Calendar-based methods are various methods of estimating a woman’s likelihood of fertility, based on a record of the length of previous menstrual cycles. Various methods are known as the Knaus–Ogino method and the rhythm method. The standard days method is also considered a calendar-based method, because when using it, a woman tracks the days of her menstrual cycle without observing her physical fertility signs.
The standard days method is based on a fixed formula taking into consideration the timing of ovulation, the functional life of the sperm and the ovum, and the resulting likelihood of pregnancy on particular days of the menstrual cycle. These methods may be used to achieve pregnancy by timing unprotected intercourse for days identified as fertile, or to avoid pregnancy by avoiding unprotected intercourse during fertile days.
The first formalized calendar-based method was developed in 1930 by John Smulders, a Roman Catholic physician from the Netherlands. It was based on knowledge of the menstrual cycle. This method was independently discovered by Hermann Knaus (Austria), and Kyusaku Ogino (Japan). This system was a main form of birth control available to Catholic couples for several decades, until the popularization of symptoms-based fertility awareness methods.
A new development in calendar-based methods occurred in 2002, when Georgetown University introduced the Standard Days Method. The Standard Days Method is promoted in conjunction with a product called CycleBeads, a ring of colored beads which are meant to help the user keep track of her fertile and non-fertile days.