Should Fertility Tracking be Taught in Sex Ed?

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I’d like to know more about the Creighton Model and your thoughts on if it should be part of the sex ed curriculum for young women

I’m a supporter of comprehensive sexual education. I think that the sex education that young women and young men get should start sooner and should include pretty much everything. This can be done in ways that are age appropriate. There is no reason that High School aged women and men shouldn’t be receiving every bit of information about sexuality that is available to us. Most people start having sex around the age of seventeen. That means that they should be given enough information to make smart choices much much earlier than seventeen. 

Having more information allows us to make well-educated decisions.

The Creighton Model is essentially a standardized method of tracking ovulation, otherwise known as fertility tracking, or fertility awareness. I jokingly say that it’s also called family  planning because you often end up with a family if you use fertility tracking. It is not as reliable as other forms of birth control. Family planning also has a somewhat tricky background in religion. This method shouldn’t be chosen as a last resort or an only resort. It should be intentional and it should be chosen with full-knowledge of what it entails, same as any other method.

Fertility tracking can be done in different ways. You can mark your cycle on a calendar, you can take your temperature every morning,  or you can rely on the patterns in your cervical mucus. Many people document all of the above. You must keep close track of your cycle and be vigilant about documenting and charting fertility signs. For many people it can be easy to lapse in documentation. It is not recommended for people who are not very, very serious about paying very, very close attention to their bodies. Even with good documentation it can be important to look for cycle  length and to know what is normal for you. This means that you may need to document your cycle for months before you glean anything useful from your data.

Those who are just learning about reproduction, their bodies, and sex, may benefit from a more reliable method of birth control. Particularly if they are young, do not want children, or don’t want to get an abortion. Something like an IUD or the birth control pill might be a better option. Condoms can also be used in conjunction with fertility tracking to make this method more reliable. We should trust youth to make smart decisions about their bodies and what is best for them but we cannot expect them to make smart decisions without proper knowledge.

The entire system needs to be redone to be more inclusive for non-cis/hetero folk, to incorporate pleasure into the mix, and to create a more comprehensive framework for the protection and enjoyment of all people in all types of sexuality. I am all for including  fertility tracking into the curriculum, and I think that it needs to be firmly planted amongst a whole host of other options. Not providing this option with other options would be irresponsible. Even if we aren’t framing it as family planning, fertility tracking, or ovulation tracking, women and men need to know the menstrual cycle well enough that they understand how women’s bodies work. Information about ovulation, the fertile window, cervical mucus, and other ways the body might change throughout the menstrual cycle should be at the CORE of any sex-ed curriculum.

Did you receive any information about fertility tracking in your sex-ed? Do you wish you would have? Do you track your cycle? How? Do you find it useful? Would you rely only on a model like this to prevent pregnancy? Are you looking for non-hormonal ways to prevent pregnancy? Do you just like to know what’s going on in your body? Get in touch and let me know what you think about family planning or visit http://www.suggestivetongue.com/ask to ask a question of your own. 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. LaNeshe says:

    I didn’t start using fertility tracking until I was actually trying to get pregnant and for all three pregnancies we were able to get pregnant within my first cycle. To use it as birth control I think you have to be REALLY dedicated in your tracking, and also have a regular cycle. It would make sense to have as part of sex ed for just understanding how a woman’s cycle goes.

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