The Roetzer method (symptom-thermal or symptom-thermal) is a natural means of contraception that involves the identification of fertile days in a menstrual cycle. It results from the combination of the Billings method (cervical mucus), palpation of the cervix, pain from ovulation and basal temperature measurement.
What is the symptom-thermal method?
It is composed of a combination of several methods for finding fertile days:
Basal temperature measurement
The method involves daily measurement of the basal temperature, at the first hour of the morning, before getting out of bed or making other movements. Depending on the stage of the cycle in which you are at the basal temperature, there are small variations.
Before ovulation, the basal temperature is between 36.2-36.3 degrees Celsius. In the fertile period, it measures around 36.6 degrees Celsius. When the temperature stays elevated for 3 days, it means you have been ovulating.
Palpation of the cervix
Cervical tone in certain periods of the menstrual cycle is another important indicator of fertility. 4-5 days before ovulation it becomes softer and is open, and immediately afterwards it is firmer and closes.
Cervical mucus observation (Billings)
Observing the cervical mucus (Billings method) involves identifying "dry days" - the infertile, when the mucus is almost non-existent, sticky and the "wet days" - the fertile period or ovulation, in which the mucus is abundant, dense and viscous and can be easily observed on the slip.
Observing pain from ovulation (Mittelschmerz)
At the time when ovulation occurs you may experience some pain or associated cramps. These are considered ovulatory signs caused by the rupture of the ovarian follicle. The discomfort may have different intensity and may be accompanied by mild bleeding, headache, bloating ect.
By the symptomatic-thermal method you can prevent unwanted pregnancy and you can have unprotected sexual acts during the period of post-ovulatory infertility (2-3 days after the time of ovulation) and preovulatory (before ovulation, but with great care when calculating the days, because sperm can you survive about 4-5 days in the vagina, and if they intersect with the time of ovulation, there is a chance that the pregnancy will appear.
The fertile period or ovulation represents the time interval in your menstrual cycle in which you can become pregnant after unprotected sex. This coincides with the concomitant onset of the following symptoms - the "wet days" of the Billings method, the slight increase in basal temperature, the onset of ovulation pain, but also the softening or opening of the cervix. When you notice these signs it is advisable to take additional contraceptive measures to protect yourself from pregnancy.
How reliable is the symptom-thermal method?
With all these methods applied at the same time, it is impossible not to be able to detect the fertile period of the month and to take the necessary measures to prevent pregnancy or on the contrary, to have a baby. If it is used absolutely correctly, the chances of failing are only 2-3%.
There are also some risk factors (diseases and lifestyle changes) that can stand in the way of the effectiveness and accuracy of the method:
- lack of sleep (fatigue, exhaustion);
- febrile illness;
- medicines (analgesics);
- sexual contact;
- vaginal infections;
- abdominal cramps;
- lubricants or spermicides;
- errors in using the basal thermometer, etc.
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