Everything You Need To Know About The Fertility Awareness Method
By: Allison Waldbeser
If you had to ask me to think back on my jr. high days where we were first introduced to sex education classes, I can genuinely say I don’t remember a single thing about it. All I can remember is watching really outdated VHS videos and being taught by a male P.E. teacher (nothing against that, but having a male P.E teacher explain how the female reproductive system works to a 13 year old is pretty hysterical). Anyways, I think the only thing I took from that class was the obvious: “don’t have unprotected sex,” “don’t have sex,” “this is how you put on a condom.”
Okay fine, maybe I’m referring back to the sex ed scene in Mean Girls...but am I wrong? Sexual education in the U.S. lacks A LOT of information, but luckily Lunette is here to save the day.
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
If you’re considering getting off the pill, IUD, or any other form of hormonal birth control, make sure you do your research first. The internet is a great place for this, and of course always consult your doctor!
Did you know that being on hormonal birth control means you’re not getting a “real” period? MIND BLOWN (and a topic for another blog post). Quitting hormonal birth control and going au naturel can be so beneficial if you do it correctly. There are many ways to practice the fertility awareness method (FAM) but ultimately, it’s your decision on what you decide to put in and out of your body – we’re just here to provide some knowledge!
WHAT IS THE FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD?
FAM is a natural way to predict when you’re fertile or infertile in your cycle. Don’t remember how long your cycle is? Refresh your memory with this snazzy blog post! Below we’ve listed a few ways you can use FAM to track your fertility.
CERVICAL MUCUS METHOD
Your body will give you different fertility “signs” and indicate when you’re most likely ovulating (these signs can change during each menstrual cycle based on the hormones that cause ovulation).
For example, understanding how your cervical fluid changes is one way to see what changes your body is going through. Normal vaginal discharge changes before, during, and after ovulation. Right before ovulation, your mucus becomes stretchy and clear, resembling a raw egg white (I know what you’re thinking, but get ovary-it!). If you’re not trying to get pregnant, make sure to use a condom during this time or refrain from sex all together. Why? Because your stretchy-egg white discharge is telling you you’re fertile and about to ovulate, aka the risk of conceiving is HIGH! Right after ovulation, you might start to notice that your cervical fluid becomes drier and less sticky – this kind of mucus blocks sperm from entering the uterus.
Checking your cervical mucus is a pretty fascinating way to understand what your hormones are doing. It can be as simple as seeing it when you use the toilet or using a *clean* finger to feel your cervix. So before you get grossed out by your vaginal discharge, just remember it’s telling you something!
MEASURING YOUR BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE
If you’re using FAM to prevent pregnancies, another great option is to measure your basal body temperature at the same time every morning. Once your egg has been released (ovulation), your basal body temp increases by half a degree (normal temp is between 96 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit). Why does your temperature rise? HORMONES!!!!!!
Hormone progesterone tends to go crazy when you ovulate, which means things start to HEAT UP! Using a two decimal basal thermometer can help you become aware of your fertile and infertile days and prepare you from any unplanned sex. There are many certified apps out there that can help you understand and keep track of your temperature, check out Natural Cycles to learn more!
With this method, you can predict when you’re about to ovulate based on past cycles. If you’re going this route, make sure you know your cycle pretty darn well. If you have an irregular cycle, it’s best to consider other options on top of the calendar method to avoid any unwanted pregnancies (if that’s what you’re trying to do).
READ THE SIGNS! This method is a combination of everything. It uses the cervical mucus and basal body temperature methods, checks for changes in the cervix, tender breasts, and any other symptoms you might notice right before ovulation. The more methods you use the merrier and the more effective you’ll be!
Whether you decide to use FAM or other forms of birth control, we are such advocates of the saying: YOU DO YOU! If you want to go more in depth, you can read more about the pros and cons about the fertility awareness method from this informational site.
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YOU DO YOU.
Thank you for this article.