We are so excited to be launching our exciting new series, Fertility Fridays, with an introduction to fertility charting with holistic health practitioner, Rachel Snow. She is uniquely equipped and gifted to partner with women on their fertility and conception journeys, and provides powerful insights that may very well transform the way you try to conceive.
The Fertility Awareness Method
I’ll never forget the first time I bled through my jeans in high school. (Yes, I’m going there.) I wore my sweatshirt wrapped around my waist the entire day, mortified, wondering why my period couldn’t come every 30 days like every other female on the planet. How was I supposed to plan my life accordingly when there was an impending random waterfall-of-doom that could happen anytime? I quickly learned that I had no idea what was happening in my body, no real way to predict what would occur, and felt very put off with the whole “female experience” thing.
I wish I had known then what I know now about The Best Kept Fertility Secret, I could have ditched my emergency sweatshirt forever.
Fast forward to adulthood, I continued to use a calendar to predict when my next period would arrive. Because, what else can you do, right? I would calculate 30ish days from my last period, and expected Aunt Flow to return. When she didn’t arrive within that window, I would panic and mistake my PMS symptoms for early pregnancy signs (I mean, they are so similar!), take countless pregnancy tests, then stress endlessly until eventually my period did finally come. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this and how it was a major source of stress in my life. I’m sure we’ve all done this once or twice, but I’m on a mission to put an end to it. Because feeling stressed, out of control, and out of touch with your body is so unnecessary- and here’s why.
The Best Kept Secret:
Every month your body gives you valuable information. Each day your body produces easily measurable data, that you can decipher with no special tools - all you need is a thermometer and your fingers.
Through recording this data, your body tells you:
- Which days in your cycle you are able to become pregnant.
- Which days pregnancy can not occur.
- When or if you ovulated.
- If you become pregnant.
- When your period will arrive if you are not pregnant.
Collecting this information, or data, is called The Fertility Awareness Method, or sometimes Natural Family Planning. The Fertility Awareness Method allows you to say goodbye forever to mistaking your PMS symptoms as pregnancy signs, stressing endlessly until your period arrives, surprise visits from Aunt Flow on vacations, and wearing sweatshirts around your waist.
Trying to Conceive?
What this means for couples trying to conceive is you can utilize this information to enhance your chances of conception. In fact, studies demonstrate you will conceive up to 90% faster in the first 3 months compared to couples not using this method. This also means you can save thousands of dollars in potentially unneeded fertility treatments, and even identify problems in your cycle that were interfering with conception so you can have an informed conversation with your doctor.
You see, ovulation is not a guaranteed event. Stress, travel, and medications are just a few examples of what can cause your body to delay ovulating, or not do it all together. Sometimes cycles are regular, sometimes they are irregular. But the thing is you never really know which cycle is going to be an “ovulate on day 14” cycle or an “ovulate on day 25” cycle… Unless you use the Fertility Awareness Method.
Are you already sold? Just wait, it gets better. The best part: It costs nothing, it’s easy, takes seconds a day, and will give you more information about your hormonal health than anyone else could.
Yes, that’s right. If practiced correctly, this method has the power to undoubtedly confirm when you’ve ovulated, become pregnant, or even predict your period to the day. In an ironic catch-22, the very clues from your body that provide this information are the very ones you’ve been taught to feel ashamed of, or ignore your whole life. For example, cervical fluid.
How it Works:
Cervical fluid is a vaginal secretion. It changes in viscosity through the course of your cycle and tells you when your estrogen level is rising, indicating impending ovulation. There are various types of cervical fluid, which represent normal healthy reproductive function. If you are like most non-charting women, you have probably been mislabeling cervical fluid as “discharge” your whole life. Discharge is what infections make. Your normal healthy body is not “discharging” anything, so let’s stop calling it that.
The second piece of measurable data you collect is your body basal temperature (BBT). By taking your BBT in your mouth first thing in the morning when you wake up before you get out of bed, you can know when progesterone has kicked in (marked by a rise in temperature), signaling that ovulation has occurred.
Together BBT and cervical fluid tell you about the hormone levels in your body. Though the below chart may look confusing, after one or two cycles, it becomes second nature. There are countless charting apps (Fertility Friend is a personal favorite) that make charting a breeze.
Is Fertility Awareness Right for You?
The Fertility Awareness Method gives you powerful insight into your cycle, enabling you to easily identify when you are and are not fertile. You can use this information to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, or monitor your gynecological health. In my experience, it is the best kept secret your doctor won’t tell you - probably because they don’t know about it! Couples who chart conceive 90% faster in 3 months than couples who are not charting, and have a 98.6% efficacy rate at avoiding pregnancy.
Charting may very well be the key to unlocking the mystery of your unexplained infertility. Stick around around every Friday to learn more about the various ways charting can give you insight into your reproductive health. Ready to jump right in and get started charting? As a special gift for Cord mamas, join me LIVE Thursday Jan 21 4:00pm-4:45pm for a FREE intro to Fertility Charting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/315752253.
You can also dial in using your phone.
- United States : +1 (312) 757-3121
- Access Code: 315-752-253
Rachel Snow is a Women’s Holistic Health Practitioner in Boulder, Colorado.
To learn more visit www.boulderfertility.com