Updated: Apr 2
#1: Be your own doctor: by charting your cervical fluid and basal body temperature you'll see what your estrogen and progesterone are up to!
Abundant estrogen creates a clear cervical fluid pattern leading up to ovulation, keeps your temps in a stable low range, and initiates ovulation in a timely manner.
Robust progesterone dries up cervical fluid, boosts your temps into a steady high range, mellows out your mood, enhances sleep and appetite, and protects you from too much estrogen. 12-16 high temps after ovulation indicates that you have enough progesterone.
#2: Identify your most fertile days for conceiving
Cervical fluid is our #1 sign of fertility, but many couples don't know about it; instead, they rely on timing sex for day 14 of their cycle, using a fertility app, or assuming the best time to try is somewhere in the middle of their cycle. But THE KEY is cervical fluid!
In one survey of 204 women, only about 13% could identify their fertile window!
#3: Discover the reason behind your cycle problems
Without charting your cycles, you might guess that your painful periods, PMS, bad moods, long cycles, and weird spotting are "just how it is," or maybe due to stress.
FAM can take out the guesswork and show you WHY these things might be happening, such as low progesterone, no ovulation, delayed ovulation, weak estrogen, and patterns that point towards factors like nutrient deficiencies and lifestyle factors, or conditions like PCOS, hypothalamic amenorrhea, or endometriosis.
#4: It's not all random
Many women believe their bodies ovulate and menstruate at random, while creating a bunch of weird issues along the way.
FAM shows you that there is rhyme and reason!
When you chart, you'll start to have lightbulb moments: that sudden angry mood always happens midway through your luteal phase, the spotting you see is actually from ovulation, or when you binge on donuts before your period you get bad cramps. And so forth!
In this chart we can see ovulation happened around day 10 because the temp jumps high on day 11, and cervical fluid (represented by the blue bars) quickly dries up. From here we can count forward 12 - 16 days and know that menstruation will start somewhere in that 4-day window, since 12 - 16 days is the maximum amount of time the rest of the cycle will be after ovulation unless pregnancy or an ovarian cyst occurs. This chart was made using the Read Your Body app.
#5: Know when it's safe to have unprotected sex, if you're trying to avoid pregnancy
Yes, you CAN actually have unprotected sex for the majority of your cycle and not get pregnant! We are only fertile for about 1/3 of our entire cycle, and FAM has specific rules and protocols for helping you identify when these days occur as you observe and chart your fertility signs.
Note: teaching yourself FAM via a book or website is not using the method to its highest efficacy. Learning with a certified teacher will ensure you get the 98-99% perfect use effectiveness that is possible with FAM.
#6: See if and when you ovulate
Ovulation is the main event of the cycle! Without ovulation we do not have menstruation* and we cannot menstruate until we have ovulated. By tracking cervical fluid and/or basal body temperature, you can know for sure if you ovulate (and the approximate day that you did ovulate).
*Not all bleeding is true menstruation: bleeding that occurs while taking hormonal birth control is not a true period since ovulation is suppressed, and likewise, breakthrough and withdrawal bleeding during cycles without ovulation is not a true period either.
I've been charting my cycles since 2011 and I am still learning new things about my body, my cycle, and my life based on what my chart shows me! What's the #1 amazing thing FAM has shown you?