The Fertility Awareness Method is about becoming aware of the fertile and in-fertile phase of each menstrual cycle.
How does Fertility Awareness work?
Simply explained, there are two main hormones that switch “on” in the body at separate times of the month; Estrogen for the first half and Progesterone for the second half.
You can use the method’s 4 rules to decide whether you would like to try to conceive, abstain, use a barrier method to prevent pregnancy, or simply use the observed signs to follow your Gynecological health. You will not receive any negative side effects by practicing the Fertility Awareness Method.
Estrogen begins to release from the ovaries on Cycle Day 1 (first day of menstruation), lowering BBT and increasing water content in CM as ovulation approaches.
CM is the deciding factor on whether sperm will be able to make it to the egg for fertilization at the time of ovulation (your most fertile time)!
Once ovulation has occurred, Progesterone releases into the body, turning off the Estrogen hormone. This hormone switch spikes up BBT and thickens CM until it is not present any longer, lasting an approximate 12-16 days, until menstruation.
If the egg gets fertilized and you become pregnant, BBT will remain high for more than 18 days.
- Conception can only occur during the fertile window
- Abstinence, or barrier methods like condoms and withdrawal during the fertile window will prevent from unwanted pregnancy
- Engaging in unprotected sex during the fertile window will increase chances of becoming pregnant
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
A Basal Body Thermometer measures the temperature under your tongue immediately after waking up in the morning. It should be taken:
- Daily, at the same time every morning, +/- one hour
- After 3 consecutive hours of deep sleep
- Before getting up out of bed to use the bathroom, communicating, any physical contact, etc.
Keep in mind that viral infections that cause fevers will affect Basal Body Temperature readings.
Cervical Mucus (CM)
Cervical Mucus is a vaginal secretion, commonly known to society as “discharge.” Next time you use the bathroom, check the gusset of your underwear (where your vulva touches). Usually the consistency will flow in a specific pattern over the course of approximately 14 days, but it varies from human to human!
Regularly check the gusset of your underwear throughout each day to observe an accurate quality and quantity of your CM.
How Much Does Fertility Awareness Cost?
A Basal Body Thermometer costs approximately $9 – $30.
The optional, but recommended, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler costs approximately $20.
What Are The Side Effects?
You will not get any side effects by using the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control.
How Effective Is it?
99.7% Effective with perfect use, .3% Failure rate
76% Effective with typical use, 24% Failure rate