In May 2019 we decided we would start “not preventing” or as the FAM world calls it, TTW (Trying To Whatever). Basically being open to having unprotected sex during my fertile phase, but without the pressure of having to have sex on the most optimal days according to FAM.
First, how the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) can help a couple to conceive.
Basically, it teaches a woman the pattern of her cervical fluid, from infertile, to slightly fertile, to very fertile. A woman’s fertile window opens when her cervical fluid changes from dry to sticky. It then gets increasingly more fertile as it progresses to creamy, and then to a consistency like egg-white which is the most fertile. The fertile window then closes when her cervical fluid goes back to dry and she confirms ovulation with a rise in her basal body temperature. This fertile window is on average six days for women, with my personal peak egg-white cervical fluid only present for about three days, so those were the three days we were trying to catch. Trust me, there’s more to it, I have a whole FAM video course dedicated to it, but there you have the gist.
TTW Month 1
Well thanks to FAM, I knew that this first month I ovulated three days earlier than I had in months and we totally missed my fertile window. I was so thankful that I confirmed my ovulation that month with FAM so that I wouldn’t be totally disappointed when my period came.
TTW Month 2 & 3
The next month, we ended up going camping with a group of friends during my most fertile days and shared a cabin with friends and we slept in the living room… bust again. And the following month Brooks had some evening work events and we were just too tired. We did have unprotected sex during the very beginning of my fertile window but thanks to FAM I knew sticky cervical fluid is not as fertile as egg-white, so the chances of getting pregnant from those days were very slim, and I was not too disappointed when my period came. (Those of you trying to avoid pregnancy with FAM, don’t take my story as an excuse to break the FAM rules and have unprotected sex on sticky days!)
I’m most thankful for FAM because this whole time I knew exactly when I was fertile, and when I ovulated, allowing me to keep my emotions in check. However, so many women rely on apps to predict their fertile phases for them and think they are timing it right but might actually be totally missing the most optimal time. This then leads them to being disappointed when they aren’t pregnant two weeks later. Or some doctors recommend couples try every two days throughout the whole cycle to up their chances of catching their fertile phase. While I love my husband, feeling the pressure to have to have sex every two days based on bad science doesn’t sound very romantic to me.
TTC Month 1 & 2
So August rolls around and I decide okay, let’s actually start trying. Or as the FAM world calls it, TTC (Trying To Conceive). We blocked off time on the calendar based on when I typically ovulate, but of course, I used FAM to time it even better.
Well my period came two weeks later and again the next month. I didn’t think I’d be as disappointed as I was because I “knew” it could take a while and I mentally prepared for that, but still, “knowing” and experiencing are two completely different things.
Up to this point, I hadn’t done anything special to help boost my fertility besides using FAM and living a mostly healthy life. Many people have asked me how I prepared my body before conception, and I will write a whole post about that soon, but basically I had already upgraded many lifestyle and diet habits in my life over the years so I felt confident to start trying to get pregnant simply by adding in a prenatal vitamin.
TTC Month 3
After seriously trying for two months, I decided to start incorporating the things that I recommend in my FAM to Achieve Pregnancy course. Some people try to incorporate one new thing a month, as to not get overwhelmed, but me, I did ALL the things. I started taking evening primrose oil and eating grapefruits to increase cervical fluid, I used Young Living’s Progessence Plus after ovulation to support my progesterone levels, I used my fertility boosting essential oils, I went to an acupuncturist and, yes, I even put my legs up after sex. And two weeks later I saw those two pink lines and sobbed more out of relief than joy because I was so thankful that my TTC journey wouldn’t be long.
Now of course, there is no way to know if one specific thing helped, or if none of it helped and it was just chance, but I am grateful to have tools in my toolkit and to have given them a shot!
Most of all, I am thankful to have had FAM to help me on this journey.
During these few months of trying, FAM confirmed that my hormones looked perfectly healthy. I had good cervical fluid, meaning healthy estrogen levels, and had a long enough luteal phase (the days between ovulation and the first day of your period) meaning healthy progesterone levels. I had a temperature shift which confirmed that I was in fact ovulating. All these things gave me confidence that I was in fact fertile and that in time, I should get pregnant. If it had been different, if my charts had shown that something was off, I would have also been grateful for FAM for telling me what areas I needed more support in. I also have to say, if I had simply used the apps predictions, I would have totally been missing my most fertile days!
Want to learn FAM to help you on your TTC journey? Check out my Achieve Pregnancy Video Course.