Talk:Calendar-based contraceptive methods

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Current issues with this article[edit]

  • "It has been suggested that unprotected intercourse in the infertile periods of the menstrual cycle may still result in conceptions, but create embryos incapable of implanting."

This seems to be a contradiction. If a conception takes place, then by definition it was a fertile period. Maybe what wants to be said is "the perdiods marked as infertile by the method".

  • This says that the rhythm method and fertility awareness are the same thing. Perhaps this article is describing the "Calendar Rhythm Method"?
  • The intro says the rhythm method is used to avoid sex during a woman's predicted fertile period. Is the rhythm method also used to increase chances of pregnancy for couples trying to have kids?
  • Why has MamaGeek removed a wikilink to natural family planning twice? was this intentional? Is the NFP article wrong to say the rhythm method is a form of NFP?

--Andrew c 17:51, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

  • That first link you provided is just wrong. The rhythm method is not the same as fertility awareness. See the Wikipedia article on Fertility awareness.
  • Yes, the rhythm method can be used to help achieve pregnancy. I will add that to the article.
  • The rhythm method is a form of natural birth control. NFP uses several methods of natural birth control to predict fertile/infertile times. NFP is a religious form of natural birth control. It has more restrictions on what can be done during fertile times (for instance, NFP does not allow masturbation during fertile times). You don't have to be reliously-motivated to use the rhythm method.
MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 18:02, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
      • Well, wikipedia is about verifiablity. Here is another link that says the Calendar Rhythm Method is a form of FA. And another (note this site claims FA and NFP are the same). and another. and another. and another. etc. So my research is verifiable and it shows that FA and NFP are the same, and that the Calendar Rhythm method is a form of FA. This is clearly a prevelent POV that simply cannot be ignored. What sources do you have to back up your claims that a) NFP is not FA because it is religiously motivated and has masturbation stipulations and b) that the rhythm method is not a method of FA? I went to the FA article and saw the same claims there with no sources.
      • Thanks for updating the article on that!
      • I guess I already talked about NFP above. We just need to make sure that the content is verifiable and sourced reliably.--Andrew c 18:27, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Your original entry said, "This says that the rhythm method and fertility awareness are the same thing." These ones are saying that the Rythm Method is a form of FA/NFP. Those two statements are not identical. Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. Balloonman 07:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I think a lot of websites borrow misinformation from one another, so a preponderance of websites does not make something true. My primary source is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH, a National Bestseller. That book has an 11-page bibliography of independent sources which cite all of the data included. Let me see if I can break it down for you more clearly:

  • NFP is a religiously-motivated set of methods which attempt to predict fertile and infertile times based on scientific observations. It forbids orgasmic acts outside of marital intercourse, and therefore requires abstinence during fertile periods if used for birth control.
  • Fertility awareness is a set of methods which attempt to predict fertile and infertile times based on scientific observations. It includes no stipulations about what to do with that information during fertile times. (In other words, condom use is acceptable.)
  • Rhythm method is a method included in NFP, but considered outdated and inaccurate. It is usually not taught with Fertility Awareness anymore.
  • Basal body temperature is a method of NFP and FA that involves tracking a woman's daily temperature and observing cyclic shifts that indicate ovulation and other changes (including early pregnancy detection)
  • Billings ovulation method is a method of NFP and FA that tracks fertility by paying attention to the sensation at the vulva and the appearance of any vaginal discharge.
  • Creighton Model is a method of NFP and FA similar to Billings
  • Cervical Position is a method of FA that involves observations of...cervical position (who would've guessed?)
  • Lactational Amenorrhea Method is a method of NFP and FA that involves the infertility caused by breastfeeding

MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 18:39, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you have page numbers or anything? Does your book support the claims you make? What if I called your book "misinformation", and copy and pasted one of my linked sources. where would that get us? The whole idea is not to present The Truth, but instead each relevent POV. Therefore, we are going to have to compromise, and we are going to have to include BOTH POVs. I think we should merge FA, NFP, and NBC into one larger article, and then have individual articles for the individual methods. The question would be what should the overall article be called? NFP gets the most google hits.--Andrew c 20:18, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

The Catholic Church allows NFP [1] [2] [3]. The Catholic Church does not allow condoms [4], masturbation [5] [6], or oral sex [7]. FA allows all of these things. Therefore FA and NFP must be different, despite popular misconception to the contrary.
NFP also includes breastfeeding infertility [8]. FA includes only observational methods, NOT breastfeeding infertility.
It is Wikipedia policy to use the names preferred by the people they describe WP:NCI. Catholics prefer to have their method called NFP. Non-religiously motivated users prefer to have their method called FA. Weshler's book is consistently in the top few hundred best sellers on Amazon #309 on 6/13/06, and a community with 16,000 members is based on her book [9]. Post on that forum and ask people who actually use the method if there's a difference, and they will tell you yes. Lyrl 23:26, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I can see that side of things. First thing though, it is not our place to claim certain POV are misconceptions. If we want to have a section on etymology and usages, that's fine. Another solution would be to have a disambiguation sentence at the top. Anyway, let me make sure I have this straight. The article on FA describes a group fo systems aimed at measuring/recording/observing/counting the fertility cycle of a woman in order to pinpoint ovulation (either to avoid pregnancy, or to increase chances to conceive). The article on NFP describes the group of catholic supported birth control methods that focus on certain forms of FA and other NBC, with stipulations about abstaining part of the time (instead of using other methods of contraception or masturbating or what have you). NBC covers all forms of BC that do not use barriers, chemicals, surgery, devices, etc (including all of FA and NFP (minus the religious strings attached)). Have I got that right?
How does adding a disambig sentence to the top of NFP like The term 'natural family planning' is sometimes used more generally to refer to Fertility Awareness? Finally, is the rhythm method a type of FA? Thanks for the links and input. --Andrew c 01:23, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
The Rhythm Method is still taught as part of NFP, and it could be considered a form of FA, but most FA practitioners and instructors today consider it obsolete, since it's so inaccurate, and there are better methods now available. There's a sentence to that effect in the FA article. I'll take a stab at rewording it a little. MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 11:19, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Weschler's book (the new edition, 2002) contains a chapter on lactational infertility. Just FYI. MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 11:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I think I agree with the direction the talk is heading. Just a few points: couples who do not want to use barriers or chemicals to avoid pregnancy are generally attracted to both FA and LAM. Most FA teachers also teach LAM, and the Weschler, Singer, and Kippley FA/NFP books all have sections on LAM. BUT, LAM is breastfeeding, not observing fertility signs. They are two seperate methods. To my understanding, Rhythm is also not an FA method, because it does not involve observing fertility signs. Although again, it might attract the same demographic because of the no barriers no chemicals aspect. Lyrl 23:50, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Infobox for individual birth control method articles[edit]

