Ogino Method: Is it effective to seek or avoid pregnancy?


The Ogino-Knaus method, also known as the Ogino, rhythm or calendar method, was devised by a gynecologist more than 90 years ago and is a natural method to control a woman’s fertile days. In this way and based on menstrual cycles, it can be used both in case of trying to get pregnant and to avoid pregnancy. But is it equally effective in both cases?

What is the Ogino-Knaus Method?

It is used by women who do not want to use a contraceptive method with hormones or who are looking for a better chance of getting pregnant. The advantage of this method is that it does not produce side effects like those made with hormones (IUD, pill) and, secondly, that it does not involve any cost. To get it done, you must count and do some calculations. Watch out!

  1. First of all you should count the average duration of the rules in a period between 6 and 12 months. For this you will have to count the first day of bleeding as the first day and the day before the next bleeding as the last.
  2. To calculate the most fertile days, 18 must be subtracted from the longest cycle and 11 from the shortest. 

The number of days that you will obtain as a result will indicate the most fertile and, therefore, the ones with the highest risk (if we do not want to get pregnant) or the most likely to do so (if we are looking for it).

Ogino method to get pregnant

As a method to try to find a child, the Ogino method is quite effective. Its efficiency is estimated to be 80%. For this we need to calculate the most fertile days of the woman as we have just told you and concentrate the sexual encounters in that period.

Ovulation occurs around day 14, although the days before and after this are also taken into account as the period in which you can get pregnant. This is very important in this case, as well as if you want to avoid pregnancy, since there may be a risk of fertilization both due to an irregular cycle and because spermatozoa can survive for 48 to 72 hours after ejaculation and thus fertilize the eggs.

Ogino method to avoid pregnancy

As a contraceptive method, the Ogino method consists of avoiding sexual intercourse on the days when the woman is most fertile in order to avoid a possible pregnancy. It has an efficiency of 60% since menstrual cycles may have a percentage of variation and the calculation may not be effective.

If we want to use it as a contraceptive method, we must take into account two fundamental risks:

  • The first is that if we have irregular rules, the probability of effectiveness will decrease. This method could be valid if we have menstruations that barely get out of their pattern, but our fertile or non-fertile days may vary and the calculation we make is not correct. Assuming that we have a fairly regular period, there are also times and external factors that can change it. For example, stress or nerves.
  • Another risk is that, like any natural method, it does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), from which, as you know, only condoms (male and female) protect.
  • In addition, following this method means that you must have a few days of abstinence during the woman’s fertile period, without being able to have sexual relations or needing a barrier contraceptive for it.

In summary, we could affirm that the Ogino method is an effective method to achieve a pregnancy but, unlike in this case, it is quite risky to avoid unwanted pregnancies.


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