Symptom-Thermal Method

The symptom-thermal method or double-check method and combines the temperature and cervical mucus and position methods, which is why it is more effective as a contraceptive.


Disadvantages

  • Requires commitment
  • Needs to be taught by a specialist in natural family planning
  • Can take 2-3 cycles to learn the method
  • Vaginal infections can make it difficult to identify fertile mucus
  • Some drugs used for treatment of colds etc. can inhibit cervical mucus production
  • Involves touching the body which some women may dislike
  • Requires abstinence


Advantages

  • Under the control of the woman
  • Gives the woman an opportunity to explore and feels more comfortable with her own body
  • Increases awareness of body changes
  • Predicts fertile mucus thus enabling pregnancy
  • Can be used to prevent pregnancy


It is ideal to use all three methods, but you should use at least two, to give you a more clear indication of when you are likely to be most fertile.

Fertility charts are available that allow you to note down the information from all three methods along the various stages of the menstrual cycle.




Nowadays, there are also various mobile phone apps and computer software available that allow you to record this information.

It is important for a woman to record her menstrual cycle for a few months prior to using this method. With a 28-day cycle, a woman is likely to ovulate 14 days after the first day of her period. Therefore, she can get pregnant between day 8 and day 20 of her cycle (due to the life-span of sperm and oocytes).  Not all women have this cycle therefore they should first monitor their cycle closely so as to establish their pattern and understand their bodies better before they use this method.