The calendar method, also known as the rhythm method, is one of the trickiest birth control methods to follow, especially if you don’t have a regular menstrual cycle. After all, how do you determine whether you’re "safe" or not? Read on to find out!

1. How does it work?
Keep a record of your menstrual cycle (for at least six months) to determine the days when you are most likely to get pregnant. Pick out the shortest and longest cycle to compute for your first and last fertile day respectively. The Mayo Clinic has a step-by-step guide here.

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2. When am I most fertile?
You are at your most fertile a week before ovulation. According to Cosmpolitan.com, "Estrogen and testosterone are on the rise during the week leading up to ovulation and they steadily start increasing your libido." Your sex drive may be stronger around this time, but this is also when you’re most likely to get pregnant!

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3. What are the benefits of the calendar method?
This method of birth control is all natural, so you don’t have to worry about the possible effects of chemicals or hormones on your body. "Women who subscribe to this method often say they enjoy being in touch with the ebb and flow of their body’s natural fertility signs," reports Woman’s Day.

4. How reliable is this method for family planning?
Unfortunately, the timing of your ovulation cycle may be disrupted by factors such as stress and illnesses, so getting an accurate reading using this method may be a bit tricky. Overall, it has one of the lowest rates of birth control success. To make sure you use it correctly, ask your doctor about it.

5. Am I protected from sexually transmitted diseases or STDs?
As long as you engage in unprotected sex, you could still get STDs from your partner. The best way to avoid this is by using condoms. Plan regular trips to the doctor with your partner for checkups.

(Photo by Philip Chapman-Bell via Flickr Creative Commons)

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