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Rhythm method

A female finger pointing to a line on a complex chart of data.

How it works

The woman takes her temperature regularly, or tests her mucus or her urine to find out when she is just about to, or has, released an egg (ova). Then she has no sex until it is a safe period in her cycle again. The rhythm method therefore relies heavily on using a calendar.

The 'oops' factor

Not brilliant - between 2 and 10 % 'oops' factor if you've had training. In real life, it doesn't work so well because periods aren't always on time and it is not always easy to know exactly when a woman is releasing an egg. Best leave this method to your parents.


  • No hormones, no rubber, no nothing.


  • No protection against AIDS or other sexual infections
  • The unsafe time of the month is often the time you most want to have sex.
  • Only suitable for couples who don't mind getting pregnant if things do not work out as you want them to.

This method is otherwise known as natural family planning or the safe period