Intercourse During Menses: Adjusting to the Use of Fertility Awareness-Based Methods of Family Planning

Irit Sinai, Georgetown University
Victoria Jennings, Georgetown University

Many couples prefer to avoid intercourse during menses for religious or cultural reasons, or because they believe it is unhealthy. Yet menses is a time when users of fertility awareness-based methods of family planning know that they can have unprotected intercourse without fear of pregnancy. To explore patterns of intercourse during menses we examine coital logs provided by participants in efficacy studies of the Standard Days Method and the TwoDay Method, two simple fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. Couples who use these methods to prevent pregnancy avoid unprotected intercourse on the days their method identifies as fertile. Results suggest that more couples have intercourse during menses in the first few cycles of method use. As they become more confident in their ability to correctly identify their fertile days and communicate about when they may have unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy, they have less intercourse during menses.

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Presented in Session 18: Sexual Behavior in the U.S.