All in Cycles & Charting

The basic practice of charting your menstrual cycle is one of the foundations of the fertility awareness method. Charting is a way in which you can begin to take note each day of your cycle, and it brings an awareness to your day of what energy the cycle day is bringing to YOUR day. It also helps you keep track of your fertility biomarkers, such as cervical mucus and basal body temperature, so you can identify your fertile window and use the method to track your fertile window, for effective hormone free birth control or to get conceive easily. For more on how the fertility awareness method works as an effective birth control alternative, visit this page.

"I'm on hormonal birth control and I'm interested in switching to FAM. When should I start?"You've done your research, read the books, talked to other people who use FAM, and you've made up your mind that you want to give it a shot. Maybe you are on hormonal birth control, have been in the past, or have never been on it. No matter the situation, a question that comes up often in my DM's and in Facebook groups that I am a part of, is when do I start charting? 

It can be really challenging to bring up FAM with other people because of the misconceptions that surround FAM as to whether it is an effective method of birth control. Misconceptions stem from lack of awareness, minimal medical professional education on the physiology of fertility, the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, and a culture that shames women for their sexuality and menstruality. Phew!  

The fertility awareness method is an effective and natural form of birth control, but how exactly does it work? The biggest barrier to educating and informing women about FAM is that we aren’t raised knowing how our fertility and reproductive physiology works beyond knowing that we get a period. When we understand just exactly how we’re able to get pregnant, we can use that knowledge to avoid pregnancy as well.

In the last 12 months (at the time of writing this blog article), my day job has taken me all over the province and the country. I am really fortunate to see places in my province that not many people are able to see. As a natural homebody, I’ve become an expert at taking my home with me wherever I go. This also means taking FAM with me wherever I go. I’ve received many questions on how to continue on with FAM when travelling. There are many of posts about how to keep charting while you travel, but I wanted to give my own perspective on this. There is the practical side of continuing to chart with odd sleep patterns, temperature variable rooms, and time changes, and then there is the emotional side. Our emotions and life circumstances do play a part in our hormonal health. Keeping routines, even while you travel, can help with this aspect of hormone balance. In this post, I want to delve into both sides of travelling and using FAM In my experience, the logistics of charting and taking my temperature have not been an issue for using FAM. The thing that has wreaked havoc on my cycles is the stress, change in routine, change in food that comes with travel.