As readers of TCOYF already know, the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a remarkable system of knowledge that uses your two primary fertility signs to accurately determine what days you are fertile. These two signs are
• cervical fluid, and
• waking temperature (or BBT basal body temperature)
Such critical information serves as a window into your menstrual cycle, empowering you to practice effective natural birth control or pregnancy achievement, as well as to enlighten you on the entire array of life's menstrual mysteries. Indeed, charting your cycles with the Fertility Awareness Method will show you, among other things:
• When to expect your next period
• When, and if, you are ovulating
• Which days of your cycle you are fertile, in order to avoid pregnancy naturally, or, to effectively time intercourse in order to maximize your chances of conception
• Whether or not you are pregnant, and, if you are, what your accurate due date is, and
• The difference between perfectly normal, cyclical cervical secretions and those that are characteristic of vaginal infections
In some ways, it’s unfortunate that the Fertility Awareness Method is even referred to as a method at all, because in reality, it should simply be seen as a fundamental life skill that all women should learn, just as they are now taught basic feminine hygiene. This is because the practical knowledge women glean from charting their cycles will aid them from puberty to menopause, and in all of life’s phases in between. And while this vital body of knowledge has been slow to disperse into the mainstream, the good news is that things are finally starting to change. A grassroots movement has begun to spread among women everywhere, which I would like to think is reforming women's health—one fertility chart at a time.
I also suspect that a major catalyst for increased interest in FAM is the emergence of new and amazing digital tools, like those found here. Of course, there is a certain irony, since those of you who have read Taking Charge of Your Fertility know that I've always emphasized that Fertility Awareness is a natural and low-tech process that ultimately requires just a pen, paper and thermometer. And that's still true. However, it is undeniable that there are some powerful advantages to digitizing the process!
By charting your cycles online or via the OvaGraph mobile app
, you will be able to do the following:
• Record changes in your cervical fluid throughout your cycle
• Chart your waking temperature to allow for easy detection of your thermal shift, or let the app’s proprietary algorithm automatically detect your thermal shift and draw a coverline for you
• Keep track of your unique cycle history, including average cycle length, luteal phase length, and shortest and longest cycles
• Store all of the fertility information that you collect, including ovulation and pregnancy test results as well as the prescription medications and supplements you are taking
• Record the various diagnostic tests and treatments you may have
• View your fertility cycles in either calendar or chart form
• Generate vivid and clear charts that can be easily shared with your doctor, friends, and online fertility community for further analysis.
• Access your fertility charts directly from your smartphone
I hope you'll soon discover that your own Fertility Awareness community is right here at TCOYF.com (and at it’s app-hosting sister site at OvaGraph.com). That’s because I believe the tools available here will enlighten you about the truly wondrous hormonal symphony that comprises both your menstrual cycle in particular as well as your gynecological health in general.
I wish you the very best,