A lot of discussions in fertility awareness circles focus on how women have transitioned from the pill to FAM and how that has been for them, I never feel like I can fully join in these conversations as I just never went on it. Quite simply, when I was in my late teens and in my first long-term relationship my Mum had told me that the pill had caused problems for friends of hers when they wanted to conceive later in life, so it didn’t even occur to me to go on it. I didn’t visit the doctors unless completely necessary so there had never been a discussion with anyone outside my family either.
My Mum spoke to me about the rhythm method but as my boyfriend was quite happy using condoms it wasn’t really something that mattered then. Unfortunately, on one occasion, a condom ripped during intercourse, we did as recommended and I got the morning-after pill, despite the fact the dr himself actually said “as you’re at the end of your cycle you probably don’t need it, but take it anyway”…. Oh my goodness, I wished I hadn’t, my cycle did not settle for the next six months, my bleed was heavy, I felt uncomfortable, my moods were unpredictable and I felt utterly rubbish – that confirmed for me that hormonal birth control was not something I wanted to use!
Do you know the FAM joke about the rhythm method? “What do you call couples who use the rhythm method? Parents!” Yes, well that’s me, fast forward to a few days after my 32nd birthday and I’m sitting with a positive pregnancy test in my hand wondering how on earth it happened as according to the rhythm method I’m completely safe on day 28 to have unprotected sex….oh but the rhythm method relies on exactly that, a rhythm, and ovulation is unpredictable.
I had changed my diet and lost well over a stone in weight, this can have a massive impact on your cycle, but I hadn’t taken this into account and my usually predictable 28-day cycle flipped by two weeks….ooops!
After my cycle returned postpartum I wanted to understand better how it worked. Firstly I learned about cycle awareness, it literally blew my mind when I realised that there is more to my cycle than just my period, and oh my goodness there is SO much more to the cycle than just a monthly bleed, in fact, the most important part of your cycle is ovulation – the key factor that basically shows that things are working as they should be. Additionally to that, there are the beautiful ebbs and flows of the cycle created by our naturally occurring hormones which give us literal superpowers throughout our cycle.
Once I learnt about the hormones, about the processes our bodies go through without us really doing anything I wanted to make sure I had that knowledge as securely in my head as possible and tell as many other people about it as I could! The fact that by understanding and tracking these hormones we can conceive or avoid pregnancy naturally should be something EVERYONE knows about!
I signed up to a Natural Family Planning course to become certified as a symto-thermal method instructor, I had to wait 7 months for the course to start, it was such a long time! In this time I also conceived my second daughter, completely 100% on purpose using the method I had learnt.
If you’d like to learn more about the method please click on my calendly booking form, I’d love to chat with you and see if we’re a good fit to work together. I currently have a few client spaces a month available, whether you have or haven’t taken the pill I can support you in understanding your cycles for avoiding or achieving pregnancy.