You might be clicking on this article wanting some tips about cervical fluid or tempertures or some specifics of the sympto thermal method of fertility awareness or other fertility awareness based methods.
That isn’t this article. There are other articles I’ve written with tips going into more detail on those types of things. This article is meant for you if you are thinking about fertility awareness or just decided to use it and are kind of lost in the noise of it all.
What I want to address here are other little things that trip people up when they either consider using or are newbies to the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness (or other fertility awareness based methods).
- Figure out what you will do during the fertile phase – The sympto-thermal method is a fertility awareness based method, meaning you aren’t doing anything to eliminate your fertility, you are just recognizing when you have the potential to get pregnant. If you don’t want to get pregnant, during that fertile time each cycle you need to abstain, use another method, or avoid any sex that involves penis in vagina. If you don’t have a solid plan that both you are your partner are on board with, you will not be a happy camper using this method.
- Get a teacher – I have seen countless people start or want to start using the sympto-thermal method with good intentions, but then be derailed from the practice because there were just a few questions that they couldn’t figure out the answers to. That’s what teachers are for! If you are getting no, or conflicting, information elsewhere, don’t hesitate to talk to a teacher. Most of the time, questions can be answered in a short session so long as you already learned the method completely. Classes are also a wonderful idea, especially if you are still feeling significantly confused after reading a book.
- Don’t trust the machine over yourself – So many people decide to download an app and… that’s it! They aren’t really 100% sure how to use fertility awareness or even probably what it is or how it works. Instead of doing that you should choose a method, learn it thoroughly from a book or teacher, and then trust that YOU know better than that app that’s telling you you just exited your fertile phase when it looks to you like you are still in it (believe me, it happens all the time and it’s really easy to trust the app over yourself when you are new!).
- Remember it’s not socially normal – The reason I state this is because you might start having doubts. Doubts that the method works, doubts that you can actually make it work, doubts that it is easy enough to implement into your life, etc. I can not even begin to tell you how common that is. Just remember that you probably are thinking that way because you are doing something totally against the grain and it’s really easy to question your decisions when they are that far out there. Especially when it has to do with something as sensitive as birth control.
- Don’t pressure yourself – A lot of people start using the sympto-thermal method straight off of hormones. Even if not, it can still take a while to get to know your cycles. You do NOT need to use it as birth control right away. Instead, you might do best when you start off with the goal and getting to know your cycles and then starting to use it as birth control as you learn your body and trust the method more.
- Don’t expect perfect cycles right off the bat. If you are expecting to see textbook cycles, especially if you are coming off hormones birth control, breastfeeding, or using charting to figure out hormonal health concerns, you will probably be disappointed. I will say that as a teacher the charts that I see that look “normal” belong to about… 1 in 10 people? Most people have some crazy-ass charts and it might take some times for your hormones to regulate or you to figure out what support your body needs for great hormonal health.
Do you have any questions if you are just looking into FAM?
Are you a long time user with a favorite beginner tip for others?
Let me know in the comments!