Welcome to week two of our Beautiful, Healthy You series!  Check out this page if you missed any past articles or features!

Last week, I asked a simple question here at the blog: 

What would you like to learn more about regarding your health as a woman?

A sampling of the comments you left in response:

I’d like to learn what I should be doing to improve my fertility now that I’m getting older…

I would love to learn how to keep my hormones from fluctuating so much… 

I’ve been trying to conceive for the past year without success…

After experiencing the heartbreak of a miscarriage, my drive to know more about hormone’s and all the other intricacies of my body has increased… 

We have been trying to conceive for almost five months now…

I would like to learn how to promote fertility and how to track my cycles more efficiently…

I want to learn how to naturally boost my fertility…

Your responses absolutely grabbed my heart.  I knew what I had to write about this week!

Hormones.  Natural Family Planning.  Fertility. 

Am I an expert on these topics?  Absolutely not.

But I’m going to share products that I know have helped others, ones I’ve personally found helpful, and as many resources that I know of in order to get “expert” information into your hands.

Understanding & Charting Your Monthly Cycles 

This is a topic I am familiar with. Now.

As a young wife, however, I didn’t have a clue, so there has been a lot of on-the-job training here. 🙂

In case you’re new to “charting” and don’t know what that means, I’m referring to the process of becoming familiar with your body’s cycles in order to pinpoint your times of fertility and infertility.  (It’s called “charting” because you literally record your cycle changes on a chart or calendar.) 

This understanding of your body is a key component of Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Over the last ten years or so, I’ve read a number of books and articles on NFP and charting.  Most of them were confusing or just weren’t thorough enough to be reliable!

My favorite resources on the topic, and ones I readily recommend to friends or family, are:

You can also check out my favorite Fertility Tools for the Natural Woman.

 

The best way to become knowledgeable about your body is simply to start charting.  Keep track of your cycles, no matter how sporadic or irregular they might be.

Learn to recognize what your body is doing, and how it changes from week to week and month to month.

Every woman’s body is unique, so even the best tools are resources are going to be nothing more than guidelines to help you out.  You become the expert about your body!

Balancing Those Wacky Hormones

This is another topic I can share about from personal experience, at least a little.

After the birth of our fourth baby (nearly four years ago), my hormones went crazy.  I nearly went crazy.  (No kidding.)

A few symptoms I experienced:

  • unpredictable monthly cycles
  • depression, anxiety and moodiness
  • night sweats
  • insomnia

Obviously, the list of symptoms caused by hormone imbalances includes many other issues, and can contribute to infertility and/or miscarriage. 

My midwife recognized what I was dealing with (I didn’t, I just thought I was going nuts).  She recommended two herbal tinctures from Mountain Meadow Herbs:

HB Formula & T & C Formula

 

I took these tinctures for several months, alternating every two weeks.  I saw good results within a few months; eventually, my cycles got back on track and I haven’t had hormone issues again.

I realize all hormone imbalances are not so easily corrected.  

If you need advice from an experienced professional, please seek out help from a trusted naturopath or herbalist, or called the trained staff at Mountain Meadow Herbs to get started in the right direction.

 

Fertility & Conception

I haven’t experienced infertility.  I can point you to resources, but I can’t say I’ve been there because I haven’t.

I do have many close friends who have suffered the pain of infertility and miscarriage; if you find yourself there right now, my heart goes out to you.  I know it hurts so badly.

If I may humbly offer a few suggestions, here are products and resources I would recommend:

Products to Encourage Conception:

Websites & Resources:

Wacky Hormones, Natural Family Planning & Fertility | Little Natural Cottage

Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. I don’t have to tell you that your body is complex; you already know that! 😉

Maybe it’s painfully obvious to you that your body is complicated.

Maybe you’re discouraged from trying and not getting good results from your efforts.

Maybe you’re overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start.

Just don’t forget that your body is also amazing.  You, a beautiful and cherished creation of God, are amazing.

Whatever your struggle, God is in the midst of it.  He understands. 

I hope something you found here today was helpful and encouraging, my friend!

