Charting your cycle leads to a greater awareness and understanding of how a woman’s reproductive system works.
You may have heard that charting your cycle (which is different from just tracking your period) can provide you with insight about your body, health, and mind. Did you know that there are three distinct benefits of charting your cycle?
1. Living a charting lifestyle creates a powerful tool for self-advocacy.
We know how a woman’s body works – we understand the menstrual and ovulation cycle. Even medical literature recognizes the cycle as the fifth vital sign in women, right up there with blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. Understanding the patterns that occur during the course of the menstrual cycle are important – and being able to differentiate between normal and abnormal is a powerful assessment tool.
The most reliable biomarker for charting the woman’s cycle is cervical mucus. Tracking this biomarker and learning to identify the window of fertility and Peak day (the day around which ovulation occurs) allows the woman to know if – and when – ovulation occurs in any given cycle.
So, what is happening on a hormonal level in a woman’s cycle?
The follicular phase is influenced by rising estrogen, which communicates to tiny crypts that line the cervix to produce mucus. This mucus is then discharged through the vagina and observed when going to the bathroom.
The luteal phase is influenced by progesterone, which begins rising as soon as ovulation has concluded. This prevents mucus production and is essential to line the cells of the uterus in preparation either for pregnancy, or for sloughing the lining of the uterine tissue – also known as menses – and the cycle repeats itself again and again and again.
This, my friends, is one of mother nature’s best kept secrets! On any given day, a woman can know exactly what is going on internally due to a simple external observation.
When you learn how to chart your cycle well, you are learning to read specific biomarkers that indicate hormonal fluctuations associated with the phases of the menstrual cycle, pinpoint ovulation, and know when your period is expected. This body literacy not only helps you better understand your fertility – but you also learn to navigate shifting mood and energy levels, and it promotes deeper communication in your relationships, whether with a significant other or even your best girlfriend.
2. Understanding your unique cycle is the foundation to confidently using fertility awareness to plan and/or space your children.
If you know how and why your cycle functions the way it does, you can tap into that information to know if and when you are fertile.
Understanding your unique menstrual cycle is essential to using fertility awareness to plan and/or space your children. While men are always fertile, women are only fertile for a short duration of time over the course of each menstrual cycle. If you can understand the cyclic variations of fertility and infertility over the course of your cycle, you no longer need to rely on synthetic hormones found in the birth control pill or other contraceptive devices. Simply tuning into your body and understanding what it is communicating is all you need. This promotes closeness with your spouse or partner and a deeper level of communication with one another.
When a woman can confidently identify and communicate to her partner what is going on in her body and what it is capable of, this can lead to a deep level of understanding and intimacy in a relationship.
Let’s be real – if a couple can discuss something as personal as the woman’s cycle, they can talk about anything!
The foundation of any successful relationship is good communication. Communication is a key ingredient in understanding your natural fertility. A woman’s body is communicating to her through the ebbs and flows of her cycle – she just needs to learn how to listen!
When a woman observes the onset of discharged mucus and enters into her phase of fertility, if it is the couple’s intent to avoid a pregnancy that month, they learn to communicate their love for one another in ways that do not include sex. Once the fertile window is over, they can confidently return to physical intimacy knowing they will not get pregnant.
If it is their intent to be open to achieving a pregnancy that month, they can enjoy those intimate times together, with a great chance of finding a positive sign on a pregnancy test after a couple of weeks!
3. Charting your cycle is the first step to identifying the reasons behind unexplained infertility and reproductive health issues.
One in six couples will experience infertility. My husband and I were (and still are) part of this statistic. We didn’t enter our marriage thinking it would take us 6 years to become pregnant with our first child. I know, based on the dozens and dozens of couples I have taught over the years, that most couples don’t anticipate this hurdle to growing their family.
Charting your cycle provides a diagnostic tool for women looking for a restorative approach to infertility and women’s health issues. The goal of charting is to create a chart you can trust and then connect with a medical clinician who will support your whole person and get to the root cause of gynecological and reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, painful or heavy periods, premenstrual syndrome, etc.
Your cycle is as unique as you are. Charting your cycle with a standardized, proven approach allows your pattern to emerge so you can investigate and get a better picture of what is going on with your reproductive health.
Restorative reproductive medicine understands that infertility is a symptom of an underlying health issue. The focus of treating infertility should always be to first investigate and address the root cause of infertility, not bypass it. Women want to know why their bodies aren’t functioning like they should. They want a solution-based approach!
When you learn how to chart your cycle well, you can read specific biomarkers that indicate hormonal fluctuations associated with the phases of the menstrual cycle. Understanding the proper hormonal support needed in a cycle and evaluating the parameters of each phase of the menstrual cycle tells a story about your reproductive health.
How can I know my cycle?
What if you were educated on how to correctly and confidently chart your own cycle? What if you could predict when the first day of your cycle would begin? This approach – this increased self-awareness – educates and builds self-esteem. It reduces stress and uncertainty. It empowers.
If you’re ready to take control of your reproductive health and navigate your menstrual cycle with confidence and clarity, I invite you to join me inside of the Chart Your Cycle online course. Chart Your Cycle is the only implementation and coaching program of its kind that will take you from being confused and overwhelmed by your period to confidently charting your cycle.
Book a FREE 20-minute Discovery Call to find out more!
Written by: Deb Martinek, CYC Fertility Coach