if a need a thermometer that shows two decimals or if it will do with an "ordinary" one that just shows .0? The one I use measures in Celsius.

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    Courtney

    Hey Sarah! If you're charting in Celsius, you need to chart to two decimals in order to get an accurate reading and catch the temperature shift. That's why it's not possible to chart to one decimal in Celsius in the app. In Fahrenheit, you only need to chart to one decimal to be able to catch the shift. 

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    liujoycec

    Hi! I just recently found out that the study that quoted the 99.6% (or 99.4%, if barriers are used during the fertile time instead of abstinence) used a slightly different set of rules than the ones described in this post. In the study, instead of using the Dry Day Rule, they used a variation of the Doering Rule, which basically specifies the last day that you can use the Dry Day Rule (calculated by earliest day of temperature rise in last 12 cycles minus 8), and after that day, even if your cervical fluid is dry, you are considered fertile. In fact, the study also noted that in a previous study which used the Dry Day Rule, all of the unintended pregnancies resulted from use of the Dry Day Rule. Could you provide some insight about how effective the Dry Day Rule is? I'm pretty comfortable with all the other rules, but am very nervous about the Dry Day Rule (and from reading comments from online forums, it seems many other women are also skeptical about this rule). I may feel more comfortable using it if you could provide some statistics about the effectiveness of the Dry Day Rule, or if many women are still not comfortable with it, would it be possible to have an option in the Kindara app to apply the Doering rule instead of the Dry Day Rule? Thanks.

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    kelseybarbare

    Is it possible to go from very little sticky CF (I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't check) straight to very watery egg white? 

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    valeriecollins3

    I see a lot of "you can have sex the evening of".... Can I ever have sex in the morning?

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    kindara

    I got pregnant using the Dry Day Rule! Ever since then I've used condoms from day 6 until after I ovulate but I wish there was a better way to know. I like the Doerig Rule idea...

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    liujoycec

    Thanks for sharing about your experience with the Dry Day Rule. I've started using varying levels of protection. For the First 5 Days Rule and the after-ovulation fertile phase, I'm comfortable having unprotected sex, but after day 5, I use the Doering/Dry Day Rule with a Femcap to add a little protection. Once I observe cervical fluid or I'm past the Doering day, I use condoms since I don't trust the Femcap enough to use it alone on fertile days.

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    ceci17jr

    I find it hard to take my BBT everyday at the same time and after 6 consecutive hours of sleep. I have a toddler and an infant that wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and I have to get up. Any advice?

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    gribowjm

    I have a question.  I had marked my peak day, and had 4 days of 'non-fertile' CM, but on the fifth day, I seemed to have a tiny bit of water CM in the morning (none the rest of the day).  I did have a temp shift following my original peak day.  Does this water CM on day 5 mean I need to remark my peak day, and start counting again?  

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    Katrina Anderson

    Does it matter if I take my temp under my armpit instead of orally? I don't have the winks thermometer yet, am using Vicks OviTrack digital thermometer.

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    Aisha Mukooza

    With the dry day rule, it oughta be added that you can only go UP every other dry day. That's part of the dry day rule not included here.

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    micky_6409

    Aren't you actually fertile for more than 6 days since you're fertile all the days before ovulation that you have CF?

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    Lauren

    Hi Micky, yes, when you're practicing the Fertility Awareness Method, you'll generally need to abstain or use condoms for more than 6 days per cycle. This is because, while women can only physically get pregnant for 6 days each cycle, it's impossible to know exactly which six days are prior to ovulation until AFTER ovulation is already over and you can look backwards on your chart.  So that's why you need to start abstaining or using a barrier method as soon as you see any cervical fluid.  I hope that helps!

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    jamhogue0816

    Ok so on the last chart are you considered fertile all the way for CD 8-CD18? Are you fertile when you have your peak day? I can see when I have a temp shift not to have unprotected sex until the 3day rule. I also get the dry day rule and the 5day rule. The 4day rule is a little confusing. Is that taking about after the peak day or before? The day's in between cycle and 3rd day after temp shift are fertile days?? That seems like a lot.

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    Lauren

    Hi jamhogue, thanks for contacting us!  Yes, on the last example chart, she would consider herself fertile from Day 8 through 18.  And yes, you're fertile on your Peak Day - in fact, your Peak Day may be the most fertile day of the entire cycle!

    The Peak +4 day rule means that you're fertile on your Peak Day and for the 4 days following your Peak Day.  The rules are very conservative to minimize the chances of mistakes.  I hope that helps!

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    jhockman

    My cycle is usually close to 50 days long. However, during the "dry period" before increased CF and ovulation, I always have a small amount of CF it seems. Can I still consider myself infertile and okay for unprotected sex (since u want to avoid pregnancy)? And keep in mind, bc of my long cycle, I don't ovulate until at least four weeks into my cycle..

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    elsenecal5

    If your temperatures are generally pretty low, 95.2 at the lowest and 96.8 at the highest, should you not trust your thermometer, or is it possible you just naturally have a colder basal temp.?

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    tpomero

    When will the app support cover lines? Also, how much time are cycles backed up for in the Web portal?

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    valduckworth

    Wow. WAY easier to navigate reading this. Wish I would've read this in the beginning. HAHA! Hey, are there maybe worksheets available on how to read the graphs to practice? Just an idea

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