By Whitney Miley-Price
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is an observation-based practice of observing and charting one’s daily fertility signs - cervical fluid and basal body temperature - and applying a set of physiology based guidelines to either avoid or achieve pregnancy depending on the user’s goals. Some notable studies have found the FAM’s effectiveness as a contraceptive method to be as high as 99.4-99.6% with perfect use and 98.2% with typical use. The practice can also be used to gauge hormonal health and track gynecological conditions. Quite simply, FAM gives users the needed tools to be the expert of their own bodies and cycles of fertility.
When determining if the Fertility Awareness Method is right for you, there are a few things to consider. First, technology serves as no substitute for physiology. Femtech is having its day and there are several algorithm-based devices and apps available that claim to predict one’s fertile window with precision and accuracy. However, research supports that observation-based methods offer higher efficacy than calculation-based ones that do not take into account what the user is observing in their own body on any given day.
Because the Fertility Awareness Method is a daily observation practice, it is applicable for any person with the capacity to menstruate, regardless of how “regular” their cycles are or not. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to birth control and not everyone will find the practice suitable for their lifestyle or self-care capacity; however, all menstruating bodies deserve access to informed decision-making around their reproductive health and contraceptive options. The Fertility Awareness Method is both effective and safe, and as the only form of contraception with zero side effects, it deserves a closer look.
If you'd like to learn more about The Fertility Awareness Method, sign up here for Whitney's class starting on January 11 or follow along to see when she will next be at The Family Room or nearby.