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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Can I Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding Before My Period Has Come Back?

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Question: Is it true you can get pregnant while breastfeeding, even before your period has come back?

 

Answer: Yes. Ovulation (the release of an egg) is suppressed for some number of weeks or months after having a baby. Breastfeeding usually delays it longer. The length of time varies woman by woman, and pregnancy by pregnancy, but at some point, you will ovulate again. (More info below.*) If that egg isn't fertilize...

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When Can We Have Unprotected Sex?

Posted on May 11, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Question: When can I be sure about my chart and start having unprotected sex?

 

Answer: As long as you and your partner don't need the protection for STIs... then, when you're confident that you can recognize your fertile and infertile days. It's a personal thing, but usually, that takes 2 or 3 cycles. It can take longer, depending on your hormonal balance, and how it's going for you to integrate into your routine che...

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Bringing On a Late Period

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Question: My period is about 3 days late, and I'm tired of my PMS symptoms! What can I do to bring my period on?


It really depends why you aren't bleeding when you expect to. The most likely reason is that you ovulated later in this cycle than you are used to doing. For example, you're used to ovulating on Day 13 and getting your period after a 27-day cycle. If you ovulated on Day 17 this time, you'll probably...

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Condoms, Diaphragms and Pulling Out on Fertile Days

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Question: What do you think about using a diaphragm or condoms on fertile days?

 

It's a decent option for lowering your chances of getting pregnant on those days, as long as you're comfortable with the fact that any time you have sex (or genital contact) on fertile days, there is some chance of getting pregnant.

 

Avoiding genital contact on fertile days gives you that 99.6% effectiveness of the Justisse Method, and if you choose to switch to b...

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Cervical Position for Breastfeeding Moms

Posted on August 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Charting Tip: When breastfeeding, consider checking cervical changes instead of Basal Body Temperature (BBT).

 

Cervical mucus patterns during breastfeeding can be a little confusing, and it's nice to have a secondary sign to help clarify things. BBT is great if it works for you. But, breastfeeding moms usually have interrupted sleep patterns, don't have an extra minute when they first wake up in the morning, and really just don't need one more thing to do on schedule!

...

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2 Weeks Between Periods - Am I Ovulating?

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Question: I didn't get my period for 3 months, and now I've gotten 3 in a row, with only two weeks in between them. Does that mean I'm not ovulating?


Answer: You might be ovulating. The only way to tell would be to chart your cervical mucus and your basal body temperature (BBT) so you can recognize the days you're possibly ovulating. Ovulation would be suggested by a Peak Day in cervical mucus, and a BBT shift.


Then you'd c...

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Good Foods for PMS

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Question: Do you have any dietary recommendations for PMS?

 

Very often, the most common PMS symptoms (breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, irritability, emotional lability) are relieved by, in Chinese medicine terms, "moving Liver Qi."

 

If you have these types of symptoms, you likely have some "Liver Qi stagnation," at least in your post-ovulation phase. In this case, it's especially important to eat in a relaxed environment, eat smaller quantities...

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Chart to Know Your Fertile Days AND to Become More Fertile

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 12:10 AM

Question: I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half. Could I really have missed my fertile days every single time? Is learning when to time intercourse really going to change anything?

 

Answer: Let me answer this in two parts. 1) Timing is essential, and 2) Timing isn’t everything.

 

1)    Timing is essential.

 

We call a lot of days “fertile” using the Justisse Method. At least 4, ...

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Sperm in Pre-Come? Yep.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Question: Are there really sperm in pre-come?


Short answer: Yes.


Longer answer: Yes. Not always, but often enough that if you don't want to get pregnant, you should have NO genital contact on a day when you saw cervical mucus, or you're within a "Count of 3."


We know there can be sperm in pre-ejaculate, or pre-come (the fluid that appears at the tip of the penis when a man is aroused but before he ejaculates), because wome...

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What do a Healthy Gallbladder, Healthy Pregnancy, and Fewer Allergies Have in Common?

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 10:35 PM

They're all associated with healthy periods! When I'm treating women for menstrual cramps, irregular cycles, infertility, or any other reproductive health issue, I always remind them that menstrual cycle health is like a woman's "fifth vital sign." It reflects your health beautifully, because our fertility is our vitality. When something is off with the menstrual cycle, such as PMS symptoms, severe cramps, cycles that vary a lot in length, etc., it's a nudge from the body to pay att...

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Body Literacy in 2014

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Let’s think of it as Body Literacy. Like being able to read, it’s a skill everyone can learn if given the opportunity, and it serves you in countless ways. Body Literacy means being able to “read” the signs your body is giving: “I could get pregnant today,” “I can’t get pregnant today,” “My health is radiant,” “My body is a little out of balance.”

 

Currently it’s a privilege to ha...

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Beyond Fertility Signs: Chart Your Sex Drive, Acne, Back Pain, etc

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Tip: Chart any physical, mental, and emotional symptoms in the extra space on your chart, to see what's connected to your cycle.

 

I know I'm not the only one who has had a few days in a row of tearing up at TV commercials, or finding everyone around me unusually annoying, only to get my period a few days later and realize that must explain my mood. Or to have been moody and thought, "I must be about to get my period"... but then not seen it for a couple more weeks. Someti...

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Blood in Peak Type Cervical Mucus

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Sometimes I notice a little bit of brown or reddish blood in my peak-type mucus. Is that a bad sign?

 

Not necessarily. There are actually a few not-to-worry-about reasons you might see bleeding around ovulation. When bleeding happens early in the mucus phase or accompanying peak-type mucus (when estrogen levels are rising or at their highest), it's often coming from the cervix. During the mucus phase, the cervix gets more blood flow and its ...

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Fertility Awareness and Irregular Cycles

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

I was excited to learn about fertility awareness, but then my herbalist told me that it’s not very reliable if you have irregular cycles, which I do. Do you have any ideas for natural birth control if someone has irregular cycles?

 

I’m glad to be asked this question, because I think it’s a common piece of misinformation. Most people have never heard of fertility awareness...

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Weird Cervical Mucus Patterns & BBT for Birth Control

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I pay attention to cervical mucus, but I really just rely on my temperature for birth control, because my mucus comes and goes before ovulation and I can't tell when I'm fertile. Is there any way I can know when I'm fertile before ovulation when my cervical mucus pattern is so weird?


Yes, there is, and it's the cervical mucus itself! When it comes to identifying fertile and infertile da...

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Sensation and Description of Cervical Mucus are Two Different Things

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

When you check for cervical mucus, Sensation and Description are two different things, and they don’t have to match. You chart exactly what you observe. Then, when you’re interpreting for whether or not you’re fertile that day, or choosing which colored stamp to use, whichever one was more fertile “trumps” the other.

 

So, you take note of the sensation...

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Lubricative Means Peak-Type Cervical Mucus, but Dry and Smooth Depend

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Remember that a lubricative sensation always means peak-type mucus, but dry sensation and smooth sensation don’t tell you anything on their own. After you notice a dry or smooth sensation, you’ll observe the tissue for the presence or absence of mucus. The tissue might be dry, or look damp or shiny, or there might be non-peak mucus, or even peak-type.

 

The absence of mucus

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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 www.justisse-charting-app.com. 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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