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August 2016 - Fertility Awareness

What do you know about fertility awareness? Do you know when women are optimal to conceive? 
Listen to CNM Anne Margolis's tips on fertility awareness and take ownership of your reproductive health!
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Click HERE to watch a video from Anne Margolis, CNM, about fertility awareness! Don't forget to visit our blog to read more about the topic! 
Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol
What is fertility awareness?

Simply, it is a method (system) of knowing your body’s menstrual cycles and signs of fertility. It is used in order to prevent pregnancy or to increase your chances of getting pregnant, and when you get pregnant – to get a more accurate estimate of your due date, which prevents unnecessary risky interventions, like induction for postdates when you are not passed term at all.  It also has many other benefits like empowering you with knowledge of your own body’s normal functioning so you can embrace your symptoms as signs of health without feeling dirty, shame or embarrassment. You can actually know you are ovulating without ovulation kits, know you are probably pregnant without pregnancy tests, and even if you had an early miscarriage, which is very common and actually a sign of fertility. By keeping track of your cycles, you can better detect when something is off – from gynecologic and urinary tract infections, hormonal imbalances to cervical problems; it helps you and your health care provider figure out issues behind infertility, and prevents its false diagnosis when you are just missing the narrow fertile window, which saves you from invasive and costly diagnostic and treatment procedures. It also significantly reduces the chances of unplanned pregnancy, which accounts for the majority of pregnancies!

Let’s begin by debunking the myth that most women are fertile on day 14 of their cycle. While it is true that some women are, most are not. We must remember that we all have different cycles ranging on average from 24 to 36 days, and sometimes longer. On top of that, our cycles change over time and depending on what is happening in our lives at that moment  - travel, stress, illness and health issues, medications, sudden weight changes, and even working night shifts, etc, can all bring changes to our cycles. In fact, the same woman could be fertile on day 14 on one month and in the next month it may be day 16 or 20 for example. There is much variation in the time between last period and ovulation, but once ovulation occurs, there is a finite length of time (usually 12-16 days) before next period, unless you get pregnant. Think about fertility not as a “day” but rather of a period of time when you ovulate, and make the most cervical fluid. Cervical fluid keeps sperm alive longer and enables them to travel way up into your fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg (s); it also makes intercourse so much more enjoyable for both you and your partner. You will notice that your vagina is moist, wet, lubricated and supple; and it is no wonder that some women have higher sexual arousal around the time of ovulation – remember inherent within the incredible divine wisdom of mother nature, a healthy woman’s body is perfectly designed to make healthy babies and populate the world. Fertility awareness does require you to make observations about your body on a daily basis and record your observations on a chart or journal of some sort, but it is free, safe and effective for healthy women when used correctly, without the risks, side effects, and problems associated with other methods of birth control or fertility enhancement.

So, when are women most fertile?

As a woman, you are most fertile during your peak day of wetness. That is, the last day you produce the most cervical fluid, which usually happens the day before or day that you ovulate. You are also fertile several days before that, as soon as you start producing cervical fluid.  During this peak day you will also notice a change in your “basal body” temperature, and after ovulation, it stays elevated until your next period, or through your pregnancy. It’s not like you have a fever, but rather you’ll notice that your temperature rises slightly above your baseline. There are other signs of fertility, but knowing your dates and cervical fluid is most critical, in terms of timing when to have intercourse to get pregnant, and when to abstain from intercourse or use an additional form of contraception, like a condom or diaphragm during the 9-10 days of possible fertile days, in order to prevent pregnancy. The sperm can live up to 5 days in the cervical fluid, while the egg has a very short lifespan – at max 12- 24 hours. Therefore, it is possible to have intercourse one day, but not get pregnant until you ovulate several days later. 

To learn more about your cycles and signs of fertility, observe what your body is doing and keep track (record) of your cycles by charting them., There are many online FREE online programs for cycle charting such as and a wonderful book on the topic, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health” by Toni Weschler (

Whether you are looking to conceive or prevent pregnancy, getting to know your body will help empower you to take more control of your reproduction, embrace and promote your own optimal health and sexuality.


For pregnant mamas! ----- For more information about what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy, prepare your mindset for a deeply positive and rewarding childbirth experience , learn skills of relaxation and coping you can practice to easily tap into during labor and birth, understand about the anatomy and physiology of labor and pregnancy, and for all the inspiration you need to feel confident and empowered , take Home Sweet Homebirth's Online Comprehensive Childbirth Education Course! The course includes ten videos, ranging from optimal health in pregnancy, to coping techniques, to tips for partners, to the postpartum period, newborn care and breastfeeding! Plus, it includes many bonus materials, such as an interactive workbook, tea and herbal infusion recipes, a birth preferences checklist, birth supply lists, and more! It is everything you need to help you give birth YOUR way!  


Click the link below to purchase this course at an incredible value of only $79.99!
Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE healthy living ebook at


Click the link below to purchase this course at an incredible value of only $79.99!


Purchase Today
Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol
Love Anne, CNM at Home Sweet Homebirth
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