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Fertility Friday | Fertility Awareness Mastery for Women's Health Professionals

Are you ready to uplevel your women's health practice? Welcome to the Fertility Friday Podcast! A podcast designed to empower you to use fertility awareness both personally and professionally. If you are a woman's health professional — and you’re not fully utilizing the menstrual cycle as a vital sign — it's time to change that right away! Through evidence-based literature reviews, engaging discussions, expert interviews, and compelling client stories, Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, FAE, HRHP covers everything from complex menstrual cycle chart interpretation and balancing hormones to overcoming fertility challenges and more. With over 20 years of experience teaching fertility awareness, Lisa combines her real-world expertise with the latest research to ensure you're fully equipped to support your clients. Lisa's first book, "The Fifth Vital Sign," describes the menstrual cycle as an important vital sign we should pay attention to. Her most recent book, "Real Food for Fertility" (co-authored with Lily Nichols, RDN), explores how a healthy menstrual cycle sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy. With well over 4 million downloads, Fertility Friday is the #1 source for information about fertility awareness and menstrual cycle health. All women deserve to understand how their bodies work, and if we wait for our education systems to do it we may be waiting forever. It's up to us to be the change we wish to see in the field of women's health. In other words, It's YOUR TURN to bring this essential information to your clients sooner rather than later — they need it now!
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Fertility Friday | Fertility Awareness Mastery for Women's Health Professionals
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Now displaying: July, 2015
Jul 31, 2015

Laura is a veteran sexual and reproductive health advocate who has worked for and volunteered with Planned Parenthood-affiliated organizations in Canada since 1986. She was a Columnist for Troy Health Media, and she is the new editor-in-chief for Re: Cycling, the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. As many of you know, I recently interviewed Holly-Grigg Spall, and in that interview, we spoke about her book Sweetening the Pill or how we got hooked on hormonal birth control. Laura actually wrote the forward to this book, and she has also publicly shown her support for the upcoming documentary that Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein are doing based on the book. And she has also charted her cycles for 27 years.

Today we will be talking about the health implications of using the Fertility Awareness Method that go beyond the practical aspects of having a hormone-free method of birth control, why rejecting the pill is actually not "anti-feminist" and why it is important for women to have access to accurate information about all forms of birth control regardless of what method they eventually decide to rely on.

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • Is it possible for women to learn to use the Fertility Awareness Method confidently and accurately?
  • Why a "possibly fertile day" is actually a fertile day
  • The role that intention plays in the effectiveness of the Fertility Awareness Method
  • The role that the Fertility Awareness plays in helping women to learn body literacy
  • The implications of placing young women on the hormonal birth control before their menstrual cycles have fully matured
  • The importance of helping women transition off of hormonal contraceptives successfully
  • Why questioning "the pill" is not actually "anti-feminist"
  • The benefits of having the ability to understand and interpret your fertile signs
  • Why the pill doesn't "regulate" a woman's cycle or "mimic pregnancy," and what it is actually doing to your hormones
  • Why Laura has publicly endorsed the upcoming documentary Sweetening The Pill by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

In this podcast episode, Laura described the hormonal changes that a woman experiences naturally throughout her menstrual cycle, and how that changes when a woman is taking hormonal contraceptives. For reference, here is an image of the hormonal cycle during a healthy menstrual cycle. You'll notice that a woman has high levels of estrogen in the first half of her menstrual cycle before ovulation, and high levels of progesterone in the second half of her cycle after she ovulates.

Connect with Laura

You can connect with Laura on the Re: Cycling Blog for The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and on Facebook and Twitter!

Resources mentioned

Join the community! Find us on the Fertility Friday Facebook Fan Page

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

Jul 29, 2015

Aisha has been using the Fertility Awareness Method for almost 3 years, and she, like most of us who discover fertility awareness, had to share it and give other women the opportunity to learn about it as well, so she started a Facebook Group - Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control which now has over 1500 members and counting!

In today’s show, we’ll be talking about all about the Fertility Awareness Method, what Aisha’s experience has been like, and what prompted her to start using FAM in the first place!

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • Why the Fertility Awareness Method was ideal for Aisha and her partner
  • How effective is withdrawal for birth control?
  • Is it possible to use withdrawal perfectly?
  • How Aisha and her partner successfully use the Fertility Awareness Method and Withdrawal to prevent pregnancy
  • Why is it easier for some women to learn the Fertility Awareness Method?
  • What inspired Aisha to create a Facebook group that is currently at 1,500 members and counting!
  • The importance of having a community of women for support when learning the Fertility Awareness Method
  • Why it's important for women to be informed of all birth control options including non-hormonal methods

Connect with Aisha

You can connect with Aisha on the Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control Facebook Group!

