Fertility Awareness Methods are a family of evidence-based methods, each with its own name & rules for use, that allows a woman to accurately understand her cycle. This can be used both for natural family planning (avoiding or achieving pregnancy without the use of synthetic hormones or barrier methods), as well as to understand a woman’s health.
Fertility Awareness Methods are inclusive of a wide variety of needs, no matter your relationship status, sexual orientation, cycle length, or the benefits you’re looking to gain!
Here are 6 amazing benefits of learning to chart your cycle with a Fertility Awareness Method:
You’ll gain insight into your hormonal health. In a Fertility Awareness Method, you go beyond “tracking your cycle” & learn standardized methods for charting your hormonal biomarkers & interpreting them. Throughout your cycle, you'll build a map of your hormonal activity. Biomarkers like cervical mucus, urine hormone testing, & basal body temperature change because they’re directly influenced by your hormones… Using a F.A.M. means you can read the map & understand the role of Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Luteinizing Hormone, Estrogen, & Progesterone throughout your cycle. What makes this especially powerful is that Estrogen & Progesterone impact more than just your cycle. They’re also impacting every other system of health in your body! That means your nervous system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, immune system, & more…. The average person might only get their labs drawn once every few years, & only gets significant information if something is out of range…. but a woman who charts her cycle gets a picture of her hormonal health every single cycle she has.
You’ll be able to pinpoint the phases of your cycle & pair your nutrition, workouts, & self-care with them. Synching your nutrition, workouts, self-care, & more with your cycle has not only become a huge trend in the wellness space– it’s becoming a way of life for many women! By working with your body, instead of against it, you can get better results with less stress… What’s not to love about that?! Instead of guessing where you are in your cycle, going by averages, or using unreliable apps, you can feel confident in knowing what your hormones are doing!
You can naturally & effectively prevent pregnancy! Many women have been taught to believe that they can get pregnant any time they have sex, so to avoid it, they have to get on hormonal contraceptives that shut down ovulation, suppress their hormones, & change their biomarkers to make their bodies resistant to sperm. Like the gym teacher in Mean Girls who said “don’t have sex, or you will get pregnant & die,” there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to what we were taught about our bodies! The truth is that conception is only possible during ovulation, which only lasts 12-24 hours. Sperm can live inside fertile cervical mucus for up to 5 days, so fertility is only possible for 6 days during a woman’s cycle. In a Fertility Awareness Method, you learn a set of rules to identify the opening of your fertile window, as well as how to confirm that you are past ovulation & the fertile window is closed. At up to 98-99% efficacy, the SymptoHormonal Fertility Awareness Method makes a great natural swap for birth control! This efficacy rate depends on two things: that the rules of the method are followed correctly, & that the rules are taught by an instructor to ensure comprehension. With more & more women deciding to get off hormonal contraceptives like the pill or the IUD due to risks or side effects, it’s important to have education & informed consent on your alternatives! Investing in yourself by learning a F.A.M. means that you can make empowered decisions about your body & fertility– including the decision to actively, effectively avoid pregnancy!
You can identify optimal fertility & increase the chances of natural, planned conception. A study was done on 330 women who were trying to conceive showed that less than 13% were able to correctly identify ovulation on their own & only 55% of the women had their estimated day of ovulation in their fertile window at all. This means that 45% of these women were trying to conceive during parts of their cycle when conception wasn’t a possibility. In my opinion, this is largely since we’ve been ill-informed about how fertility actually works & how to understand our bodies. Another study done by the World Health Organization showed that 93% of the women, no matter their cultural background or education level, could learn to identify fertile cervical mucus within one cycle. They did this by taking classes, which proves the value in getting professional education to understand your cycle!
You’ll never be worried or confused about your period being “late” or “early” again! Have you ever looked at the predictive “period tracking” app on your phone & noticed that the dates that it said your period would start were incorrect? Maybe you’ve found yourself saying something like “my period is late,” or “my period came early this month,” but the truth is that your period came right on time & your app was just wrong. Menstruation happens as a result of ovulation, & the day that ovulation takes place can naturally vary from cycle to cycle. When ovulation happens earlier, your cycle will be shorter, & if ovulation happens later, your cycle will be longer. Your predictive period app has NO IDEA when you ovulate… Instead, it’s basing the predictions you receive on averages of your previous cycles. By learning how to identify ovulation, as well as get to know how long your Luteal Phase is after ovulation, you can predict your period with more accuracy than an app.
You’ll become a better advocate for yourself to your medical provider. By charting your cycle with a Fertility Awareness Method, you’ll learn to identify signs of health, as well as signs of imbalance. By gathering this information, you can talk to your medical provider about your concerns & bring data into your appointment with you, instead of only having vague, unspecific details. As a Fertility Awareness Educator, I sometimes refer women to highly trained clinicians who use their charts to identify hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, & more, that would have otherwise gone undetected for much longer. This means that women get more comprehensive, cooperative care & get to be active participants in medical decisions!
Are you interested in mastering a Fertility Awareness Method to help you reach your health goals? My waitlist is open for F.A.M. Focus Group Spring 2022, which is a small group program for ambitious, menstruating women who want to gain insight on their hormonal health, naturally prevent pregnancy, or prep for pre-conception. Join my waitlist here for the first opportunity to enroll!