Simple self-checks are all you need to put the Two-Day method of fertility awareness into practice. This method was thoroughly researched at Georgetown University using a diverse sample of women from three different countries.
Researchers used data from the World Health Organization to determine the probability of pregnancy based on the presence or absence of vaginal secretions and found by simply tracking the presence of secretions for two consecutive days a women can accurately interpret her level of fertility.
Effectiveness of the Two-Day Method for Contraception
In research studies, the first-year pregnancy rate was 3.5% with perfect use. For couples who had intercourse during fertile days but used an additional method of contraception such as a condom, the method had a failure rate of 6.3%. The typical use failure rate of 13.7% includes all participants in the research study, whether or not the method was used properly
How to Use the Two-Day Method
To use the Two-Day Method, women monitor themselves each day to determine whether or not they experience any vaginal secretions that day. Unlike other methods that use this indicator of fertility, such as the ovulation mucus method or the Sympto-Thermal method, the two-day method does not involve analyzing the characteristics of the secretions (e.g., amount, color, consistency, slipperiness, stretchability, or viscosity).
The rules of this method are very straight forward. A woman asks herself two questions: "Did I notice any secretions today?" and "Did I notice any secretions yesterday?" If she noticed any secretions yesterday and today, she is potentially fertile. If she did not notice any secretions either yesterday or today (two consecutive days with no secretions), the probability of pregnancy is very low and it is safe to have intercourse that day. Couples using the Two-Day Method should avoid unprotected intercourse on days when the woman is potentially fertile.
To simplify the method, women should note the presence or absence of cervical secretions at the same times each day to create a habit. It is also helpful because secretions may appear different at different times of day. Be aware of the potential for confusing semen and cervical secretions when using this method.
Benefits And Limitations of the Two-Day Method
The Two-Day Method of fertility awareness is user-friendly, easy to teach and effective. Unlike calendar-based methods or the Standard Days Method, the Two-Day Method is practical for women who may have unusually long cycles (over 32 days), unusually short cycles (under 26 days), or irregular cycles. Observation of secretions may begin at any time during the cycle.
Like all fertility awareness methods, women should first have a training session with a health care provider before using the Two-Day Method. The Two-Day Method requires extra training for postpartum women, women who have recently used hormonal contraceptives, and peri-menopausal women.
While this method is relatively effective, we suggest looking into other methods as well that are even more effective and take minimal addition effort. Check out our page on the Symto-Thermal method, then take a look at a handy little device called Cyclotest that makes putting this method into practice extremely straightforward.