Faces of three women

When to Start

Once trained, a woman or couple usually can begin using calendar-based methods at any time. Give clients who cannot start immediately another method to use until they can start.

Woman's situation When to start
Having regular menstrual cycles             Any time of the month

  • No need to wait until the start of next monthly bleeding.
No monthly bleeding
  • Delay calendar-based methods until monthly bleeding returns.
After childbirth (whether or not breastfeeding)
  • Delay the Standard Days Method until she has had 4 menstrual cycles and the last one was 26–32 days long.
  • Regular cycles will return later in breastfeeding women than in women who are not breastfeeding.
After miscarriage or abortion
  • Delay the Standard Days Method until the start of her next monthly bleeding, when she can start if she has no bleeding due to injury to the genital tract.
Switching from a hormonal method
  • Delay starting the Standard Days Method until the start of her next monthly bleeding.
  • If she is switching from injectables, delay the Standard Days Method at least until her repeat injection would have been given, and then start it at the beginning of her next monthly bleeding.
After taking emergency contraceptive pills
  • Delay the Standard Days Method until the start of her next monthly bleeding.