Fertility Awareness Method

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a type of birth control sometimes called Natural or Organic Family Planning, that is a non-hormonal and non-invasive method of birth control. FAM has gained popularity among millennials who are moving away from the potentially dangerous side effects of hormonal birth control methods like the pill, implants, IUD’s, etc.

Predicting ovulation- when you are most fertile – has made great scientific advancements over the years. Knowing the days you are fertile can help you avoid pregnancy or it can also help you conceive a baby.

Studies have found that, with perfect use, the FAM Method is 99.4-99.6% effective at preventing pregnancy. With typical use, it is 98.2% effective.

How does it work? There are three ways: taking your daily temperature, keeping an eye on your cervical mucus, recording your menstrual cycle or all three. Don’t worry. There is a multitude of fertility apps from companies like Kindara, Ovia, and Clue who use technology to help you track your fertility. Many of the apps are free, but some have a cost associated with them. By the way, you don’t need to have a regular menstrual cycle to use the apps. They work with irregular periods as well. Each app uses their unique algorithm to track ovulation.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons, and the top five fertility apps!

PROS & CONS of the FAM

Pros 
• It’s organic – no hormones or chemicals are used that could harm the body or pollute the environment.
• It’s inexpensive.
• It’s free from side effects because no drugs or devices are used.
• Women learn more about their bodies and how to support healthy habits.
• It improves communication between couples because they must work together.
• It is morally acceptable irrespective of religion or culture.

Cons 
• Both partners must agree to use the FAM method.
• It requires some daily tracking.
• Couples must abstain from intercourse on fertile days
• Does not protect against STD’s, but then neither does hormonal birth control.

TOP 5 APPS

1.Clue – Free or a $1 monthly subscription or $10 for the year.
Clue is the #1 period tracker. It uses a unique algorithm that promises a more tailored approach to conception. Extra fun – you and your girlfriends can sync your periods through the app.

2. Kindara – Free
Kindara uses body temperature and cervical mucus to read hormone levels to indicate your fertile days. An extra perk is that Kindara works with a $129 oral thermometer called ‘Wink’ that syncs automatically to the app.

3. Ovia – Free (has a .99 cent upgrade)
Ovia tracks your period, ovulation symptoms, moods, and more. It has an ovulation calculator and calendar and can track other health indicators like eating and sleeping. Ovia claims it can help users who desire pregnancy to conceive up to three times faster than the national average.

4. Ava Bracelet – $250
Ava is a bracelet worn only during sleep that tracks your cycle and operates with the app to record data. It identifies five fertile days per cycle by collecting data on nine different parameters like skin temperature, pulse rate, heart rate, etc. Ava reports 89% accuracy.

5. Natural Cycles – Free for the first month, monthly and yearly subscriptions available from $6.90 per month.
Using a smart algorithm, Natural Cycles uses your unique temperature readings to determine when you have ovulated and are most likely to ovulate in your next cycle, indicating when you are fertile.