Natural family planning - The symptothermal method

   Using the symptothermal method after the contraceptive pill   

After you stop taking the pill the menstrual cycle returns back to normal immediately. Some women will experience cycles, during which the maturing period of the ovulum is very long, and therefore their temperature will rise later, or menstrual cycles, during which the post-ovulation period is shorter, or ovulation is skipped entirely. In some cases a lot of time will pass until the temperature rises.

   As for the discharge, it may be possible, that due to the change of the ovulum's maturing process and the fluctuation of the responsible hormones, no discharge is produced and that phases rich in discharge are longer than normal. There also is the possibility that phases with and without mucus alternate. Or that during the first couple of menstrual cycles the mucus, characteristic for ovulation, may not show as distinctive features.

For this reason, the rules we have to abide in order to use the symtothermal method as contraceptive, includes some changes with regard to the usual symptothermal rules.

   In order to determine the fertile period after you have stopped taking the pill, we advise you to abide the following guidelines:

   - The first 5 days after having stopped taking the pill (from the first day of the period onwards) are considered infertile. The days after, are considered fertile, until the rise in temperature is noticeable, in combination with the examination of discharge (the normal two steps). During the following cycles, the 5-day rule as well as the minus-8 rule should be taken into consideration

- Exception: In order to assess the rise in temperature, the first menstrual cycle after having stopped taking the pill, you will need to take another temperature (fourth value), which also have to be higher than the 6 previous ones, but not necessarily by two decimals. The fertile period will start on the night of that fourth day (examining discharge as well). Throughout the following menstrual cycles, the usual symptothermal rules should be followed.