Every month we have a friendly reminder that we were created female. Our menstrual cycle is obviously much more than just an inconvenience to manage. It’s an indication that we are, one day, likely going to be able to carry a new little life inside. Start thinking about your fertility now – even if you are single and not even dating anyone.
I remember being in a mentorship group of women who gathered every month to learn about different aspects of what it meant to be a woman. One of the questions we came upon was about birth control and determining which methods were healthy and honoring to God. Most of us in that group twenty-somethings were 100% single at the time, but we were determined to learn more about a subject we had hardly ever heard about from our Christian leaders.
Through research in books and online, I have come to the conclusion that using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) or Natural Family Planning (NFP) is best for me.
To put it very simply: I started tracking my cycles before I got married. More than circling the start and end dates of my period on a calendar (I DO NOT recommend the calendar or rhythm method!!!), I tracked two fertility signs every day. I recorded my Basal Body Temperature (BBT) upon waking and observed my cervical fluid (or mucus) throughout the day. The purpose of tracking these signs helped me to become “body literate” and aware of when I was fertile and when I was not.
In marriage, my husband adopted the role of “NFP record taker” so that he is involved and aware of what’s happening in my body. It’s been a wonderfully unifying experience and we don’t have to worry about unwelcome side effects that can happen when taking “the pill”. There are many articles and papers written about the oral contraceptive controversy, but you can look in to that further for yourself.
Both books pictured above are books that were helpful for me to learn NFP. Many people believe myths that NFP is too difficult, that it is not effective, and that it is unromantic. I have found that although it takes intentionality to learn, it is well worth the effort. It has been extremely effective for us and those who use it conscientiously. Also, it’s been very romantic to have my husband interested and aware of what is going on in my body and I love having a teammate in this sphere.
I have listed below some additional resources that offer helpful information. Be mindful that they are not all “Christian” websites and carry various worldviews. It’s important to read this with a discerning mind.
Women’s Health & Fertility