The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a natural approach to understanding and tracking a woman's fertile window. This method can be used by those trying to conceive or by those looking to avoid pregnancy by choosing to abstain or use a physical barrier (e.g., condoms) during their fertile period.
In this blog post, we will explore three key methods for tracking fertility and discuss additional signs to look out for during ovulation
1. Calendar Tracking: Understanding Your Cycle
Ovulation typically occurs around 14 days before your period begins. Since sperm can survive in the uterus for up to 5 days, it is crucial to avoid intercourse or use a physical barrier during the 18 days leading up to your period if you do not wish to conceive. To effectively track your cycle, monitor your period for at least six cycles to determine your average cycle length (with Day 1 being the first day of your period). There are now apps like "Flo" and "Clue" that can assist with these calculations while also allowing you to record additional signs and symptoms. However, this method is most accurate for women with regular periods and cycle lengths between 26-30 days.
2. Cervical Mucus Tracking: Observing Changes in Consistency
Cervical mucus, or discharge, is produced throughout a woman's cycle, but its amount and consistency can vary. During ovulation, cervical mucus increases in volume and becomes clear and watery, resembling raw egg whites. This change facilitates sperm movement during the fertile period. As your period approaches, the mucus will become whiter and stickier.
3. Temperature Tracking: Monitoring Basal Body Temperature
Temperature tracking is another popular FAM method, although it requires consistent record-keeping and discipline. You will need to measure your basal body temperature (BBT) first thing in the morning every day. Ovulation triggers the release of the hormone progesterone, which causes a slight rise in BBT (about 0.5 degrees) that remains elevated until your next period. Remember that your fertile window ranges from 5 days before ovulation to one day after, as sperm can survive for up to 5 days in the female body. Our favourite device and app to use is "Temp Drop" which can easily help you track your BBT. We actually have a link you can use to get a discount. This is it >> http://www.tempdrop.com/discount/AFMUNGBEAN (plus they are having an Easter sale)!
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This method may be less accurate for women with irregular periods.
Getting in Tune with Your Body: Additional Signs of Ovulation
The Fertility Awareness Method offers a natural, non-invasive approach to understanding your body's fertility signals. By using calendar tracking, cervical mucus tracking, and temperature tracking, you can gain a deeper insight into your fertility patterns and make informed decisions about family planning. Embrace the power of knowledge and connect with your body by incorporating FAM into your daily routine.
FAM is an excellent way to become more aware of your body and its signals. Other signs of ovulation include breast tenderness, increased sex drive, ovulation pain, and changes in cervical texture. If you have irregular periods or suspect that you may not be ovulating, we encourage you to consult with one of our Naturopaths specialising in women's health and fertility.