Why did I start using fertility awareness? Well, a few reasons, really, and I am going to spend a couple posts talking about something I’d like to dub “The Lifestyles of the FAU (aka Fertility Awareness User).”
It’s sort of tongue in cheek, because anyone could certainly be a FAU, but the reality is most women are not (yet). In general, it takes a certain kind of person to use it or be interested in it (a special kind of person, I’d say ;)).
The reason most people don’t use it is due to exposure. You are obviously someone who knows a lot about your birth control choices, but not everyone is. A lot of people get exposure to different birth control methods via their friends and their doctors. If they aren’t in the right circles, they aren’t going to know that much about alternatives.
Having some kind of alternative bit of your lifestyle tends to put you around people who do things a bit differently, read things that are a bit different, or search for alternatives when the norm doesn’t line up with what you want or believe in.
My passions for health and sustainability are both really strong, and they both seep into all of my everyday decisions. Both of these things came into play when choosing to use fertility awareness. I also partially keep using it because of another passion of mine: Personal development.
I’m sure I won’t cover every reason that people choose to use fertility awareness (or that I did), I’m really just going into a couple, but I hope that this can help you see why people might choose to use it, help explain if it’s for you, and show what an awesome alternative it can be.
My beginnings with fertility awareness
My first decision towards fertility awareness was when I decided I’m not taking anything hormonal. I knew that I didn’t want to deal with any potential long or short term side-effects and didn’t like the environmental implications of coursing hormones through my body only to pee them into our water supply later.
But at first fertility awareness wasn’t the only conclusion. First, I decided to get a copper IUD and learn fertility awareness “on the side.” I was simply going to use it to have a second form of birth control during my fertile time.
I did start charting my cycles right away, but ended up ditching it after half a chart because of fears I had around using fertility awareness.
After having my IUD for 2 years I was getting really fed up with the side-effects. It gave me heavier bleeding, cramps, abdominal troubles, painful intercourse, and a leaking diva cup.
That’s when I got it out and started using fertility awareness full time.
Fertility awareness just so happened to fit perfectly into my lifestyle and values, which is probably why I have become obsessed and started learning everything I could and teaching the method.
Why did it fit into my values so well? Let’s begin….
Value #1: Minimalism
I like to consider myself a minimalist. I’m certainly not one that has only 100 things or anything like that, but I….
Don’t like having things I don’t use, especially not on a regular basis
I like to keep things simple
I like to clear out both physical and mental clutter
Keep a small wardrobe
Don’t have things in the kitchen that don’t do double duty
Live in a studio
…The list goes on…
It’s all with the intention of keeping my life simple. I can get overwhelmed with too much stuff and too much to do very easily (I think it’s due to being what some like to call a highly sensitive person, but I think it’s also because I feel compelled to finish things I start).
Instead of making life more complex and confusing I’ve found fertility awareness simplifies life. All I need is a thermometer to take my temperature and something to record my observations (paper or a phone with an app are the most common choices here).
It may sound really weird to you, but I also like not having to be reliant on an outside source. I feel comfortable in exactly what I have now (knowledge) and don’t need to worry about having a specific doctor around, or ever having something (either a right or something physical) taken from me and not being able to control something like whether or not I get pregnant anymore.
It all feels very simple to me, and fits in well with my minimalist style.
Having to have condoms and birth control packs lying around? Ugh.
Having to go to the doctor all of the time to renew scripts, get check-ups, or talk to them if anything is going funky? Ugh.
Minimalism is all about cutting out the unnecessary and letting more time and money go towards things that truly matter to you, so for me fertility awareness is a perfect fit because I want less:
- Doctors visits
- Money spent
- Bad stuff put in the environment
- Health issues
- Concerns over whether I’ll have my ability to freely use birth control taken from me
And I want more:
- Sex drive/pleasure
- Knowledge and skills that make me feel more self sufficient
- Knowledge about my health and care for my health
- Connection with my body
- Connection with my husband
Seems like a pretty good trade off to me! Even though fertility awareness is very scientifically studies it also feels very simple and very minimalistic, and that’s just the way I like it.
I’d like to here from you: Do you have a certain reason you use, or want to use, fertility awareness you think I should cover? Let me know in the comments!