Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Follicular Phase

The follicular phase is the time before ovulation. A few days before a woman gets her period, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels begin to rise. This leads several ovarian follicles to begin to mature. These follicles compete to produce the one egg that is released. As the follicles mature, they release estrogen. Following menstruation, rising estrogen levels stimulate the lining of the uterus to develop. The high estrogen levels lower basal temperature slightly and leads to fertile mucus.

The follicular phase varies in length, and is sensitive to disruption. Stress, illness, poor nutrition, etc can lengthen the follicular phase, delaying ovulation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's the small print for NFP?

Here's an interesting article about one couple's perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of NFP. I'm not prepared to comment on it yet - obviously we're abstaining ALL the time now, so only abstaining SOME of the time in the future sounds pretty good to us! Still, very interesting to consider. I think it's good to enter into marriage with perspective on the difficulties of using NFP.

What is "women's health"?

It's not just reproductive health anymore!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NFP is in the news!

The Atlantic has an article about NFP, although they incorrectly refer to it as the "rhythm method" in the title (apparently the women they interviewed corrected them too!).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chart galleries

Recently, I've been looking at a variety of charts posted on the "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" site. The charts are tagged with characteristics (ie. "long cycle", "PCOS charts", etc.). It's very interesting to take a look at charts and see which are most similar to mine.

But won't the population explode?

NaturalGuy and I have a fairly diverse group of friends, and several of them feel very strongly that bringing children into the world is morally wrong, because there are already too many people in the world, and many of these people already live without the resources needed to thrive. How can it be right to add one more mouth to feed, when people are already hungry?

We've been asked this frequently, in part because Natural Family Planning is perceived as ineffective. To address the perceptions of NFP's effectiveness, check out the FAQ. Suffice to say that a couple using NFP can plan to have zero, one, or two children about as reliably as couples relying on barrier methods or the pill.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I just read  an interesting article, "The New Old-School Birth Control," and it reminded me that one of these days, I'm going to need to discuss NFP with my doctor. That could be interesting... This is probably a good time to contact CCL and get recommendations for NFP-friendly practices.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


The CDC estimates that 11% of married couples in which the woman is between 15 and 29 years old and has never had a child of experience 12-month infertility (page 20). This means that these couples were unable to achieve pregnancy after a year of trying. This was a surprising figure to NaturalGuy and I - pregnancy is often portrayed as inevitable for young people, but these numbers show that a surprising number of young couples struggle to get pregnant. A few months ago, we had a health scare, and in light of this, we've been very grateful for our reproductive health and fertility.