Let's all work on reaching a consensus for a new infobox to be placed on each individual birth control method's article. I've created one to start with on the Wikipedia Proposed Infoboxes page, so go check it out and get involved in the process. MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 12:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Edits of 28 September[edit]

  • What is the rational for putting the discussion of failure rates ahead of the description of the methods? That is not the case in any of the other birth control articles, and is awkward to read.
  • Why are environmental factors duplicated? They are now listed both in the "high failure rate" section and in the "perfect and imperfect use" sections. Lyrl Talk Contribs 13:11, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


According to the National Survey of Family Growth, 0.7% of Americans are using the Rhythm Method, while 0.2% are using fertility awareness (see Table 4 in Use of Contraception and Use of Family Planning Services in the United States: 1982-2002. Advance Data No. 350). So over three times as many people use Rhythm as FA. I understand that FA teachers consider Rhythm obsolete, but that doesn't mean that it is, see? The huge number of people that use it (approximately 2 million Americans, according to the NSFG estimate) testifies otherwise.

Also consider than the Standard Days Method is very recent - the journal references in this description (pdf) are from 1999-2003. It was obviously developed for use in modern times. Advantages include very low skills required of users (no math, as in the original Rhythm), very fast teaching time (no need to describe cervical mucus), and easier compliance (defined fertile/infertile days vs. trying to interpret a chart). In developing countries, the cost savings and increased outreach can justify teaching such a method with slightly higher failure rates. Again, I do not think this type of method is obsolete. Lyrl Talk Contribs 23:07, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Point taken. Rather than dismiss the method as obsolete, I have instead clarified the term 'the rhythm method', and included a short comparison detailing the differences between it and fertility awareness. Joie de Vivre 02:13, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

NFP always more effective than Rhythm?[edit]

This statement inserted into the most recent edit ("FA and NFP... are more accurate than Rhythm") confused me. I thought Rhythm was a type of NFP? I'm fairly sure most or all of the 2 million Americans who use Rhythm are under the impression they are practicing NFP. Lyrl Talk Contribs 02:24, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

"Comparison to FA" vs. "Reasons for high failure rate"[edit]

These two sections are currently duplicating some information (Rhythm thrown off by cycle irregularities, etc.). Any suggestions for avoiding this duplication? Lyrl Talk Contribs 02:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Is "comparison to FA" section necessary?[edit]

Much of the information in the "comparison" section is a duplicate of information in the first three paragraphs of the article. Information that is not duplicated doesn't really seem relevant to this article (listing the three primary physiologic signs of fertility, naming and wikilinking to specific method articles like Billings), or could easily be incorporated into the second paragraph (FA teachers consider Rhythm obsolete).

