ZocdocAnswersHow reliable is the rhythm method of contraception?

Question

How reliable is the rhythm method of contraception?

My boyfriend and I were hoping to do a more natural form of contraception, and I was looking into the rhythm method. Is this as effective as condoms, diaphrams, etc?

Answer

You should definitely speak with your primary care or OB GYN regarding your options. Generally, the rhythm method is not an effective form of contraception. In fact, the number of women who become pregnant with this method is quite high, and this should not be used as the sole method of preventing pregnancy unless you are well informed about the relatively high risk of becoming pregnant and are ok with becoming pregnant. Over the course of a year, more than 25% of couples that carefully practice the rhythm method will become pregnant. While it is understandable that many couples wish to avoid medical means of contraception for religious or health reasons, there is a great body of research that demonstrates that it is much less effective. That does not mean that it is not the right choice for some people, it just means that you need to know that, statistically speaking, your odds of becoming pregnant while using this method are quite high. If you are worried about your overall health in taking any type of contraceptive, you should speak to your health care provider. He or she will have more specifics that might help making your decision a bit easier. Also, any woman of child bearing age who is sexually active should have proper nutrition and consider a multivitamin, among other health changes. Book an appointment with your primary care doctor or OB GYN.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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