Conscious Misconception - A Womxn's Plan

Both men and wombyn, when in a relationship or while single have the responsibility of creating or not creating life.  For too long, wombyn have held the sole responsibility of birth control using a variety of pharmaceutical agents, inserts, chemical shots and surgery.  With this lecture, our aim is to empower singles and couples to move forward without fear, for wombyn to hijack their cycles and for men to be sensitive to their own role as an active participant in Conscious Misconception.

What happens when we use pharmaceutical contraceptives 

Most chemical contraceptives utilize estrogen and/or progesterone, which are chemicals that disrupt or direction influence the ovulation cycles of wombyn.  They accomplish this by either completely stopping ovulation so that no eggs circulate through to become implanted, by thickening the mucus in the cervix so sperm may not enter, or changing the lining of the uterus so implantation into its walls cannot occur or ALL of the above.

Why they can be problematic

Both men and wombyn’s bodies are an amalgamation of rich chemical hormonal processes that ensure overall health by regulating systems.  When new hormones are introduced, the body, mental, and emotional elements are urged to regulate, which explains the various side effects of hormonal contraceptives and the amount of time it takes for wombyn to become “regular” or “accustomed” to the chemicals.  But is this large shift worthwhile?

Potential complications with Contraceptives (Center for Young Women’s Health)

From IUD’s to The Pill, contraceptives carry an array of possible complications and side effects that include but are not limited to:

  • nausea, increased appetite, headaches, and irregular bleeding in the first few cycles

  • Increased risk for blood clots

  • weight gain, tiredness, and possibly a decrease in bone density

  • Mislodging of the IUD into the uterine wall and, rarely, puncturing of the uterus

  • Heavier periods

  • depression, nervousness, hair loss, and weight gain

  • Potential chemical infertility following lengthy use

Though they carry with them very serious and uncomfortable side effects, they are among some of the more effective and easiest contraceptive, i assure you.   However, given the risks and damage to the body, with care and attention, could one simply learn their body’s systems and attempt to work in conjunction with in.  Instead of shutting it completely off, could one learn how it works and hijack it to benefit you, for both contraceptive purposes and conceptive ones?

Three methods I use to ensure my safety as a sexually active wombyn who does not use hormonal contraception:

  • Fertility awareness

    • Kindara App (for charting and mapping the period)

    • Cervical Fluid Awareness or Billings Method

      • There are teachers who demonstrate the Billings Method as well as coach and take you day by day through your process to ensure you’re using the method correctly,  I will not go into it as I’m not a teacher, however, I feel that simply knowing the systems of ovulation can assist you in pinpointing what days are safe and which are dangerous.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“The cervical mucus method is based on careful observation of mucus patterns during the course of your menstrual cycle. Before ovulation, cervical secretions change — creating an environment that helps sperm travel through the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes to the egg. By recognizing the changing characteristics of your cervical mucus, you can predict when you'll ovulate. In turn, this may help you determine when you're most likely to conceive [or misconceive].... Formal training is usually required to master the cervical mucus method. This method also necessitates ongoing, rigorous daily monitoring. In addition, abstinence — or use of another type of contraception — is typically needed for 10 to 17 days of each cycle.”

  • Know your Yoni-Shetat [Tracking my Cycle] (What is actually happening?)

    • During a healthy, regular cycle, there are four major hormones that are at work, Estrogen, Progesterone, Luteinizing hormone and follicle–stimulating hormone

Preparing for Ovulation

      • At the beginning of your cycle, your body sends a signal to your brain to start producing follicle–stimulating hormone (FSH), the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs. Follicles are the fluid–filled cavities in your ovaries. Each follicle contains one undeveloped egg. The FSH stimulates a number of follicles to develop and start to produce the hormone estrogen. Your level of estrogen is at its lowest on the first day of your period. From then on, it starts to increase.

      • Normally one follicle becomes “dominant” and the egg ripens within the follicle as that follicle gets bigger. At the same time, the increasing amount of estrogen in your body makes sure that the lining of your womb is thickening with nutrients and blood. This is so that if you do get pregnant, the fertilised egg will have all the nutrients and support it needs to grow. High estrogen levels are also associated with the appearance of ‘sperm–friendly‘ mucus (or, to give it its technical name, fertile cervical mucus). You may notice this as a thin, slippery discharge that may be cloudy white. Sperm can swim more easily through this mucus and can survive in it for several days.

Ovulation

      • The level of estrogen in your body is still increasing and it eventually causes a rapid rise in luteinising hormone (often called the ‘LH surge‘). This LH surge gives the ripening egg the final push it needs to fully ripen and be released from the follicle. This process is known as ovulation.

      • Many women think that they ovulate on day 14, but this isn‘t always the case. Your day of ovulation will vary depending on your cycle length. Some women feel a twinge of pain when they ovulate, but many feel no sensation at all and there‘s no other sign that you are ovulating.

After Ovulation

      • Once the egg (or ovum) has been released, it moves along the Fallopian tube towards your womb. The egg can live for up to 24 hours. Sperm survival is more variable, but typically 3–5 days, so the days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself are your most fertile – when you are most likely to get pregnant. As soon as you have ovulated, the follicle starts producing another hormone: progesterone.

      • Progesterone now works to further build up the lining of your womb in preparation for a fertilised egg. Meanwhile, the empty follicle starts to shrink, but carries on producing progesterone, and also starts to produce estrogen. You may get symptoms of pre–menstrual tension (PMS) such as breast tenderness, bloating, lethargy, depression and irritability at this stage.

Preparing for the Next Period

      • As the empty follicle shrinks, if the egg is not fertilized, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease because they are no longer needed. Without the high levels of hormones to help maintain it, the thick womb lining that has been built up starts to break down, and your body sheds the lining. This is the start of your period and the beginning of your next cycle.

    • And that is how your womb works, every wombyn’s cycle may vary in length, so the belief that ovulation will happen at the second week of every cycle isn’t as accurate as you’d hope, ovulation may be delayed or sped up for a variety of reasons, so we cannot rely on numbered days alone, which is why checking cervical fluid is the most accurate way to determine ovulation.  This should be done on a daily basis, so make sure you have clean hands, wipe well and feel around, learn your fluids, they will be indicators of your hormonal balances and whether or not the environment is going to nurture incoming sperm.

*  Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot)

      • According to Sister Zeus.com “The Chinese view QAL as a promising post-coital agent, "recent evidence suggests that terpenoids in the seed block crucial progesterone synthesis in pregnant animals." When asked about the contraceptive effects of wild carrot, some herbalists have described it as having the effect of making the uterus "slippery" so the egg is unable to implant.”  Its recommended use varies from preparation to preparation, but the most convenient way i’ve found has been through a flower essence tincture. This is injested every 8 hours post-coitus for three days.  

>> BONUS: Yoni Steaming (My Plan B)

      • In conjunction with these methods, as a final method, yoni steaming works incredibly well for ensuring your period does arrive.  This must be used in conjunction with your natural cycle.