Any thoughts on removing this section? Lyrl Talk Contribs 02:35, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I think these edits helped address my concerns. But I'm still not convinced the comparison section is necessary.
I'm going to be very nitpicky here. I think my position is kind of subtle, so I'm going to give detailed explanations, sentence by sentence.
  • Unlike Rhythm, modern techniques of fertility awareness involve direct observation and charting of several physiological signs of fertility,... - this could be integrated into the second paragraph of the intro.
  • ...including basal body temperature, and consistency of cervical mucus. These bodily cues provide immediate feedback regarding a woman's current state of fertility. - I'm not convinced this level of detail is necessary in the Rhythm Method article.
  • These biological signals are significant, because many women experience some variation in the length of their cycle. - Cycle variation in and of itself isn't as significant as this sentence would imply. The Rhythm Method accounts for variation - a woman's longest and shortest cycles are part of the math. And for the newer Standard Days, that's why only women with cycle lengths in a certain 6-day range can use it. The advantage of FA is when a woman with a one- to two-year history of regular cycles suddenly has one cycle significantly different. It's not variation per se, it's the occasional deviation from historical limits. If that made any sense. In any case, this point is already addressed as a weakness in the "high failure rate" section. The comparison to FA could be incorporated into that section, too.
  • In contrast, the Rhythm method relies on statistical estimates and calendar reference,... - this is highly similar to the very first sentence of the article, The Rhythm Method... involves counting days of a woman's menstrual cycle. I'm not sure the duplication is necessary.
  • ...providing, at best, an educated guess of the likelihood of fertility. This sentence implies Rhythm doesn't work. True, 9% annual pregnancy rate is bad for a method of birth control. But it is dramatically different from 85% annual pregnancy rate of doing nothing to prevent pregnancy. And the continued sales of contraceptive sponges and cervical caps demonstrate that 9% perfect-use failure rate is acceptable to many people. I don't believe the vilification of the method in the article text is called for - the failure rates should speak for themselves.
  • The Rhythm method is less accurate than modern fertility awareness methods (see Reasons for high failure rate). Because of this, many fertility awareness teachers consider calendar rhythm to have been obsolete for at least 20 years. - if not technically, at least in spirit this is duplicating the current second paragraph. I see no reason it could not be integrated there.
  • At one time, the Rhythm Method was promoted as an acceptable form of natural family planning by the Catholic Church. However, as in the fertility awareness community, the Rhythm method has largely been dropped. - to remain in this form this sentence needs a citation. As far as I am aware, Rhythm is still an acceptable method to the RCC (the sentence as currently constructed implies it is no longer acceptable), I have shown above on this talk page that 2 million Americans are still using it (so it hasn't been dropped), and the newer variant of Standard Days is being actively promoted in developed countries (far from being dropped). In developed countries, priests who bother to have NFP as part of Pre-Cana or otherwise promoted to their congregation choose FA methods (so couples learning NFP in developed countries are learning FA), but that is a considerably more specific statement than the current one.
  • The Billings Ovulation Method and the Creighton Model are currently researched and advocated by the leaders of this church, today - I don't think the 'leaders' part is accurate (being part of a Catholic organization does not automatically make a person a "leader of the church"), the list of advocated methods is incomplete (it does not mention Marquette or sympto-thermo or devices like LadyComp), and I'm not understanding how this sentence is relevant to this article at all. Fertility awareness methods have already been discussed - what's the rationale for going in-depth on all the different methods available?
Lyrl Talk Contribs 02:49, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Lyrl, this response seems more verbose than is necessary for the concerns raised. I would appreciate it if you would make an effort to be a bit more succinct. That said, I think that some of your concerns are somewhat valid, but they would be better served by you making minor adjustments to the section, rather that by exhaustively listing this (and only this) section's faults on the Talk page. I think the common confusion between Rhythm, FA/NFP, and sex with no method warrants the existence of the section. I oppose its deletion. Joie de Vivre 20:27, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Good job Lyrl; your edits made a significant, clarifying improvement to this section. Joie de Vivre 18:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

"pregnancy rate" rather than "failure rate"[edit]

Note discussion at Talk:Birth control#"pregnancy rate" rather than "failure rate" re replacing occurrences of "failure rate" with "pregnancy rate". I would also like to see the same change on this page. Please make any comments there. --Coppertwig 04:02, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Notice how other methods of birth control (such as condoms) have "pregnancy rate" rather than "failure rate." Coincidence? Wikipedia: a biased joke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Removing or incorporating trivia[edit]

According to Wikipedia policy at Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles the two items of trivia under "Popular culture references" should be worked in to the article if pertinent (which I would say they are not) or deleted (which I think it should). Darentig 19:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

They're both fact-tagged anyway and can be deleted on those grounds. Lyrl Talk C 01:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)


Dear Lyrl, referring to your last edit "rv addition of unsourced material - no studies linked to on Perimon's webpage, either, just unsourced claims)". Perimon is an enhancements of the rhythm method. Since it is acts much more cautious and designates only up to 10.5 days as infertile, it is quite obvious that it has to be safer than the standard days method. Anyhow I have no idea why you do not want to have a reference to Perimon on the rhythm method page. As long as no clinical studies exist we do not mention it? Best regards, corcov

I had misunderstood that Perimon only allowed a maximum of 10.5 fertile days. I was suspicious of such a low number. My apologies. I have added some information on Perimon back into the article. Lyrl Talk C 15:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Fertility calculators[edit]

An edit was recently made to the external links section adding a Babymed fertility calculator, which I reverted. Now, a Google search for the phrase "fertility calculator" gives 127,000 hits. Wikipedia is not a repository of links, and considering the huge number of fertility calculators out there, including links to them would make this article such a "repository".

At present, we have two links to sites that offer fertility calculation: CycleBeads (external links), and Perimon (references section). These are unique in that they are the only sites I am aware of that promote their product for avoiding pregnancy. I would also be open to including a small number of other sites if it were argued they had some unique characteristic, that did not put this article in danger of gaining thousands of sites in the external links section. Does this sound reasonable to others? Lyrl Talk C 02:19, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Seems fair enough. I am also of the conviction that we should keep EL to a minimum. A list of links to specific fertility calculators is a lot less encyclopedic than (if it exists) an indepth article about fertility caluclators in general.-Andrew c 17:11, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
After my addition was removed by Andrew c according to above discussion, I re-arranged the "Web-based Period Calculators" to contain no external links at all, but instead a link to DMOZ where some of such tools can be found. This is according to the Wikipedia Guidelines and I hope it is the right thing to do. My intention was never to spam here but to increase the article's quality, objectivity and usefulness. - Flo Ledermann —Preceding undated comment added 10:58, 23 May 2010 (UTC).

"Official" approval by the Catholic Church[edit]

The recent additions to the history section were very interesting and useful.

However, I'm not sure about that section's current denial that there was question about the "official" approval of the Rhythm Method by the Vatican. The existence of such questioners is supported by Marilyn Yalom's book, and also by the cmri link:

...all these considerations convinced the great majority of theologians that Pius XI was here referring to the permissible use of the sterile periods as a means of avoiding conception. Pius XII, we may mention here, explicitly confirmed this view in 1958 (Address to Hematologists, 12 Sept. 1958, A.A.S., 50 [1958] 736), thus dispelling what little doubt had existed on this point.”

