Calendar-based methods

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Calendar-based methods are various methods of estimating a woman's likelihood of fertility, based on a record of the length of previous menstrual cycles. Various systems are known as the Knaus–Ogino Method, rhythm method, and Standard Days Method. These systems may be used to achieve pregnancy, by timing unprotected intercourse for days identified as fertile, or to avoid pregnancy, by restricting unprotected intercourse to days identified as infertile.

The first formalized calendar-based method was developed in 1930 by John Smulders, a Roman Catholic physician from the Netherlands. It was based on knowledge of the menstrual cycle which was independently discovered by Hermann Knaus (Austria), and Kyusaku Ogino (Japan). This system was a main form of birth control available to Catholic couples for several decades, until the popularization of symptoms-based fertility awareness methods. A new development in calendar-based methods occurred in 1999, when Georgetown University introduced the Standard Days Method. The Standard Days Method is promoted in conjunction with a product called CycleBeads, a ring of colored beads which are meant to help the user keep track of her fertile and non-fertile days.

Contents

Terminology

Some sources may treat the terms rhythm method and fertility awareness as synonymous.[1] However, fertility awareness is usually used as a broad term that includes tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus as well as cycle length. The World Health Organization considers the rhythm method to be a specific type of calendar-based method, and calendar-based methods to be only one form of fertility awareness.[2]

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