One of the amazing things about practicing the fertility awareness method is it can help identify and even fix some common causes of infertility.
The fact is that, sadly, many people who think they are infertile actually aren’t, and think they are in an unchangeable situation when they can actually do a lot to improve their chances of pregnancy.
The reality is that your fertility is not set in stone and your hormonal health can (and does!) change over time. There are certain situations that may leave you to be temporarily “sub-fertile” but if you are aware of what these are and are able to address health concerns you can improve your fertility and improve your chances of pregnancy naturally.
Coming off hormonal birth control
Did you know it sometimes take up to a year (possibly more) to get normal cycles back after being on hormonal birth control?
Sadly, many people come of hormonal birth control only when they want to have a baby, then when they don’t get pregnant within the first year they think they are infertile. This can lead to both expensive and emotionally draining fertility treatments that are not necessary.
If you are coming of hormonal birth control and practice the fertility awareness method you can see exactly what is going on with your hormones, you can observe yourself regaining healthy natural cycles, and you can know exactly when you are ready for pregnancy.
By doing this you can also see where the hormonal issues lie and take active steps to improve this and improve your fertility.
If people knew this ahead of time they would be prepared and would know they weren’t infertile, but just need to wait a bit longer for their body to recover from the synthetic hormones.
Missing the fertile window
Many people make the mistake of thinking that ovulation happens either on day 14 of their cycle or 14 days before their next period. Sure, this is the average across the whole population, but for each individual person the day of ovulation is different and will vary from cycle to cycle.
In reality, ovulation can happen anywhere from about 10 to 16 days before your next period. For each individual this is pretty stable, so if it’s always 15 days it will be 15 days whether your cycle is 28 days or 34 days.
A recent study asked women attending a fertility clinic if they tracked their cycle, and about 50% of those who did were actually getting it wrong and miscalculated when the fertile phase of their cycle happened! They weren’t infertile, they were simply getting the days wrong!
The beauty of practicing the fertility awareness method is that you will know exactly when the day is where ovulation is most likely to happen and will know exactly which are the best days to have sex with the best chances of achieving pregnancy.
Metabolic Reproductive Syndrome/MRS (formerly known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/PCOS)
Lots of people with MRS think this means they are infertile and can’t get pregnant. This is not true. What it means is that you ovulate irregularly and less frequently so you will have less chances to get pregnant than the average person who ovulates about once a month.
But, there are some great ways you can improve your health, improve your fertility, and improve your chances of pregnancy that are totally within your control.
Nutrition and diet are huge influences on your hormones, and there are some common things that people with MRS can all do to help their fertility and cycles. The number one thing is definitely cutting out sugar. Pretty much all people with MRS have difficulty processing sugar and insulin and this interferes with ovulation. Cut out the sugar and your body will find it much easier to ovulate and keep regular cycles.
Of course there are other things to do as well, and I would recommend working with me or another holistic health practitioner to address these issues for the best results.
But in general, remember that MRS does not mean you are infertile, it simply means you need to pay attention to your nutrition and lifestyle a bit more than other people, and with time you can drastically improve your cycles and your fertility and achieve pregnancy. And if you are charting your cycles, then regardless of how long or irregular they are, you will know which are the best days for sex with the best chances of pregnancy achievement.
Short luteal phase/time from ovulation to next period
While ovulation can be anywhere from 10 to 16 days before your next period, anything less than 12 days is generally a sign that you may struggle to achieve and sustain pregnancy.
This is because you need a certain time after ovulation for implantation to be successful, and without this the fertilized egg will not be able to survive.
There are a lot of reasons that this might happen, and the key is to figure out why it’s happening for you and how to improve your hormone balance.
You can make these changes and you can lengthen this phase of your cycle – I see my clients do it all the time with nutrition and lifestyle changes. Sure, in some cases you may need hormone treatments, but you also might not! You have more control over your cycles and your hormone balance that you think and this is definitely something that can be addressed naturally.
Of course there are lots of other situations that can lead to temporary infertility that can be addressed naturally. If you are in a situation like this please do get in touch with me and we can see what can be done to improve your chances of pregnancy.
Of course, there is no magic pill, and changing your hormone balance naturally takes some time and commitment, but it can be done!
If you’re someone for whom this doesn’t work and you still end up needing fertility treatments, that’s okay too. You will have a far better understanding of your body and will be able to take your menstrual cycle charts to the clinic and know exactly where the problem lies. And everything that you’ve tried up to that point will definitely have made a difference in your overall health and will mean any fertility treatments you do will be more likely to be successful.
One way or the other, charting your cycles and addressing hormonal imbalances naturally is the best way for you to have long term results and will give you the best outcomes in your pregnancy.
Are you trying to get pregnant? Want some help identifying your fertile window or improving your hormonal health? Contact me or check out my pregnancy planning programs for more information on how I can help you!