With dedication to tracking each day, you can learn when you are fertile and when you are not — which, by the way, can change each month, even if you have regular cycles.
A change by one day, when it comes to ovulation, can make all the difference when it comes to getting pregnant.
“Fertility Awareness is simply a means of understanding human reproduction. It’s based on the observation and charting of scientifically proven fertility signs that determine whether or not a woman is fertile on any given day.”
Toni Weschler, MPH, author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility
All fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) are based on the science of your menstrual cycle. To avoid or achieve pregnancy, FABMs aim to identify your fertile window: The 5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation (1).
This incredible journey starts on the first day of your period in the follicular phase, progresses to ovulation, enters the luteal phase, and ends the day before your next period.
Each of these phases are associated with hormonal changes and observable signals from your body indicating which phase you're in. These phases can vary each month, even for women with regular cycles, which is why tracking is essential.
Your cycle is affected by environmental factors such as stress, diet, and sleep. These factors can cause variations in your cycle (2), but charting your signs every day gives you a deeper understanding of your body and helps you recognize your own individual patterns. This intimate knowledge of your body enables more informed discussions with your healthcare provider and empowers you to become your own advocate in the doctor's office.
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Kindara recommends using the Symptothermal Method (STM) to achieve pregnancy or avoid pregnancy. In fact, it is one of the most effective methods to avoid pregnancy naturally. The STM, with perfect use, has a 99.6% efficacy rate, according to the CDC (3).
What makes the STM so effective? The STM relies on 2 (or even 3 if you want) daily observations to determine your fertile window. That way, the observations check that the other is indeed indicating a fertile or non-fertile phase. Read on to learn more about which observations to track.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, April). Providing Quality Family Planning Services Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs, Appendix D: Contraceptive Effectiveness.
Martinez, A., van Hooff, M., Schoutc, Erik., van der Meer, M., Broekmans, F., Hompes, P. (1992). The reliability, acceptability and applications of basal body temperature (BBT) records in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gyneocology and Reproductive Biology, 121-127.
Coyne, M. D., Kesick, C. M., Doherty, T. J., Kolka, M. A., & Stephenson, L. A. (2000). Circadian rhythm changes in core temperature over the menstrual cycle: method for noninvasive monitoring. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 279(4), R1316-R1320.
Weschler, T. (2015). Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health.