You must be thinking I’ve lost my mind, right? Not teaching the rules?! Won’t that lead to a ton of unwanted pregnancies? I admit, the title is there to shock, but in no way would I ever compromise the efficacy of the method.
I’ve always talked about the “rules” of fertility awareness, but a client recently made me aware that the “rules” could be off-putting for some folks.
In the fertility awareness field we talk about the rules of when to have sex or rules for figuring out when you are fertile based on your observations.
In thinking about what my client said, I completely agree!
Rules can feel restrictive or like something imposed by a parent or superior that we are forced to abide by under risk of punishment – but this is absolutely not what fertility awareness is about.
Something I’ve always told my clients is that it’s my job to teach you how to observe your body and how to calculate when you are fertile or infertile based on mucus and temperature (and sometimes cervix) observations, but it’s completely up to you how you behave.
So instead of talking about the “rules,” I’m going to start using the term “calculation.”
Once you know how to calculate if you are fertile or infertile, you can make fully informed decisions on when and how have sex based on how willing you are to become pregnant.
The fact is that for those people who are trying to avoid pregnancy, each person wants to avoid it to a different degree. This could be anything from no way on Earth do they want to become pregnant and would have an abortion if it happened, to not really wanting it but not really minding and would welcome a child, and everything in between.
And this desire to prevent or for a pregnancy does and will change over your life, from year to year, or even cycle to cycle. It’s up to you to choose to behave in a way that you feel comfortable with.
I would never try to impose “rules” on you and I won’t judge you for behaving in a way that is outside the “rules.”
I will respect and honour your decisions to engage in whatever sexual behaviours you like, since you are an adult and are able to make your own choices. As long as I am confident I have taught you to the best of my ability and that you understand how to make the observations and how to calculate if you are fertile or infertile, it’s up to you to make an informed decision.
And that is why I will no longer teach the “rules” of fertility awareness.