Are you trying to get pregnant or maybe you're looking for a non-hormonal birth control.
Learn how to monitor your fertility with the Fertility Awareness Method.
What is the Fertility Awareness Method?
It's a natural way to determine when a woman is most fertile.
It can be used to prevent pregnancy (natural form of birth control)
It can be used to optimize chances of getting pregnant.
It's different from the less effective “rhythm method” and is 99.4% effective when used correctly (compare this to condoms at 98% effective when used correctly).
Learning to interpret and understand your fertility signs will help you understand your body and empower you to make the right choices for your health.
Fertility Awareness also helps you recognize normal and abnormal hormonal signs so you can be empowered to be in control of your health. The menstrual cycle as a vital sign, as important as blood pressure and heart rate in assessing a woman’s health. Not only is a healthy hormonal balance essential for getting pregnant but it is also important to sustaining a healthy pregnancy and creating a healthy baby! In fact, the mother’s health before conceiving deserves a lot of attention.
Making it Easier
Thanks to the wonderful fertility apps on the market, keeping track of your fertility is easier than ever!
The best way to record your fertility signs is using one of many apps available. Here are a few of my favourites:
You'll Need to Monitor These 4 Fertility Signs:
Basal body temperature (your temperature immediately upon waking in the morning), including the time you took your temperature)
Observations of your cervical fluid
When you have sexual intercourse
When you have menstrual bleeding
1. Basal body temperature
1. Purchase a basal body temperature thermometer (like this one from amazon.ca). This is a different kind of thermometer that measures temperature to 2 decimal places (instead of 1 as with typical oral thermometers) and can be found at most drug stores
2. Begin on Day 1 of your menstrual cycle (the first full day of bleeding).
3. Keep a thermometer plus either a device with your fertility awareness app or a pen and paper by your bed.
4. Upon waking in the morning (and before getting out of bed), take your oral temperature.
5. Record your temperature and the time you took it in your app or on paper to be entered into an app later.
6. Also take note of anything unusual, such as illness (which can cause a fever) or sleep deprivation (less than 5 hours sleep), which may alter your body temperature.
2. Cervical fluid
Cervical fluid is produced by your cervix and changes over your cycle depending on your fertility. It becomes watery and stretchy, like raw egg white, when you are most fertile just before ovulation.
Avoid checking your cervical fluid just before or after intercourse as arousal and seminal fluids will skew your observations.
The best way to check your cervical fluid is when you go to the bathroom:
1. Before sitting on the toilet, take a clean piece of toilet paper and wipe your vaginal opening.
2. Note what, if anything, you find on the paper.
3. Do this every time you use the bathroom.
4. You may also use your clean fingers to check and you sometimes may also see cervical fluid on your underwear.
5. Qualities to note about cervical fluid:
Does the vagina feel wet or dry?
Is there any fluid on the tissue?
How does the cervical fluid look?
What is the consistency of cervical fluid?
Can you stretch it between your thumb and index finger
6. Once you have made your observations, record them in an app.
3. Sexual intercourse
Record in your app the days that you have sexual intercourse.
Record in your app the days you have menstrual bleeding. Day one of your menstrual cycle is the first full day of bleeding. You may also record spotting at any time over the course of your menstrual cycle.
You may also find it interesting/useful to other symptoms related to your menstrual cycle (eg: pain, breast changes, headaches, mood changes, etc).