It seems there were some theologians - a large enough minority to be noted - that opposed this interpretation, until the speeches by Pius XI. I'd like to add that back into the history section, however making clear it was a minority view. Lyrl Talk C 01:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Lyrl, I have no problem with it being noted as a minority view. However, that is definitely what it was. McHugh, OP and Callan, OP in their book "Moral Theology" state concerning the Allocution that: "Pope Pius [XII] explicitly confirmed the common teaching of theologians." (Vol II, Section 2622). Its not difficult to find other quotes stating the same thing, such as the works of Fathers Kelly, SJ and Ford, SJ. abyler Talk C 18:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The Catholic Church holds that it has never changed its position on any moral issue. So any Catholic theologian who said otherwise would not be considered an observant Catholic, and this introduces some bias. I believe these theologians have to stretch the historical record and take advantage of gaps in "official" teachings to maintain this position. Which is my own bias. However, I hope my most recent edits are reasonable, neutral presentation of the history. Lyrl Talk C 02:54, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Catholic view re celibacy vs. marriage[edit]

A recent edit changed "Early Catholic doctrine considered..." to "Catholic doctrine considers..." as the start of the sentence "...complete sexual abstinence to be the most holy state for humans, with marriage being a holy state for those without the fortitude required by an abstinent life." Citations were added to Paul's letter to the Corinthians (first century), a Catholic document from 406 with commentary that the practices described in the document "prevailed almost unchecked till the sixteenth century", implying that they fell out of favor after the sixteenth century, and to the Council of Trent: "it is... better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony" This is the most recent of the cites, as the council ended in 1563.

However, Casti Connubii (1930) and John Paul II's 1980s Theology of the Body (see for example [10]) pretty clearly state that marriage is equal to celibacy as far as holiness goes. I am unaware of modern Catholic theologians considering marriage as a lesser state than celibacy, and so would like to change the sentence back to "Early Catholic doctrine". Am I mistaken in this? Lyrl Talk C 00:50, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Fact tag on "over 100 years" statement.[edit]

This edit placed a fact tag on the statement "For over 100 years, the Rhythm Method was promoted by members of the Catholic Church as the only morally acceptable form of family planning." This statement is well-sourced in the history section - the early Church's condemnation of all contraceptive methods, the 1853 ruling that Rhythm was moral, up to the mid-twentieth century development of observational fertility awareness methods. My question is, should all of these sources be added to the end of the tagged statement? It seems a bit overkill when the sources are already in place with explanation in the most relevant discussion.

Or, is the editor asking that the statement be reworded? If so, how? Or maybe the history section should be moved to the top of the article, as in birth control and combined oral contraceptive pill? Lyrl Talk C 22:08, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Categorization - what articles should this one be grouped with?[edit]

This article has been categorized with other methods of fertility awareness since July 2006. It was recently re-categorized with coitus interruptus and sexual abstinence (diff). The old Category:Periodic abstinence has been nominated for deletion.

I feel this new grouping is less useful. Someone unfamiliar with methods of fertility awareness could previously read the intro paragraph to fertility awareness and then have a good idea what all articles in Category:Periodic abstinence were about ("determin[ing] the fertile and infertile phases of [the] menstrual cycle" and timing unprotected intercourse based on that information). I believe the new categorization scheme is not as useful as the old one - it only offers the information to the navigator that behavior modification is involved, like that involved in coitus interruptus. Nothing about fertility or the periodicity of the behavioral aspects. What do others think? Lyrl Talk C 20:21, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

There seems to be a rough consensus at Categories for discussion to create a new Category:Fertility awareness. Per many sources including both Rhythm Method and Standard Days Method as types of fertility awareness ([11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]), I would like to include this article in the new category. Lyrl Talk C 01:56, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Lyrl, there is no such thing. At least two editors have expressed concern that Rhythm could not be included in a category titled Fertility awareness. I am putting my foot down about this; we need to come up with another name for the new category. Joie de Vivre 02:02, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Rhythm method is more like "Fertility guessing" or "Fertility estimating". There are no biomarkers involved. Please don't approach this this way. Joie de Vivre 02:03, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to have to disagree with your first point, but agree with your second. Lyrl clearly has shown a large number of sources that use the term "fertility awareness" to include the rhythm method. Wikipedia is not about The Truth. Wikipedia is not the place to correct alleged improper uses of the English language. If we have verifiable sources that relate these terms, that is all we need. Do we have sources that specifically say "the rhythm method" is not fertility awareness? If it is a case of conflicting sources, however, wikipedia shouldn't take sides. So to avoid conflict it may be best to find a different title for the new category. It's strange because we have sources that use the term "natural family planning" to refer to general methods that aren't necessarily religion, and we have sources that use the term "fertility awareness" to include the rhythm method. Either name could work for a category name, but both are objectionable due to other uses of the term. Like I said at the CfD, because we are dealing with so little number of articles, I see nothing wrong with grouping all the behavioral methods together.-Andrew c 02:23, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that we should group them together, but I am staunchly opposed to using the term "fertility awareness". I insist that we use a more generic term that clearly signifies the difference between the methods that actually detect fertility and those that merely estimate it. I propose Category:Methods which detect or estimate fertility. There are many ways that we could express this; instead of "detect" we could use the word "track" or "monitor", or we could change the grammar. Joie de Vivre 12:03, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
The presence of cervical mucus indicates probable fertility, as the lack of it indicates probable infertility - but neither condition is an absolute. Basal body temperature charts detect post-ovulatory infertility - the temp rise does not normally occur until after ovulation. Meaning, observational methods also only "estimate" fertility, rather than "detecting" it. While the particular rules of the Knaus-Ogino method result in failure rates most couples consider unacceptable, other statistical rules have been shown to have very low failure rates (down to less than 1% per year). For example, Weschler's system includes a Five Day Rule - first five days of any cycle are considered infertile - for women with cycles of 26 days or longer, and a Three Day Rule for women with shorter cycles.
I'm not enthusiastic about using separate adjectives to describe observational and statistical systems' relationship to fertility. I think the distinction is too fuzzy.
To respond to Andrew, there are a large number of sources that specifically say the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM, the symptothermal system Weschler promotes) is not the Rhythm Method ([21], [22]). I suspect that the confusing name of this symptothermal system is what leads to the few sources that say fertility awareness (no capitals) is not the Rhythm Method ([23]). I also consider the literature on the Standard Days Method I've read, every last one of which calls it a fertility awareness-based method. I do not see a true conflict of sources here. Lyrl Talk C 01:35, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I am beginning to see Andrew's point; that a new category isn't really necessary at all. We are not going to agree on this so I think the matter should be dropped. I have tried to compromise on the name but you don't seem to be willing to work together. I think the venture should be abandoned. Joie de Vivre 02:37, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Could we at least create the Category:Fertility awareness for the articles we agree should go there and leave for later the discussion of where to put this particular article? With a no consensus outcome to the category deletion nomination, I think standard procedure is to revert back to the previous state of affairs - meaning articles go back into Category:Periodic abstinence. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding this area of policy.

