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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 1

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How to Network and Build Your Personal Support System

Workers across industries know this proverb to be true: “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.” 

The key to building a great career is networking, or growing the circle of people in your field of work who can help you find a job.

Although your skills and qualifications do matter, here is why networking may matter even more:

  • Recommendations. Words on paper can only tell you so much about a person. What employers really value may not necessarily be the qualifications that you possess, but how you as a person will add to their organization with your particular talents and personality. The best way to know this is through a recommendation from someone in your network. Just as we value recommendations on which products to use in our homes from our friends and family, employers value recommendations on candidates from people they trust in their hiring decisions.

  • Workplace environment. A company not only wants to hire someone who performs well at her job, but who fits into the workplace environment. A company that values an entrepreneurial spirit is more likely to hire a candidate who primarily displays creativity and not one who primarily displays analytical skills. When you surround yourself with people in careers or with skill sets similar to yours, organizations can glean from your network how you will fit into their workplace.

  • Support. A network is not only a group of people to help propel your career in the right direction, but they can also support you by their example. Their own stories of success and failure can support you through times of confusion or frustration. 

Here are some practical ways you can build your network: 

  • Networking events in your area. You can search online for different networking events, such as cocktail hours or casual meet-and-greets. It is a great time to meet professionals in your field, ask questions, and get your name out there. Be sure to dress business casual, bring business cards, and have a résumé on hand so that you can make a good first impression and have the chance to stay in touch with anyone you meet. Getting coffee or having a phone call to ask questions about someone’s career is a great start to building your network.

  • Internships. As we discuss in our “Why Intern?” article, internships are a great opportunity to put yourself out there with the kind of organization that you would like to work for. Even if you do not get hired, be sure that it will give you great work experience and that the potential recommendations from your supervisor could be a game-changer for getting hired in the future. 

  • Social Media. Put together a LinkedIn page so that potential members of your network or employers can easily find information about you online. This helps to put you in contact with people who have similar career goals as you. It gives you the chance to look at the profiles of people with the career that you want and also to make connections with people who may be hiring (or know of someone who is searching for) someone like you! 

Lastly, the most important person in your network is your mentor. A mentor is someone you can trust for guidance on your career path. You can ask this person for advice on which jobs to apply for, how to navigate job interviews, for contacts in your field of work, and more. Your mentor should be a person who knows you professionally and personally, and who is successful in her or his own career. Building your network is essential to finding a mentor, and vice versa!

TO BE CONTINUED. . . . .

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What Do Narcissists Dislike? Your Decisiveness.

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Your decisions reveal your priorities, preferences and beliefs. 

You make scores of decisions each day, right? They may be about trivial matters, major issues, or somewhere in between. Each time you are decisive, you display a piece of your personality. What do narcissists dislike? Your decisiveness and ability to choose.

Commonly, you will hear from narcissists who make it plain: “I don’t like your decisions and you need to change them, pronto.” Giving them the benefit of the doubt, there could be times when it’s reasonable for you to rethink matters. That said, it is also quite likely that their interference is a manifestation of their controlling nature. They are, after all, very inclined to giving unsolicited advice. As far as they are concerned, there is room for only one decision-maker in the room, and it’s not you.

Narcissists illustrate their manipulative attitude in the ways they respond to your decisiveness.

They can: gripe, belittle, invalidate, argue, debate, insult, point out your errors, glare at you, curse, etc. In other words, they make it known that they should be deemed superior and you are inadequate.

It’s wise, of course, to remain open to input when decisions are on the line. But when the narcissistic retort is demeaning and indignant, you need not collapse. You need to remember what narcissists dislike – which is decisiveness. You could defend or argue back or insult, but that would only fuel the flames.

Instead, remember that your decisiveness can be interpreted by narcissists as rejection.

They are quite thin-skinned and easily threatened. By letting you be decisive, they somehow interpret it as a loss of power. It makes no sense, but that’s how their minds operate. 

When narcissists look down upon you for being you, one primary question needs to be asked: Do you believe in you? When the answer is yes, I’m hoping you will determine to be true to what you know is wise and best. Don’t let the controlling, thin-skinned narcissist hijack your resolve. It is, after all, your life.

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ABORTION CHANGES YOU -EXPLORE EMOTIONS PART ONE

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Exploring your feelings after an abortion is an important part of working through your abortion experience. People will experience a variety of emotions and at different levels of intensity. The following tools and exercises can be used to help you explore your emotions regarding abortion.

  • Alive
  • Afraid
  • Tortured
  • Unprepared
  • Unloved
  • Understood
  • Worthless
  • Beaten
  • Brave
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Bleeding
  •  
  • Fragile
  •  
  • Exhausted
  •  
  • Empty
  •  
  • Discouraged
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Confused
  •  
  • Changed
  •  
  • Calm
  •  
  • Broken
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Angry
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Fragile
  •  
  • Exhausted
  •  
  • Fake
  •  
  • Empty
  •  
  • Discouraged
  •  
  • Dirty
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Dead
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Degraded
  •  
  • Dead
  •  
  • Broken
  •  
  • Betrayed
  •  
  • Beaten
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Anxious
  •  
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART THREE

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CONTINUED. . . . .

What Can You Do?

When someone blame-shifts like this, there is an (understandable) temptation to explain yourself, defend your name, and prove your point. But the problem is, this is exactly what they want you to do. They blame-shift so you’ll react. So you give them the attention they need.

They will always accuse you of doing everything they themselves do because it’s so infuriating that you just have to say something. But again, that’s the point.

By sucking you into these arguments, they are consuming your energy and watching you be progressively self-destructive, so they can use your reactions to prove their own points. (“Wow, look how bitter and angry you are!”)

The term JADE stands for Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain. When it comes to people with Cluster-B personality disorders, don’t do those things.

You will feel compelled to, but don’t. When you try to defend yourself against a false accusation, you legitimize it by even acknowledging it. The only way to respond to these tactics is to stand up and walk away. Just walk away. Silently.

Odds are, you are an overly reasonable person who is always trying to see things from everyone else’s perspective. You constantly worry that you’re being unfair (“Oh no, what if I actually am this terrible thing they’re accusing me of”), which makes you a prime target to people like this.

Unfortunately, in all your worry and self-doubt about being unfair, you fail to see the actual unfairness in the situation.

 

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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART TWO

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CONTINUED. . . . .

3. Arguing About the Argument

Every argument becomes a meta-discussion about the argument itself, rather than the point you’re actually trying to make.

They pull you into pointless fights, mincing words and debating semantics in order to put you on the defense.

Instead of focusing on the actual point of discussion, they comment on your voice, your gestures, tone and accuse you of doing things they’re doing (playing the victim, gas-lighting, projecting). The blame is no longer on them, but instead the way you approached the argument.

 

4. Guilt Tripping & Pity Stories

If you’re prone to feeling sympathetic for others, chances are they’ll take full advantage out of this. If you point out something hurtful they’ve done, they will start talking about their abusive childhood or an evil ex.

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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART ONE

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Individuals with Cluster-B personality disorders regularly use blame-shifting to manipulate conflicts within themselves because admitting fault is not an option to them.

The existence of a malignant narcissist is predicated on extracting narcissistic supply from their significant others. A narcissist always functions on a psychological void.

Hence they cannot maintain the façade he/she has masterfully crafted during the idealization stage for too long.

narcissist will readily engage in blame-shifting when he/she has experienced a narcissistic injury, his/her partner has set up a boundary, or have cut out the narcissistic supply, resulting in the narcissist feeling a sense of lack of control/power.

What are the most common techniques of blame-shifting used by a narcissist?

 These 5 types of blame shifting techniques are commonly used by a narcissist:

1. Playing Victim

Playing victim is the most common type of blame shifting. You notice his ill-treatments towards you and point it out as it is causing you pain. Since that situation paints you as a victim, they are quick to turn the table (because they always need to be the more pathetic victim).

Instead of addressing your legitimate concerns, they will bring up (or make up) something completely unrelated from the past where they claim you to be the one hurting. Before you know it, you’re the one apologizing to them out of guilt.

 

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART TEN

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

When an Ovulation Predictor Test Kit Says Positive

Ovulation predictor kits determine whether the luteinizing hormone (LH) is detected. The luteinizing hormone (LH) rises right before ovulation occurs. Kits are supposed to detect whether you’re going to ovulate but cannot ensure that you do ovulate.

