Using the fertility awareness method while travelling can sometimes be a bit tricky.
Depending where you’re going and what you’re doing you may or may not be able to create an accurate chart.
I’m here to give you some tips on how to use fertility awareness most effectively when travelling.
First of all, keep in mind the golden rule of the fertility awareness method: when in doubt, consider yourself fertile. This is for those of you both avoiding and trying to achieve pregnancy.
As I’ve said many times, temperatures are not necessarily required, but are a good confirmation that ovulation has passed. Depending where you are going and how much you are moving around, it may be easier to go mucus-only for this cycle because all of the moving around will lead to continually disrupted temperature readings (of course this only works if you’ve been trained in a method that is mucus-only).
If you’re going to one place and staying there, it can be a bit easier. You will need a few days for your temps to adjust back to normal if you are going to a different time zone. Give yourself about three to five days for this.
If it’s early in your cycle or after a confirmed ovulation it’s not such a big deal, but if you are in the part of your cycle where you are looking for a temp shift then you will need to wait a while until you feel confident that your body has adjusted.
You may also need to think about where you are sleeping. If you’re in a dorm with a bunch of other travellers then having a beeping thermometer might not be desirable. If that’s the case, I suggest getting a glass non-digital thermometer that has no beep, you just need to make sure you use it for the full cycle (since changing thermometers mid-cycle can lead to false temp shifts) and that you can keep it in your mouth or under your armpit for about ten minutes to get an accurate reading.
Doing the mucus checks effectively will depend on where you are and what the bathroom facilities are like. If you’re backpacking in the middle of nowhere and squatting in forests or into holes in the ground then perhaps you won’t be able to chart this cycle.
But if you’re in a place with access to clean facilities and have toilet paper at your disposal then you can keep checking for mucus as usual.
One of the brilliant things about mucus, as I’ve said before, is that it’s very stable and not as easily affected by other factors in the way that temperatures are. This means even with travelling and moving around, as long as you have good bathroom facilities you will be able to check your mucus.
Not sure if you’ll have internet for accessing your charts? Not a problem! You can write notes in the calendar on your phone about what you observed, use paper charts, or write notes in a paper diary or journal of some kind.
It can sometimes be hard to stay motivated to do the observations and keep the charts when you are travelling around, out of your normal routine, sleeping in different places, and focusing on having fun.
If you want to take this cycle off or miss a few days here and there, don’t worry about it!
There are always going to be times in your life where you don’t have good charts for one reason or another, and if being on holiday means you want to take a holiday from charting as well, then go for it – there’s no reason to feel guilty about taking a break!
If you are trying to avoid pregnancy just use a barrier method or abstain until you get home and back into the charting routine. There’s no need to be a perfect charter every day for the rest of your life.
Also keep in mind that sometimes the stress (even if it’s good stress) from travelling can cause a wonky cycle, so just continue to observe and track what you see, even if it doesn’t quite make sense to you.
Remember, if in doubt, consider yourself fertile, and you will be a-okay. Bon voyage!