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Family Planning Time

Family Planning Time

So I was reading the news stories the other day (as we are all doing during pandemic 2020) and noticed something critical.. "Condom shortage looms after coronavirus lockdown shuts world's top producer" from Reuters. I found this alarming to say the least. Because like many of you, I rely on condoms to not have any more babies during my fertile time of the month. So I thought it would be important to have a chat about family planning before the condom shortage actually hits. So before this kicks off, here is my disclosure: I am not a doctor and do not have medical training. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact an actual doctor. 
While many people utilize hormonal birth control, there are many of us who can't without complications. So understanding our different birth control options is critical. One of the different birth control options is Fertility Awareness Method aka tracking your menstrual cycle.
One important thing is to understand your menstrual cycle. Knowing when you will be fertile is important. So first thing you need to do is start tracking your cycle. This can be done in a number of ways:
  • Pen and Paper
  • Fitbit App
  • App on your phone
  • Online tracker (even Always has a tracker)
These will usually tell you a few things: when you're fertile and when you should menstruate. You may need to track for a few months to get this accurate (hence why I'm telling you now instead of a few months when the shortage is here). 
Let's chat about that fertile period. You're most fertile at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries), which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. So you are most fertile within a day or two either side of an egg being released from your ovaries (ovulation). But you can get pregnant if you have sex at any point during the week before ovulation, as sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to 7 days.  So how can you calculate your fertile days? So by tracking your period using an app or online calculator is important. Then you know when you should be fertile. That's your best time to use protection if you are going to have sex.
As always, the only 100% guarantee to not becoming pregnant is abstinence. However, I understand that close quarters and attractive partners may make that difficult. So start tracking now so if we experience a condom shortage, y'all know when you must use them. 
Disclaimer: Jessica Featherstone is not a doctor or medical professional. Jessica is not responsible for anyone's pregnancy.

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