Fertility Awareness Method is the practice we use in which we check the fertility signs that our amazing body gives us each day; cervical fluid, basal body temperature and cervix position. The last one is optional but I like to track it as well as it gives information which is great to cross-check. By checking these 3 signs, we can determine whether you are fertile that day or not and can then act accordingly to reach your goals.
Here is the thing, once you start practising it you realize that you get so much more than what you thought.
The first huge thing is that you realize that you actually can ditch the Pill. You no longer need to use hormonal birth control, you learn that you are only fertile for one-third of your cycle and during this time you can use other methods like birth control with no need to insert drugs into your body every single day.
The idea that our reproductive system works on its own, like an island in our body, is simply not true. Part of what the pharmaceutical industry and western medicine does is to separate systems and look at us as parts, but we are not. Our body is an ecosystem and all the systems work together as an orchestra. Yes, if you shut down one system, our body will have to learn to work around it but will it be without consequences? If we don’t feel the side effects does that mean there aren’t any? Doesn’t the fact that we are not ovulating mean that it is already affecting our body even though this is what we wanted?
Once we start charting, we can see when we are fertile and it is a skill we have that we can use throughout our reproductive years, even if we decide that we want another form of birth control, we still have this knowledge.
Another great thing we get from using FAM is that we get to know our body and reconnect with it. Why do I say “reconnect”? As babies, we were very connected to our body and its needs, but as we grew up we started hearing voices saying do this and do that, so we grew apart from the connection we once had.
By learning to know your body you can monitor your overall health, you get to evaluate your fertility so when, and if, you want to get pregnant, you know where you are at.
If you feel you need to make changes in your lifestyle or diet, you can see how these changes influence your body.
A huge benefit I am sure we all can appreciate is once we start charting, we can predict when our next period is coming. We are monitoring the different phases of our menstrual cycle and although we don’t really know when we ovulate, once we have confirmed ovulation took place, we can pinpoint when our period will arrive. While the first part of our menstrual cycle, the follicular phase, is quite variable, the second part, the luteal phase, is constant at around 12-16 days.
Once the egg has burst from its follicle and ovulation has happened, that follicle becomes the corpus luteum or the yellow body, and it produces progesterone. This hormone prepares your body for potential pregnancy by making the uterine lining thicken so implantation is possible. If the egg isn’t fertilized then the corpus luteum will disintegrate within 12-16 days and will stop producing progesterone, causing the uterine lining to shed. Once you start charting you know how long this phase is for you and it will stay constant.
Another huge benefit I found by practising it is that the communication between me and my husband regarding birth control opens a huge door to discussion about sex and our sex life. During my fertile wave, my libido is high and I am so much more into it. Seeing as this is the time I might get pregnant, we have to communicate. What are we going to do? What are we going to use? Since we both aren’t really into condoms, we started to experiment with other things that don’t necessarily involve penis and vagina. We leave that kind of sex for the second part of my cycle which comes after ovulation because this is the time that I am 100% safe to not get pregnant.
Which birth control gives you 100% safety in any given time?
Believe it or not, there are even more benefits to practising FAM which I will discuss in further posts.