When I began my training in anatomy and physiology I was quite frankly, horrified, at my lack of understanding about female hormones despite being in my 40s and having had two birth children.
I couldn't believe what I was learning about the hormonal system and fertility.
Rather than my body being something that could randomly get pregnant whenever it felt like it - I found out that once released from the ovary, eggs can only live for less than 24 hours and can only be fertilised for less than 10 of those.
Even more interestingly, ovulation is not something that just happens in secret - we can observe and chart it happening through taking our basal body temperature every morning.
Recently I decided I really needed to find out more about this and came across a great book Taking Charge Of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler - which I would highly recommend.
“WOW, WOW, WOW” I thought… “but, how come no one ever talks about this as a form of contraception? It must be because it’s super unreliable?”
However as I looked in to it more I found several published studies which found natural family planning using two indicators were as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies.
The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also found natural family planning to be over 99% effective when used correctly (2015).
So in my usual way I have now been studying through the training to become a Natural Family Planning Teacher and I’m just about to sit my exams so I can teach people how to use this method.
Way beyond the benefits of a non-hormonal form of contraception you also get to understand your own hormonal cycles and become a better observer of your body and it’s health.
The US are way ahead of us on this. It’s been renamed “Fertility Awareness” - which I really much prefer – and you will find lots of information online if you search this phrase.
More coming from me soon…
Also, I know lots of you have enjoyed the Kelly Brogan book I suggested last time. Just to let you know she is coming to the UK next month – I am going to the practitioner day on the 17th July but she is doing another lecture for the public the day before. I’m sure it will be really interesting and I know she’s a big fan of Fertility Awareness!