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In this blog post, I am sharing with you my thoughts on using the fertility awareness method for birth control after my 1-year experience.
October 2019 is when everything started; my first appointment with my FAM advisor and the first cycle analysis.
To get into context, I was kind of lost in this period when it came to my cycle and birth control. I just learned about the method and took the plunge without really knowing what I was doing. I just told myself I had nothing to lose.
Let me explain.
What the contraceptive pill taught me
My story with birth control began back in 2013. I didn’t have 18 years yet that I was already taking hormones on a daily basis.
Because we can all agree with the fact that as teenagers, no one tells us about how the menstrual cycle works.
Moreover, when talking about birth control, we only get to know about two options (at least, that’s how it was when I grew up); the pill and condoms.
And because condoms “aren’t nice to wear” according to these gentlemen (poor guys), we are basically left with the pill between our hands.
So this is why I took the pill for 4 years until I decided to get off of it for two main reasons:
- I didn’t need a birth control anymore
- I started hearing that hormones weren’t good at all for the body
And that’s when the problems began – or at least, that’s what I thought. Because in fact, I didn’t notice how much the pill affected negatively my body as soon as I started taking it.
It was actually a lot, but it’s only when I got off of hormones that I realized the side effects of them. I had really bad hormonal acne, lost my periods for 8 months, and once they came back, I was struggling with pain every month.
But after all of this, I also noticed some positive changes. My sex drive came back and I lost some pounds that seemed to be stuck in my body forever. If you want to learn about what I experienced when going off the pill, I explained everything, with all my authenticity, in this article.
Anyways, I quickly realized that hormonal birth control is not as ideal as we let us think it is.
This is when I promised myself to never go back to hormones again.
Why the fertility awareness method
At the time, I didn’t care about not taking birth control anymore since I was single. However, the question arose once I met my actual boyfriend.
(Because in 2018, I still didn’t know anything about hormone-free contraceptives – and I was 23).
By doing my research, I found Daysy; a fertility monitor that claimed (back then) to act as a birth control. Because of its price (460$), it convinced me that it was reliable. Plus, it was completely natural!
However, a few months using it, I noticed the data wasn’t very accurate. Because I started doubting the monitor, I asked a family planning center for advice.
That’s when I met my advisor who told me why Daysy wasn’t accurate as a birth control. If you’re interested, I explain everything in this article.
Later on, she also told me about the fertility awareness method and offered me to try it.
The first doubts
If you don’t know anything about the FAM, I suggest you read my blog post about it or do your own research so you know basically how it works.
Since it is a perfectly natural contraceptive, it takes a little bit more time and effort to learn how it works rather than taking a pill every day.
And I’m not going to lie. In the beginning, I was scared for the method to be too complicated to apply on a daily basis.
Because besides having to take your temperature every day, you also have to check your cervical mucus, analyze your cycle, and make concessions when it comes to having sex.
Is this really worth it? Will I be able to maintain this throughout my whole life?
Despite all the questionings, I still decided to go for it. You will see that today, I have a clear opinion on it.
My opinion on using the fertility awareness method for birth control
It is back in October 2019 that I started with the FAM. My advisor followed me for 5 months and I still get to learn more about my body, cycle by cycle.
One year later, my thoughts on the FAM are very clear; it completely changed the way I see my body, fertility, and menstrual cycle.
Still today, I can’t believe I only learned about this method at 24 years old when we learn about the pill even before having our periods… WHY?!
*Oh, yeah. The pill is a source of revenue for the pharmaceutical industry, that’s why!*
Before going crazy (because this topic really annoys me lol), let me tell you the foundations of my opinion.
I learned how the women’s body works (better later than never)
And no, I didn’t know before why we have cervical mucus. Not even did I know that the consistency changed throughout the cycle and that these variations meant something. Woo-hoo!
But seriously, I had no idea that our cycle had such an impact on the cervical mucus, temperature, mood, and why.
I didn’t know that having painful periods is not normal. Nor did I know that PMS could be healed naturally with food and stress management.
All these things that aren’t told to women, I learned them with the fertility awareness method. I learned how my body works and what works for my body.
Now, I go through my cycle much better than before. Also, it motivates me to keep a healthy lifestyle, that will benefit my hormones.
No side effects
Obviously, no hormones means no side effects. Libido goes nowhere, no weight gain, no mood swings. Not even a slight hormonal imbalance once you decide to go off of it for XYZ reason. And this, girl, is everything.
No costs that will make our dear pharmaceutical industry wealthier
Here, the costs only consist of the follow-up with an advisor and a thermometer. Actually, I see this as an investment.
An investment for my health, my cycle, my fertility, which I know won’t be affected by artificial hormones.
The method? It’s child’s play!
As mentioned before, I was a bit skeptical of all the factors that came into play. But to be honest, you get used to it.
Just as you took the habit of scrolling through social media during your lunch break, you get used to taking your temperature and checking your cervical mucus. And yes, it takes less time than you scrolling through your Instagram feed, so no excuses!
Besides the steps being pretty easy to implement into your lifestyle, the procedure gets more flexible once you know how your body works. Of course, you still have to keep a decent rhythm, but forgetting to take your temperature once in a while won’t be a big deal, especially in some periods of your cycle.
It does work
No, I wouldn’t rave about this method and recommend it to you if it didn’t actually work. Besides it being natural, the FAM has the same effectiveness ratio as the pill (98%), if it is applied correctly.
The fertility awareness method has been a disclosure
Now that I learned not to depend on hormones anymore, there’s no way I’ll go back to them.
And, as in everything, there are negative sides to the method too. You have to protect yourself for some time periods (or have sex in other ways – because NO, it’s not all about penetration) and some values can become inapplicable if you get sick or have a few mojitos on weekends.
Once again, every person experiences it differently, and honestly, you get to adapt yourself! When considering the pros and cons, it was clear to me.
I’d rather abstain from a few drinks and non-protected sex than to rely on a pill that could cause hormonal imbalances (let alone acne, amenorrhea, PCOS, and endometriosis).
Obviously, every woman is different, and I’m not here to tell you it will work for everyone. However, I would recommend every woman to learn more about the method so they learn to know about their body too. Trust me, it is life-changing.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the FAM, here are some resources that may help.
- Best selling book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”
- Free printable charts
- MABIS Basal Digital Thermometer
There you have my thoughts on using the fertility awareness method for birth control. If you have any other questions leave them on the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram @vlourish!