The Fertility Awareness Method is a natural hormone-free method of birth control that when used correctly is actually more effective than the pill. 99.6% effective to be exact.  Fertility Awareness is based on learning to pinpoint your fertile window and the high effectiveness rate of the method is based on avoiding sexual intercourse on your fertile days. The great thing about using fertility awareness is that it puts you in the driver’s seat. Once you become confident in identifying your fertile days you can choose to use barrier methods on your fertile days, or have alternative sex with your partner without any genital to genital contact. With that being said, you always have to remember that if you have sex on your fertile days you’ll be relying on the effectiveness of the barrier method or other form of birth control that you’re using.
On the flip side, if you are trying to get pregnant the Fertility Awareness Method helps you to identify the relatively short window in your cycle when you can actually get pregnant. Once you learn how to observe your cervical fluid, you’ll be able to optimize your chances by having sex on the days when you’re most likely to get pregnant!
Learning the Fertility Awareness Method can take time. When you are first learning it’s a good idea to take a minimum of 3 full cycles of charting to get familiar with your body, your cervical fluid, changes in your cervix, and your temperature before you start relying on the fertility awareness method for birth control. Although it is possible to teach yourself how to chart your cycles with the fertility awareness method if you are planning to use fertility awareness for birth control, learning from a fertility awareness educator can greatly improve your chances of success. Having someone there to provide support and answer your questions as you learn the method is invaluable, and will help you to gain confidence in your ability to identify your fertile window. This level of understanding is essential for you to successfully use the method especially for birth control.
There are many great resources out there, and I have compiled an awesome list of fertility awareness resources below. This list includes organizations that teach fertility awareness, organizations that train fertility awareness educators, fertility awareness instructors, and websites that provide helpful information about the method itself. If you find that you are having trouble interpreting your charts or you think you might have a health or fertility related concern there are many educators who are specially trained in the fertility awareness method that can help you on your journey!
Justisse is the organization where I received my training as a Justisse Body Literacy Advocate. They are one of the few organizations in North America who offer training to become a fertility awareness instructor. The Justisse website has a wealth of information about the fertility awareness method. If you are wanting to become a fertility awareness educator Justisse offers an excellent training program that not only teaches you how to teach others about the method but also educates you about the link between menstrual cycle health and overall health. You’ll learn to identify how a woman’s chart can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify health issues, and what you can do to help women improve the health of their menstrual cycles. The Justisse website also has an extensive practitioner directory that allows you to find a certified fertility awareness educator if you are looking for support and are wanting to learn to chart your cycles from a trained instructor. You can also access the Justisse Charting App from the website. The app is a web-based application that you can access from your computer or your smart phone on your browser, and was designed specifically for women to chart their cycles using the fertility awareness method. Listen to my podcast episode with Geraldine Matus, founder of Justisse Healthworks to learn more!
The Garden of Fertility is a book written by Katie Singer about the Fertility Awareness Method that not only helps you understand and chart your cycles but informs about how cycle charting can help you gauge your reproductive health. The Garden of Fertility Website offers a wealth of information about the fertility awareness method. Listen to my podcast episode with Katie Singer to learn more!
Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler is the book that started my journey into understanding and using the fertility awareness method. It is such a great place to start when you are thinking about using fertility awareness. The website has forums where you can find communities like minded women who are using fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy or are trying to conceive. You can also find charting apps for downloading and printing. Listen to my podcast episode with Toni Weschler to learn more!
The Kindara charting app is an awesome app created with the Fertility Awareness Method in mind. When using an app to record your fertile signs with the fertility awareness method the predictor setting should be off. Kindara allows you to do that. The fertility awareness method allows you to observe your fertile signs so you can identify in real time whether or not you are fertile each day, but there is no way to predict the exact day you’ll ovulate. With the Kindara app you can record your fertile signs each day, and you can opt to share your charts with other women in the community and get feedback and support. The website is full of excellent information about the fertility awareness method whether you’re wanting to avoid pregnancy or are trying to conceive. Listen to my podcast episode with Will Sacks to learn more!
The Groove charting app is an awesome app for charting your cycles with the fertility awareness method or just keeping track of your periods, and the website is a great resource for information about the fertility awareness method, menstrual health and many other topics. Listen to my podcast episode with Jennifer Aldoretta to learn more!
Fertility Awareness Instructors:
Amy Sedgwick | The Red Tent Sisters Toronto, Ontario
Just as the name implies the Red Tent Sisters are two sisters who work together educating women about fertility awareness, sexuality, contraceptive options and so many other areas. If you haven’t yet discovered their website it is truly a wealth of information. Not only can you find information on their blog, but they also have a youtube channel and a podcast. If you are looking for an instructor who can teach you how to use the Fertility Awareness Method you’ve come to the right place! Amy is a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner who teaches the Justisse Method of fertility awareness. There are several programs on their website to help you learn to chart your cycles using the Fertility Awareness Method all while getting the support from an trained instructor and other women who are also learning to chart their cycles. You can listen to my podcast episode with Amy, and my podcast episode with Kim to learn more!