Women may have a high level of the LH if they have certain conditions such as polycystic ovaries, premature ovarian failure (POF), or for women over age 40 who are experiencing perimenopause. Also, women with Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS) may have a surge in the LH hormone without ovulating. Any of these conditions could result in a false-positive result on an ovulation predictor test.

Can You Ovulate Without Having a Period?

Since a woman releases an egg 12-16 days before her expected period, it is possible for women to get pregnant without having periods. Women who are not menstruating due to a certain condition (i.e. low body weight, breastfeeding, perimenopause, etc…) risk the chance of getting pregnant because ovulation could start again at any point.

If you ovulate and do not start your period a couple of weeks later, you may want to take a pregnancy test.

For those who want to conceive, the lack of periods could make it more difficult to know the timing of ovulation if you are not charting your basal temperature and cervical fluid changes.  But if you are not having periods and wanting to prevent pregnancy, a form of contraception should be used since there is no way to know when ovulation will occur.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART NINE

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

Can You Ovulate During Your Period?

Menstruation or a period is the bleeding that occurs when the endometrium is shed 12 to 16 days after ovulation. With this definition of a period, you cannot ovulate while on your period.

However, some women experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding (bleeding that occurs around ovulation) and may mistake it for a period. This can happen to women with very irregular cycles coming once every 3 months or 2-3 times in one month. Mid-cycle bleeding can occur in women with regular cycles as well. They may experience what appears to be a period, but, in reality, this is most likely ovulatory bleeding. Ovulation can occur when you experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding.

Keep in mind that while you cannot technically ovulate while on a period because sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days after sex, pregnancy could occur from intercourse that takes place during a period.

Can You Ovulate Right After Your Period?

That is determined by how many days are in your cycle. The number of days in your cycle is calculated by counting the number of days from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next period. If you have a short cycle, for example, 21 days, and you bleed for 7 days, then you could ovulate right after your period.

This is because ovulation generally occurs 12-16 days before your next period begins, and this would estimate you ovulating at days 6-10 of your cycle.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART EIGHT

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

When Do You Ovulate After Your Period?

A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s cycle is between 28-32 days, although some women may have much shorter or longer cycles.

Most women ovulate anywhere between Day 11 – Day 21 of their cycle, counting from the first day of their last period. This is your “fertile time” and when  sexual intercourse has the best chance of producing pregnancy. Ovulation can occur at any point during this window and may occur on a different day each month.

A combination of methods such as observing your cervical fluid, taking your basal body temperature daily, and tracking your periods can help you identify your time of ovulation. Try our ovulation calendar to get you started. A Fertility Kit or Monitor from our sponsor Fairhaven Health is a great way to pin point your fertile days.

When are You Most Fertile?

During ovulation, an egg is only available to be fertilized for about 12-24 hours. But sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days after sex and the egg is available for one day, so your most fertile time is about 5-7 days.

Don’t You Ovulate on the 14th Day After Your Period?

This is a myth that many, including healthcare professionals, still believe. The “14th-day” thinking appears to come from either taking the average of when all women ovulate or from just dividing the 28-day cycle in half. This is not an accurate way to calculate ovulation because many women do NOT ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART SEVEN

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, travels through the fallopian tube, and is ready to meet sperm and be fertilized. Approximately every month an egg matures within one of your ovaries. The lining of the uterus is thickened to prepare for the fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining, will shed during your period. Fairhaven Health is a corporate sponsor and they provide effective and affordable ovulation prediction tools.

What are the Signs of Ovulation?

  • Change in cervical fluid

  • Change in cervical position and cervical firmness

  • A brief twinge of pain or a dull ache that is felt on one side of the abdomen

  • Light spotting

  • Increase in sex drive

  • An elevated level of the luteinizing hormone which can be detected on an ovulation test

  • Basal body temperature chart that shows a consistent change

  • Breast tenderness

  • Abdominal bloating

  • A heightened sense of vision, smell, or taste.

Can You Ovulate More Than Once During a Cycle?

