by Lindsay Schlegel, Natural Womanhood
There’s a lot to say about how beneficial fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) can be for a couple trying to conceive: they’re inexpensive to learn, cause no harmful side effects, and allow the couple to work with—rather than against—the natural functions of a woman’s reproductive system.
But a couple struggling with infertility may not only be facing challenges with the female part of the equation. Renee M. Oakes, BA, FertilityCare Practitioner Intern (FCPI), regularly navigates this situation with her clients, and she’s lived it personally as well. She and her husband are both clinically infertile and have struggled with infertility and recurrent miscarriage over their 17 years of marriage. And yet with the help of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology, today they have three healthy children.
Assessing the Situation
According to Oakes, 40% of the time, there is a male factor in a couple’s infertility. To be clear, “infertility” is the term used for a lack of conception after twelve months of regular, uninterrupted coitus. If a couple is concerned about infertility, the next step is to assess the patients’ situation. If the woman has been charting her cycle with a Fertility Awareness-Based Method, an informed doctor like Oakes can look at her charts to interpret observations of her cervical mucus to identify the various phases of the cycle, including whether or not she’s ovulating.
Health issues such as hormone deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be identified and treatment put into effect. Oakes says charting is “the greatest window that exists into [a woman’s] health” and “the most effective way a woman can be empowered to take control of her health and body.” In addition, she says, “I haven’t met a woman yet who hasn’t had some variety of health issue throughout her reproductive years,” but with Creighton, “the issue is identified quickly and treated long before a standard medical practice doctor would have identified the problem.”
Natural Womanhood is the most far-reaching women’s health literacy program since the Pill. We exist because many women are harmed by or at risk from the use of contraceptives, and most don’t know they have a viable alternative.
Natural Womanhood is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of fertility charting, as a way to promote disease prevention, self-knowledge, relational intimacy, and effective family planning. Natural Womanhood helps young women and couples regardless of their income, ethnicity, or religion.
Would you like to help us accomplish this ambitious goal? Join this movement and become an advocate or volunteer to help spread the word about Natural Womanhood. For more information on Natural Womanhood or to join this movement, please use this link.