I'm not attached to "fertility awareness" as a category name, but I'm really at a loss for alternatives. I did a Google search for "cervical mucus" "rhythm method", and a search for "cervical mucus" "calendar method" to see if other writers have used terms to group these methods together. The vast majority of pages group these methods together either under the name "fertility awareness" or "natural family planning". One potential alternative I came across was "fertility charting" [24]. This descriptor groups the methods together in that women using them keep records that they use to decide how fertile each day is, but removes the connotation of daily observation that I think JdV is objecting to with "awareness". Another term I found used was "fertility indicator" [25]. In the few pages of Google results I looked through, I found these terms used once each, vs. dozens of times for FA and NFP being used to include both observational and calendar methods. I don't really understand using a rare term in favor of a widely-used term, but if we can get consensus for it, I'm game. Lyrl Talk C 22:12, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Place to discuss usage of calendar rules[edit]

I had added a section discussing use of calendar rules in combination with mucus and/or temperature observation. It was reverted with the explanation, "there are separate articles for these methods". I'm not sure what is meant by that - Creighton Model FertilityCare System and the Billings ovulation method do not use calendar rules. The basal body temperature article does already say, "BBT methods often use a rule similar to that of the Calendar Method to determine the beginning of the pre-ovulatory fertile phase," but that does not include a discussion of or comparison to calendar rule use in symptothermal methods. That leaves (if I am counting correctly) only the fertility awareness article, which currently only discusses observation of temperature and mucus, leaving day-counting methods to this article (which is why I thought it appropriate to talk about combinations of day-counting and mucus/temperature here). Would the information I added on combining day-counting with mucus and/or temperature records be more appropriate for the fertility awareness article? Or some other article? Lyrl Talk C 01:34, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Category move[edit]

This article has been moved to Category:Fertility tracking as part of a planned deletion of Category:Periodic abstinence, Category:Fertility awareness, and Category:Natural family planning. Please bring up any concerns at Category talk:Periodic abstinence. If there are no objections within four days, these three categories will be tagged for speedy deletion. Lyrl Talk C 22:27, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

NOTICE: The old discussion at Category talk:Periodic abstinence is now located at Category talk:Fertility tracking/Periodic abstinence. Joie de Vivre 11:31, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Wording Change[edit]

I'd like to suggest the wording "can be used to facilitate pregnancy achievement", as the current version can easily be confused as a snark about the effectiveness of the method (the fact that there were already such snarks in the article probably assisted my reading it that way). I understand my first rewording was seen as too long, but perhaps we can find a compromise by simply adding the three words "can be used" to what is there now. Neitherday 17:19, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to suggest that someone looks at the wording of the assertion "It was based on knowledge of the menstrual cycle which was independently discovered by Hermann Knaus (Germany), and Kyusaku Ogino (Japan)." It is certain that knowledge of the menstrual cycle pre-dated the eminent doctors documentation and its acceptance in medical literature. It could not have escaped the notice of every woman throughout history. Josiefraser 23.37, 12 October 2008 (GMT)

The knowledge that ovulation occurred only once per menstrual cycle, about fourteen days before menstruation, was first obtained by Knaus and Ogino. Does that help? LyrlTalk C 00:02, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

That's rather different to 'discovering' the menstrual cycle :) Josiefraser 11.57, 13 October 2008 (GMT)

It's discovering knowledge about the menstrual cycle. Not the knowledge that it exists: the knowledge about when ovulation occurs relative to menstruation. I'm hesitant to change the sentence to, "It was based on the knowledge that ovulation occurs only once per menstrual cycle, about fourteen days before menstruation, which was independently discovered by Hermann Knaus (Germany), and Kyusaku Ogino (Japan)" because thirty-one word sentences are generally hard for readers to follow. If you have an idea of how to break that down into a few smoother-flowing sentences, please go ahead. LyrlTalk C 11:06, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

POV Sentence[edit]

