Ever wonder what teachers didn’t tell students during sex-education class?
Its likely youth were not told how a woman’s reproductive cycle functions—and even that it’s beautiful, said Abby Sinnett, associate director and nurse at Bella Natural Women’s Care in Englewood.
Classes and clinics tend to suggest to women a “quick fix” to fertility questions and issues by prescribing artificial birth control or long-term contraception like inter-uterine devices (IUDs), she said.
Such medications suggest fertility is bad and it should be covered up or made non-existent with hormones, implants or devices.
“But our fertility is not broken,” Sinnett said. “It’s not a disease and it’s a not a bad thing. It’s how we were made.”
There is a natural and safe way to learn and monitor a woman’s cycle. A natural method, called fertility awareness, helps a woman track her biological cues to identify points in her menstrual cycle.
“A natural method tells a woman every single day that she’s good, that her body is beautiful, that the way it’s working is beautiful and it’s doing it well,” Sinnett said.
Fertility awareness is a term used at the Bella clinic to help women become aware of their bodies, and achieve or avoid pregnancy.
“From a gynecology perspective, it’s a very healthy thing to be monitoring,” Sinnett said. “The great thing about understanding your fertility and understanding what’s going on in your body is it naturally ebbs and flows with hormones.”
Birth control can cover up these signs and prevent women from knowing what’s going on inside their bodies.
The American Pregnancy Association says a woman’s cycle can be tracked using cervical fluid, body temperature, and monitoring the cervix, all of which change in response to hormones. Tools or charts are then used to track the beginning and end of cycles and when a woman is or is not fertile.
“To be in touch with your body and to know so intimately what it’s doing and how it’s working—it’s freeing,” Sinnett said.
Websites and smartphone applications are available to help with fertility awareness.
“For a teenaged girl or a college-aged girl who is just tired of being put on something, tired of the side effects or concerned about what she’s doing to her body, I would recommend just starting with an app where she can just start to get to know what her body is doing,” Sinnett suggested.
The most important message left out from most sex-education is women’s bodies are made wonderfully.
“They are beautiful and they are made so wonderfully,” Sinnett said. “Women should not be afraid of how they were made. They should embrace their beauty by knowing their cycles.”
Bella Natural Women’s Care
Bella recommends fertility awareness smartphone applications like FEMM to help women track their cycles.
At the Capitol
The push to expand government-funded IUD programs reached the Capitol when lawmakers considered increased funding for teenagers and young women. However, House Bill 1194 failed in a Senate committee April 29.