For decades we were taught to believe that we must discuss everything about our fertility with our doctor. We are led to believe that if we want to prevent pregnancy or achieve pregnancy, we have to consult with someone outside of us, ideally a doctor. Fertility Awareness Method offers us this knowledge and so much more.
THE TRUTH is that our body is amazing and gives us 3 signs of fertility and by learning what they are, how to identify them and track them, we can know many things about our body. We can learn when our fertile wave begins and when it ends, we can learn how our hormones are doing, we can learn if there are any imbalances and the most important thing, in my opinion, is that we know how our body works and we learn to communicate with it and make better decisions for ourselves.
The three fertility signs our body gives us are cervical mucus, basal body temperature and cervical position. We track these when we learn the Fertility Awareness Method.
During the course of the cycle and under the influence of estrogen and progesterone, these 3 signs change and allow us to know when we are fertile and when not so that we can act according to our goals. If it is to avoid pregnancy then the couple has to discuss what they are going to do during the fertile days or if the goal is to achieve pregnancy, by knowing when the fertile wave opens, the couple can optimize the time of the cycle to achieve their goal.
In order for us to use the Fertility Awareness Method as birth control, there is a set of rules one should follow and when using them correctly, the efficiency rate of this method is 98.2% in typical use.
A word about the efficiency rate: when we are talking about the efficiency rate of a contraceptive method, there are two figures; one in perfect use which is usually higher and means that 100% of the time you are using it 100% correctly. What we want to look at is the typical use, which factors in human error. For example, the Pill is 99.7% and with typical use only 91%!
How does our body work and why does this method work? During the first part of our cycle, our ovaries produce estrogen and under the influence of estrogen, the endometrium lining starts to grow again after shedding during our period. Our cervix starts to produce cervical mucus which helps us to get pregnant as it has some unique properties and an egg is being matured. Once we ovulate, our ovary that the egg burst from will start to produce progesterone which inhibits another ovulation to occur this cycle and causes different changes in our body.
Furthermore, before we have estrogen, our vagina is acidic, the cervix is low and closed which acts as a sperm killer because sperm cannot live in an acidic environment. Once we have estrogen and start to produce cervical mucus, our vagina is no longer acidic, the cervix opens and ovulation happens meaning fertilization is possible. The life span of the egg is 12-24 hours and once it bursts from the follicle, progesterone takes over and all goes back to the beginning plus, the progesterone creates a mucus plug which seals the cervix opening as it prepares our body for a possible pregnancy.
A few years ago our menstrual cycle was recognized as our fifth vital sign. All human beings have 4 vital signs that include blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature which are indicators of normal health. Women have one more vital sign which is the menstrual cycle. It gives us a good indication of our overall health each cycle as all our endocrine systems work together in harmony. If there is any issue in one of these systems, we will be able to see it in our charts and address it or take it to our health practitioner to play a greater role in our health.
Ovulation and our natural hormones have many health benefits. Cycling naturally is the only way for our body to produce our natural hormones and enjoy the benefits of these hormones such as how they contribute to our heart health, bone health, brain health, libido, moistening our vagina and others.
If we do not ovulate for some reason, we should look into the underlying condition. If we are on hormonal birth control, they come with many side effects which you might not feel but they do happen in your body and again, you are not enjoying the benefits that your natural hormones do for your body and you might be depleted of essential macro and micronutrients.
For many years we have been gaslighted from our birthright to know how our body works. An interesting thing is that once we know how it works, many symptoms we had suddenly disappear as we learn to honour, respect and work with our body rather than against it.