How To Know When Pregnancy Can Be Achieved Or Avoided.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema at unsplash.com
  • Barrier methods such as male and female condoms.
  • Hormonal methods such as oral contraceptive pills, injectables, implants, vaginal rings, transdermal patches.
  • Intrauterine devices(IUCDs).
  • Permanent methods such as vasectomy, bilateral tubal ligation.
  • Coitus interruptus; a fancy way of saying ‘pull-out’ or withdrawal method.
  • Natural methods such as lactational amenorrhea(LAM), rhythm method, basal body temperature method, standard days method(SDM).
  • A normal reproductive age woman has a menstrual cycle of 21–35days; about 50 to 60% has a 28days cycle(to know yours, try and find the shortest cycle in your past periods).
  • In a 28 days cycle, the first day(day 1) is the day your menses starts in that particular month(for example 1st of February), on day 14(that is 14th of February), she is expected to ovulate and on day 28(that is 28 of February), she is expected to start her next menses if her cycle is regular and no ‘pregnancy-worthy’ act has been committed.
  • Day 14 is the day of ovulation; that is when she releases egg from her ovaries and the egg goes into fallopian tube waiting to be fertilized by a ‘viable’ sperm.
  • It is generally believed that some sperm cells can last for up to 3 to 4days while the eggs(oocytes) can last for 1 to 2days before undergoing disintegration.
  • Therefore, ‘safe period’ is that period where ‘it is technically not possible for fertilization/interaction to occur between viable sperm cell(s) and viable egg cell(s). These are days of the cycle other than 4days before and 4days after day 14(that is February 1 to 10th and February 18 to 28)
  • Therefore ‘unsafe period’ is the period where fertilization of a viable egg by a viable sperm cell can occur leading to pregnancy, this includes day10 to day18 of a regular cycle.
  • For women who knows when they are ovulating(that is on day 14, they will surely start menstruating on day 28 because this is relatively constant.
  • In summary;
  • Safe periods or safe days in a cycle permits for unprotected sexual intercourse(as regards pregnancy alone) especially when cycle is regular. Nomatter how much sperm is ejaculated, fertilization is unlikely to occur.
  • Unsafe periods however requires abstinence or use of a contraceptive method usually condoms if pregnancy is not desired. When pregnancy is desired, ejaculatory sexual intercourse especially early hours of the day between 5:00am and 7:30am is recommended(though anytime of the day will do).
  • The drawback of this method is the irregularity in menstrual cycle which occurs in a large percentage of reproductive age women affects the result and reduces the predictive value of this method.
  • Also in medicine, there is a common saying that ‘never say never’.

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Writer|Medical Doctor

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Ola John

Ola John

Writer|Medical Doctor

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