1. You’ll know the exact date that you ovulated every cycle
By taking your basal body temperature each morning you’ll be able to pinpoint your ovulation date after you’ve ovulated. Your temperature won’t predict your ovulation date, but after your basal body temperature rises and stays up, you’ll know that you ovulated the day before the shift. Also, knowing the exact day you ovulated means that if you are trying for a baby and you get pregnant, you can accurately predict your due date and you’ll know that you’re pregnant within 18 days of ovulation.
If you’re pregnant your basal body temperature stays up and may rise even higher (you might see a second thermal or temperature shift on your chart). When you’re not pregnant your temperature drops back down when your period comes, typically 12-14 days after ovulation. So those stories you’ve heard about women who go to the emergency room with abdominal pain and leave with a baby because they didn’t know they were pregnant? Well with Fertility Awareness at least you know it won’t happen to you!
2. You can predict when your period is coming
After you figure out what day you’ve ovulated you’ll be able to predict when your period is coming, so no more surprises! By taking your temperature each day you can identify your ovulation date. Once you’ve charted a few cycles using Fertility Awareness you’ll start to notice that your period comes about the same number of days after ovulation each month. The period of time between ovulation and your period is called the luteal phase or post-ovulatory period. In a healthy cycle the luteal phase lasts about 12-14 days, and it remains fairly constant from cycle to cycle. If your cycles vary from month to month it is actually due to changes in your pre-ovulatory period (the period of time between the first day of your period and ovulation). But what this all means for you is that when you’re using Fertility Awareness you’ll be able to predict when Aunt Flo is coming to town so you won’t be caught off guard anymore!
3. You can pinpoint exactly where you are in your cycle every day
With Fertility Awareness your body goes from being a mystery and having that constant background worry that you could be pregnant, to being fully aware of what part of your cycle you’re in each and every day. You’ll know when your period is coming, what days you’re fertile, when ovulation is approaching, and you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact day that you ovulated each cycle after your temperature shift.
4. You can keep a detailed record of your fertile signs
Using the Fertility Awareness Method doesn’t involve a big time commitment, but there are a few things that you have to get into the habit of doing each day. Fertility awareness involves checking your cervical mucus throughout the day each day, checking your cervical position once per day, and taking your basal body temperature each morning before you roll out of bed. Once you’ve made your observations you just have to remember to record them either on a paper chart or on a charting app each day.
For the control freaks, the detail oriented, the nerds, and the slightly OCD among us this fits perfectly with our personalities! You get to spend 2-3 minutes each day as a mini-scientist collecting data on yourself! Although it sounds like a big time commitment, it boils down to just a few minutes per day. Eventually it becomes kind of like brushing your teeth, just another part of your daily routine. After you’ve been charting for a few months you have already have a detailed record of your fertile signs that can serve as a window into your overall health and fertility.
5. Fertility Awareness cycle charting is a window into your overall health
Once you learn to chart your cycles using Fertility Awareness you begin to tap into a concept that was definitely left out of my junior high school sex-ed classes: Menstrual cycle health. There is such a thing as a healthy menstrual cycle, and if you find that once you start charting your cycles your cycles don’t seem to come close to the ‘perfect’ charts that you see in the books you’ve been reading it can be an indication that there is something wrong. Although it may be common, for instance, to have heavy painful periods, it is not normal or healthy. Your charts can provide you with invaluable information about your overall health and can give you the early warning signs of an issue that you would otherwise not be aware of.
Your charts can help you to identify important health issues that can not only affect your fertility but your overall health as well. In the best case scenario you would start charting your cycles many years before you are even considering pregnancy because that would give you plenty of time to start working with a Health Practitioner like a Naturopathic Doctor or a Functional Medicine Practitioner who could help you to improve your overall health and fertility so that by the time you’re ready to start a family you have robust and healthy menstrual cycles. Isn’t this the control freak’s dream? Actually knowing what’s going on in your body healthwise, so you don’t end up having ‘surprises’ later on?
6. You will be the one in control of your fertility, your health and your life!
The most awesome part of using Fertility Awareness is that all of the control and power over your fertility is put in your hands. Learning how to figure whether or not you are fertile each day of your cycle puts you in control of your fertility. You don’t get to defer control or responsibility to “the pill” or “the condom”. It’s all on you. The most important part of using Fertility Awareness successfully involves learning the method correctly and accurately, combined with a clear understanding of what your intentions are where your fertility is concerned.
Having the ability to understand how your body works comes along with the responsibility of managing how to handle your fertile period. It forces you to step up and decide what you really want. If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, it gives you the information you need to achieve that without having to rely on anyone else.
It is a big responsibility, but if I can do it you can do it. For some reason our cultural biases seem to tell us that we couldn’t possibly handle the responsibility of preventing pregnancy left to our own devices. But think of all the complex tasks and responsibilities you manage on a daily basis whether that’s at work, at home, in your business, or whatever it is. If you put your mind to it, and it’s important enough to you, you can figure this out too! And once you do, it puts you in the driver’s seat, and it’s a skill that you’ll have for the rest of your life.