Spoiler alert: Sex makes babies! I know, it’s crazy. It’s also the only way to naturally get pregnant!
Not to say that every time you have sex you want to add to your brood. Fortunately, our female bodies were designed in a way that makes your natural fertility cycle not so mysterious once you figure out what’s going on in there.
What is it?
To get straight to it, Fertility Awareness is NOT the Rhythm Method.
The Rhythm Method is based on the idea that all women ovulate on day 12 of their 28-day cycle, keeping track using a calendar.
Fertility Awareness-Based Methods have multiple science-based methods for multiple types of fertility cycles and the woman that have them. FABM has been studied as early as the 1850’s and continues to be improved on. Recent peer-reviewed studies put the effective rate at nearly 99.4%, putting it on the same plane as pills, patches, barriers and other body altering methods.
Overall, it’s not just for hippies or Catholics with 12 children.
Is it worth the work?
I won’t pretend it doesn’t work, but I do appreciate doing the most natural thing for my body. I should not have had to wait until I was in my twenties to understand how my fertility actually worked. I’m so glad to see that in recent years, classes have been popping up specifically for newly menstruating young women.
What are your options?
There are several different methods that woman and couples choose to use based on their needs and their cycles. Some examples you may be interested in may be:
Sympto Thermal Method
It is wise to have an instructor who truly understands the science of these methods before relying on them. What’s great with modern technology is that you can use them on a paper chart and thermometer or you can use a fancy app, fertility tracker bracelets and Bluetooth enabled thermometers!
What’s best for me?
I can’t answer that for you.
I would love to sit down with you and talk about your ovulation, but we probably aren’t friends like that and I’m not a professional NFP instructor.
One method I’ve seen people do is go on to Facebook FABM groups and talk to women who have cycles similar to theirs, especially when their cycle is not “typical”. From there you can compare and contrast what might be best for you.
You could also seek out an instructor and go from there, which is what my husband and did and so far so good. What I appreciate about a real live coach is that they can answer all your super weird and specific questions that may come up later.
You also don’t need to find a method and stick with it permanently, that’s another great feature of doing things naturally- you can change instantly! Your needs, just like the science behind them are always changing.