Myths and facts.pmd

Myths & Facts About
Menstruation and Fertility
Fertility awareness is of great benefit to women in achieving or preventing pregnancy as well asmonitoring reproductive and overall health. Unfortunately, myths about the menstrual cycle and thenegative legacy of the obsolete and ineffective “calendar rhythm method” of birth control have createda tremendous amount of misunderstanding about fertility awareness.
Justisse Healthworks for Women is committed to providing clear, scientifically sound informationand education to help women effectively monitor their individual menstrual cycles and respond tothem in an effective, natural and healthy way.
Fertility Has Highly
Ovulation Always Occurs on Day 14
Reliable Visible Signs
The idea that ovulation occurs on day 14 of Hormonal changes that occur throughout the every woman’s cycle comes from scientific menstrual cycle create observable outward signs of fertility. These signs – obvious cervi- animal studies, it was believed that women’s cal mucus discharge during times of fertility, menstrual cycles are 28 days long and that a changes in the Basal Body Temperature ovulation occurs 14 days before menstruation.
curves and changes in the cervix, itself – For some women, this may be true. For many provide highly reliable evidence of an indi- women this is simply not the case. The normal vidual woman’s fertile and infertile times.
number of days following ovulation ranges from A normal menstrual cycle can range from as 9 to 17. This idea, now a myth, led to the few as 25 to as many as 36 days. The number obsolete, ineffective rhythm method.
of days is not predictable. What are predict- Women are Infertile During Menstruation
able are the consistent events of a normal The mistaken belief that ovulation occurs on cycle: days of menstruation, ovulation day, day 14 has misled women to think that they cannot be fertile while menstruating. Though not common, it is possible for ovulation to chart and interpret these predictable events occur as early as day five of a woman’s cycle.
occurring within the span of her unique cycle.
A woman can detect fertility by charting the Ovulation Occurs On Only
appearance of cervical mucus – even during One Day in Each Menstrual Cycle
Ovulation is an event that occurs on one day Ovulation Occurs With Sexual Arousal
only in each menstrual cycle. Within that The myth that ovulation in women occurs with one-day period, the ovaries will release one sexual arousal began in the 1920s. Scientists egg (and occasionally two or three in the case discovered that rabbits ovulate when sexually of non-identical twins and triplets). Due to aroused. The rumour spread that the same was hormonal changes that occur after ovulation, true for women. This is an unfounded rumour other eggs cannot be released until after the indeed! If women were like rabbits, every act of intercourse would result in pregnancy.
Attending Women - body and soul -
Justisse Healthworks
for Women

from first menstruation to beyond menopause
Attending women -- body and soul -- from first menstruation to beyond menopause Understanding Your
Ovarian Cycle
Menstrual Cycle
The picture below shows how hormonal changes Fertility awareness enables you to understand the unfold inside the ovary. This is called the ovarian hormonal changes that occur throughout your cycle. A follicle develops around a maturing egg menstrual cycle and how these changes create and produces estrogen. Once mature, the egg outward signs of fertility. The following sections bursts out of the ovary. The follicle remains will discuss in more detail the outward signs of behind and produces progesterone for about 14 fertility and the internal events that cause them.
days. After this time, menstruation occurs. Thena new cycle begins.
Hormonal Changes
The hormones estrogen and progesterone are the
main players of the menstrual cycle. The illustra-
Basal Body Temperature Curves
tion below demonstrates how these hormones Basal body temperature (BBT) is a measure of the work. The first day of the cycle begins with men- body temperature at rest. A Woman’s resting struation. The ovaries begin to produce estrogen.
body temperature measures higher after ovula-tion has occurred. This is caused by the highlevels of progesterone in the body followingovulation. If a woman were to take her BBT eachmorning over the length of one menstrual cycle,and plot it on a BBT graph, she would be able tosee the obvious temperature shift from low-ranging pre-ovulatory temperatures to high-ranging post-ovulatory temperatures. Once shesees the shift, she knows that ovulation has passed.
When estrogen levels reach their peak, ovulationis triggered. After ovulation occurs, progesteroneis produced. Over a number of days, progester-one will rise to its peak. The levels of progester-one fall abruptly before menstruation. A newcycle then begins.
Justisse Healthworks for Women Myths and Facts about Menstruation and Fertility Cervical Mucus
Changes in the Lining
As levels of estrogen rise, the cervix is stimulated of the Uterus
to produce cervical mucus. This mucus occurs The uterus has a special lining called the en- prior to ovulation. Its dual purpose is to help sperm survive and travel to the fallopian tubes changes throughout the menstrual cycle in re- where fertilization takes place. After ovulation sponse to estrogen and progesterone. Menstrua- has passed, progesterone causes the cervix to tion is the phase of the cycle during which the endometrium breaks down and is shed. After experience mucus until the next cycle.
menstruation, rising levels of estrogen cause the The presence of mucus is a sign of fertility. Cer- endometrium to be restored. After ovulation, vical mucus can be easily found at the vulva.
progesterone causes the endometrium to undergo When the mucus first appears, it has a smooth, further changes that prepares it in case a pregnancy creamy consistency and is white in colour. Over a should occur. If a pregnancy does not occur, the number of days, it gradually progresses to a slip- endometrium sheds off as menstrual flow.
pery, thready consistency, with a clear or cloudy/clear colour. Once ovulation has passed, the mucusdisappears. Mucus usually lasts 4 to 6 days.
Changes in the Cervix
It is possible for a woman to examine her cervix
for signs of fertility throughout her menstrual
cycle. When she is fertile, her cervix feels soft
and open. In contrast, when she is infertile, her
cervix is hard and closed. The cervix becomes
softer and more open as estrogen levels rise and
ovulation approaches. The cervix is hard and
closed when estrogen levels are low, and after
ovulation has passed. These changes can be
reliable indicators of fertility.
Benefit from Charting Support
You can enhance your ability to observe, chart and interpret your menstrual cycle events by working
with an Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner and/or in a charting group with other women.
Justisse Healthworks for women offers the information, support and non-judgmental counselling
you need to manage your own holistic reproductive health. Call 420.0877 or 1.866.587-8477
(Justisse) today to set up your personal consultation.
Justisse Healthworks for Women Myths and Facts about Menstruation and Fertility World Health
Endorses Natural
Birth Control
According to the World Health
Organization, 93% of women
everywhere can identify the
symptoms which distinguish
adequately between the fertile
and the infertile phases of the
[menstrual] cycle…[Using
fertility awareness for repro-
ductive planning] is inexpen-
sive, highly effective, without
side effects and may be par-
ticularly acceptable to and

Around Every Wise Woman
are Many Other
Wise Women
- British Medical Journal. Vol.
307, 18 September 1993.
For education and support in chartingyour menstrual cycle, consult JustisseHealthworks for Women.
Monitoring your reproductive system inthis way enables you to practice highlyeffective birth control or enhance yourpotential for fertility. Your growingawareness will also help you, through-out your life, to achieve optimum repro-ductive and overall health.
Visit us online at or call today to Ever since I started using theJustisse method, I’ve felt freerand healhier. It works well for Justisse
Healthworks Edmonton, AB
for Women
Attending Women -- body and soul -- from
first menstruation to beyond menopause


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