Rose Yewchuk | Better Ovulate than Never | Edmonton, Alberta
Rose is a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner who has been charting her own cycles and teaching women to chart their cycles for over 16 years now. Rose has the knack for explaining challenging concepts with humor in a way that is very easy to digest. Perfect for teaching the complexities of fertility awareness! Rose is also a moderator for the Fertility Awareness Charting Circle Facebook group. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast episodes Rose and I recorded you can find them here and here and here.
Allison Macbeth | Sex Education with Allison | Vancouver, BC
Allison is also a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner with a background in sex education and sexual health. If you are looking for a Fertility Awareness instructor Allison offers private sessions as well as group sessions teaching the Fertility Awareness Method. Listen to the podcast episode that Allison and I recorded to learn more.
Colleen Flowers | Flowers Fertility | Denver, Colorado
Colleen is also a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner who teaches the Justisse Method of fertility awareness. You’ll find a wealth of information on Colleen’s website. Not only does she provide a wealth of information on her blog, but she also has several videos that help you to gain a better understanding about the basics of the fertility awareness method. If you are trying to find a fertility awareness instructor, Colleen offers private consultations, in-person classes (if you happen to live in the Denver, Colorado area), as well as on-line classes to help you learn to chart your cycles using the fertility awareness method. Listen to my podcast episode with Colleen to learn more!
Hannah Ransom | Holistic Hormonal Health | Las Angeles, California
Hannah is a certified fertility awareness instructor with a passion for helping women learn how to chart their cycles. Her website offers a wealth of information about the fertility awareness method, fertility, health, the relationship between menstrual cycle health and overall health, and much more. Hannah offers an awesome program if you are wanting to learn to chart your cycles using the fertility awareness method. You can listen to the podcast episode that Hannah and I recorded here to learn more.
Justina Thompson | Red Coral Fertility | Denver, Colorado
Justina is a certified Fertility Awareness Educator who is passionate about helping women to discover and gain confidence using the Fertility Awareness Method. As an educator, she connects women with a deeper knowledge about their bodies and teaches women how to use the Fertility Awareness Method for birth control, to optimize the chances of conception, and to improve menstrual cycle health overall. Justina offers private consultations as well as Fertility Awareness Workshops. Listen to my podcast episode with Justina to learn more!
Sarah Bly | Grace of the Moon | Ashland, Oregon
Sarah Bly of Grace of the Moon offers teacher training if you want to become a fertility awareness instructor as well as private consultations if you are learning the method and need some additional support.
Anna Churchill | AC Fertility Awareness | Boston, Massachusetts
Anna Churchill is a Fertility Awareness educator who is certified through Grace of the Moon. Anna offers Private consultations for women who are learning the Fertility Awareness Method either for birth control or are trying to conceive.
Leilani Wong Navar | Your Cycle Days | Burlington, Vermont
Leilani is certified through Justisse Healthworks for Women as a Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner. Leilani offers an online introductory course, private consultations, and follow-up sessions for women wanting to learn to chart their cycles.
Ashley Annis | Ashley Hartman Annis | Madison, Wisconsin
Ashley is a certified Fertility Awareness educator. Her website offers a wealth of information, and Ashley offers classes and private consultations for women wanting to learn to chart their cycles.
Ilene Richman | The Fertility Awareness Centre | New York City, New York
The Fertility Awareness Centre site is a great resource with a wealth of information about the Fertility Awareness Method. Ilene Richman is a Fertility Awareness educator who teaches workshops and offers private consultations for women wanting to learn to chart their cycles.
Michal Schonbrun | Priutivit Natural Fertility | Jerusalem, Israel
Michal is a Fertility Awareness educator originally from California who has been living in Israel since 1978. Michal teaches and trains professionals and non-professionals in fertility awareness, and women’s health.
Fertility Awareness web resources
This site has a wealth of information on a variety of topics including menstruation, birth control, sexual health, and much more. Click here for the link to the blog re: Cycling. Listen to my podcast episode with Laura Werschler to learn more!
This site has a wealth of information about the Fertility Awareness Method inluding printable charts and a practitioner directory for educators in the UK.
This site is a great resource and has great information about the mentrual cycle, hormones, fertility awareness, and basic reproductive anatomy. Plus you can see photo galleries of the cervix as it changes throughout the menstrual cycle!
Wikipedia | Fertility Awareness Method
Wikipedia’s information about the Fertility Awareness Method is surprisingly accurate, so worth checking out if you’re looking for information about FAM.
The Billings Ovulation Method is a variation of the Fertility Awareness Method. The website has a wealth of information. Be advised that the Billings Method advocates for abstinence only during the fertile window and during menstruation.
Serena is an organization that teaches Natural Family Planning. The method itself is the same, and the information provided about the fertility awareness method and the sympto-thermal method on the website is great. Keep in mind that Serena is a Catholic organization that advocates for abstinence only during the fertile window.