Staff Story, Kate: Journey from conventional birth control to FAM
For years, like many others, I started my young adulthood by turning to pharmaceutical birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs) to prevent pregnancy. At the time, I did not know of any alternative to this path and had a limited sex education program in my small town.
Unfortunately, I had less than a favorable physical and emotional response to the hormones found in birth control pills. I frequently felt sick to my stomach after taking the pill, found myself becoming increasingly emotional for seemingly no reason, and had very little understanding of my body's natural cycle. The IUD also proved challenging for me, since I was able to feel the IUD in my uterus! Not a pleasant feeling to say the least!
My natural curiosity got the better of me and I started to wonder how my body would react if I didn't supply it with a regular dose of artificial hormones. How are these hormones affecting my body? Is it the hormones or is it natural for me to feel as though I am on an emotional roller coaster? Am I ovulating each month? When does my body naturally start menstruation? Was I missing this vital understanding about my body because I instead blindly trusted the Pill to tell me when I should take the "placebo" pill? Or would the IUD forge through my uterus wall, get stuck in my body, and just become part of me like a new organ? YIKES! These questions forced me to begin the search for a natural birth control method.
In 2013, after a discussion with a close friend regarding these issues, she clued me in on the fertility awareness method. Curiosity again led me down the road to learning as much about FAM as possible, starting with reading Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Soon, I found a course on the FAM method in my town and began tracking my fertility journey!
As a person who thoroughly enjoys the convenience of technology, I began the search for an app that would help me track my fertility signs and luckily found Kindara! What drew me specifically to Kindara is their transparency regarding what they do with my personal data (PS your data is not sold)! Along with the easy-to-use platform, I was intrigued by their Bluetooth thermometer Wink to seamlessly upload my temperatures daily to the Kindara App!
It's been about 6 years now since I first downloaded Kindara App and tracking my fertility signals has never been easier! I understand aspects of my body that I would have never truly understood without seeing it displayed in my charts from cycle to cycle. I feel more in tune with my body and am thankful that tracking with Kindara has allowed me to stop hormonal birth control and provided me the platform to understand how my body actually works! I found that my cycle is much longer than the "normal" 28 days and that I ovulate between days 18-20, suggesting I'm a bit slow at things—haha! I also use Kindara's Moods and Symptoms to help figure out patterns around how I feel throughout the cycle and Custom Data to keep track of daily activities such as exercise and vitamin intake.
As my mother taught me, the one thing that you can never lose is knowledge! I can never go back to hormonal birth control, paper charting, or guessing what's going on with my body! I instead intend to continue to be an active participate in my own fertility journey and advocate for other women's reproductive ownership through education and awareness!