Please feel free to recommend products or resources in the comments section of this post.

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8 thoughts on “Wacky Hormones, Natural Family Planning, & Fertility

  1. Great post! 🙂 I’m almost 2 years post partum after my third and I feel like I’m in perimenopause some days (I’m only 30)! It finally dawned on me a few months ago that my insomnia, weight gain, night sweats, and fatigue are likely hormone-related. My cycles are more or less back to normal lengths, but I’m not experiencing any of the symptoms of fertility that I’ve come to recognize from practicing fertility awareness. I’m thankful that we started down that road long ago so that I knew where to look. I haven’t done much right now other than get more sleep (well, spend more time in bed – I’m still waking frequently) and cut back on coffee (with the hope of quitting altogether soon for the sake of my adrenals), but I’m reading a book that I think will be really helpful – The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. She has a TON of awesome info about hormones in both layman’s and scientific terms and it’s a HUGE book. I haven’t gotten to her protocols for balancing yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll also check out the products your midwife recommended!

    Posted on June 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm
  2. One can download an NFP online manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, at http://www.NFPandmore.org for a suggested donation of $10. There are 2 pages (68-69 which offer suggestions to enhance fertility. One that should be tried is guaifenesin. Free charts are available at the website. Also one might want to read Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition by Shannon and The Fertility Diet for helpful suggestions. The temperature sign is also the best indicator as to whether you are pregnant or not.

    Posted on June 5, 2014 at 11:49 am
    1. Thank you for sharing that helpful information, Sheila. 🙂

      Posted on June 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm
  3. Sorry I was rushing on my phone! I meant to say “went gluten-free”!

    Posted on June 5, 2014 at 7:44 am
  4. Great series of posts! I am looking forward to the next ones! I just wanted to add–wbich you may be planning on… Sometimes all someone with infertility issues needs is a change of diet, or eliminating certain foods they were eating. It took us over a year to become pregnant with baby number one. After going then free (and improving other areas pf y diet, like adding good fats and probiotic foods) my periods ha e regulated and it only took 2-3 mos to get pregnant with number two 🙂

    Posted on June 5, 2014 at 7:28 am
    1. Diet factors into so many areas of our health, doesn’t it? I believe good fats and probiotics are so essential for our bodies, particularly as women. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Rebecca. I’m sure others will find this information helpful!

      Posted on June 5, 2014 at 10:49 am
  5. You you have any reccemendations/ suggestions/ thoughts on natural family planning while breastfeeding? I’m breastfeeding my 19 month old and my 5 month old some the hormones are out of whack just from that, plus I am waking multiple times a night so I don’t know if I can even get an accurate basil temp. Any ideas on this?

    Posted on June 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    1. Hi Ellen! Natural family planning while breastfeeding can be tricky, for sure.

      I would recommend the Fertile Focus (I shared a little about it right here: http://www.kristyscottage.com/fertility-tools-for-the-natural-woman-a-natural-living-link-up/). The readings aren’t based on your temperature, and it can help you determine when you’re about to ovulate. I have personally used the Fertile Focus for several years (it was recommended to me by my midwife).

      The Lady Comp is another recommendation, but it’s very pricey. I’ve read a lot about it but don’t own one, so I can’t give a personal review; from what I’ve read it is a very reliable tool for NFP.

      I few thoughts from my own personal experience: nursing on demand, holding off on starting solids until around 6 months (if baby will wait that long), skipping the paci or supplements like rice cereal, can prolong the infertile period while you’re breastfeeding. Obviously this isn’t the case for every woman, but this has been true for me.

      In addition, I would just encourage you to become very familiar with what your body is doing from week to week and take note of any changes in discharge. Taking Charge of Your Fertility outlines this process in detail.

      I found this forum thread over at the Taking Charge of Your Fertility website:

      http://www.tcoyf.com/forums/t/115837.aspx

      I haven’t read through it in its entirety, but I’m sharing it just in case something there might prove helpful for you.

      Blessings, Ellen!

      ~Kristy

      Posted on June 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm