Women Tell Us How They Felt After Switching to FABMs
Charting. NFP. Temping. Whichever name you’ve heard them called, these general examples of Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) are a relatively new way of looking at women’s reproductive health.
Scientifically-based modern FABMs are nothing like your grandmother’s rhythm method. By observing how your cervical mucus, temperature, periods, and moods fluctuate, a FABM gives you a deeper understanding of your body’s unique needs, imbalances, and overall health. We asked several women to share the surprising things they learned after using a FABM. Here’s what they had to say.
1. FABMs can give you a heads up about Aunt Flo’s visits
Kayla, a busy working mom of a baby boy, uses Clue, a smartphone app and online platform for period and ovulation tracking. “I started using it when we were planning to have a baby.” She appreciates, “when it approximates the time my menstrual period is going to come so it allows me to be prepared for that. When I start breaking out or feel bloated, and I check the [Clue] calendar, I’m like, ‘Oh, no wonder.’ No one ever likes being unprepared for that.”
2. FABMs can help you and your doctor investigate a possible hormone imbalance.
Christina, a stay-at-home mom to a baby boy and a part-time freelance writer, had been dealing with severe PMS for years when she finally decided to get to the root of the issue. “I took a class, started charting, and went to a NaPro doc who did a full hormone panel based on my charting. That’s how I found out I had a progesterone deficiency. I started taking progesterone supplements prescribed by my doctor, and I immediately noticed a reduction in my symptoms.”
3. FABMs help support a healthy pregnancy.
Christina also shares, “I continued to take the supplements once my husband and I got married and were trying to conceive. When we conceived our son, I continued to take the supplements through the second trimester, because I learned that low progesterone can cause early miscarriage. Our son was born in November, and I plan on getting another full panel after my cycle returns.”
4. FABMs can tell you exactly when you’re fertile.
Carolyn Svellinger, an artist and mom of 5 boys, writes, “It’s important that I consistently “temp” (take my temperature) so that when it rises/spikes—even if the spike is only up to 98.6 degrees—that temperature, in combination with my other measurements, signals the onset of ovulation. If during ovulation, I conceive a human life, my temperature remains high and will not drop again until either: I have a miscarriage or give birth. If I don’t get pregnant, my temperature drops back down to vampire status and I start my period (which would be a walking paradox for a vampire).”
5. FABMs provide the healthiest way to avoid pregnancy.
Newly wed 8 months ago, Elise has been using the Creighton method and the ClearBlue Easy monitor. She admits, “Learning my body’s rhythm hasn’t always been easy—I had anxiety about unplanned pregnancy and I have had to learn how to interpret and trust my body’s signs and the NFP method. But over time I’ve grown to be more confident in my ability and the science behind NFP. I have peace of mind knowing that I’m naturally avoiding pregnancy without chemical synthetic hormones.”
6. You don’t have to be “regular.” There is a perfect fit for you out there.
Kristine, a registered nurse and nursing mom of 2, works the night shift at a hospital emergency department. She tells me, “I use [an app called] Groove. I can’t use the temp part because my sleep patterns are different. But I log cervical fluid and periods.” While Kristine’s cycle happens to be very regular, she says, “It makes you know your body more. It’s just part of a routine. And then you just start to know your body, that you can just tell when you’re fertile or not. It’s kind of like if you’re measuring food everyday, you start to memorize almost exactly what 5 ounces of rice looks like.”
Commonly used FABMs include the Sympto-thermal, Marquette, Billings Ovulation, Creighton, FEMM, and Standard Days method among many others. As FABMs gain more traction, more charting apps are giving women tools to monitor their cycles and spot changes that could identify possible risks or problems. Start out by learning about your options and what is the best fit and finding a trained FABM instructor near you. Your health and wellbeing deserve it.