A highlight from Reading the Signs of your Body



No one talks to girls about their cervical fluid. It's like denying semen exists. It's denying that you sneeze and blow your nose. So your cervix do you know what your cervix is? This is me about four years ago. It's like taking a lesson with a woman named Tammy Rubin. She's a certified fertility awareness and reproductive health educator. I can't guarantee anything for you. I can just tell you the science and what I've learned and what I want to touch on. So the events leading up to finding Tammy a chronicled in the first episode of bodies, sex hurts. You can listen back if you want all the details, but to summarize, when I was 24, sex became painful. I told my doctor, but I was dismissed. And I was having a really negative impact on my relationship with my then boyfriend. And then, through a friend, I learned that it could be the birth control pill that was causing the pain. I'd been on the pill since I was 18 and never given a second thought. But then I started looking into it more and yes, painful sex, as well as low sex drive and trouble lubricating were all potential side effects of the pill. So I went to an o-b-gyn specialist who confirmed that it was indeed the pill that was causing my issues. He told me to stop taking the pill, use a topical hormonal gel to get my hormone levels back to normal and go to pelvic floor physical therapy. I did all three things and after about 6 months, the pain went away. And honestly, my sex drive was better than it had ever been. And so after I got off the pill, I did not want to take hormonal birth control again. But I didn't want to get pregnant either. Condoms are fine contraceptives for the time being, but they didn't seem like a sustainable solution for the rest of my reproductive life. I started researching and came across this thing called the fertility awareness method. And at first I was like so the rhythm method that very unscientific way of guessing where you're at in your cycle. But as I learned during my sessions with Tammy, it's not the same thing as the rhythm method. Once you see that fluid, the fertile window is opening. And the change in cervical fluid marks the beginning of your fertile time. Turns out my body and the body of anyone with a menstrual cycle since two major signals over the course of a cycle. And if you can learn to read those signs, you can figure out on your own when you're fertile and when you're not fertile. This truly blew my mind. And so for the final episode of season three, I wanted to devote this episode to the fertility awareness method. How it works, how it can be used for contraception, why it's vital information for people trying to get pregnant and why it especially matters for people with polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. I'm Alison berenger and from KCRW, this is bodies. And a heads up,

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