MamaGeek (talk · contribs) said in their last edit summery that the sentence "Statements that calendar-based methods are "not methods of birth control" or "the same as nothing at all" are false." was throughly discussed on the talk page, but I can't find anything that specifically discusses the sentence. It seems to me needlessly POV and redundant as the text immediately before the sentence explains that the Rhythm Method does prevent some pregnancies. The sentence should be removed. Neitherday (talk) 02:12, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, heck, maybe it was archived or something. I know it was discussed, but I can't find it either. Does anyone know where it went? MamaGeek (talk/contrib) 03:37, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Even if it was here, the issue can be revisited. I don't see why this sentence is even needed as the text in the paragraph already states that the Rhythm method does prevent some pregnancies. All the sentence does is attack a strawman. Neitherday (talk) 03:45, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
True, but it's a strawman that is very commonly used to attack the method, which is why it deserves such a very specific rebuttal. Perhaps it belongs MamaGeek (talk/contrib) 02:45, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I've seen heard that argument seriously put forth by any notable critic. A strawman argument attacks an easier to target position and not the one actually generally held by the other side. Opponents of the rhythm method argue that is ineffective, which is much different than claiming it is "the same as nothing at all" — which makes the attack a strawman argument.
Regardless, as I've previously pointed out, the sentence is redundant and unnecessary: the fact that the rhythm method does prevent some pregnancies and is a form of birth control is already presented in the article. Neitherday (talk) 03:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

The World Health Organization refers to the Rhythm Method and the Standard Days Method as "calendar-based methods" ([26] see the third page, although it is labeled "Page 1"). I'm not aware of any sources that refer to the Standard Days Method as "Rhythm", so the current article title is somewhat problematic. It seems logical to keep the two methods in the same article as is currently done; are there any thoughts or objections to moving this article to Calendar-based methods? LyrlTalk C 22:59, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

The World Health Organization considers calendar-based methods to be fertility awareness methods (see link in previous paragraph). Given this authoritative source, this article should not state as fact that calendar-based methods are not fertility awareness. As stated above, I am unaware of any sources that refer to the Standard Days Method as "Rhythm", so the recently modified lead sentence (Calendar-based methods of birth control (commonly referred to, collectively, as "the rhythm method"))is inaccurate. Also note that calendar-based methods can be used to achieve pregnancy, or simply to be aware of whether conception is likely or unlikely for couple who are not active trying to avoid or achieve pregnancy. These are not inherently methods of birth control, therefore "birth control" should not be in the title of this article. LyrlTalk C 23:35, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Reverted; the phrase "the rhythm method" returns over 195,000 ghits, the phrase "calendar-based methods" returns less than 800. WP:NAME makes it clear that we are to use the most recognizable name for the subject of an article. Since the only "calendar-based methods" are the rhythm method and the Standard Days Method, it is fairly simple to either refer to "rhythm method-based methods" (not as a term but as a descriptive phrase), or we can simply note the rhythm method "and the Standard Days Method" individually. It is not imperative to group two items under one little-used term, and we certainly shouldn't base the article on a virtually unknown term. I'm not particularly swayed by the World Health Organization's use of the term; particularly in light of their erroneous use of the phrase "fertility awareness" to describe the rhythm method/SDM. Whistling42 (talk) 20:11, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
The scope of the current article is wider than the Rhythm method: it also includes the Standard Days Method. I have not seen a single source that refers to the Standard Days Method as the Rhythm Method. Lacking such a source, an article titled "Rhythm method" cannot cover SDM: SDM would have to be spun off into its own article.
A Google search for "rhythm method-based methods" returns 0 hits. This term is not little-used, it is WP:MADEUP.
This article was stable under the title "Calendar-based methods" for two months. Until a consensus develops on a name and how to handle the SDM-related content, the article should remain on the most recent stable version. LyrlTalk C 03:42, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
SDM was listed as a "variant" of the rhythm method, Surely it is reasonable to list a new variant of the mathematical rules which comprise the rhythm method, under a section called "variants". That's all SDM is, really, a modified version of the rhythm method, with a string of beads for counting. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the work they are doing in developing countries, but I don't consider it a "new revolution" that requires us to refer to it as one of a "group" of "calendar-based methods". I think it is perfectly reasonable to refer to SDM as a "variant" of the rhythm method, under a header of that name, within this article. What do you think? Whistling42 (talk) 10:43, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
You know, I could have written that statement word for word. Just substitute "Lea's Shield" and "SILCS diaphragm" for SDM, and substitute "cervical cap" and "diaphragm" for rhythm method, and that is exactly my view of the situation. Tell you what, we merge Lea's Shield into cervical cap, and merge SILCS diaphragm into diaphragm (contraceptive), and I'll be fine with leaving the title of this article as "Rhythm method". LyrlTalk C 11:28, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
There is already a brief mention of the Lea's Shield at cervical cap, it is mentioned under "similar devices", with a link to Lea's Shield. And that mention was there the entire time that you were arguing to call the Lea's Shield a "cervical cap", which is simply wrong. That is not at all what I am arguing here. I am not arguing to call the SDM "the rhythm method" the way that you were arguing to call the Lea's Shield "a cervical cap", I was arguing for that simply based on space, referring to the SDM as a method that is a variant of the rhythm method but not the rhythm method itself. If you think it's too confusing, I think it would be fine to split out SDM into its own article. Interested people would find it very easy to click Rhythm method to learn more about the instantly-recognizable rhythm method which came before it.
In a situation like this where the old title is much more recognizable than the new title, unless the old title is actually inaccurate, we should consider whether updating the title will confuse readers. I think that is absolutely true in this case: "rhythm method" is hundreds of times more popular on Google than "calendar-based methods". Not twice as popular, or three times as popular, hundreds of times more popular. Therefore I think it is most beneficial to stick to the name "rhythm method" and let SDM have its own article. From what I have read about it, apparently the rules of SDM are different enough from rhythm that they can be described separately.
As far as this "SILCS diaphragm", it looks different enough to me for it to have its own article as well, but I'm not sure why you brought it up here. Whistling42 (talk) 12:17, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be fine to incorporate information on the Lea's Shield into the cervical cap article, referring to it as a "variant on the cervical cap", in the same way information on the SDM is incorporated into this article. I may not have expressed myself clearly on that talk page, but your statement about space here is exactly my motivation for proposing the Lea's Shield merge. My suggestion to move this page back to Rhythm method as part of a compromise involving merging the Lea's Shield article is a serious offer (alternately, if you prefer to keep the "calendar-based methods" article, I'll drop the merge issue from our list of things to work out over at "cervical cap").
As far as the Google test, ghits for "rhythm method" are inflated because that term is used for other topics. A search for "rhythm method" drum, for example, gets 36,000 hits about drum solos. More relevant numbers for our discussion may be the 73,000 hits for "rhythm method" fertility compared to the 8,000 hits for "calendar method" fertility. So as a name, "rhythm" is about ten times more popular than "calendar". However, I believe an argument could be made that WP:MEDMOS#Naming conventions—"The article title should be the scientific or recognised medical name rather than the lay term"—requires us to favor the terminology of an international medical organization over a more common non-medical term. LyrlTalk C 16:49, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
That name change should never have happened in the first place. You only changed Rhythm method to Calendar-based methods two months ago. Why should you be able to leverage one change that should not have happened against another?
This article is not about a medical condition or a medical device, it is a behavioral practice related to sexuality and reproduction, but it's not strictly medical, so I don't see there being any value in using solely a MEDMOS definition here.
You still haven't explained exactly why you think this article should be called "calendar-based methods". Whistling42 (talk) 20:42, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

