While most of our articles are aimed towards women and the benefits of fertility awareness methods (FAMs), we recognize using a FAM is often a joint decision between a couple, and what better time to talk about couples than Valentine's day? While many of the benefits of using FAMs impact women more directly, there are also plenty of benefits for men and couples!
So let’s start with what fertility awareness is - fertility awareness is listening to the body’s messages to recognize when it's possible to get pregnant and when it's not. The majority of people use this to avoid or achieve pregnancy, though it can also be used to track health changes. So why, as a couple, should men be interested in using fertility awareness? Let’s take just 4 reasons:
- Happier wife/partner
- Better communication
- Better sex life
- Happier relationship overall
How is that possible you might be thinking? Let’s take a look at each of these in detail!
As many husbands would say, “Happy wife, happy life.” Imagine being able to understand why your partner feels the way she does. Imagine not having to guess why she appears introverted and distant when only a few days ago she was flirty and full of energy. (And imagine her being able to understand it herself and be able to communicate it to you.)
Fertility awareness enables your partner to understand her own feelings and hormone fluctuations. This leaves her better able to clearly communicate it to you, including the support she needs at the time. For example after ovulation, energy tends to be lower, so knowing this can help you plan the right social activities together or to provide some additional support where it’s needed - whether it’s with household duties or taking the kids to the park to give her some down time.
Fertility tracking also provides a great insight into hormone health; having this data at your fingertips can help your partner to naturally balance her hormones, reduce PMS symptoms, and generally feel better in herself.
Communication is critical in any relationship, but when you are communicating on a regular basis about your family planning decisions, it opens you up to a wider conversation that brings greater understanding of each other's needs. It also strengthens your bond and helps you develop a stronger, closer relationship.
The standard for communication when actively using fertility awareness is higher. The following questions need to be revisited as often as every cycle for some couples.
- What’s our family planning goal?
- When is it safe to have unprotected sex?
- Are we trying for a baby?
- Do we need more time before planning the next pregnancy?
As we mentioned previously, it also opens the door to better understanding and conversation about how your partner is feeling because sharing where they are at in their cycle will help the family planning decisions, i.e. do we have to abstain or use a barrier method at the moment.
Better sex life
Better communication naturally leads to you feeling closer as a couple and can positively impact your sex life. This communication goes both ways, both giving and receiving it!
In addition to that, contrary to what you may have been told, women can’t get pregnant any time of the month! With the 12-24 hour lifespan of the egg and the 3-5 day lifespan of sperm, women can only become pregnant from unprotected sex 5-6 days each cycle. This means that you don’t have to use a barrier method every time you have sex. As a couple, you both can enjoy a much closer sex life together outside the 'fertile window' (the 'fertile window' being the only time your partner can become pregnant).
It’s also important to note that most women report a positive (and sometimes drastic) change in their libido after stopping hormonal birth control, i.e. the pill, an iud, implant etc. This is not surprising since the synthetic hormones turn off the body’s natural hormones. This can actually cause some of the reproductive tissue to atrophy - including to the clitoris. In addition to a higher sex drive, most women report experiencing more satisfying sex when not using hormonal birth control.
Happier relationship overall
A woman’s hormones are like mini messengers that influence many functions in her body - including her energy, her emotions, her mood. By having a better understanding of these changes and communicating how they impact your partner’s life can reduce unnecessary stress, misunderstandings, and arguments in your relationship.
For example, it's easier to be understanding and say, "I know she needs time for herself right now. It’s nothing personal, she’s not annoyed at me - it’s just where she’s at in her cycle and that’s ok."
Fertility awareness increases your opportunities to communicate about your feelings, your relationship, sex and your goals as a family.
Watch one couple explain their personal experience and the benefits that they've seen by using Fertility Awareness and Tempdrop.