When I first started charting my cycles I wanted to do it purely, 100%, for the natural birth control method it’d provide me. I didn’t want to be on hormones, didn’t want to keep my IUD, and didn’t have any other alternative that I wanted to use, so charting my cycles it was!
While I thought it was pretty neat that charting was based off of fertility signs that were determined by what was going on with your hormones, I really only thought that that was important so that I had the most accurate data for when I was actually fertile and wasn’t relying on past cycles (ala the rhythm method).
All this made for an awesome birth control method (and a great way to know when I’m fertile for when I wanted to have a baby, too). But then I started charting my cycles and my thoughts were a little bit different…
Why does my temperature keep dipping down after it already went up?
Why do I have SO MUCH CERVICAL FLUID?
Umm.. Did I really just not ovulate? What the crap is going on?
And I quickly realized two things:
1.) my health wasn’t as perfect as I thought, and
2.) Fertility awareness was good for way more than just birth control.
Being able to see exactly what was happening in each of my cycles instead of just knowing when my period came every month turned out to be invaluable in finding and fixing hormonal issues that I had.
I found out they were there because of the fact that I was checking these signs that were told me what was happening in my body at that exact time. There was no guessing what was happening based on just a cycle length and a period (or lack thereof!).
And that was where the real magic started happening for me, that was when I saw how valuable fertility awareness truly was. (P.S. That was also what made me want to take a class, find out there were barely any certified fertility awareness educators out there, and decide to become one myself).
Since I was not only able to see what was going on with my cycles but also how they changed over time with different lifestyle and diet changes I was able to figure out my hormonal difficulties with ease (or, with more ease than I figure I would have, especially since I didn’t even really realize I had hormonal difficulties in the first place).
So let’s jump into the three ways fertility awareness can help with your hormonal imbalance:
1.) Figuring out your hormonal imbalances in the first place
There are many things you can see on a fertility chart. These include various problems with estrogen and progesterone balance, thyroid health, cervical health, symptoms related to your hormones, and much more.
The reason you can see this so well is that the fertility signs you check on a daily basis are all influenced by what is going on with your hormones at that time. For example, If you see that you have cervical fluid that seems more fertile in quality during your luteal phase (that’s the part that happens after you ovulate), you have an indicator that your progesterone may be low. Why? Because progesterone levels at their height dry up cervical fluid. You can also see low progesterone in a variety of other ways.
Having this information gives you a basis of what is going on in your body and the groundwork for what you can try to do to fix it.
2.) Assessing and making lifestyle changes to see how they change your hormones
This is by far my favorite part about having my fertility awareness information.
When you are keeping track of your cycles you initially see something that might need to be fixed. Next you figure out ways in which you can work towards a resolution of that hormonal balance. Usually that’ll include multiple different aspects that you can work on (for instance, diet, movement/exercise, emotional, stress, etc.).
For example, if you had multiple symptoms and things on your chart showing low progesterone levels you would be able to research different things you can do for low progesterone (or causes of low progesterone to see why it might be an issue for you), then decide which method you want to focus on first and go from there.
As you make changes you also see the changes on your charts in real time. Freakin’ magical.
You can take this methodical approach because of the consistent feedback you are getting from your body. You see how much one thing helps (or if it does nothing at all), and move onto the next thing without issues.
And the random kind of weird benefit to your hormones
This one may seem a little out there, so bare with me, but many women report their cycles regulating more just from simply charting their cycles. Yep, it’s true!
I suspect that this touches on the mind/body connection and how if we are more accepting of our cyclical nature and cycles we would be more likely to experience them “as they should be”.
Has charting helped you figure out a hormonal imbalance? Are you starting to chart for hormonal health reasons? Let me know in the comments.