Fertility Awareness Method

Fertility Awareness Method

In Let’s Talk About Contraceptives,  I shared that I was not comfortable with any mainstream methods of birth control. Researching natural methods of child spacing led me to the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). I ordered a copy of the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCYF) and started educating myself.

There are many positives to following FAM.  The main positive is that FAM is completely natural, no artificial hormones go into your body. It’s also quite economical, I spent about $25 for a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and a basal thermometer which is much cheaper than paying for pills/patches year after year.

Supplies for Practicing FAM:

*Kindara now has a special basal thermometer, WINK by Kindara, that will sync with the Kindara app! And, right now you can receive $10 off Wink by using this link: https://kindara.com/r/CiKs

The Basics of FAM:

The two main components for following FAM are taking your temperature and observing your cervical fluid.

At the same time each morning, before you do anything, take your temperature (this is your waking temperature.) Once you have taken your temperature, record it on your chart.

Each morning, my alarm goes off at 7 am and I immediately put my thermometer in my mouth. Once it beeps, I take it out, read the temperature and record it using my Kindara app. 

The second component is observing your cervical fluid. Cervical fluid can basically be categorized as dry, sticky, creamy or slippery/egg white. It is recommended to check your cervical fluid 3 times a day, including the morning and night.

I observe my cervical fluid throughout the day and record the ‘findings’ each evening on my chart. 

Charting plays a key factor in FAM, if you are properly recording your temperatures and cervical fluid classifications, then you will know when you are approaching ovulation and when you ovulate. This knowledge is informative both as birth control or if you are trying to achieve pregnancy.

You cannot simply rely on charting your temperature or observing cervical fluid, it is necessary to observe both of those factors to get an accurate picture of where your body is in your cycle. There are also general guidelines to follow regarding the times it is ‘safe’ to have intercourse if you’re using FAM as birth control that are too complicated to go into here. (They are detailed in Taking Charge of Your Fertility.)

This is just a brief overview of the basics, don’t use this information alone to try to naturally avoid pregnancy. 

My experience:

After reading through Taking Charge of Your Fertility, taking notes, beginning to observe my body and charting, I felt confident that we could be successful if we followed all of the guidelines.

Practicing FAM is quite difficult when breastfeeding delays ovulation, there’s really not much to observe. But, with careful observation, I was able to tell when I ovulated and my cycle returned 2 weeks later when my youngest was 13 months old. Having a cycle makes practicing FAM easy, I just wish I would have been educated about ovulation and a woman’s cycle before marriage which would have allowed me to completely avoid hormonal birth control.

If you are on hormonal birth control or plan to go on hormonal birth control, just know there is another way!

Note: This post is not shared as medical advice, it’s just a bit of my story and the basics of FAM. If you have an interest in following these methods, you need to educate yourself on the matter. 

*This post contains affiliate links that help support this site.

responses to “Fertility Awareness Method” 10

  1. I also wish I had known about this prior to getting married, it would have saved us a lot of grief while i was on the pill. So thank you for promoting it, I wish more people knew about it and that more realized how effective it really is!

    I commented on your first post about this, but just wanted to reiterate that taking a class is the best and easiest way to learn, especially as a couple. I personally know 2 people who read that book thinking they knew what they were doing and then conceived shortly after. Biggest thing was they didn't have an in-depth understanding and their spouse did not read the book, it was just summarized for them. This is certainly not necessarily the case for you or other who might choose to teach themselves, but having taken a class greatly increases the probability of long term success in my opinion. My 2 friends completely think FAM and NFP are ineffective and they are shocked that we have had such success in using it. They just aren't willing to be better informed.

    1. Great advice Rachel! While I do have a good understanding of the principles of FAM, I think I'd like to take a class especially since they come so highly recommended by you!

  2. Great post! Fertility Awareness is so great, and I wish more women would get on board if for no other reason than to learn more about their body and their health!

    I did want to add, however, that you CAN chart accurately by just observing cervical mucus. I use the Creighton method, but there's also Billings too. Both are highly effective, especially for people like me whose temperatures are hard to track. But women can choose for themselves which method works best for their body and lifestyle! It's great living artificial hormone free and knowing more about my body!

    1. Emily, I completely agree that more women should learn about their bodies. I tell friends who are birth control believers/have husbands who have had vasectomies to read this book just so they have a better understanding of their bodies. Reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility really allowed me to see the beauty of the way my body is designed to work.

      Thank you for sharing about charting via cervical mucus. I know each woman is different and what works for me doesn't work for all!

  3. I'm curious…what turned you away from using something like a spermicide or a barrier method. I'm thinking about going off my birth control pill and I'm just curious.

    1. For me, personally, spermicide was too harsh. I can't have it anywhere near my delicate bits! We still use condoms during fertile times, but I definitely prefer to not have a barrier between us. So, FAM really allows me to know my body, and have … barrier free fun. Trying to be subtle here, lol.
      I second the suggestion of classes! It's like with anything – taking a workshop on _________ is different than just reading a book. Even with simple things like sewing … I knew how to do it, but taking a class on special technique took me to another level.

  4. Hi there, I have used FAM for over 20 years… 11 of them it was my only birth control. I also conceived my son on the first try, and used FAM during breastfeeding. I can't say enough good things about it, as it's been such a huge blessing in my life. This is why I also learned to teach it! …which I have been doing for many years now. I HIGHLY recommend taking a class or having a consult in addition to reading the book. The method is much more effective when you get your questions answered, learn with a knowledgable teacher and have someone who can look at you individually and work with your charts/cycles specifically. There are several great teachers around the country and many also teach on-line. Feel free to visit my website http://www.graceofthemoon.com to check out what I offer. I can also refer you to a teacher in your area if I know of one. Happy charting! Sarah

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