The ideal method of contraception does not exist. Sexual intercourse needs to take place only once for pregnancy to result and full penetration is not necessary. Even sperm left on the woman’s skin can find their way to the uterus and if she is fertile make her pregnant.
Pregnancy cannot be prevented by having intercourse in certain positions. There are 3 ways of estimating the safe period, where there are fewer chances for a woman to conceive – the calendar, temperature and the ovulation technique, however, a combination of all three of these methods is the safest and the most reliable.
Calendar method or the rhythm method
In the menstrual cycle the first day of menstruation is counted as day 1. A woman with an absolute regular 28 day cycle will have her unsafe time between day 11 and day 18. During that time she needs to abstain from intercourse. The calendar method is very risky for women with short cycles and for whose cycles are very irregular.
A woman’s temperature raises a small amount at the time of ovulation. The temperature must be taken by mouth, and recorded before getting out of bed every morning and before taking food and bath. Temperature may rise by a minimal amount of 0.5 to 2 *F, however, if the temperature remains unchanged it means that ovulation has not taken place. One should maintain a chart for this purpose to keep a record of the temperature.
Many tell-tale biological changes occur during ovulation. The easiest to detect is in the mucus usually seen at the entrance of the vagina. This is a jelly like substance similar to an egg white, produced by the cervix. Around the time of ovulation it becomes more profuse and watery, the wettest day being the fourth day after ovulation.
Women can learn to watch for these symptoms and with the temperature chart can predict ovulation. The disadvantage of the calendar method is that it does not actually prevent conception, it just warns a woman when intercourse is risky.
Coitus interruptus (male withdrawal)
This is the oldest method of contraception. It is simple moderately reliable, cheap and without the undesirable side effects of more sophisticated symptoms. The couple has intercourse normally, until the moment of the man’s climax, when he withdraws his penis before ejaculation. However, care must be taken to prevent any of the sperm from reaching the entrance of the woman’s vagina.