I was introduced to "Fertility Awareness" in 2010 when I was searching for alternative birth control options. This discovery changed my life.
Before I became sexually active, I did what most girls do. I went to my gynecologist and got a prescription for the birth control pill because it's the only thing I knew to do. It worked fine for several years and I never thought twice about it. By 2008, at age 24, I started to realize that I felt awful. I had pains all over my body-my neck, my legs, my back, etc. I went to doctors and got on muscle relaxers to try and fix these mysterious pains. I also had headaches around the time I would start my period. My gynecologist at the time recommended that I drink a coke! I also had ongoing yeast infections. My gynecologist gave me medicine for this that never really seemed to fix the problem. My body felt tired and I mentioned to my husband that I just needed a hospital stay and maybe they could fix me. I had decreased sexual desire for my husband and just thought that was the way my body worked. On a side note, I wonder just how many divorces have been caused by the birth control pill?
At a routine dental cleaning appointment, my dentist discovered that I had receding gum lines and the beginnings of gum disease. He asked if I was pregnant since this can happen to some pregnant women. I answered no to being pregnant, but yes to being on the birth control pill. He informed me that my body was being tricked into thinking it had been pregnant for years. This is when it clicked for me that maybe all of my other problems were also the result of this one little pill! I went home and started researching like a mad person and found countless stories similar to mine or worse.
I soon threw away my prescription, changed gynecologists, and started reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. Within weeks of stopping the pill, all of my symptoms disappeared and I felt like a brand new person. I'm so thankful that I found her book because it changed my life and I learned so much about my body that I never knew! I learned how to track my fertility in order to avoid pregnancy and I used it in 2013 to achieve a pregnancy.
FAM does not include chemicals, devices, or doctors. It involves observation of primary fertility signs such as charting your basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and any other signs of ovulation you may have. It is very easy to learn, but does take time and commitment. Once learned, it can become a natural part of your daily life. I share my story in hopes of helping someone else that may be in a situation like I was in.
I am currently in a two year training program at Justisse Healthworks for Women to become a certified Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP). Once certified, I will teach the Justisse Method of charting. I currently offer information about my experience with FAM to women looking for a natural birth control option or for others that may be trying to conceive. I also run a local support group on Facebook where we share our charting stories, experiences, and insights! Please message me if you are interested in joining. I will begin seeing clients for chart reviews in summer 2017 during my supervised practicum. I look forward to learning so much more so that I can better serve the ladies in my community and all over the world.