FAM vs HBC
Learn the facts before going on Hormonal Birth Control.
Deciding whether or not to pursue FAM is a personal choice that no one can make for you, but I will give you some information, specifically at the contrast between FAM and Hormonal Birth Control (HBC) so you can make an informed choice.
The Fertility Awareness Method is a knowledge-based method of birth control, it can also be used to achieve pregnancy and/ or for women to gain body literacy and take charge of their health.
As birth control, the effectiveness rate for Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) is 99% with perfect use according to the National Health Service in the UK. In comparison, the pill, which is a type of hormonal birth contraceptive, is 99% effective with perfect use but comes with side effects like mood swings, nausea, headaches, blood clots, and cervical cancer.
FAM encourages you to achieve body literacy and understand what your body is doing and why. HBC constantly doses your body with artificial hormones disrupting your body’s natural rhythm. This is the only medication actively used to disrupt a natural process in the body.
HBC is often used as a “bandaid” for anything you may be struggling with during your menstrual cycle (heavy bleeding, awful cramps, acne, irregular cycles, etc). FAM gives you the means to understand why you may have those symptoms during your cycle and, paired with the right medical management, allows you to work with medical professionals to understand why it’s happening and how to address it.
Using specific biomarkers, FAM will tell you whether or not you have a healthy cycle by determining if you are ovulating. Spoiler- if you aren’t ovulating, your cycle is not healthy. This means you could be low or high in certain hormones which would be affecting different aspects of your health.
If you have been on HBC and decide to stop, it can take a few months to a year for your body’s cycle to regulate back to its normal cycle. You did not “save” any eggs during your time of HBC despite what many women may believe!
With FAM, you can use it to prevent pregnancy or to achieve pregnancy. If you are having trouble becoming pregnant, using FAM to understand your cycle will be helpful as well by showing if you have any hormonal imbalances, or if you have even been having unprotected sex on the right days (women are only fertile for about a week each cycle).
I could go on, but this is the basics of FAM versus HBC.
A few additional items to consider when deciding to learn FAM is if you have the time and are willing to intentionally learn a new habit. It will take about 3 months for you to feel confident using FAM if you work with an instructor (6 months if you learn by yourself) and it will take commitment. However, learning how your body works is fun and exciting so most women generally enjoy the learning process!
If you’re unsure whether you want to commit to learning FAM or not, please explore the rest of my site to learn more!