• Lauren Baptiste

Wellness Coach Tip: Chart Your Fertility | Acheloa Wellness

Although charting your finances is incredibly important, charting your fertility is also critical. Okay, most of you reading this probably have no idea what I’m talking about, so let me take a step back.

Ladies, your body is smarter than you may think. Each month between puberty and menopause, your body prepares to have a baby. Throughout the month, hormones are in symphony to play a song. There are outputs to this “music” that indicate where you stand in the fertility cycle: body temperature, mucus quality, etc. These indicators can help you paint a very clear picture for your current and future health. The method of tracking these indicators is called “charting” or natural family planning (NFP).

Under the umbrella of NFP, there are several types of charting methods. Billings and the Creighton method are two of the more common methods. Regardless of the method you decide, NFP can be life changing. It was for me, which is why I wanted to share why I chart.

"Birth control isn’t for me."

When I was a teenager, I experienced a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was painful and caused me to pass out. I went to a doctor, she told me to use birth control to prevent the regrowth of these cysts. I was scared therefore, I followed what she said and I didn’t think anything of it until my mid-twenties. At the time, I didn’t know any other options.

Birth control affected my running career and my life overall. The excess estrogen slowed down my running pace, but it also impacted so much more. It made me an emotional roller coaster; it was telling my already broken body to stop showing symptoms of deficiencies. Birth control didn’t heal me; it masked the symptoms my body was trying to tell me. I always hated the effects of birth control on my body and mind, but didn’t think I had any other choice.

NOTE: just because birth control isn’t for me, doesn’t mean that there’s not a use for it in this world. I’d say that there absolutely is. I just think women should have the right to choose, especially since there are alternative options available.

Once I hit my twenties, I learned that women who were previously on the pill were having difficulties conceiving. When I researched the topic more, I learned it was women like me who were already suffering from hormone imbalances. From there, I decided that birth control wasn’t right for me and started researching preventative measures against ovarian cyst regrowth.

NFP is a natural way of understanding my monthly cycle.

The more I learn about my body, the more I’m amazed.

Earlier, I referenced that our hormones play a song, but we all know the difference between a good symphony and a mish-mosh of noise. If you have a normal, healthy cycle, it’s an amazing thing. If you don’t, which may be indicated by one of the following, then charting can pinpoint the causes and help you come up with a plan of action.

  • Days of brown bleeding as the start of your period

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Cycles longer than 35 days

  • Irregular periods

  • Really, really painful cramps (to the point where it's hard to function)

History repeats itself... if we do nothing about it

I love my family, but their hormones were not the best gift that was passed to me. My grandparents had multiple miscarriages; my immediate family has hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, emotional mood swings and other imbalances. Believe it or not, these are all tied together.

As I started charting, I learned that certain menstruation cycles, specifically shorter luteal cycles, can be indicative of a first trimester miscarriage. After charting for a few months, I saw that my body was demonstrating that pattern, which is terrifying, yet empowering. I turned to nutrition to pull me out of that pattern. It can take a few months to see the results, but re-writing heredity is incredible. I don’t currently have a child, but based on my charts, my future baby will now have better odds of pregnancy survival.

Now that I chart, my doctor and I are on the same page. I’ve consciously made the decision to not to give my future offspring these same “gifts” if I can help it. The list goes on and on for why families are charting fertility. Religion can play a big role here, but there are so many other health reasons you should also consider.

Imagine a world where students were taught charting as part of the health class curriculum in schools. Teenage women would have the best jump start on their health and not need to wait decades to be prudent with their fertility. They’d be able to better understand the choices they’re making for their bodies.

If you’re curious to learn more, ask your Gynecologist/OBGYN about NFP. These days, there are a ton of apps and software that can help you easily track your fertility.

Curious to learn how you can start tracking your cycle? Click here to speak with a member from our team to learn how you can begin to rewrite the future of your fertility.