Menstruation is a natural and fundamental phenomenon in the lives of many women. Throughout history, different methods have been used to understand and monitor the menstrual cycle, and one of the oldest and most well-known methods is the rhythm method for menstruation.

This approach relies on understanding menstrual cycle patterns to determine fertility and plan or avoid pregnancy.

In this article, we will explore what the rhythm method is, how it works, and how it can be used effectively.

What is the rhythm method?

rhythm method for menstruation

The rhythm method, also known as the calendar method or the Ogino-Knaus method, is based on the idea that a woman is fertile only during certain days of her menstrual cycle. Look at these applications that will help you learn more about your menstrual cycle .

These fertile days generally coincide with the period of ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary and can be fertilized by a sperm.

The menstrual cycle is divided into three main phases: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase and the luteal phase. Do you feel constipation during this process? See the causes here .

The menstrual phase marks the beginning of the cycle and is when menstrual bleeding occurs. After this, the follicular phase begins, during which the follicles in the ovaries mature and prepare for ovulation.

Ovulation occurs about halfway through the cycle, when a follicle ruptures and releases an egg.

The luteal phase follows ovulation and is the period after the egg is released, where the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy.

The rhythm method is based on identifying a woman's fertile period by observing and recording the length of her menstrual cycles over several months.

The goal is to determine the pattern and average length of the cycle to predict when ovulation is most likely to occur.

How to correctly use the menstruation rhythm method?

rhythm method for menstruation

To correctly use this method, a woman needs to record the length of her menstrual cycles for several months. With this information, you can calculate your fertile days, which we will detail later.

In general, fertile days are considered those that occur approximately one week before and one week after ovulation, when fertilization is most likely to occur.

Once fertile days have been identified, a woman can choose to abstain from sex during those days, or use another method of contraception, such as a condom, to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

What are the steps I should do to use the menstruation rhythm method?

rhythm method for menstruation

  • Cycle Recording : For at least six months, it is important to keep track of the length of each menstrual cycle. The first day of the cycle is considered the first day of menstruation.
  • Identifying fertile days : Once several cycles have been recorded, the average cycle length can be determined.
  • You must mark the first day of your period, then mark the first day of your next period.
  • The next step is to count the total days between each cycle , that is, count the days between the first day of your last period and the first day of your most recent period. This option will not be accurate for women whose menstrual cycle lasts less than 27 days.

What are safe days to have sex when using the rhythm method?

Predicting the most fertile days requires a lot of discipline, since everything will depend on whether you keep good records of your cycle. These are the recommendations by experts:

  • The first thing you should do is look for the shortest cycle in your previous records.
  • From that cycle, you must subtract 18 from the total number of days, that is, if your cycle was 28 days, subtract the 18, the result is 10.
  • Count that number of days (10) from day 1 of your current menstrual cycle and mark that day with an X (include day 1 when counting).
  • The day marked with an X is your first fertile day.

For example, if your first day was the 5th of the month, you will mark the 12th of the month with an X. Day 12 is your first fertile day of that cycle, so if you don't want to get pregnant, you should use other methods of birth control.

Predict the last fertile day of your current cycle

  • The first thing you should do is find the longest cycle in your log.
  • Then you must subtract 11 from the total number of days in that cycle.
  • Count that number of days from day 1 (the first day of your period) of your current menstrual cycle. Then, mark that day with an X (include day 1 when counting).
  • The day marked with an X is your last fertile day.

For example, if your longest menstrual cycle was 30 days, subtract 11 from that number, resulting in 19. You must count 19 days from day 1 of that cycle (first day of menstruation). For example, if day 1 is the 5th of the month, mark the 23rd of the month with an X. This day of the month would be the last fertile day, so you can have unprotected sex the next day.

How effective is the rhythm method?

rhythm method for menstruation

The effectiveness of the menstruation rhythm method depends on its correct application and the variability of the woman's menstrual cycle. Read here what not to do when you're on your awkward days .

Overall, the failure rate of the rhythm method is estimated to be around 25%, meaning that one in four women who use this method as their sole method of contraception will become pregnant within the first year.

It is important to note that the failure rate of the rhythm method decreases significantly if it is combined with other contraceptive methods, such as condoms.

Therefore, you could use this option along with other methods to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

It is also essential to mention that the effectiveness of the rhythm method is reduced in women with irregular or unusual menstrual cycles.

You must keep in mind that this alternative to avoid an unwanted pregnancy requires a certain discipline and consistency to be effective.

It is advisable to speak with a health professional to learn more about the rhythm method and other contraceptive methods to select the most suitable one for each person .

Other ways to follow the rhythm method

There are various ways to follow the rhythm method, each with its own particular approach. It can be based on temperature measurement, cervical mucus analysis, calendar or the more traditional method of counting days. All of these methods share a fundamental element: monitoring the menstrual cycle.

The thermometer approach is based on the level of rise in body temperature during ovulation.

For example, if your usual temperature is 36.6ºC, during ovulation it will increase in a range of 0.2 to 0.6ºC (requiring the use of a highly accurate thermometer).

These days of highest temperature correspond to the fertile period, so sexual relations should be avoided at this time. It is important to note that this method is only reliable if you take your temperature early in the morning, before you get up.

But can my partner ejaculate inside using this method?

Choosing to ejaculate inside the vagina instead of withdrawing the penis should be a mutual decision. If the goal is to minimize the risk of conception, it is advisable to do it this way at all times, regardless of the phase of the woman's menstrual cycle.

When trying to prove pregnancy, ejaculating inside the vagina is advisable at any point in the menstrual cycle. As mentioned above, ovulation is not always precise and various factors can influence it. The harder a couple tries to conceive, the better their chances of success.

It is important to remember that before ejaculation, precum is released, a colorless, viscous secretion that contains sperm and may be enough to cause conception.

In summary, to prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, the use of condoms is essential. In case both have been evaluated and confirmed to be disease free, other contraceptive options may be considered.

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Frequent questions:

Is the rhythm method as safe as the pill?

If used optimally, its level of safety is practically comparable to that of the contraceptive pill. This information is not widely disseminated. An investigation carried out in Germany, which included the exhaustive follow-up of more than 900 women over a period of 20 years, revealed that its effectiveness reached 98.2% in cases, a figure comparable to the results of the contraceptive pill. , which is effective in 99% of cases. Take better control of your menstruation here .

Is the rhythm method or coitus interruptus better?

This approach, also known as "reversing," involves the man removing his penis from the vagina before ejaculation, although both strategies could be used together. However, the effectiveness of withdrawal is limited to a modest 78%, which implies a considerable risk of pregnancy. If you did this practice and suspect a possible pregnancy because you have some symptoms, this article is for you because it may just be menstrual cramps .

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