Resources mentioned

Join the community! Find us on the Fertility Friday Facebook Fan Page

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

Jul 24, 2015

Kim and her sister Amy are the Red Tent Sisters! The Sisters have created a family business that not only helps women learn holistically (nonhormonal) birth control using the Fertility Awareness Method, but have also been raising awareness about healthy sexuality, and providing women with healthy, environmentally-friendly sex products through their website ecosex.ca. I had Amy on the show a few months ago and we talked all about the Fertility Awareness Method and the effects of long-term birth control use. If you haven't had a chance you can tune into my interview with Amy here.

Kim specializes in the area of healthy sexuality and she has been educating women and men for years on all things sex from gaining confidence in the bedroom to sex toys and everything in between! In today's show, we talk about sexuality, orgasms, female pleasure, and we get into some of the reasons that prevent women from having a truly satisfying sex life.

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • How we are all impacted by the stereotypical portrayal of sexual activity in the media and in mainstream pornography
  • Why the missionary position alone doesn't cut it for 70% of women
  • Why the concept of "normal" sexual activity can be limiting and less pleasurable particularly for heterosexual couples
  • Why focusing on sexual intercourse exclusively as the "main event" can be problematic especially when it comes to female pleasure
  • How having a period of "abstinence" from unprotected sexual intercourse during a woman's fertile window can actually improve a couple's sexual relationship by encouraging increased communication, and allowing the couple to experiment with a variety of sexual activities instead of focusing primarily on intercourse
  • Why women are often hesitant to ask for what we want sexually
  • How to discover what you want sexually if you have never had an orgasm or if you are not fully satisfied sexually
  • The problem with "faking it"
  • Why orgasms and female sexual pleasure are important
  • What to do when partners are mismatched sexually either in their sexual preferences or in their libido and desired frequency of sexual activity
  • What couples who are struggling with fertility challenges can do to improve their sexual experiences so sex doesn't feel like a chore
  • Should couples have sex in a certain position when they are trying to conceive?
  • Why should we care about the materials that are used in sex toys?
  • What lubricants are sperm friendly for couples who are trying to conceive?
  • What ingredients should you avoid in spermicides
  • Why asking for what you want sexually is such an important step towards actually getting it

Connect with Kim

You can connect with Kim on the Red Tent Sister's Website, on ecosex.ca, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube!

Resources mentioned

Join the community! Find us on the Fertility Friday Facebook Fan Page

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

Jul 17, 2015

You may be familiar with Katie’s extensive work in the Fertility Awareness world. She is the author of several books about Fertility Awareness including The Garden of Fertility, Honoring Our Cycles, and Honoring Our Cycles in Africa. The Garden of Fertility is much more than a “how to” book on Fertility Awareness, it also provides extensive information on how a woman’s menstrual cycle is an indicator of her overall health, and she discusses how various health issues may show up in your charts.

In Katie’s most recent book An Electronic Silent Spring, she focuses on the impact of long-term exposure to Electromagnetic radiation, the same EMR technology that powers all of our wireless devices such as cell phones, computers, iPods, laptops and so much more. In today’s episode we talk about why it’s important for women to learn to chart their cycles for health, regardless of whether or not they are trying to conceive, we talk about the night-lighting technique that helps women to regulate their cycles by alternating complete darkness with light while sleeping, and we also talk about the impact that electromagnetic radiation can have on our fertility.

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • The health implications of tracking your menstrual cycles - using your menstrual cycles as a diagnostic tool
  • Why it is important for all women to have healthy menstrual cycles regardless of whether or not they are planning to have children
  • The impact that using the Fertility Awareness Method can have on your relationship with your partner
  • Different ways that using the Fertility Awareness Method can improve communication around topics of sexuality and reproductive health in relationships
  • Benefits of having periods of abstinence in your menstrual cycle, and how your sexual relationship can be enhanced through the dialogue and sexual creativity that can result from it
  • The dramatic impact that sleeping in complete darkness can have on a woman's menstrual cycle
  • How a woman can strengthen and regulate her menstrual cycle with the night-lighting technique
  • The impact of electromagnetic radiation on both male and female fertility
  • The impact that electromagnetic radiation can have on vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women
  • What are some ways that we can reduce our exposure each day?

