With Natural Cycles you know exactly when you are fertile and need to use protection. We recommend using condoms as they have been proven to be very effective and are easy to use. What protection you use on red days is of course up to you just keep in mind that the effectiveness on red days relies on the method you choose to use. We’ve put together a list of methods that can be used on red days, how they are used and how effective they are.
When it comes to contraceptives we recommend taking effectiveness, method of usage as well as possible side effects into consideration. On red days you can only use non-hormonal methods of protection, as hormones affect your body temperature. The only methods mentioned that protect against STDs and STIs are the male and female condom.
Effectiveness can be broken down into:
- Perfect use: this refers to using the method of contraception correctly and consistently
- Typical use: reflects how effective methods are for the average person who does not always use the method correctly and consistently.
These numbers show how many women out of 100 get pregnant during a one year period of using the contraceptive method. E.g. 2% perfect use means that in one year a total of 2 women will get pregnant if they use the method consistently and correctly, whereas 18% typical use shows that 18 women out of 100 will become pregnant when using the method in general.
The more correctly and consistently you apply a method of contraception – the more effective the method will be for you. Everyone is different so it’s important to take these factors into account when choosing which option is right for you.
When it comes to contraception, abstinence refers to avoiding penile-vaginal penetration. Some couples like to interact in other forms of sexual expression such as masturbation, oral sex, having fun with sex toys and foreplay instead. The penis and sperm should however not come in contact with the vulva or vagina to avoid pregnancy. On paper this is a very effective method to use on red days, in reality you can always be overcome by the ‘heat of the moment’ so we recommend keeping some condoms at hand just in case.
This is our recommended method for red days, as they are the most effective method and easy to use. Condom failure is usually due to breakage or slippage. You can minimise the risk of this happening by ensuring that you have applied the condom correctly and that it is a good size fitting. We have recently extended our Webshop range with various condoms in different styles and sizes – cause just like us ladies, every man is different and one size doesn’t fit all so be sure to find an option that is comfortable for both of you.
Perfect use: 2%
Typical use: 18%
The female condom is somewhat similar to the male condom. It is a tube of soft plastic (polyurethane) that has a closed end. Each end has a ring or rim. The ring at the closed end is inserted deep into the woman’s vagina over the cervix, like a diaphragm, to hold the tube in place.
Perfect use: 5%
Typical use: 21%
This is a small soft cup made of silicone or latex that fits over the cervix. It needs to be fitted so you should contact your Gynaecologist if you wish to use it and needs to be replaced yearly. It is used in combination with spermicide. You have to leave it in place 6 hours after sex, yet it needs to be taken out within 48hours. It’s effectiveness is also affected depending on whether you have given birth before or not.
Perfect use: 9% (if not given birth), 26% (after birth)
Typical use: 14% (if not given birth), 29% (after birth)
The diaphragm is a little similar to the cervical cap. It is a round, dome-shaped device made of rubber that has a firm, flexible rim. It needs to be fitted so you should contact your Gynecologist if you wish to use it and needs to be replaced yearly. It fits inside a woman’s vagina and covers the cervix. It should also be used with a spermicide. The diaphragm must be left in place for 6 hours after intercourse and can be left in place up to 24 hours. It’s effectiveness is also affected depending on whether you have given birth before or not.
Perfect use: 6%
Typical use: 12%
The contraceptive sponge is a doughnut shaped sponge that you wet before inserting. It is used along with spermicide and must be inserted for at least 6 hours, the combination of spermicide killing sperm and the sponge trapping them and ensuring they do not get to the cervix is important here.
Perfect use: 9% ( if not given birth) 12% (after birth)
Typical: 12% (if not given birth) 24% (after birth)
Withdrawal (pull out)
Withdrawal is pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation and away from external genital organs of the woman to avoid pregnancy. With this method the man must rely on his own sensations to determine when he is about to ejaculate. Withdrawal is at the bottom of the effectiveness scale and the gap between typical and perfect use is very large due to couple finding it difficult to use this method consistently and correctly. Men who are less experienced with using this method might have more difficulty identifying when ejaculation is about to occur. In some men’s pre-ejaculate fluid may contain small numbers of sperm, which both partners are often not aware of when released.
Perfect use: 4%
Typical use: 22%
Talking to your partner about what contraceptive option is right for you can help you with your decision and if you have any further questions feel free to contact us over at support.
Your Natural Cycles team
Hatcher, Robert Anthony. Contraceptive Technology. New York, NY: Ardent Media, 2011. Print.