What is Fertility Awareness + Cycle Tracking?
Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Fertility awareness is the #1 women’s health practice you’ve never heard of. It involves tracking your hormones and specific symptoms each day to gain insights into your fertility and menstrual + hormonal cycle. It’s a tool that can not only be used as natural birth control or for pregnancy achievement, but a tool that all women can use to better understand their bodies and as early detection for more serious health concerns. Cycle Tracking is the fundamental tool used in my VIP coaching program - that's how massively important it is!
The reasons you’ve never heard of fertility awareness and cycle tracking are simple - it’s “unpleasant” to discuss and doesn’t involve prescription medication or devices that anyone can get rich selling.
I know, I said it. You heard me.
Many people, especially in our patriarchal society, find it incredibly uncomfortable to discuss such things as cervical fluid and a woman inserting a finger into her vagina on a daily basis to check for hormonal symptoms. As women we’re taught to look cute, be polite, and keep our bodily functions to ourselves. Daily exploration of our own sexual organs certainly does not fit the cute, polite, discreet pattern of behaviors we’re taught to maintain.
Ladies, to use fertility awareness tools you’re gonna have to touch the inside of your vagina, feel your cervix, and get reaaaal familiar with your vaginal fluids. It’s not cute or polite, but it could save your life.
Fertility awareness tools allow us to understand if our hormones are dangerously out of balance, if there are abnormalities on our cervix, and if we’re at risk for PCOS, endometriosis, and other serious health concerns. We’re not talking about sexual self-pleasure here, we’re talking about saving lives.
Fertility awareness tools are also not taught to use simply because there isn’t a financial incentive to do so. Pharmaceutical companies are not investing billions of dollars in teaching women fertility awareness methods because there isn’t a single pill you need to take or device you need inserted in order to use fertility awareness methods as a health care tool, birth control method, or pregnancy support. You only need to know how to do it, and then you’re set for life.
Teaching women fertility awareness methods becomes a matter of female empowerment - arming women with the tools and knowledge to be their own health advocate.
It’s not your fault that you’ve never heard about cycle tracking or fertility awareness. They hoped you never would.
To access the insights that fertility awareness has to offer, you must track your cycle using 3 distinct fertility markers - cervical fluid, basal body temperature, and cervical texture and positioning. It's for this reason that cycle tracking is NOT simply counting down until your next period. In fact, counting to your next period based on your last cycle is nothing but a guess about when your next period will take place. Periods are not like clockwork. They can shift from month to month depending on stress levels, sleep quality, alcohol consumption, and more. More often than not, counting down to your next period in this way simply creates a whole lot of unnecessary stress when your period is running a few days late.
So, if cycle tracking is not counting down to your next period, wtf is it? Cycle tracking is keeping a log of your cervical fluid shifts, basal body temperature fluctuations, and cervical texture and position over the course of each month. It’s these three things combined that tell us when we’re about to ovulate, when and if we’ve ovulated, and when and if we’re able to get pregnant during any given month. (Spoiler Alert - For even the most fertile woman having sex with the most fertile man, we’re only able to get pregnant on average 7 days per month.)
These three fertility markers also give us insights into if estrogen and progesterone are shifting appropriately throughout cycle. When they do shift appropriately we have healthy, fairly comfortable periods. When they don't we can start to see things like heavy periods, irregular periods, fertility problem, signs of ovarian cysts, and many other potential problems.
Do you want to get started tracking your cycle and using fertility awareness as a health care practice? Check out my post on the 3 fertility awareness rules, how to use them, and what they tell us about our bodies.
Are you ready to start tracking your cycle as a health care tool & finally start living in alignment with your body? If so, I would love to invite you to schedule a 1-on-1 IGNITE Coaching Call with me to deep dive into cycle tracking, learn how to get started, and get the tools you need to uncover your unique hormonal struggles like acne & period problems. CLICK HERE to book your free call!
Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald and Do It Naturally is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Do It Naturally is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.