By monitoring your menstrual cycle every day (whether or not you are ovulating), you will be able to get a bird’s eye view of your individual fertility patterns.
We all know that menstrual cycles aren’t predictable. They aren’t always regular and can vary from moth to month. They come and go when they please. Ovulation may happen more than once in between menstruation. This is because every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. Depending on individual lifestyles and factors like stress, physical activity and hormone levels, your monthly cycle may be hard to monitor. Whether you are trying to get pregnant, trying to avoid unwanted pregnancy, or perhaps simply interested in keeping track of your menstrual cycle, knowing when you ovulate can be a stress-free experience and is of great help to any woman.
Some women can be pregnant and continue to have periods at the same time. Sometimes women have gotten pregnant during their menstrual period. It’s true that most women will have cycles that are around 28 days. However, some women may menstruate every 3 to 4 months. Ovulation usually occurs about 14-16 days before women have their period. In some cases, women may ovulate twice in a month, once from each ovary.
Fertility awareness refers to a set of practices used to determine the fertile and infertile periods of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods can also be used to monitor gynecological health. Fertility awareness practices rely on observation of changes in the body’s fertility signs: basal body temperature, increase and changes in cervical mucus texture, breast tenderness, menstrual cycle phases and occurrence of ovulation. The fertile period can be identified based on carefully tracking and examining these changes in your body. Many women opt for urine test strips known as ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), and microscopic examination of saliva or cervical fluid. When women have complete and accurate information about their bodies, they are empowered to make their own decisions, are more likely to identify any abnormalities in their reproductive health and take control of their lives.
Natural family planning is a term that refers to family planning methods that rely on a women being able to track her fertility pattens on a monthly basis. This method depends on abstinence from sexual intercourse during the woman’s fertile time of the month.
Advantages of using Natural Family Planning methods:
- No health risks or side effects to the woman’s body as there are no artificial substances.
- Can be used to plan or prevent pregnancy.
- It is inexpensive.
- Effective if used correctly and consistently, regardless of how regular the menstrual cycle is.
- Acceptable for couples with religious concerns about contraception.
- Increases a woman’s self-awareness and understanding of her body.
- Couples may develop better communication, cooperation, intimacy and understanding.
- For couples who choose to have sexual intercourse during the fertile period, the use of barrier methods at that time can offer protection against pregnancy.
For those women who wish to know more about learning how to interpret their natural fertility signs, check out the Billings Ovulation Method. Visit Natural Family Planning Association – Ontario website for more information.
*Please note that Baby Time™ is not intended to be used as a means of contraception. Baby Time™ can be used in conjunction with other Natural Family Planning methods. It has been approved by Health Canada strictly as an ovulation tester. The intent of this website is not to provide specific medical advice, but to provide users with information to better understand their health. You must consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.