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 Organization 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 www.justisse.ca or call today toEver since I started using theJustisse method, I’ve felt freerand healhier. It works well forJustisse Healthworks Edmonton, AB for Women Attending Women -- body and soul -- from first menstruation to beyond menopause
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