From the first time I discovered fertility awareness back when I was 19 years old I realized we had been sold a lie.
It all started when our trusted school teachers told us we could get pregnant on every single day of our cycles.
What I’ve found in my work with women is that it takes months and sometimes years to recover from this deception.
Even though you’ve read the books on fertility awareness and tracked your cycles for awhile, you don’t really trust it for birth control.
At least not 100%…
Do you?…Do you really trust it? Do you think it’s possible to have unprotected sex and not get pregnant?
I definitely didn’t…at least not until I got a handle on my mucus observations.
I’ve worked with women who are avoiding pregnancy, and their idea of “unprotected” sex is withdrawal on an infertile day.
They can’t imagine ever letting their male partners ejaculate inside of them, because they’re afraid they’ll get pregnant. Even on their infertile days. This is the residual fear from our programming as teenagers.
What we should have been told is that our bodies are miraculous and beautiful.
That we have the unique gift of having an organ entirely for the purpose of experiencing pleasure, the clitoris.
I mean, come on that’s pretty freaking awesome if you think about it.
We should have been told that we only have a small window of fertility. That there are only 5-7 days each month when pregnancy is even possible.
We should also have been told to treasure and preserve our fertility because it slowly and naturally diminishes over time.
We should have been told that by the time we reach age 40 our fertility will look much different than it does when we’re 20, and that is a normal and natural part of getting older.
It is possible to rely entirely on fertility awareness for birth control, and not get pregnant. Peer reviewed studies show an effectiveness rate of 99.6% with perfect use. Let me just repeat that for effect…
I mean, come on! How would you have felt to get a 99.6% on that math test back in high school?
In other words, fertility awareness with perfect use is just as effective (if not more effective) than hormonal contraceptives.
Typical use does vary, and it will be lower if you don’t learn from a trained instructor, but for your information typical use of every contraceptive method varies. Typical use of the birth control pill hangs out closer to 92%. That means for every 100 women on the pill, about 8 get pregnant each year.
What I want you to know is that it’s possible for you to have unprotected sex (unprotected meaning that your male partner fully ejaculates inside of you) and not get pregnant…
As long as you know how to identify which days are infertile and which days are fertile.
That is what we should have been taught.
Fortunately it’s not too late. There is a saying that I love and it illustrates this point perfectly:
When was the best time to plant an apple tree?
20 years ago…
When is the second best time to plant an apple tree?
We can’t go back and change what we weren’t taught in junior high school, but we can definitely control what we learn today.
We can also make informed choices about our health and fertility today, so let’s do this together!
If you’re eager to learn more about fertility awareness, I have over 125 podcast episodes for you to dig into!
You’ll also want to download my free Ebook on what to expect if you’ve recently come off the pill
Now I want to hear from you! Were you taught that you can only get pregnant on 5 days of your cycle? Did you grow up believing that the pill was the only effective way to prevent pregnancy? What would you want to go back and tell your 16 year old self if you had the chance? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
So I understand that I can’t get pregnant on infertile days but what if he ejaculates inside me 2 days before I am fertile. Can I get pregnant then? Since sperm lives up to 5 days inside me?
Fertility Friday says
Sperm only survives inside your body for 5 days during your fertile window when you have cervical mucus. When there is no mucus, sperm don’t survive more than a couple of hours at most.
I really appreciate your useful and very persuasive explanation!!! When my teenage daughter was ready to become sexually active with her boyfriend, she begged me to let her go on the pill. Instead I taught her the basics of FAM and bought a fertility monitor for her. At first she was terrified by the idea of having unprotected sex and really worried about getting pregnant in high school, but websites like yours helped me to persuade her that FAM is much better birth control than condoms or the pill. I loved your very direct message that she can have frequent unprotected sex without risk of pregnancy.
Giving her an introduction to FAM before her first time with her boyfriend was also a great mother-daughter experience for us and really was what gave her the the little push she needed to get over her shyness about her body and become sexually active. Again, your blog post here was awesome for convincing her that she should begin having sex — I love your line about the clitoris as a pleasure organ.
She now is completely comfortable having unprotected sex with her boyfriend on her “green” days, and she promises me they are super careful when they have any kind of P-in-V penetration on her “red” days.
This may not work with all teens, but they are both straight-A students and really responsible, and I can tell FAM has really strengthened their relationship. You are a great role model for responsible teens!