much less pain. Also around this time, greater sexuality began to emerge and I started a relationship and had my first sexual encounters. It was around this time that I was given a book on natural fertility management to read. I tried to read it, as deep down I knew it was important, but it held little interest for me at that time. In my relationship, I blindly went on having sex without any thought of my fertility. I don’t really know why. I guess I just thought I’d be lucky not to become pregnant.
I guess it was this ignorance that led me to disregard the signs of pregnancy until twelve weeks without a period! I was in shock and turmoil, as I certainly didn’t want to have a baby. Because I had ignored the signs of pregnancy for so long I had to make decisions quickly, and for me, at that stage in my life, the only one was a termination. Afterwards, my resolve was to gain something valuable from the whole sorry mess and it was this crisis which caused me to re-examine the whole of my attitude to my sexuality and reproductive system.
I then went back to the book on natural fertility and read it from cover to cover. I ordered a kit from the author which included my lunar dates and the monthly fertility charts to fill in. At first I remember feeling panicky that it seemed way too hard to observe the vaginal mucus and basal temperature changes, and I worried a lot that I would make a mistake. But as the book reassuringly states, it only took me a couple of cycles to get a fair picture and understanding of what was happening.
The benefits were so many. I started to understand how my mind and feelings were affecting my cycle, my periods became perfectly regular – every 28 days. All menstrual discomfort disappeared and, most importantly, a positive attitude about my body and my reproductive system emerged. The biggest problem was abstinence during my fertile days. Due to nature’s plan, most women feel the greatest sexual desire at this time, and this is undoubtedly true for me. I have had to learn to witness my feelings of desire, and at times it was a hard battle. My yoga practice has also helped me improve my awareness and intuition, and I have developed a certain detachment from my libido with better self discipline.
Initially observations seemed a burden, but quickly things became simplified. Many of the techniques I first used were discarded. Now, 2 years later, I no longer keep charts or take my temperature, only needing to rely on vaginal mucus observations and intuition. I rarely have to think about the timing of my cycle because I am so much more in tune with it, and can detect any signs of abnormality fairly quickly. That for me has been the greatest benefit after so many years of long cycles and painful periods – the ability to be able to see when my body is malfunc-tioning. Then I can do some yoga to get it back to normal.”