First of all, I write this post out of love, remember that. ;) I just want you to get as much out of fertility awareness as you can and I absolutely hate to see people suffering with questions and confusions that can be answered and cleared up easily through a quick chat with a good teacher or a thorough learning of the fertility awareness method. I want to make sure you get the help you need.
I see a lot of crazy stuff when it comes to fertility charting.
Fertility awareness is awesome, make no mistake, but if you don’t do it right you can end up confused, frustrated, or even (god forbid) unexpectedly pregnant when you really don’t want to. I am so ridiculously anal about people getting a good education (and good answers to their questions) about this method because I have spent a lot of time confused myself and I see the same type of confusion every single day (I belong to lots of fertility awareness groups and forums). It almost literally hurts me when people don’t know what to do (and don’t realize that they should be doing something else) or that they are getting answers to questions that aren’t correct.
But you are here. You are obviously dedicated and want the right information and the right education (go you!), so I want to let you in on some of the common pitfalls I see when using the fertility awareness method.
1. Not checking your cervical fluid
Sorry, taking your temperature only does not mean you are using the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness. This includes over-reliance on temperature (such as after ovulation ignoring your peak day count) and thinking it’s more important than cervical fluid.
2. Not charting your cycle
You need to check your signs and write them down. If you don’t write them down you had better have a perfect memory or not care very much if you get pregnant. Even if you have the observation of “nothing,” it’s better to write it down and remember than forget.
3. Not getting a good education
If you simply read information online from random sources (do you even know if they are certified fertility awareness educators?) you are not going to have a full enough understanding of the method. Also, there aren’t good scientific studies of the efficacy of learning the method from a book. That’s why I recommend learning the method with a teacher, such as through the HER fertility program).
4. Not following the rules
You can chart your cycles perfectly, understand the method perfectly, but still decide to disregard the rules because you just don’t care. If you truly don’t care if you get pregnant, than that is fine and 100% your decision to make. If you don’t want to get pregnant and disregard the rules… Seriously? You’re playing with fire, dude.
If any of these seem to be true for you and you don’t want to get pregnant or want to get the most out of your fertility charting practice I suggest a reformation ASAP. A great place to start is somewhere like the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler or my awesome (if I do say so myself) HER fertility program.