Cycles & Insights

State of the art scientific fertility awareness: Sensiplan

Sensiplan is a scientific method of fertility awareness, where we learn to observe body signals of female fertility, which clearly change during the cycle.

These signs make it possible to determine with great accuracy fertile and infertile days throughout the cycle, and they may also alert of possible hormonal diseases.

Therefore Sensiplan is suitable:

  • to avoid a pregnancy.
  • to achieve a pregnancy.
  • to diagnose hormonal imbalances and monitor overall health, since the menstrual cycle can be used as the fifth vital sign

It belongs to the family of Natural Family Planning (NFP) or Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM), specifically, it is a symptothermal method.

Sensiplan teaches women how to monitor two body signals (also called bio-markers):

  1. body temperature
  2. cervical mucus (or cervix, as an alternative)

The training is divided into 4 sessions over 3 months. Each session lasts 2,5 hours. It can be held online or in person (in Berlin). 

Content and timeline of the training

Session 1 (you can start anytime):

  • Biological background of fertility
  • Self-observation of cervical mucus
  • Taking the temperature
  • How to fill in the cyclesheet

Session 2 (after two weeks):

  • The evaluation of the mucus
  • the evaluation of the temperature
  • The double-check: determining infertile time after ovulation
  • Exceptions to the rule

Session 3 (one month after session 2):

  • Disturbances of the temperature
  • Determining infertile time before ovulation
  • Safety and efficacy
  • The self-observation of the cervix

Session 4 (one month after session 3):

  • Different types of cycles
  • Detecting pregnancy
  • Sensiplan and desire for children
  • Sensiplan and partnership

 

Efficacy of Sensiplan

Sensiplan offers  the same efficacy as the Pill. It is the most studied and effective FABM available. Out of 100 people who apply the method correctly, 0.4 will get unintentionally pregnant (method-efficacy, or perfect-method). No single birth control method is 100% reliable, that’s right: even tube-ligation or vasectomy still present slim chances of unintended pregnancy.

The efficacy of the method is influenced by the user’s compliance to the rules, and this is true for any form of birth control. For instance, you need to take the Pill every day at the same time, to have maximum efficacy (which is equal to 0.3). If you start skipping pills, or changing the time you take it, the efficacy decreases. According to the World Health Organisation, 9 out 100 people who are on the pill will get unintentionally pregnant over one year (user-efficacy or typical-use). For Sensiplan, user-efficacy is 1.8, making Sensiplan more reliable than oral hormonal contraception and more reliable than any other fertility awareness method, as the most extensive systematic review ever carried out confirmed in August 2018.

Table with BMJ research on efficacy of different contraceptive methods

Source: BMJ 2019;366:l4245

Benefits of Sensiplan

  1. Method efficacy rate 99.6 % and user efficacy rate 98.2%
  2. Totally free of any harmful health side-effect
  3. Protects ovulation
  4. Promotion of body literacy
  5. Support of informed choice
  6. Encouragement of mutual responsibility in the couple
  7. Helps hetero-couples to spice up their sex-life, by shifting the focus from sex=penetration to sex=pleasure+intimacy+imagination (see point 6 in Cons below).
  8. Applicable in special circumstances such as shift-work, post-partum, breastfeeding and peri-menopause
  9. Can help you avoid unnecessary medical procedures, like IVF and labour induction.

Sensiplan is totally free of any health side-effect. It is a monitoring method that makes the people aware of what happens with their own fertility, a form of literacy that increases your self-esteem, sovereignty and self-determination. It is a form of lasting emancipation.

Sensiplan preserves ovulation, which is a pillar of mental and physical health, while hormonal contraception suppresses ovulation and has been linked to breast cancer, loss of bone density, loss of nutrients, loss of libido, depression, blood clots, and dozens of other side effects. 

Cons of Sensiplan

  1. It takes three months and 8-12 hours of lessons to become autonomous and independent for life.
  2. Must be studied with a certified teacher to be 99.6% effective.
  3. You need to take your temperature every morning for 3 minutes.
  4. You need to record daily observations of temperature and mucus (around 10 minutes a day in total, between observation and recording).
  5. Sensiplan does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
  6. During the fertile window (which can vary from one week to two weeks, depending on the length of your cycle) you need to use barrier methods to avoid a pregnancy, or use your imagination and avoid penetration and contact with semen (see point 7 in Benefits above).

Costs of Sensiplan

You need to buy:

  1. the theory book and the exercise book (about 40 euros in total). Books in German can be purchased in any bookshop or online. The English version can be purchased here (Workbook and Handbook – but mind you! The US publisher made a mistake in the mucus table but Medulla spotted it and alerted them. Contact hello@annabuzzoni.com to know more).
  2. a digital thermometer with a valid calibration stamp and two decimal points, or an analogue thermometer for basal body temperature (less than 15 euros).
  3. and the training course with a certified teacher. A certified teacher invested over 9 months in extensive, hands-on training, and passed a written and oral examination with gynecologists and experts in adult learning. The cost of the training depends on the consultant, on the location, and the group size, which is however limited to max. 4 participants if in-person and to 1 participant if online.

We offer payment plans where you can pay the cost of the training in installments, the first upon registration to secure your spot, the others are due before each session. 

Sensiplan vs apps and other devices

Contraceptive apps have not been scientifically tested and are extremely unreliable. Moreover, they do not teach you body literacy, aka how to use the cycle as the fifth vital sign.

Medical devices like the Daysy and Natural Cycles are not symptothermal methods, but rhythm methods with a little bit of temperature-taking, and their efficacy has been disputed. Better-quality research is needed. Similarly, they do not teach you body literacy. Daysy costs 299 euros (in total), and Natural Cycles 65 euros a year. Hormonal contraception costs varies, e.g. Nuvaring costs 252 euros a year in Germany.

All in all, Sensiplan offers more benefits, expert support and scientific evidence at a competitive price. 

History of Sensiplan

Sensiplan is the German improvement of the so-called “symptothermal method”. It has been studied since 1981 by the German Working Group (Arbeitsgruppe NFP) at University of Düsseldorf and Heidelberg. Over the years there have been a lot of innovations in the field of natural contraception. This inevitably led to a certain degree of confusion with regard to the quality of the information available. To distinguish itself, the method of the Arbeitsgruppe was branded in October 2010: Sensiplan.

Medulla can offer certified training in Sensiplan from 2018. 

Any questions? Drop us a line at hello@annabuzzoni.com

 

Sensiplan certificate Anna

 

KIND WORDS 

“Partecipare al corso di Sensiplan è stato un regalo incredibile, per me come donna e per noi come coppia. il metodo è sicuro, affidabile se applicato con regolarità e seguendo le regole spiegate da Anna e che si ritrovano nel testo.
E’ un metodo che richiede costanza ma che si integra facilmente nelle routine quotidiane e che necessita davvero un minimo di attenzione al proprio corpo al risveglio e durante il giorno.  In certi momenti della vita ho anche potuto interrompere le rilevazioni della temperatura, tipo in vacanza e nei viaggi in cui la regolarità veniva a mancare, facendo quindi ricorso ad altri metodi anticoncezionali riprendendole non appena le condizioni di vita “normale” si ripresentavano.
Poter godere di una totale libertà nel rapporto sessuale nei periodi non fertili è stata la scoperta più sorprendente e mi ha fatto pensare “Se l’avessi saputo prima!”
E’ un regalo da fare alla tua migliore amica!”
Francesca Rossi, Berlin

UPCOMING EVENTS

Meet up with Anna for a workshop, a talk or seminar. Find out the dates!