Why chart your cycle with the fertility awareness method? Maybe you track your cycle with a period tracker app already, maybe you’re on hormonal birth control, or maybe you don’t care. Hear me out; there are SO many good reasons to chart your cycle.
Tracking with a period tracker is not the same.
First, I want to state that period tracker apps do not compare to learning the fertility awareness method and tracking your cycle yourself. If you have only blind trust for your period tracker and use that to prevent pregnancy- you are not using the Fertility Awareness Method.
Period trackers are based on an algorithm that assumes your cycle is a 24 day cycle with ovulation on day 14, always. Women are not robots and the assumption that all women’s cycles function the same is so wrong. Your period tracker can not predict when you’re going to ovulate (although it sure tries!). It also does not know how to confirm ovulation happened. You have to understand your body and confirm ovulation yourself.
Again, if you rely on an algorithmic period tracker to prevent pregnancy and do not chart your body’s biomarkers, you very well may become pregnant.
With that being said, here are a few reasons why you should learn the fertility awareness method and track your cycle.
- First, your cycle is a vital sign for your entire body’s health. It is the key to knowing and understanding if anything is wrong. Your hormones are intricately connected in every part of your body which is why your health shows through your cycle. If you want to learn more about your body’s interconnectedness and overall health, you should learn to chart your cycle.
- Second, if you are trying to avoid pregnancy you can do that naturally without artificial hormones and hormonal birth control by tracking your cycle. This is a science-based method and not your mother’s rhythm method. While there is a learning curve, if you and your partner are committed then it is a wonderful way to stay off of hormones and track to avoid pregnancy AND learn more about your health.
- On the other hand, if you are trying to conceive, tracking your cycle is a great way to understand what your body is doing, when the best time to have sex is, and if you are struggling with not becoming pregnant, why. A woman only releases an egg once in her cycle (two eggs and she conceives twins, but they are still released at or near the same time) and the egg is only alive for 12-24 hours. You could be having sex multiple times a month for a year and miss your fertile phase each time, meaning you don’t become pregnant. This is a great option to do before looking into infertility treatments (and less invasive!).
Your menstrual cycle should actually be called your ovulation cycle- why?
Ovulation is the most important biomarker to know if you and your entire body are healthy. Your body’s hormones need to be working together in a specific manner in order for ovulation to occur meaning it is the best way to know if your hormones are in balance. The reason that the menstrual cycle is called such is because that is the only part of our cycle that we can actually see with our two eyes (if we’re not looking that hard).
One other physical characteristic that we can also chart during our cycles is Cervical Mucus (CM). CM shows us the rise and fall of Estrogen and other hormones in our cycle. If this isn’t a healthy ebb and flow, you’ll see it in your chart! If you have too much or too little estrogen, this can greatly affect your mood and how you feel throughout the day.
The length of your Luteal phase is also important because that tells you if your progesterone levels are in the healthy range. High or low progesterone also affects your mood and general feeling throughout the day.
The quality of your bleed each cycle also sheds insights on whether your previous cycle was sufficient in hormones or if something needs to be fixed.
Hormones in our bodies are so intricately linked, that the ovulation cycle truly is a great biomarker for the health of our entire body.
NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL
Often women find the fertility awareness method when seeking a way to not fall pregnant when getting off of hormonal birth control (HBC)- I was there too! The side effects I experienced when I was on HBC were awful and I was so glad to find FAM.
The artificial hormones found in hormonal birth control are not healthy for your body if you’re on them for 6 months and especially not if you’re on them for more than 10 years! So many studies have been done now on the effects of hormonal birth control, and what’s upsetting is that it is still recommended to so many women without informed consent. If you are looking for another way, FAM is it. Two things to know in advance is that there is a time period dedicated to learning, and your partner needs to be fully committed to the method as well. Through this website, I give you the tools to learn the fertility awareness method and embrace your body throughout it.
Learning what my body was like after being on hormonal birth control was great, and learning to embrace being a woman, living with my cycle, and loving my body has truly been a gift from knowing FAM.
TRYING TO CONCEIVE
When trying to conceive it is important to understand exactly when you are in your fertile phase so that you may become pregnant. There are many factors that go into being able to become pregnant: healthy cervical mucus, ovulation, and length of the luteal phase to name a few. For all of these you can see and track this data when you are tracking your cycle. In turn, this tells you the best time to have sex, but also if there is something impeding you from conceiving.
If there is something unhealthy about your cycle, this is a clear way to know what to focus on improving as there are many natural ways to do this without artificial hormones or invasive procedures.