A woman should not ovulate more than once during each cycle. This is due to a careful balance of hormones and their levels – it takes just the right timing and release of hormones to bring on the release of a mature egg. Therefore, she cannot get pregnant more than once during a cycle. Remember, if you are not using a tracking method such as OPKs, basal body temperature, or cervical mucus, there is no guaranteed way to pin down the day you are ovulating. Many period tracking apps will give you your “day of ovulation,” but this is only an estimation of when it might happen. Thus, two days (or more) after the predicted ovulation day may not be a “safe” day to have sex to avoid pregnancy, since it’s possible that you have not actually ovulated yet.

Multiple ovulation is another phenomenon that can occur and is when two or more eggs are released in a single cycle. The eggs are released during one 24 hour period and are responsible for the birth of fraternal twins. It is believed that this may occur in as many as 5-10% of all cycles but does not result in that many twins due to a type of miscarriage referred to as the “vanishing twin phenomenon.”

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART SIX

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CONTINUED. . . 

FERTILITY AWARENESS WHC-14

Fertility Charting Basics

Charting your menstrual cycles, also known as fertility charting, is one of the best ways to learn about your body and your fertility. Fertility charting provides important insight into your reproductive health by helping you to determine if, and when, you are ovulating and which days of your cycle you are fertile. This information can help you achieve, and even avoid, pregnancy naturally.

Charting Your Two Primary Fertility Signs

In its most basic form, fertility charting involves simply collecting and recording information related to your two primary fertility signs: basal body temperature and cervical mucus. Your basal body temperature (also called your waking temperature) is your body’s temperature while you are resting. Before ovulation occurs, your basal body temperature (BBT) will be relatively low. But, immediately following ovulation, your body begins to produce the hormone progesterone, which has a warming effect on your body and causes your BBT to increase. This temperature shift is very subtle, usually less than .5 degrees, but by charting your waking temperature daily throughout your cycle, you will be able to identify this shift and pinpoint when ovulation occurred. To track your BBT, you need a digital or glass basal thermometer and a place to plot your temperatures. A piece of graph paper works just fine, but many women opt instead for fertility charting websites or mobile apps, such as OvaGraph. For best results, be sure to take your temperature at the same time each day, immediately upon waking, and before you get out of bed. Cervical mucus is another powerful fertility sign that can help you identify your fertile days in your cycle. Simply put, cervical mucus (also called cervical fluid) is a substance secreted by the cervix. Cervical mucus production is regulated by the hormone estrogen, so the consistency and quantity of cervical mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle in response to the ups and downs of estrogen production. Immediately following your period, cervical mucus production is low, and many women describe themselves as dry. As you move through your cycle, and estrogen begins to build, you will likely see more cervical mucus and it might have a “creamy” appearance. Then, once ovulation is imminent, estrogen surges, which causes the consistency of your cervical mucus to become slippery and stretchy, resembling egg whites. This egg-white cervical mucus is called fertile quality mucus, and it plays an important role in fertility as both a predictive sign of ovulation and also as a substance to protect sperm as it travels through the reproductive tract. If you lack fertile quality cervical mucus, it might be difficult for you to conceive, as your partner’s sperm depend on this mucus to facilitate a speedy transport from your vagina to your Fallopian tube to fertilize the egg. Just like BBT charting, tracking changes in your cervical fluid simple, requiring only a daily check and recording the type of mucus present. Again, this can be done with pen and paper, or at an online fertility charting site.

Take Charge of your Fertility with Fertility Charting

Toni Weschler, the author of the best-selling book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and nationally-recognized women’s health educator, considers fertility charting (especially BBT and cervical mucus) to be a fundamental part of women’s health. The same fertility charts and methods featured in her book are available for free online at OvaGraph.com.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART FIVE

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS

Understanding Ovulation

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is made available to be fertilized. Approximately every month an egg will mature within one of your ovaries. As it reaches maturity, the egg is released by the ovary where it enters the fallopian tube to make its way towards waiting for sperm and the uterus. The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for the fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining, as well as blood, will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation.

