I’m at it again – I just can’t help but be in LOVE with notebook doodles. This image is from the blog.
We celebrate International Women’s month during March – a whole month dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating achievements of women throughout the years. There is no doubt that as women we have made huge leaps forward, in so many areas – politics, equality, power and some. However, as women we couldn’t be living in an age where we are moving further away from reading our own bodies when it comes to fertility and reproductive function. Some of us have moved out – set sail on what once was normal practice in connecting with ourselves. The connection to our fertility has seemingly been forgotten or lost in translation. Have we disconnected from our womanhood?
Many women who come into the clinic have no or very limited knowledge in reading the signs that their body presents to them each month. I’m even more shocked by the lack of awareness in the western medical system. Some practitioners maintain that subtracting 14 days from your expected period date will pinpoint ovulation. This is absolutely not the case – the only sure way to track ovulation is by watching what the body is telling us at the corresponding days of the cycle. I can’t help but wonder if this lack of education is contributing to our climbing ‘infertility’ rates. Many women aren’t ‘infertile’ – they are simply misreading their bodies or unaware how to understand them (please don’t confuse this with women who have genuine fertility issues – I’m simply talking from some of my experiences seen in the clinic). Take for example, a women with poly cystic ovarian syndrome – she will ovulate less times in any given period of time and whilst pin pointing ovulation might seem an impossible task, for these women it is essential especially when trying to conceive (not to mention make it possible). Women who have short luteal phases (from ovulation to menstruation) will not ovulate 14 days prior to a period – it could be as short as eight or nine days. This is a definite indication they are sub-fertile – their cycles need some tweaking before they will carry through a pregnancy simply because a short luteal phase makes it impossible to conceive. These are just two examples of many possible scenarios in the world of fertility – ALL of which in the clinic I must consider to increase a couples chances a successful pregnancy.
I am certain that the generations before us were more aware of how their bodies talked to them – not just because they practiced methods that allowed them to notice but also because on the whole they were less stressed and had more time to focus on such important womanly characteristics. They knew their bodies well – we are living proof. That said, if our mothers before us didn’t pass on these skills (because their mothers didn’t) it isn’t entirely our fault. It is however, each individuals responsibility to stay in tune with themselves and not rely on others health experts to tell them how they are feeling – you are the ONLY person who can know this precisely.
So how are you reading ovulation? Charts, predictor kits, thermometers, cervical secretions, temperatures – what if I were to say that none of these are necessary? That reading ovulation is as simple as being aware of what your body is showing you at specific stages of your menstrual cycle? In the clinic, I find that our method is without doubt the most successful way to determine ovulation – more precisely that a predictor urination kit. No kidding! Predictor kits scare the wind out of me. They will indeed detect a surge in hormone, but it may not necessarily be ovulation – especially in women with poly cystic ovaries. This surge in hormone supports increased levels that occur prior to ovulation but in these women, ovulation isn’t always carried out each time the body tries to do so. There is only one method that is accurate.
If this all sounds Chinese to you – let me encourage you to find out more. In the clinic I teach women to read the feeling of ovulation – a seemingly impossible task for the untrained brain. Once you understand what it feels like to ovulate, you will never miss it again. You will reconnect with your body, your womanhood and your fertility. No two women are the same – you are, by far the best person, yourself – to understanding your body. Perhaps giving yourself the chance to move back to knowing your body, will open up a whole new world of insight into the woman that you are.