Charting for Health with the Fertility Awareness Method – Is It For You?
Ya'll, I am so excited to share this blog written by my internet friend and FAM influencer, Megan McNamara. She was the first person I knew who charted not to prevent or achieve pregnancy, but just for her health and I think she has great information to share! Thank you so much, Megan for sharing this perspective to my readers!
First thing’s first: are you a menstruating human?
Yes --> Congrats! Charting for health could absolutely be for you!
Yes, but my periods are ‘irregular’ for X reason --> Congrats! Charting for health could absolutely be for you and you’d probably benefit from it the most!
Yes, but I’m currently on hormonal birth control --> Charting for health could absolutely be for you, but your charts would not make much sense unless you’re cycling naturally, due to the synthetic hormones from birth control.
No --> Probs not, but you can help spread the word!
What’s the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)?
The symptothermal method of fertility awareness is the scientific practice of observing your natural cycle and recording your body’s 2 primary fertility signs on a daily basis, on a chart: your core or basal body temperature and cervical mucus observations. Note that the use of hormonal birth control suppresses the natural cycle of ovulation and menstruation, which negates the point of charting for health.
The symptothermal method of FAM can be used as a 99.4% effective method of natural birth control when used correctly, it can help couples conceive quickly and naturally, and perhaps the most beautiful benefit of all? It empowers you to monitor your natural cycle health and therefore, take control of your overall health.
But what does that mean, exactly? What’s the point? FAM empowers you to…
- Confirm whether or not you are ovulating during a cycle (HINT: OVULATION IS IMPORTANT)
- Know when your period will arrive with eerie precision, once ovulation has been confirmed for that cycle – no more being caught off guard by ‘irregular’ periods
- Know when you’re fertile and when you’re not (HINT: It is NOT all the time)
- Gain body literacy and understand how your cycles work – it’s no mystery!
- Pinpoint the correct times during your cycle to perform hormonal testing to yield accurate results
- Actively improve your overall health based on cycle data
- Note marked improvements in your cycle as changes are made over time
- Potentially catch early warning signs of chronic illness, disease, or even some forms of cancer so that proper treatment can be sought to address the underlying cause (endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid issues, ovarian cysts, etc.)
- Save money by eliminating unneeded doctor’s visits & tests
- Learn your cycle symptoms and gain tools on how to improve or eliminate them
- Track energy levels, sleep quality, supplements, sexual activity, libido, exercise, food, and pain management (and literally anything else you’d like to add to YOUR chart!)
- Celebrate your body’s power, capabilities, and health
How Can I Start?
These are just a few of the powerful benefits of charting for health. If any of this resonates with you, then I highly encourage and welcome you to take the first steps:
- Learn the method. It will change your life for the better! This can be done by working with a FAM instructor and/or thoroughly self-teaching the method based on a FAM publication such as “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler or the Justisse Method of body literacy.
- Start charting. I love the Kindara app for FAM charting, no matter your fertility goal. Kindara is free, beautifully designed, compatible with iOS and Android, and allows the user to be in full control of their own chart, which promotes learning and deep body literacy. You can also add as many custom data fields as you’d like, tailoring your chart to your unique needs and health goals.
- Get support and stay connected. My favorite FAM resource is the “Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control” support group on Facebook. People do best with FAM when they have a reliable and constructive network. The support you will find through this group is simply unparalleled!
- Live on, live well. Enjoy this journey of learning and empowerment! It’s time to take charge of your cycles and leave behind any confusion or weariness that once may have burdened you. Our natural cycles are a healthy, beautiful, and useful part of us. Why not celebrate that and own it?!
As a passionate advocate of Fertility Awareness Methods, I love discussing FAM, sharing my experiences, and helping others to discover the world of knowledge, empowerment, and body literacy that comes with charting. This is more than just avoiding or achieving pregnancy – this is a journey of self-love and health, while having fun along the way!
When I’m not spending time #obsessed with FAM in the Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control FB group or on my FAM-centric @YogiBearHealth Instagram account, I love hiking, travelling & photography with my boyfriend, introvert-ing, creating relaxing ASMR videos for YouTube, and hanging out with my family, friends, and my animals.