Relax, Johnny's Got You Covered

Natural Methods

80-98% effective depends on careful use and commitment to the method


The natural method involves recording the fertile and infertile times of your cycle to plan when to take extra measures to avoid pregnancy. There is no need for chemical or medical intervention.

How it Works

A woman keeps a daily record of her body temperature, changes in cervical mucus and other signs of ovulation. These tell her when she is most fertile and so when she should avoid sex or use a barrier method such as condom or diaphragm. Natural methods should be learnt from a specially trained teacher or GP/Doctor. Voluntary organisations such as Accord and the National Association of Ovulation Method Ireland (NAOMI) provide training. Continue reading for more information on Fertility.

Source: Health Service Executive, 2007


  • The method is totally natural and does not involve chemicals
  • Can be used to plan or prevent a pregnancy
  • Encourages shared responsibility by the woman and her partner, which can enhance their relationship
  • Enables a couple to be independent and in control of their fertility
  • Can be used at all stages of reproductive life
  • It is inexpensive, convenient and is free of all side effects


  • Requires keeping a daily record
  • Needs the co-operation of both partners
  • Will involve avoiding sex at some times during the month
  • Lack of knowledge and events which disturb the woman's cycle make the method less reliable such as illness, stress, medication etc
  • Only suitable for women with regular menstrual cycles
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections