Boosting Fertility with Vitamin B

When looking to balance your hormones, it’s important to consume enough foods that properly nourish your body, especially those high in vitamin B.

And Vitamin B6 is actually one of the most important in the set of B vitamins, as it helps regulate your hormones.

Being deficient in B6 can cause irregular menstrual cycles, a progesterone imbalance, as well as poor egg and sperm development. B6 can also help lengthen the luteal phase of your cycle and regulate blood sugar levels.

How much do you need?

Recommended daily amounts for total vitamin B is between 100 and 200mg’s per day. At one point I actually started charting my daily meals on SparkPeople.com and realized that even my intake on a whole foods diet was falling quite short of 100mg’s. I just wasn’t eating enough of the right foods. The RDA for B6 is about 1.9 mg for women and 1.3mg for men with the upper limit of intake at about 100mgs per day.

vitamin b and fertility

Sausage and bean Soup Recipe

To boost your intake with food, include more

  • whole grains, properly soaked
  • legumes (beans, lentils, etc), properly soaked
  • eggs,
  • grassfed meat,
  • wild caught fish,
  • potatoes,
  • spinach,
  • avocado

The B vitamins are also water soluble, meaning that you eliminate what you don’t use and they are not stored in the body long term like the fat soluble vitamins.

It’s also important to consume foods as close to their natural state as up to 90% of vitamin B6 can be lost during the processing from whole to ‘processed’. Eating a varied diet is also very important since different foods contain different nutrients, this way you guarantee to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Supplements can also be a good idea, and most women who are actively trying to conceive should be on a great whole foods/raw pre-natal vitamin already. But the amount of B6 in them are not enough to help boost your body’s stores of the nutrient, sometimes only giving you a few milligrams a day.

The FDA recommended amount of vitamin B6 in a multi-vitamin is only 2.5 mg’s.And it’s hard to know how much to supplement with since the RDAs are based only on how much of a nutrient is needed to prevent certain health issues. So looking at the RDA of B6 for instance, you’d want to make sure you got at least 1.9mgs with diet and supplementation.

Personally, I’ve taken a B complex vitamin (B vitamins should be taken together for better absorption) along with a pre-natal vitamin when I need to. I’ve found recommendations to start supplementing with an additional 25-50 mg’sof vitamin B complex per day and increase it after a couple of months if you’re still having problems.

(taking to much  of any specific nutrient long term can also cause an imbalance of your overall nutrient stores as well, so be sure to talk to your health care provider)

Many things in our diet and lifestyle also use up the vitamin B you consume:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages
  • Taking chemical hormones, (i.e. The Pill)
  • Eating to much protein
  • Eating white flour and refined bread products
  • Eating to much sugar, and you may think you don’t eat many sweets, but simple sugars are in most processed foods!

So by reducing the ways that cause our bodies to use up the vitamin B we’ve been able to get throughout the day while we also increase the right foods in our diet we can give our bodies what they need to help support hormone balance.

And while increasing your daily intake of Vitamin B, please note that it could take at least a couple of months to really notice a difference as it can take some time to balance the hormones.

 

****2013 update – I currently recommend taking a methyl B vitamin and tend to stay away from any type of folic acid (should be folate instead). I take a sublingual folate/B12 after finding out I also have a mutated copy of my C677T gene (known as MTHFR). The one I take is available on amazon.

Naturally Warmed Up, How to Raise your Basal Body Temperature

{Learn how to fix your low basal body temperature – a guest post by Matt Stone of www.180degreehealth.com}

Donielle contacted me recently because so many of her readers were complaining of having a low body temperature – something that is very common, practically universal, among women with standard menstrual and fertility issues. Since I’m notorious for making women hot, yeah baby, and I even have a “Hot Chicks Club” for all the women who have obtained a consistent waking luteal phase body temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit or higher… I guess I’m the go-to guy on this issue.

how to raise basal body temperature

While I could soften it and explain the particulars of the science and massage you into accepting that the advice I have has validity, I think it might be best if I just keep it simple. And slap you upside the head with it. If you would like to find out more about the basis of why the following information works so well (and I have 30,000 comments on my website confirming that it does indeed work very well – for raising body temperature, restoring menstruation, improving fertility, and many other metabolism-related disorders), I have put out several materials on it – the best and most recent being Diet Recovery: Restoring Hormonal Health, Metabolism, Mood, and Your Relationship with Food. (available on Amazon)*

So let’s get on with it.

The quick explanation of the problem at hand is that if the human body goes through the supply of something faster than it is being delivered, the body down-regulates metabolism to slow down the rate at which it burns through stuff (namely calories and nutrients). There are other factors involved, most of them hereditary in nature (but can still be overcome with the right approach).

In a world in which we have developed serious calorie phobia, carbohydrate phobia, fat phobia, couch potato phobia, saturated fat and cholesterol phobia, and more – almost all women in today’s society have grown so accustomed to actively eating below appetite, with dietary restriction, and exercising vigorously that they don’t even realize that they are basically engaged in disordered eating.

This is particularly harmful to women who are already coming into the world with a suppressed metabolism, which is becoming increasingly common due to our nutrient-poor diet, the dieting our mothers did (kids of dieting mothers have a known increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes), chronic physiological stressors, and countless other factors.

To make a long story short, if you have a reduced morning body temperature (this is the most important time to check as this is the best indicator of your absolute lowest metabolic rate), cold hands and feet (another powerful indicator of low metabolism), or other signs of a low metabolism (constipation, frequent infection, yeast issues, chronic fatigue, low sex drive, abnormal menstrual cycle, thinning hair, puffy eyes or water retention, poor fingernail growth, poor strength, hypoglycemia, and others) – the typical modern approach of beating yourself into submission with dietary restriction (even just being a health nut) and lots of “cardio” exercise will take you much farther away from a healthy metabolism. It is counterproductive and worsens the underlying disorder.

Dr. Atkins perhaps said it best when he wrote…

“…remember that prolonged dieting (this one [meaning the Atkins diet], low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing.”

Keep in mind that the metabolic rate – the active thyroid in your system being a primary factor in your metabolic rate, determines the rate at which pregnenalone is converted to progesterone – the pro-gestation hormone. That’s why, when metabolism is low, fertility is poor. When metabolism increases, your chances of conception and a successful pregnancy skyrocket. I highly recommend going through the following steps to anyone looking to get pregnant – whether having problems or not. Having a high metabolism going into pregnancy, and producing abundant progesterone has all kinds of benefits to the offspring – from increased brain size/development to increased ratio of muscle mass to body fat. And it’s good for moms too. Progesterone increases the elasticity of cervical tissues! Making childbirth a LOT less painful.

Alright, so we’re finally getting to the useful stuff. If you consistently have a body temperature below 98 degrees F when you wake up in the morning (rectal temps being the most reliable), you can fix this. It is not hard, unless you consider being on vacation and spa days hard. It is very common for people of all ages, male and female, to see increases in body temperature from as low as 95F to 98F and above in less than 30 days. It really is that simple and reliable. The hard part is getting people to try it because it sounds so strange in contrast to the exercise more/eat less, ‘carbs are the devil’ and/or ‘saturated fat is the devil’ and ‘no pain no gain’ brainwashing that has taken place over the last half century.

To raise body temperature and increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy…

  1. Eat as much nutritious food as you can every day. Emphasize the more calorie-dense unrefined carbohydrates like root vegetables, fruit, and grains in particular, but also eat a satisfying amount of meat, fat, dairy products (milk is incredible for body temperature), and whatever else that you find enjoyable. But keep it as nutritious and unprocessed as possible. 
  2. Eat beyond appetite. This is key. Eating more than you want to eat is what forces your body to get out of its low metabolism rut.
  3. Go at least 12 hours straight per day without food – you don’t want to be overeating for more than half the day. So if you eat dinner at 7pm, have breakfast at 7am. I believe this practice can make the body more responsive to the hormone leptin, probably the most important hormone in fertility (because it raises thyroid and progesterone).
  4. Get as much sleep as possible. Sleep is an incredibly powerful tool for raising metabolism.
  5. Avoid vigorous exercise. This is not a permanent recommendation obviously. You can resume getting more vigorous exercise once your body temperature is fully restored.
  6. Emphasize saturated fats over unsaturated fats. Dairy products, red meat, and coconut products are the best source of dietary saturated fats. You should eat these preferentially over nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocado, and other plant fats – as well as pork and poultry, when possible.
  7. De-stress. While eating a lot, sleeping a lot, and avoiding excessive exercise is inherently de-stressing, it also pays to spend time doing something that you find leisurely or enjoyable and mentally and physically relaxing, which is highly individual. Massage and sunbathing would be my two personal favorites!

And, well. That’s all there is to it.

Enjoy.

Note – you will probably not feel well when you start doing this, but will feel bloated, hungover, and extremely fatigued and drowsy. Those are not bad signs, but signs of deep physiological relaxation and/or signs of adjustment to the new transition. Be patient. Give it a full 30-day trial.

Matt Stone, author of 7 books, is an independent health researcher who emphasizes the dangers of dieting and restricted and restrained eating of many varieties, and raising metabolism naturally. He is the voice of www.180degreehealth.com

 

 

 

 

 

Note from Donielle – I use the iBasal* for checking daily basal temperatures and love that it also keeps track of my cycle and fertile days for me. Matt uses this thermometer*.

 

Symptoms of Low Progesterone {and Natural Progesterone Cream Info}

Progesterone is, of course, very important to our hormonal health and reproductive system. It is one of the hormones that plays a vital role in regulating many of the bodies functions – especially a woman’s cycle. It also plays a very large role in maintaining a pregnancy, so being progesterone deficient can have drastic effects.

During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, progesterone is produced by the collapsed follicle until either the period begins (which then marks the start of a new cycle and lower progesterone levels) or until the placenta takes over for producing the progesterone during a pregnancy.

One of progesterone’s most important functions is to cause the endometrium to secrete special proteins during the second half of the menstrual cycle, preparing it to receive and nourish an implanted fertilized egg. If implantation does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the endometrium breaks down and menstruation occurs.

If a pregnancy occurs, progesterone is produced in the placenta, and levels remain elevated throughout the pregnancy. The combination of high estrogen and progesterone levels suppress further ovulation during pregnancy. Progesterone also encourages the growth of milk-producing glands in the breast during pregnancy. (source)

Other Roles of Progesterone:

  • helps normalize blood sugar levels
  • boosts thyroid function
  • helps us use fat for energy
  • has beneficial anti-inflammatory effects
  • reduces swelling and inflammation

(from What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause, available on Amazon*)

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

Many of the symptoms of low progesterone also coincide with symptoms of other health issues, so be aware that just because you may have some of these, it doesn’t mean you’re low on progesterone, but of course it’s definitely worth looking into.

  • a luteal phase less than 12 days
  • sugar cravings
  • ovarian cysts
  • low basal body temperatures
  • irregular periods
  • allergy symptoms
  • arthritis
  • spotting in the days before your period begins
  • recurrent early miscarriage
  • blood clots during menstruation
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails
  • cracked heels
  • decreased sex drive
  • menstrual cramps
  • depression or anxiety
  • acne
  • fatigue
  • fibrocystic breasts
  • PCOS
  • endometriosis
  • fibromyalgia
  • gallbladder issues
  • Foggy thinking
  • headaches and migraines
  • infertility
  • vaginal dryness
  • slow metabolism
  • mood swings
  • weight gain, especially around the middle

Over the summer I read What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by Dr. John Lee and highly recommend it to anyone needing to know more about natural hormone balance. He discusses at length why we may be low in progesterone and how to use a natural progesterone cream to help rectify the issue. Below are just a few of my notes.

  • xeno-estrogens/xeno-hormones make us estrogen dominant. They come from plastics, synthetic hormones, conventional meats and animal products, etc. This exposure can result in low progesterone. If our mothers were exposed to it, it can cause dysfunction in her daughters ovarian follicles.
  • the embryonic stage of life is when ovarian tissues are most sensitive to the toxicity of xeno-hormones
  • xeno-hormones are fat soluble (meaning the body absorbs and holds on to them) and non-biodegradable
  • Stress increases levels of cortisol, which blocks progesterone from its receptors in the body. Too much stress and progesterone won’t get where it needs to go.
  • Using huge amounts of supplements over the long-term may result in another imbalance in the body.
  • Our bodies release mood and energy enhancing chemicals (like adrenaline) to fight allergic responses to food – we are hooked on what we’re allergic to!
  • Exercising too hard lowers antioxidant levels in the body. Moderate exercise raises levels.

This book also went into the explanation of natural progesterone creams, which aren’t truly natural; a better name is bio-identical. You see, the progesterone in our bodies is produced nowhere else in nature. Dioscorea mexicana is a plant that is part of the yam family native to Mexico. It has a steroid called diosgenin that is taken from the plant and is converted into progesterone by changing the cellular structure.

Naturally Boosting Progesterone

1. Progesterone, like all other steroid hormones, is synthesized from pregnenolone, which in turn is derived from cholesterol (source) so making sure you have adequate consumption of dietary cholesterol is very important.

2. The herb vitex (available on Amazon*) is also helpful as it works to lower estrogen and raise progesterone simultaneously.

3. Turmeric, found in curry, is known to help increase the body’s progesterone levels. Other herbs such as thyme and oregano are thought to have the same properties. (source)

4. Increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamin B

5. A diet low in conventional meats and animal products, as many times the hormones given to them act as estrogens in the body. Choose organic and preferably grass-fed products.

6. Don’t use plastics, canned foods, or conventional cleaners and beauty products. Most of them contain estrogen like compounds that cause a body to be estrogen dominant.

7. Ensure enough magnesium intake. (I’ve been using a magnesium oil, which I buy on Amazon*)

8. Eat plenty of protein each day with each meal – hormones need protein for production.

9. Consume plenty of vegetables, fruits, and especially dark leafy greens. These micro-nutrients are important for progesterone production.

10. Use a bio-identical progesterone cream*. The one I have used is from Beeyoutiful*. While all natural progesterone within the cream is the same, the other ingredients in it make a big difference. Some creams and lotions actually contain xeno-estrogens – kind of contradicting what the cream is meant to do! Beeyoutiful’s cream contains just coconut oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil infused with organic wild yam root, organic comfrey root, and cayenne, 1000 mg USP progesterone, sweet orange essential oil, rosemary essential oil, candelilla wax, beeswax. From my limited experience with it, it goes on easily, absorbs quickly, and has no smell.

I don’t think progesterone cream is a fix-all, but may help in the short-term as you also figure out how to increase your body’s own progesterone production.

11. Practice Lunaception to raise progesterone. In Katie Singer’s book “Garden of Fertility” she mentions that progesterone can be strengthened by sleeping in total darkness all but 3 days out of the cycle.

12. Take care of your adrenal glands. When your adrenal glands are fatigued (due to frequent physical, emotional, or mental stress) the precursor to progesterone (DHEA) is used to make cortisol instead of progesterone. A 24-hour adrenal saliva test can show you what your cortisol levels are throughout the day and may be helpful is helping you heal the body.

 

If you’ve been found to have low progesterone, how did you go about fixing the problem?

More reading: Progesterone and the Luteal Phase

 

Progesterone and Luteal Phase Defects

Reader Question: I have been trying to get some information on bioidentical progesterone cream use for short luteal phase issues and can not find information anywhere.  I have been tracking my cycles for almost 10 years using the sympto-thermal method and after the birth of my second son, the length of my luteal phase has been VERY short…too short to sustain a pregnancy.  I know this is a result in low progesterone and was told that going the bioidentical progestone route can help me.  I am hesitant to do so bc the source of soy.  Would you simply recommend Vitex and vitamin B6 to increase luteal phase length?

An important part of conception, progesterone is also needed to carry a pregnancy to term. A woman’s body has to produce enough progesterone to support the pregnancy until the placenta is developed enough to take over.

One of the reasons progesterone may be to low, is that there may be to much estrogen in the body and the first thing to look at is the weight of a woman {groan}. Our fat cells help to produce and carry estrogen in the body, when we are overweight, we’re more apt to have higher estrogen levels. Losing weight is neither fun nor easy, but even losing 10% of your body weight (should you need to lose any) can help balance out hormone production.

