The sympto-thermal method, or STM for short, is a way of managing fertility.
Unlike some other methods the STM is backed up by scientific research, and it is over 98% effective when used correctly.
The STM involves looking at two signs of fertility; cervical mucus, and the basal body temperature. The guidelines for both of these signs, will identify ovulation, establish luteal phase length (the time between ovulation and menstruation), and depending on what it is being used for, will establish when the best time for baby making sex is, or the fertile window (so that pregnancy can be avoided).
It comes under the umbrella of ‘natural family planning’.
There are a number of other natural family planning methods, here is a little about each:
- The rhythm method, sometimes called the calendar method.
- The billings method only uses cervical mucus to establish the fertile window, therefore ovulation can not be confirmed.
- Withdrawal method, although it may sound simple, this is not particularly reliable and has a rather large failure rate! This is because sperm can be present in pre-ejaculate.
During the fertile window, a couple who are wanting to avoid conception have the choice to either abstain, or use a barrier method (such as condoms, caps, and diaphragms).
The effectiveness of the method for contraception relies heavily on the recording and interpreting of your fertile signs. This is why it is so important to be taught properly in the method.
Natural Fertility NZ trains educators to do just that. So if you are wanting to learn this method, either get in touch with myself, or find an educator who is local to you on the Natural Fertility NZ website.