This article covers the Standard Days Method, the system called Perimon, the Rhythm Method (also called the Knaus-Ogino or Ogino Method) and should probably also cover the Knaus Method, which used slightly different rules [27]

That makes this article a "higher-level" article, like hormonal contraception and barrier method. It does not make sense to title an article covering several related methods after the most popular of the methods; otherwise all hormonal contraceptives would be covered in the pill article, and all barrier methods would be covered in condom. If this article grows, certainly spin-out articles can be made, just as the hormonal and barrier methods have their own articles. At the current time, however, this article is not large enough to justify content forks.

I think it could be argued that "Rhythm" is not just the name of a particular method but a generic term for all the calendar-based methods. I've put a request at the doctor's mess to gather opinions on Wikipedia using the term "Rhythm" in this way. LyrlTalk C 11:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Nope, "rhythm method" is not a generic name for all calendar-based methods of contraception. The generic term, encompassing these methods and related methods of pregnancy achievement, is fertility charting. The title Calendar-based methods is a poor choice for this article, because it encompasses calendar-based methods of athletic training and educational scheduling, among others. --Una Smith (talk) 13:51, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Una, were you referring to the article fertility awareness? That article does cover these methods, and also covers the mucus, temperature, and cervix signs, as well as secondary symptoms of ovulation and hormone and other tests that can be performed to determine fertility; it has a much broader scope. This article is a spin-out of the fertility awareness article, going into more detail on the specific methods that use only cycle length to determine fertility.
The term "calendar-based methods" seems to be almost exclusively used for methods of estimating fertility; about 95% of hits over the first several pages if the Google test is to be trusted. If there is Wikipedia content on other uses of this term, or there appears to be any confusion on the part of readers arriving here, we could certainly set up a Calendar-based methods (disambiguation) page. LyrlTalk C 20:26, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Trimming of introduction[edit]

This statement: "Fertility awareness (FA) methods are distinct from calendar-based methods" contradicts this statement: "The World Health Organization uses the term "fertility awareness" to include calendar-based methods". They should not both be in this article. The second one is sourced, and worded in a way that maintains NPOV (attributing usage to WHO vs. presenting a statement as uncontroverted fact).

The sentence about biological signs is unsourced, and also untrue (basal body temperature can be used to indicate post-ovulatory infertility, but never indicates current fertility; also, calendar-based methods detect menstruation, which is a biological sign of fertility). The sentence about mistaking calendar-based methods for FA methods assumes calendar-based methods are not FA methods, which is a POV contradicted by the WHO.

An important subtlety is that the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a specific symptothermal method, not a general reference to systems of fertility awareness. This means the Billings Method is not FAM, the Couple to Couple League's symptothermal method is not FAM, and the Two Day Method is not FAM. All of those methods are, however, fertility awareness. This means the following statement is unsourced: "teachers of FA typically exclude the less-effective calendar-based methods from the meaning of "fertility awareness"". The source supports the statement "calendar-based methods are not FAM", but says nothing about calendar-based methods being or not being fertility awareness.