Another reason hormone levels can become unbalanced is if a woman is still nursing, as it’s a natural way our body’s “protect” itself. Breastfeeding keeps our prolactin levels higher, thereby keeping the progesterone levels low. Weaning usually solves this problem within a few months, though the age of the baby should be taken into strong consideration as nursing through the 2nd year is still important. I have my own feeling on trying to conceive while breastfeeding, but vitex has been shown (in some women) to help lower the prolactin levels enough to boost progesterone.

Stress on the thyroid and adrenals can also throw hormones out of whack. Lack of sleep and healthy foods (both hard to get when taking care of a baby) can cause stress to these organs. When these organs are not running at optimal levels, hormones become unbalanced.

A diet high in sugar and refined carbs also does a number on the balance between estrogen and progesterone!One main reason why is that our bodies are dependent on vitamin B6 to help process carbohydrates. So even if we think we’re getting enough vitamin B6 in our diets, our bodies may be using more than we’re consuming, essentially leaving us mal-nourished.

My Answer:

I think that there are a lot of things you can do with whole foods to help a body heal, but it does take time. Make sure the diet is void of refined sugars and carbs, and full of healthy fats (butter, evoo, coconut oil), a variety of veggies and fruits, and good wholesome dairy.

Vitamin B6 is often linked to luteal phase problems and it’s a great place to start! But I also think that getting in real folate and vitamin B’s is essential and should be looked at prior to, or along with, any supplementation. Foods high in vitamin B6 include:

  • Spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Turnip greens
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli

(read more about vitamin B6 at WHFoods)

It’s also important to think about the B vitamins as a whole, whether you are supplementing or trying to boost intake through only foods. They all work together and should be consumed together.

Foods high in one or more B vitamins:

When supplementing: Be sure to use a B-complex vitamin made from food sources, preferably a ‘raw’ vitamin.

Re: Vitex – from talking with other women, many of them have had good luck with vitex getting their cycles back on track, especially after a baby. Not only does it help lower prolactin levels, it helps to balance out the estrogen:progesterone ratio as well. Many Vitex supplements contain other herbs as well, so before taking check to make sure that all herbs taken, match your symptoms.

Re: Progesterone Creams – I think that if a woman who is having trouble lengthening the luteal phase or producing enough progesterone, that a progesterone cream is definitely an option. Especially if it’s been a few months of adhering to a whole foods diet and supplementation. If a couple is actively trying to conceive and the woman has a short LP or known low progesterone levels, I’d be hesitant to not use a progesterone cream. I personally know many women who have successfully used progesterone creams that helped save pregnancies that looked like they may be at risk. There are different creams, some more natural than others. I personally have never used this, so I don’t have any recommendations, so I’m hoping that some of you may be able to leave a recommendation for a particular brand of natural progesterone here in the comments. (*update, I have used the cream from Beeyoutiful since this post and purchased it because it contained only natural oils along with the bio-identical progesterone)

From my Facebook Friends:

  • My understanding is that it can take up to 6mo for the luteal phase to get back to normal. I would try to heal the body via whole foods and correcting imbalances first, because it is more than just progesterone that is probably out of whack, there is a whole series of hormones.
  • My reproductive endocrinologist & immunology specialist told me that treating LPD is treating a symptom, and the root cause of low progesterone in the luteal phase is insufficient estrogen in the ovulatory phase. Thus balancing hormones across your cycle would be best.
  • I have been fighting with this since my first miscarriage almost 4 years ago, and it’s not easy! But in the last 6 months of working on it, I have… had the best results with changing my diet (off of sugars and grains, unless they are soaked, adding lacto-fermented veggies and drinks [beet kvass is very high in B vitamins--good for progesterone!]), getting proper exercise (t-tapp has a workout designed specifically for balancing hormones and it works!) and supplements (Vit. B complex, C, D, E, Zinc, Selenium, Evening Primrose Oil, Vitex). You can also use a natural progesterone lotion, such as the one available from: http://gentlepharmacy.com/. It’s a slow process, depending upon how low your progesterone levels are to begin with, but there IS hope!
  • I have my youngest because I used progesterone. I have PCOS so my estrogen is very high. I needed to balance it with the progesterone. Once I conceived, I used everyday till 10wks (because I had miscarried the pregnancy b4) when I allowed the midwife to try the heartbeat on a doptone. Then I weaned off it as the baby had implanted so my progesterone production was sufficient.