Connect with Katie

You can connect with Katie on any of her 3 websites: Katie Singer, Garden of Fertility and Electronic Silent Spring.

Resources mentioned

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

Jul 10, 2015

Marc is the founder and Clinical Director of the Reproductive Wellness Clinic in San Diego California. He has extensive experience and expertise in treating and resolving the causes of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss with classical Acupuncture and Chinese Medicines. A culmination of studying world religions and ancient healing techniques, combined with extensive world travel, gives Marc a unique understanding of the human body and spirit. A Doctor of Acupuncture, Board Certified Herbalist, and Oriental Medicine Practitioner, and Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, Marc approaches his patients with an open mind, compassion, and a medically integrative perspective.

In today's show, we talk about the role that acupuncture can play in improving fertility in both women and men. We discuss the importance of seeking assistance early especially if a woman is noticing signs of sub-optimal fertility. We talk about male factor infertility, why it is so important for men to be tested early, and the myth that infertility is a women's issue. After today's show, I'm thinking that a lot more men will be heading out to see their fertility doctor for some basic fertility testing!

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • How effective is acupuncture in improving IVF outcomes?
  • The benefits of using acupuncture for several months prior to starting IVF treatments
  • The benefits of acupuncture to improve fertility for both women and men
  • When should women seek assistance with fertility issues? When is the best time to reach out for help?
  • Why is pre-conception care so important for women?
  • The impact of age on fertility, and the importance of seeking out fertility assistance early
  • What is the typical time-frame for women who seek acupuncture treatment for fertility related issues?
  • How important is it to have the male partner tested when a couple is facing fertility challenges?
  • Why it's important to consider having the male partner tested right off the bat
  • The myth that infertility is generally a woman's issue
  • What is male factor infertility? What are the specific issues involved?
  • The importance of testing for sperm motility, morphology, and sperm count

Connect with Marc!

You can connect with Marc on his website, his clinic Reproductive Wellness, and on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Resources mentioned

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

Jul 3, 2015

Danielle is the first Medical Doctor that I have interviewed on the podcast. Dr. Miller is board certified in Family Medicine and also has additional training as a Natural Procreative Technology Medical Consultant. As a NaPro physician, she has extensive experience in Natural Fertility Awareness and using a natural approach to correct common women’s health disorders. NaPro Technology is a new women's health science that monitors and maintains a woman's reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system. NaPro Technology Consultants have an extensive understanding of the female reproductive system and the fertility awareness method, and their treatment protocols are informed by the woman's own unique menstrual cycle variations.

NaPro technology is a medical science that is based on the Creighton model of fertility awareness cycle charting. NaPro Physicians and Consultants work with a woman's fertility awareness charts to identify the root causes of fertility challenges and menstrual cycle irregularities and treat them accordingly.

In today's show, we talk about NaPro Technology and how this method uses Fertility Awareness charting to inform diagnostic practices and treatment protocols. We talk about the wealth of information that a trained practitioner can draw from a woman's fertility awareness charts and the benefits of working with a woman's fertility with the intention of addressing the root causes of her cycle irregularities and fertility challenges. We talk about the difference between the way that mainstream medicine treats women's fertility concerns compared to the NaPro model of care.

Topics discussed in today's episode

  • What is NaPro Technology?
  • What is the Creighton method of fertility awareness charting?
  • The difference between the mainstream medical approach to women's care and the approach taken by NaPro Technology
  • How NaPro Physicians and Consultants use a woman's Fertility Awareness charts to do a full focused work-up and identify the underlying causes of her fertility challenges and/or menstrual cycle  irregularities
  • Why infertility isn't actually a diagnosis, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem
  • The problem with the mainstream approach to testing a woman's reproductive hormone levels in a standardized way
  • The benefits of measuring for specific hormone levels based on a woman's actual menstrual cycle
  • Why it matters to test for specific hormone levels at the correct time in a woman's cycle
  • The very real and practical application of a woman's fertility awareness charts as a diagnostic tool in the treatment of reproductive health challenges
  • The benefits of the NaPro Technology approach to surgery when required
  • The specialized training that surgeons receive in minimally invasive and low scaring techniques for reproductive health issues such as endometriosis
  • Progesterone therapy and the difference between synthetic and bio-identical hormones
  • Why women who plan to conceive in the future should consider coming off of hormonal contraceptives a minimum of 6 to 12 months prior to when they plan to start trying

Resources mentioned

Music Credit: Intro/Outro music Produced by Sirc of (The Nock)

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