The manly men behind fertility awareness

posted on May 24, 2015 by Emily Kennedy Emily Kennedy

A few weeks ago I was inspired, truly inspired, by a young couple in my fertility awareness class. In fact, they taught me. She was 30, and he was a mere 26. Attractive, professional young couple, set to be married in 5 months, with a bright future ahead of them.

It wasn’t always the case. She was moving on from a colorful past and now was glowing with the prospect of becoming the bride of an exceptional young man.

I admired her openness and honesty about her story, and her determination to make better choices. She had used the pill and knew by experience it was not good for her. There was to be no more compromising her health for the sake of fleeting pleasure. She was engaged. Now, as she was learning to be a natural woman, free of barriers and synthetic hormones, she was making herself ready to be a wife, and, if all goes well, a mother.

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

What made this woman change from a woman with artificial hormones morphing her brain and body to a woman who is actively treating the inflammation caused by the pill and monitoring her reproductive potential?

You may be tempted to say, “Oh, she’s 30, she’s just feeling the clock ticking.” But as I got to know this couple I very much doubt that that’s the only reason.

The young man was the keenest student I have had thus far. During the introductory session, he asked many questions, the analytical questions of a mind envisioning what this fertility awareness would mean for his future, and that of his wife and future family. He paid attention to the science and definitions of markers of female fertility. During our first follow up he even showed a greater understanding of the specific phases of the menstrual cycle than his fiancée. He knew his stuff, or rather, his partner’s stuff.

How many men do you know who actually care about what happens in a woman’s body every month? As an aside, on Mother’s Day, I caught a father and his teenage son cracking jokes while trying to choose a pack of sanitary napkins. Obviously a fun errand mom had sent them on, but it illustrates the common attitude men, and would-be men, can have about “women stuff.”  Oy…

Real men know and respect what it means to be a woman. In respecting their female partners, friends and family members, they are protecting the dignity of women, saying “yes, be what’s real. Be you, be truly woman, instead of hiding it with drugs.” It takes a manly man to show that kind of respect.

Back to this one engaged man. He was a “manly” man. Into gadgets and working out. Lots of testosterone. And he was psyched about participating in natural, procreative aspect of his upcoming marriage. Yes, of course, he was looking forward to the honeymoon, but at the present moment, he was keyed up for learning the ovulation method and what it meant for them. He knew beyond a reasonable doubt that he and his future wife would be enjoying a heightened sexual relationship as they were empowered with the knowledge of how to postpone pregnancies without compromising her body.

This man was in the driver’s seat of his future marriage and future family. I believe that as they sat and listened to me talk about the nitty gritty of charting her cycles he knew this choice meant he and his wife-to-be would be in full control of when they became parents – for the rest of their lives.

Had this man been less keen on going au naturel with monitoring their fertility, do you think his fiancée would be so proactive in seeking treatment for the damage the pill had done to her body and reforming her lifestyle?

People love to say that behind every great man there’s a great woman. Well, I’d like to think that behind every natural woman, there’s a natural man. Of course men are not prey to hormones that make them less natural. Natural men quietly uphold and protect their women so that they can be free to be the truest version of themselves. They observe, understand and embrace the changes that we go through in our cycles. That’s how manly men love.

Thank you to this couple for teaching me to trust that men can be interested in fertility awareness, too. In a perfect world, all husbands and future husbands would attend fertility awareness sessions with their spouses and support them in learning how their bodies work. We need more men to take an interest in the health of their female loved ones and bring women’s health issue out into the open.

Posted by Emily Kennedy Emily Kennedy
Emily Kennedy, MSc is a nutritionist health coach and fertility educator in Raleigh, NC. She loves all things natural and evidence-based, especially if it leads to something good to eat.

One Response to The manly men behind fertility awareness

  1. Avatar Nancy DeMaria says:

    Hi Emily! Great post! I live in NC as well, where in NC are you? Would love to connect!