Have you ever dealt with a short luteal phase? What did you do to treat it?

 

*All information is given to inspire and encourage you to do your own research, learn from others experience, and learn to ask your doctor more questions. No answer given is from a medical professional and should not be taken as medical advice.

Fertility Awareness: Charting Your Temperature

fertility chart with basal thermometer

photo credit: N05

Whether you are in the throes of infertility or are trying to conceive your fifth child, knowing exactly how your reproductive system works is essential. Growing up, we’re all subjected to sex education classes in which we learn that a woman’s cycle is 28 days long and ovulation happens on day 14. That seems to be where the education part stops, and we never truly learn how our bodies work. We’re never taught how to detect ovulation or how and why our bodies change throughout the month. Ever wonder why some days you’re “wetter” than normal down there? Think something’s wrong because you can’t keep your underwear dry?

We’ll tackle that.

Over the next month in the Natural Fertility 101 series we’re going to cover the Fertility Awareness Method (also known as Natural Family Planning) There are many ways to start charting your fertility signals, the first one being you temperature.

How to chart your temperature:

At the same time each morning, before you get out of bed (or move or talk), you take your temperature (orally) on a digital thermometer that records your temp within 1/10 of a degree (also known as a basal body thermometer). Chart your temperature each morning on a Basal Body Temp Chart.

A woman’s temperature normally drops slightly right before ovulation and then rises sharply following ovulation. The rise in temp should be about .4 degrees. When you see this drop, you can know that ovulation will most likely happen soon and it’s time to be intimate, if you get my drift. Even if your temperature doesn’t have the initial drop to signal upcoming ovulation, you’ll be able to notice patterns in your cycle that you can combine with other fertility signals to know when you normally ovulate each month.

The unfortunate part about relying only on temperature, is that many times a woman doesn’t notice ovulation until after it’s happened. While it’s always a wonderful thing to know what’s going on with your body, being intimate after ovulation actually makes it more difficult to conceive. If you’re intimate before ovulation, the sperm have a chance to meet the egg when it’s the healthiest. After ovulation the quality of the egg deteriorates and within 24 hours of being released, it’s no longer able to grow into a new life. In older women or in women with health problems, this window may be even shorter, which is why it’s essential for the sperm to already be there waiting for it.

Beyond pin pointing ovulation, charting is also a great way to troubleshoot your cycles. You can find the different phases of your cycle by drawing a line between the follicular phase and the luteal phase. How do you find this? Take a look at the 6 days prior to ovulation (or the decrease in temp, before the sharp increase) and draw a line across the chart 1/10 of a degree higher than your highest temp those days. You should be able to see the follicular temps (1st part if the cycle) are all below the line and the luteal temps (second part of the cycle) are above.

In doing this, you can see how each part of your cycle is acting and whether or not one part is longer or shorter than it should be. One of the most common issues with a woman’s cycle is a luteal defect which can contribute to a fertilized egg not implanting or to early miscarriage. A defect is “diagnosed” as a luteal phase shorter than 12 days, with 12 days being ‘borderline short’. After ovulation your temp should remain above the coverline for at least 12 days. And if it stays above the line (or elevated) for 18 days, it may be an indication of pregnancy.

Also, if you do decide to seek medical counsel after you’ve been unable to achieve pregnancy, these charts can help the doctors find out what may be going wrong and to better diagnose you.

Charting does take time and it does need to be done everyday, but it can also be a very accurate way to achieve pregnancy.

Do you chart? What tips do you have for those just starting?

 

fertility awareness chartingThe fertility awareness portion of this series is underwritten by Fertility Flower. Fertility Flower is a recently-launched website that helps couples grow their families or practice natural birth control using the sympto-thermal method.

Unique features of Fertility Flower: it offers a unique way of displaying the primary fertility signs in one charting space that emphasizes the relationship between them, allows for cycle comparisons with chart overlay and is a fully mobile natural family planning website (unlike abbreviated mobile apps which offer limited capability).

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