Natural birth control

Thinking about natural birth control? Here are some expert tips to help

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What it is: Natural birth control methods (such as the Fertility Awareness Method, or FAM) require that you recognize the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle.
How it works: Women monitor basal body temperature and changes to cervical mucus and/or track their monthly cycles on a calendar.
Effectiveness: Typically 70 to 80%.
Convenience: It’s a lot of work and you need regular cycles for it to be dependable.
Best for: Women who wouldn’t be devastated by a positive pregnancy test.
Side effects: Pregnancy.
Price tag: Anywhere from about $50 for an ovulation predictor to $500 for a fancy fertility monitor.
Good to know: The more methods you use to track your fertility, the more effective it can be.

Our experts:
Dara Maker, family physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto
Roey Malleson, clinical associate professor of family practice at University of British Columbia
Ronald Weiss, assistant professor of medicine at University of Ottawa

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