The quote from the Ovusoft site (it's not clear if that's a quotation from Toni Weschler) was presented in a way the violated WP:UNDUE: a statement was made that these methods are ineffective, with no context such as the increasing success of the Standard Days Method in filling gaps in family planning services, or that SDM is just as effective as the female condom, and even the older Knaus-Ogino method is more effective than the cervical cap. This discussion belongs in the body of the article, not the introduction. Per WP:LEAD#Length, an article of this size should only have one or two paragraphs in the introduction. LyrlTalk C 00:59, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Fertility awareness[edit]

Template:Fertility awareness has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — LyrlTalk C 03:00, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

It looks like Standard Days Method was created in order to split up this article (probably to get an article on just the rhythm method...) Let's discuss this further. It would have been nice if there was closure and consensus on these matters before there was so many article moves and now new articles being created. So, do we need a separate article on the Standard Days Method? Is there so much material at the new article that it couldn't fit here, thus necessitating a spin out article per our content forking guidelines? Could the content foreseeably be expanded? -Andrew c [talk] 18:34, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

This article was called Rhythm method for over a year until Lyrl renamed it Calendar-based methods two months ago. Now she's trying to leverage that against what's going on in Cervical cap (yet another of Lyrl's changes that only passed because no one else was working on the article). The fact that time went by because few people edit the articles should not be interpreted as consensus. What I think should happen here is either 1) it is called Rhythm method and SDM is incorporated or 2) it is called Rhythm method and SDM has its own article. The reason for this is the recognizability of the phrase "the rhythm method". It has been in use for decades. There are a grand total of two "calendar-based methods" so I don't see the point of taking away this established, recognizable name and substituting some odd phrase that is not nearly as recognizable.
Lyrl's vision for this article seems to be having the rhythm method rebranded as the "Knaus-Ogino method", the "KOM" and SDM listed together under "calendar-based methods", and "calendar-based methods" considered a type of fertility awareness. I cannot think of a more confusing way to structure these articles: Rhythm is far more recognizable than SDM, yet SDM's modest status causes Rhythm to be usurped under this lesser-used term "calendar-based methods". Fertility awareness teachers fervently insist that there must be some distinction made between the rhythm method and fertility-signal methods, yet Lyrl's vision for these articles undermines the distinction. Truly, what I want is clear, distinct, accurate information under immediately recognizable headers. I want readers to come away from these articles with a clear understanding of the topics, not confusion. How can we accomplish this? Whistling42 (talk) 21:22, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not believe the information on SDM is sufficient to justify a spin-out article. Wikipedia policy is that silence implies consent. Two months of silence is, by policy, consent. Consensus can change, certainly (WP:CCC), but we clearly do not, at the current time, have consensus to spin out the SDM content. LyrlTalk C 10:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Edits to terminology section[edit]

A recent edit removed the sourced statement "Some sources may treat the terms rhythm method and fertility awareness as synonymous." This statement was there to explain why a discussion of fertility awareness is placed in the middle of an article on calendar-based methods. With the statement removed, the first few sentences in the terminology section seem out of context.

The same edit also moved two sentences from the second paragraph into the first paragraph, leaving the second paragraph at only one sentence long. Single sentence paragraphs are discouraged by the manual of style. Because no explanation was given for these edits, and they seem to interfere with the readability of the section, I have reverted them for now. LyrlTalk C 12:13, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Relative number of fertile days[edit]

Recent edits have implied that the Standard Days Method identifies more days as potentially fertile than the other methods described in this article, the Knaus-Ogino method and Perimon. I believe the user making these edits is mistaken.

The Knaus-Ogino method identifies a different number of fertile days for each woman, based on her cycle history. For a women with absolutely regular cycles (an extreme rarity), it would identify eight fertile days. For a woman whose cycle lengths varied by one day, it would identify nine fertile days. For a women whose cycle lengths varied by four days (most women experience at least this much variation), the Knaus-Ogino method would identify twelve fertile days.

Perimon identifies a maximum of ten days as infertile. For a woman with an average 28-day cycle, at least 18 days would be identified as potentially fertile.

The Standard Days Method allows up to six days of cycle variation and identifies 11 days as potentially fertile. For the typical women who experiences mild cycle variation, the SDM is actually the least restrictive of the calendar-based methods. LyrlTalk C 01:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

What if a girl's cycle is irregular? —Preceding unsigned comment added by AboutFaace (talkcontribs) 05:10, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I will once again remove the external links. I cite from WP:external links
What should be linked
1. Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, website, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any. See Official links below.
2. An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work, if none of the "Links normally to be avoided" criteria applies.
3. Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons.

The links in question are neither 1, 2, or 3.

Links normally to be avoided
1. Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article.
4. Links mainly intended to promote a website. See external link spamming.

Both these points are valid for these two links.

Please, if you put the links back in, give your arguments here on the talk page! Lova Falk talk 13:08, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Misleading title?[edit]

Although this article claims to be about contraception by the rhythm method, it also deals with the opposite, i.e. trying to conceive by timing intercourse. While I'm not suggesting there should be separate articles, I think possibly the title could be slightly broader, I just can't think of a title that isn't really clunky. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Example of software-based systems[edit]

The link to strawberrypal has been removed. It may seem stupid, but people that visit this page should have some links to software they can use for this (on their smartphones, ...). I don't want to promote strawberrypal specificly (others can be added too); it's just that I only know of that one software/company. If you know of others, feel free to include them, and then reinclude the links to the article. KVDP (talk) 08:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Improving accuracy of SDM section[edit]

"The Standard Days method (SDM) is increasingly being introduced as part of family planning programs in developing countries. The method is satisfactory for many women and men; offering it through family planning centers results in a significant increase in contraceptive use among couples who do not want to become pregnant"

Suggest deleting "offering it through family planning centres results in a significant increase in contraceptive use amongn couples who do not want to become pregnant" - this is ambiguous. Either it means that providing the method increases its uptake (which seems pointless to say), or it means that overall levels of contraceptive uptake increase, which is a controversial claim and is not supported with a citation.

The first sentence does not have a source citation either, although it is probably true - not sure if this should be deleted until someone finds a source? --Hillv (talk) 13:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)