Key Facts:

  • An egg lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary
  • Normally only one egg is released each time of ovulation
  • Ovulation can be affected by stress, illness or disruption of normal ROUTINE
  • Some women may experience some light blood or spotting during ovulation
  • Implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6-12 days after ovulation
  • Each woman is born with millions of immature eggs that are awaiting ovulation to begin
  • A menstrual period can occur even if ovulation has not occurred
  • Ovulation can occur even if a menstrual period has not occurred
  • Some women experience pain/aching near ovaries during ovulation called ‘middle pain’
  • If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining

How to Track Your Cycle:

A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s cycle normally is between 28-32 days, but some women may have much shorter or much longer cycles. Ovulation can be calculated by starting with the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) or by calculating 12-16 days from the next expected period. Most women ovulate anywhere between Day 11 – Day 21 of their cycle, counting from the first day of the LMP. This is what many refer to as the “fertile time” of a woman’s cycle because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy. Ovulation can occur at various times during a cycle and may occur on a different day each month. It is important to track your cycle and fortunately, there are a number of free fertility charting tools available to help women identify their peak fertile days.

The Ovulation Cycle Divided Into Two Parts:

  • The first part of the cycle is called the follicular phase. This phase starts the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) and continues until ovulation.

This first half of the cycle can differ greatly for each woman lasting anywhere from 7 days to 40 days.

  • The second half of the cycle is called the luteal phase and is from the day of ovulation until the next period begins. The luteal phase has a more precise timeline and usually is only 12-16 days from the day of ovulation.

This ultimately means that the day of ovulation will determine how long your cycle is. This also means that outside factors like stress, illness, and disruption of normal routine can throw off your cycle which then results in changing the time your period will come. So the old thought that stress can affect your period is only partly true. Stress can affect your ovulation which ultimately determines when your period will come, but stress around the time of an expected period will not make it late—it was already determined when it would come 12-16 days earlier!

Fertility Awareness is one way to track when ovulation occurs, and it includes noticing the changes in cervical mucus and using a basal thermometer. Cervical fluid will change to a wet, slippery substance that resembles “egg whites” just before ovulation occurs and until it is over. A basal thermometer helps track a body temperature rise, which signals that ovulation has just occurred.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART FOUR

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS

 

Secondary signs of ovulation may include:

  • Changes in the cervix (The cervix will become high, soft, and open.)

  • Slight one-sided pain in the area of an ovary

  • Breast tenderness

Keep in mind that these secondary symptoms should not be relied on exclusively if using FAM as birth control. Always make sure to back them up by checking the primary symptoms (cervical mucus and basal temperature).

What are the pros and cons of fertility awareness?

The Pros of Fertility Awareness include:

  • Effective when used correctly and consistently

  • No side effects

  • Immediate reversibility

  • Inexpensive or free

  • No devices, drugs, prescriptions, or office visits

  • Does not contain estrogen, which may increase the risk of heart problems

  • Acceptable for couples who have religious concerns related to contraception

  • Effective for couples who are preventing or trying to get pregnant

The Cons of Fertility Awareness include:

  • Requires diligence from both partners

  • Requires periods of abstinence or backup contraception for approximately 1/3 of the month

  • Requires consistent and accurate record-keeping

  • More challenging for women with irregular cycles

Use and/or print an ovulation calculator to better understand your menstrual cycle and ovulation.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART THREE

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CONTINUED. . . 

Fertility Awareness

How effective is fertility awareness?

When fertility awareness is used correctly and consistently, it may reach rates of effectiveness around 90%. The effectiveness depends on your diligence to track and record your fertility pattern and your commitment to abstain from sexual intercourse or use a barrier form of birth control during your fertility window.

Average use shows a failure rate of approximately 25%. If you are committed to tracking and recording your fertility information, you can achieve much higher success rates.

What are the side effects or health risks of fertility awareness?

There are no health risks or side effects associated with fertility awareness.

Is fertility awareness reversible?

Yes. Fertility awareness does not have any effects on the male or female reproductive functioning. Pregnancy is possible immediately following the practice of fertility awareness.

How much does fertility awareness cost?

Fertility awareness is free to inexpensive. Free training sessions are usually available around your community through health centers, pregnancy services, or some churches.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART TWO

WOMEN'S HEALTH CENTER FERTILITY AWARENESS

CONTINUED. . . 

FERTILITY AWARENESS

Keep in mind that the calendar method and tracking of past cycles is only a guide. Menstruation and ovulation can change from month to month. However, by combining the calendar method with the other natural methods of tracking your ovulation described below, you can have a fairly accurate understanding of when you are ovulating.

