i've been successfully charting and using fertility awareness method (which, by the way, is not the very irresponsible 'rhythm method' people often know of) since 2006. i have charted my fertility signals since 2003, as a whole. one of my many community health clinic goals is to become a community-based fertility awareness educator for impoverished women, and well, anyone who wants to get to know their body!
i wanted to write about this topic a bit because i've made a new type 1 friend (hey lisa!!) and she is interested in charting her mucus and temperature signals. i want people to know that it is an elegantly scientific way to connect with your body and empower yourself with the knowledge that so few women [sadly] have. to wake in the morning and have the knowledge that will take you through your sexual relationship without the use of hormones or worry is an incredible power to have. also, to be with a man who knows your body and respects that your sexual relationship centers around your cycle, is a beautiful way to remain in balance with one another. used properly (just like hormonal contraceptives) it is over 95% effective.
however, you must be in a completely monogamous relationship and a physically healthy one, obviously. the worry not only being that you will get pregnant, but that you must have complete trust, communication and equality between each other. otherwise, you will end up making a mistake.
i can tell you as a type 1 woman, i better understand changes in sugar balance throughout my cycle that i can 'plan for' and deal with because i know exactly where i am at in my cycle: i tend to spike on the day of ovulation, and have greater lows immediately before my new cycle begins. not everyone is the same, but that is the point: your body is your own, and getting to know it is a responsibility we all have. i don't care for standardized...anything.
you don't get pregnant because you 'didn't use anything'; you get pregnant because you were fertile at the time you had sex. period.
reading even a basic book on FAM ('fertility awareness method') can help you get started. i suggest the highly scientific "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" but "The Garden of Fertility" is an excellent introduction, too.
ruminate on this:
the female body is like the earth, round and supple; full of the potential for life. things cannot grow without rain. when the earth is wet, life can grow within it. when she is dry, her soil is not fertile.