Natural Birth Control & Fertility Awareness Education

Q&A ~ Charting Tips

Fertility Awareness charting tips, Q&A with Leilani, and all things holistic medicine and menstrual cycle health.

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Chart Wherever and However

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Chart wherever and however works for you. The Justisse Method paper charts are one useful layout, but if you would chart more regularly by doing it in your calendar or on your phone, do that! (If you want to chart on your phone or computer, stay tuned for the Justisse Method Charting App which will be available by early 2014 at It’s going to be an incredible too...

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Menstruation and the Seasons for a Newly Menstruating Young Woman

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I think my 12-year-old daughter is going to start getting her period in this next half year or so. Any advice for how to teach her about this stuff?


What a great question. I’ll give you my thoughts, but it would be wonderful to hear the thoughts of other women and girls as well. In terms of fertility awareness, I would teach about the cycle as it corresponds to the seasons. Menstrua...

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A Charting Tip: Chart!

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM

It may not technically be a charting tip to say, “chart,” but it’s a helpful reminder for all of us. It’s easy to get out of the habit of writing down our cervical mucus observations every single day, but we’ve got to do it if we don’t want that nagging doubt, if we want to relax and be confident about whether we’re fertile on any given day.


You ...

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Three More Fertile Days: When to do a Count of 3

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 1:05 PM

When to do a "Count of 3" can sometimes get confusing, so here's a reminder:


Do a "Count of 3":

- Right after Peak Day: your last day of peak-type mucus. When you have peak-type mucus one day, and then change to having no mucus or non-peak mucus, that was Peak Day. Remember that your last day of peak-type mucus could also be your...

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Review those Old Charts

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Once in while, look back over all your old charts. You’re probably aware of the general pattern – how long your cycles usually are, how many days you usually bleed – but when you look at many cycles together, you can often find other interesting trends. Certain symptoms might come up only every other month, or only during a certain time of year. You might notice a gradually incr...

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Yes, Really. Check for Cervical Mucus All Those Times.

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 4:25 PM

It's easy to forget to check for mucus now and then, but remember, doing your observations consistently is essential for the effectiveness of the Justisse Method, essential for your  own confidentce and comfort that you know whether you are fertile on any given day.


Think of it this way: Anytime there might be cervical mucus present at your vulva and it co...

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Basal Body Temperature and Irregular Schedules

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is a great way to improve your accuracy and confidence in identifying the day of ovulation. It also lets you know whether a peak day is reflective of ovulation, or whether you might want to expect a double peak. Plus it's fun to have a graph, and connecting those dots can improve both your and your partner's confidence in the method.


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Unexpected Peak-Type Cervical Mucus while Breastfeeding

Posted on November 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

A recent question:


I have a 9-month-old baby and I’ve been getting my period since she was 3 months old, even though we’re still breastfeeding. Every cycle has been between 34 and 37 days long. Right now I’m on Day 30 of my cycle and I’m seeing peak-type mucus again! Five days ago (Day 25) I finally saw a big change from peak-type mucus to no mucus, so I thought I mus...

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What causes ovulation pain?

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

What causes the pain that I feel around ovulation? It's usually a sharp pain on one side or the other, but sometimes it feels central. Is it coming from my ovaries or uterus?


Abdominal pain accompanying ovulation is one of many "other" events that can be useful markers of where you are in your cycle. ("Other" as in other than cervical mucus, BBT, or cervical pos...

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Use Color for Your Cycle Phases

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Use color. It's really helpful. Use the Justisse Method stamps, make dots with colored pencils, or draw little symbols - anything you like.The goal is to give yourself an at-a-glance way of seeing whether your day's observation was dry, non-peak, peak, or menstruation/unusual bleeding.


Seeing cycle after cycle as a series of colors helps with comp...

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Why do some female athletes stop getting their periods?

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Female athletes, especially very serious athletes, more commonly have amenorrhea (they don't menstruate) than other women do. From a Western biomedical perspective, the disturbance seems to be at the level of the hypothalamus, which is the gland at the base of the brain that kicks off the monthly fertility cycle by telling the pituitary gland to stimulate the ovaries.



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Count Up Your Cycle Phases

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM

For each cycle that you chart, take a minute to count up the number of days that make up your whole cycle, your menstruation, your pre-ovulatory phase, your period of cervical mucus discharge, and your post-ovulatory phase. Get an idea of how long these phases are for you normally. When you know what's normal for you, you can watch for changes that might indicate improvements or new concerns in your ...

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Dryer Cycle after a Cold or Flu

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I am having a much longer and dryer cycle than normal. I was sick at the beginning of this cycle and I'm wondering how that may be affecting what I'm seeing or will see.


The typical way that stress and illness affect a cycle is to postpone ovulation. You may see an extended dry phase before the mucus phase begins and ovulation occurs, ...

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Where are My Dry Days? Continuous Cervical Mucus and BIP

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:10 PM

One of the more confusing things a new charter can run into is continuous mucus. Continuous mucus isn't part of the classic mucus phase that goes with the approach of ovulation, but mucus that is present before or after this phase. Not really what we expect, right? Usually we consider any and all mucus that can be picked up off the tissue to be stuff that sperm can live in and stuff that means ovulation is approaching. 

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Why Should We Bleed?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

The idea of only getting 4 periods a year with some of the new pills, or having no periods at all by taking the shot, doesn't seem right to me. I don't have any great reason other than the female cycle seems like something that shouldn't be interfered with. Are there any medical reasons to keep bleeding?


That is a great question. The ...

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How does Fertility Awareness Work for Birth Control and Getting Pregnant?

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Let's start this new Q&A section with the basics: What's Fertility Awareness? How does it work for Birth Control? For getting pregnant?

Fertility Awareness...

There are several methods of Fertility Awaren...

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When to Expect a Double Peak

Posted on

Sometimes I’m asked when to “expect” a Double Peak. Really, you always want to be alert for this possibility, especially if you’re avoiding pregnancy. It’s more likely during times of stress, illness, or hormonal change, but don’t count on those to be the only times. (If you want a reminder of what a Double Peak is, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

If you’re following the Observational Routine and the rule...

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