Natural Family Planning (NFP) - alternative methods

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Hormonal long-term contraception


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Natural contraception

Note: The information listed below does not replace individual advice by your gynecologist.

Natural Family Planning (NFP)

How it works
Contraception is achieved by avoiding sexual intercourse on days of possible conception (periodic abstinence) or by using other methods on these days. To determine the fertile days, measure the morning temperature and examine the consistency of the mucus of the cervix. Also called the symptothermal method.
No cost, no side effects. Can also be used to determine fertile days to achieve pregnancy.
Side effects
Comparatively cumbersome handling and regular observation of the cycle necessary. Method has to be learned. Limitation of the method for sickness, shift and night work as well as time shifts. If no other contraceptive methods are used, no sex is possible on about 1/3 of the days.
High effectiveness with a Pearl-Index of 0.3 - 0.5 (after learning)


How it works
Sterilization is possible for both men (vasectomy) and women (tubal ligation). In women, the patency of the fallopian tubes is prevented in an operation (laparoscopy). In men, the vas deferens are also cut in a mostly outpatient surgical procedure.
Very effective contraception, Sehr sichere Verhütung, no intervention in the hormonal balance.
Side effects
Surgical intervention, which is associated with high costs (no coverage by the social health insurance). Vasectomy is usually irreversible.
very high effectiveness with a Pearl-Index of 0.2 - 0.3 (women) and 0.1 (men)


How it works
Contraception apps support natural family planning or the symptothermal method by calculating the fertile days based on the measured values to be entered. There are also contraceptive computers available that enable hormone measurements with the help of urine measuring strips.
Can supplement the symptothermal method (support of the cycle diary).
Side effects
Correct functioning of the apps required (calculation based on temperature instead of determining the cycle length based on days). Cycle computers are comparatively expensive.

Please also note a current investigation by the Stiftung Warentest in November 2017 (in German): Zyklus-Apps: Frucht­bare Tage bestimmen – nur drei Apps sind gut (last access on May 10th, 2020).

Source: Janni, Rack, Friese: Facharzt Gynäkologie, 1st ed (2008), Urban & Fischer.

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