With the holidays here you may be wondering how to keep using your natural family planning method if you are traveling – especially if you’ll be in a new timezone. The answer depends on what type of natural family planning method you are using. Some are very easy to use while traveling, and others can be a little more challenging.
How to use the Standard Days Method when traveling.
When using the Standard Days Method, you should simply continue tracking your cycle based on the time at home. The Standard Days Method is based on research that shows that a woman with cycles between 26 and 32 days long is most likely to get pregnant during days 8-19 of her cycle. To use this method many women use a visual tool called CycleBeads to help her track which day she is on, whether it is a day when pregnancy is likely or not, and that her cycles are in the range to use this method successfully. If the time difference is only a few hours between your home and your travel destination, then you probably won’t even notice a difference. But if in doubt, track based on the time at home. If you are using iCycleBeads, the smartphone apps based on the Standard Days Method, make sure that the settings on your phone are set to your time at home. Overall Ease of Use When Traveling: Easy
How to use the TwoDay Method when traveling.
If you are using the TwoDay Method, then you can simply use it just as you would normally. The TwoDay Method is based on the idea that a woman is fertile when she sees cervical secretions two days in a row. Since the TwoDay Method relies entirely on fertile symptoms, there are no issues when traveling…except that travel can sometimes make it hard to check. Overall Ease of Use When Traveling: Very Easy
How to use the Symptothermal Method when traveling.
The Symptothermal Method requires a woman to track both fertility symptoms and her temperature. If using this method, a woman should try to take her temperature at the same time every morning after at least four hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you are in a new timezone, then you should take your temperature when you wake up at the local time (not the time at home). However traveling can affect your temperature signficiantly. Most health providers encourage women to use a back up method if they are using the Symptothermal Method for birth control when traveling. Overall Ease of Use When Traveling: Difficult