What is it?
Before we dive into the pros and cons, let’s make sure we know what safe days are.
It’s easiest to get pregnant halfway through the menstrual cycle – during ovulation. If you have unprotected days a few days before, during, or just after ovulation, you are likely to get pregnant. People use this knowledge to calculate ‘safe days’: the days when you are at a low risk of conceiving if you have unprotected sex.
Many people don't want to use hormonal birth control methods because it’s not fully clear what happens to our bodies when we put artificial hormones into it.
Counting safe days is completely natural and doesn’t require any medication. That also means that there are no side effects.
That’s also an advantage if you want to have a baby in the near future – you don’t need to wait for your cycle to normalise after having taken birth control for a while.
You can use quite a few tools to help you calculate your safe days. This includes measuring your body temperature every morning, using apps to log your symptoms, and tracking symptoms, such as vaginal discharge.
The more you understand and track your cycle, the less likely you will be to become pregnant unexpectedly. So you will need to read a lot before getting started for the best results.
Counting your safe days is a cheap way to avoid pregnancies. Unless you want to invest in a thermometer to measure your temperature daily, all you need is a calendar or a free app, and you are good to go.
Twenty-five out of 100 women who use only safe days to prevent pregnancy for a year get pregnant. So, compared to other birth control methods, there is a really high risk of getting pregnant.
That means that, if you absolutely do not want to get pregnant, this is not a good method for you.
Safe days will only work for you if you have a very regular cycle. If your cycle is very different every time, it will be much, much harder to accurately track your cycle and hence your safe days. If you have irregular periods, safe days might not be a good option for you and you should look into different birth control methods.
This is a birth control method that needs you to be meticulous. You need to check and chart, and you cannot skip that. You need to continuously have your cycle on your mind – otherwise, you are at risk of getting pregnant.
You still need to plan for a back-up. Biologically, women are more into sex just before they ovulate (the higher risk days). So, if you feel like you want to have some fun between the sheets during that period, you need to think about a backup method then.