When I decided to use fertility awareness I read a book on how to chart and interpret my cycles, but soon after wanted to take a class. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly and meet some other people using it. I was also keen to have my partner come to the class with me since he (unsurprisingly) hadn’t read the book with me.
You may be in a similar space to that right now, or you may just be exploring learning fertility awareness and wondering where to start. Or, you may have already learned but aren’t sure if you understand the method fully yet.
There are basically three ways to learn fertility awareness, and depending on what you want to get out of your education, the time you want to put in, your impatience to use the method, and the money you want to spend there will be ways that are better or worse for you.
There are also a couple of ways you should absolutely NOT learn the method.
On to the (acceptable) ways to learn….
1.) Read a book
Obviously you should like reading and learn well from books to learn the method this way, but other than that met me tell you some of the advantages and disadvantages.
- Low cost (seriously, you can often find a book like Taking Charge of Your Fertility at your library or buy it used on Amazon for a few dollars).
- Takes a while to learn initially and will generally take the longest to assimilate. That means if the ONLY thing you do is read a book, you will probably take a while until you feel comfortable enough with the method to use it because you will only have the information in the book and then have to observe your body as the only feedback. This isn’t a bad thing, you just have to keep in mind that it’s good for people who are super curious and want to do a lot of observation and research on their own.
- No support. You aren’t meeting other people that are learning the method or seasoned professionals.
- There is the possibility you will still need help.
2.) Learn via book and get one-on-one help from an instructor
- Still pretty low cost, depending on the method you choose to work with an instructor (I have a new way in the works that I’m super excited about!).
- Get the added feedback from an instructor that will help you understand everything more quickly. In other words, you can use the method as birth control with great efficacy more quickly.
- It’ll take a while to learn. You need to do all the beginning preparatory work and then you will need to follow-up with an instructor and then probably observe for a while longer.
- A bit more expensive than just reading a book.
3.) Taking a class with an instructor
Most classes include one-on-one time with an instructor, so I am speaking as if this is included.
- Least time, from beginning to learn until using the method as birth control.
- If you are trying to get pregnant or working on something with your hormonal health an instructor can help pinpoint any issues.
- Support from an instructor while learning and sometimes peer-support depending on the class you choose (mine definitely include this).
- This is the priciest option, but for a reason (see the benefits above), though depending on the support you need it may even out, cost-wise, with the other methods, anyway.
Now, like I mentioned, there are a couple ways you should NOT learn…
1.) Downloading an app and trying to figure it out from the info in the app.
Oh helllll no. Have you been following here for long? See this post and quickly be cured of the desire to do this.
2.) Gleaning info online and thinking you’ve got it.
This includes the info here, on fertility friend, taking charge of your fertility website, app websites, etc. It’s not a complete education and not going to get you where you need to be to use the method as birth control, or often really understand enough to figure it out if you are trying to get pregnant, either.
Are you looking to learn fertility awareness? Have you learned already and are you satisfied or not with the way you learned? Let me know in the comments!