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Health Information For Parents
Fertility awareness is a way to try to prevent pregnancy by not having sex around the time of
(the release of an egg during a woman’s monthly cycle). Couples who want to have a baby can also use this method to plan sex during the time the woman is most likely to conceive. Fertility awareness is sometimes called natural family planning, periodic abstinence, or the rhythm method.
If a couple doesn’t have sex around the time of ovulation, the girl is less likely to get pregnant. The trick is knowing when ovulation happens. Couples use a calendar, a thermometer to measure body temperature, the thickness of cervical mucus, or a kit that tests for ovulation. The ovulation kits are more useful for couples who are trying to get pregnant. The fertile period around ovulation lasts 6 to 8 days. During this time, a couple using only fertility awareness for birth control should not have sex.
Fertility awareness is not a reliable way to prevent pregnancy for most people. Over the course of a year, as many as 24 out of 100 typical couples who use fertility awareness alone will have an accidental pregnancy.
It is often very hard to tell when a girl is ovulating. She can conceive for up to 5 or 6 days before she ovulates and 1 or 2 days after. Because teens often have irregular periods, it makes predicting ovulation much harder. Even girls who usually have regular cycles can have irregular timing of ovulation from things like stress or illness. Fertility awareness requires a commitment to monitoring body changes, keeping daily records, and not having sex during the fertile period.
No. Fertility awareness does not protect against STDs. Couples having sex must always use condoms to protect against STDs, even when using another method of birth control.
Someone who uses fertility awareness should call the doctor if she:
Talking to your kids about sex can be a challenge. But discussing issues like birth control can help lower teens’ risk of unintended pregnancy or getting an STD.
Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex; for example, if a condom breaks or slips off during sex.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
Your kids need to understand how STDs spread and how to protect themselves. Here’s how to talk to them about sexually transmitted diseases.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
Learn what the fertility awareness (rhythm method) of birth control is and how it works – and some of the reasons why it might not work for teens.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
Find out what the experts have to say.
The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here’s how to make her feel more comfortable about a well-woman visit.
Learning about the female reproductive system, what it does, and the problems that can affect it can help you better understand your daughter’s reproductive health.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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