Basal body temperature method: The basal body temperature method helps identify a change in temperature that occurs after ovulation and remains elevated until your next period. By looking at charting from a few cycles, your temperatures can reveal a pattern from which ovulation can be anticipated. The steps below can help you as you begin to track your temperature and identify when you are ovulating.

Step 1: Take your temperature orally each morning before you get out of bed.
Step 2: Use a basal thermometer, which recognizes small changes in your temperature. Your body temperature will only rise between 0.4 and 1 degree Fahrenheit when you ovulate. Buy a Basal Thermometer Now.
Step 3: Record your temperature every day on your fertility tracking calendar.

If you record it every day, you will see that prior to ovulation your temperature is rather consistent. As you approach ovulation, you may notice a slight decline, but it will be followed by a sharp increase after ovulation. The increase in temperature is the sign that ovulation has just occurred.

Because the increase happens after you have ovulated, this method is best used by those who have time to track and study their charts for a couple of months, to ensure the best chances of conception. Illness, travel, and alcohol or drug use can affect your temperature and make it difficult to establish an accurate reading. Lack of sleep can also affect temperature reading, so it is important to get at least 3 consecutive hours of sleep before taking your basal body temperature.

Cervical mucus method: The consistency of your cervical mucus changes during the menstrual cycle. In the average cycle, after a 5-day menstrual flow, there are about 3 to 4 dry days.

The mucus wetness increases daily, lasting approximately 9 days until the wettest day. Your mucus is easily recognized at this point. It should be slippery, clear, stretchy, and look like egg whites. It can be difficult to conceive without this “egg white” cervical mucus, but there are natural products that can help improve mucus production if that is a concern.

Ovulation generally occurs within 1-2 days of your peak day of stretchy mucus. In order to use the cervical mucus method to identify your ovulation follow the steps noted below:

Step 1: Collect the mucus from the vaginal opening with your fingers by wiping them from front to back.
Step 2: Record it daily on your fertility calendar by making note of the color (yellow, white, clear, or cloudy), the consistency (thick, sticky, or stretchy) and the feel (dry, sticky, lotion-like, wet, slippery, or stretchy).
Step 3: Ovulation usually occurs within 1-2 days of when your mucus is clearest, slippery, and most stretchy, if not on the peak day itself.

When using the fertility awareness method, do not douche or use spermicides, which increase your risk for infection and may wash away or change the appearance of the mucus.

TO BE CONTINUED. . . .

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Birth Control Alternatives

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Fertility Awareness 

What is fertility awareness?

Fertility awareness is a collection of methods using your body’s natural functioning to determine the days of the month you are most likely to get pregnant. It is also called Natural Family Planning (NFP), and other variations include the Sympto-Thermal Method, the Ovulation Method, and the Billings Method.

Fertility awareness or Natural Family Planning is a method of birth control that does not use any drugs or devices. It combines the calendar/rhythm method, the basal body temperature method, and the cervical mucus method. The fertility awareness method is used both as a means of preventing pregnancy and as a way to target the most fertile time for getting pregnant.

How does fertility awareness work?

The calendar, basal body temperature, and cervical mucus methods are combined to give you the awareness of when your body is most fertile.  As you become familiar with your body’s ovulation and fertile window, it provides you the opportunity to abstain from sexual intercourse or use a barrier method during that time.

How do you use fertility awareness?

The first objective within fertility awareness is to become familiar with your menstrual cycle and to begin charting your fertility pattern. The average menstrual cycle is between 28 to 32 days. 

Here is a glance at an average cycle to give you a gauge for examining your own cycle:

Day 1: The first day of your menstrual flow is the beginning of your cycle.
Day 7: By day seven your egg is preparing to be fertilized by sperm.
Days 11-21: (based on a 28-day cycle) Hormones in your body cause the egg to be released from the ovary, which is known as ovulation. The egg travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus and is only available to be fertilized for 12-24 hours during this window. If the sperm penetrates the egg, the fertilized egg will attach to the lining of the uterus and begin to grow. If fertilization does not happen, the egg breaks apart.
Day 28: If the egg is not fertilized, hormone levels drop around this day, causing the lining of the uterus to be shed, which is known as menstruation.

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We are excited to announce that our new website is live at https://baldwincountywomenshealthcenter.com -- please visit us!

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