This is an excerpt from a new 5 day email course going deep into the benefits of the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness and includes loads of personal stories of mine from when I first learned about it, started using it, told my doctors about it, and more! If you want the full thing sign up below.
It’s so hard to take a big leap, even if you think it sounds amazing. Even if you are trying to replace something that isn’t serving you anymore.
I know because I was there, too.
When I first heard about the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness I thought it sounded really cool and was totally in line with my values (I’ll talk more about this stuff in the coming days). I kept it in the back of my head for when I was looking into a better form of contraception than condoms.
When that day came, I did end up learning about the method, but at the same time getting a copper IUD. What the hell, right? I figured two is better than one when you don’t want to get pregnant at all (at that point I actually never wanted to have kids).
So I read a big book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I had no doubts about the effectiveness of the method. I had heard, at least in passing, that women were not fertile every day of their cycle, so I already had that covered. Then, in my reading more about the method, I learned how the fertile phase can be reliably determined based on fertility signs and why they are so reliable and accurate (small hint: They fluctuate with your hormonal activity).
Seriously, this stuff was solid. No problemo.
And so I learned, charted half of that first cycle, and promptly “forgot” to bring my thermometer with me when going away for a weekend.
I now realize that I was totally scared and did not believe in myself at all, plus I had a crutch (the IUD), so what was the point of changing?
Looking back, here is what got me:
Ah fuck, can I make these interpretations?
What’ll my partner think?
But, like, taking my temperature every day… That seems… hard.
But, what if _____?
Why doesn’t anyone else seem to think this is an awesome idea?
Fast forward and I became all too familiar with the side-effects of the IUD. That and I had a constant fear of not only being pregnant, but having an ectopic pregnancy. I wanted it OUT. Only then did I pick up the sympto-thermal method again, but this time with a little more motivation.
After charting a full cycle I not only realized I had nothing to be afraid of, but also that the other benefits of using the method were so awesome that I was sad that I hadn’t kept up beginning with that first chart.
Yes, it took some time to figure everything out still, but it was 1000% (extra zero isn’t a typo) worth it and I am so glad I didn’t put it off any longer than I did.
I know the method isn’t right for everyone, but if you even THINK it might be right for you, I’d suggest learning and practicing ASAP. If nothing else, don’t worry about it as birth control, but use it as a self-awareness and self-care tool (the only thing is, you can’t use it if you are still on hormonal contraceptives, because that masks your natural hormones and your fertility signs. Bummer, I know).
As you may have figured out, I became so obsessed with this method I became a certified fertility awareness educator (fine, there might be a bit more to the story than that, like me wanting to find a class and realizing that there are barely any qualified teachers and in my characteristically Hannah-like manner I decided I then needed to become one).