Carmen Lorenzana - Difference between Menstrual Cycle Awareness and Fertility Awareness

Today I want to share about the difference between Menstrual Cycle Awareness, and Fertility Awareness. 

You’ve probably heard me talk a lot about Menstrual Cycle Awareness and cycle tracking or Fertility Awareness and cycle charting, but what’s the difference? Are they the same thing? 

They’re not. 

While both practices are amazing tools to connect with your cycle, they’re two separate things. 

Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA)

Menstrual cycle awareness—a term coined by my mentors Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer— is the practice of paying attention to where you are in your cycle and what you are experiencing every day, finding patterns, and taking care of your cyclical needs.

It’s knowing, and embracing that your reproductive hormones make you change physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually in a cyclical way.

The core of MCA is cycle tracking, which means recording what you’re experiencing every day using a journal, a lunar calendar, or an app, with the intention of finding patterns in each phase of your cycle. With this information, you can make small tweaks in your day-to-day to flow better with your body’s natural rhythms and make the most of your energy.

Carmen Lorenzana - Cycle traking

Fertility Awareness

On the other hand, Fertility Awareness is the practice of observing and charting fertility biomarkers in your cycle to identify your fertile window. 

Your body gives you clear physical signs to let you know when you’re fertile. These signs change during your cycle, depending on whether or not you are fertile at the time. 

The core of Fertility Awareness Methods is cycle charting, which means daily observing and recording cycle biomarkers, such as 

  • Cervical mucus,
  • LH hormone surge,
  • Basal body temperature,
  • Bleeding patterns, and
  • Other symptoms.

using a paper chart or an app, and following a set of rules specific to the method you choose.

Charting and learning to interpret these biomarkers allows you to:

  • Identify the fertile window in your cycle, 
  • Confirm if your cycles are ovulatory,
  • Estimate the date of your next period,
  • Identify possible hormonal imbalances,
  • Achieve or avoid pregnancy naturally.
Carmen Lorenzana - Cycle charting

Both practices complement each other very well

As you can see, Fertility Awareness is data-oriented, scientific, biological, ruled-based. For this reason, it takes longer to learn it, and it’s important to do it with proper guidance. A certified Fertility Awareness instructor can teach you the anatomy and physiology of your cycle, how to observe your fertile signs in a precise way, and a set of guidelines or rules to use for your fertility intentions.

Menstrual Cycle Awareness is more intuitive, free. It allows you to experience your cycle as it is, be creative, express yourself, go within and explore the deep parts of yourself. You really don’t need much to start with it, just basic knowledge of the phases of your cycle, curiosity, and finding a form to document your experience. A menstruality mentor or coach can gently guide you and hold space for you in the process of connecting with your cycle.

One gives you more structure, the other more freedom.

In their own way, both practices offer you the possibility to understand your cycle and yourself. You can use both or only one of them. It all depends on your intentions and wishes.

If you’re interested in monitoring your health, finding possible imbalances, regulating your hormones, or preventing or achieving pregnancy naturally, I recommend starting with Fertility Awareness. Check my free class “What are Fertility Awareness Methods and how can they help me understand my cycle?” to learn more.

On the other hand, if you wish to gain more self-knowledge and sync your life with your cycle, then Menstrual Cycle Awareness is for you. You can start by downloading my free guide with 3 simple steps to get to know your cycle here.

And if you want more guidance or tips on where to start, I’m on the other side :) Comment below or send me a message.

New to Menstrual Cycle Awareness and not sure where to start? Download my free guide with 3 simple steps to get to know your cycle.

New to Menstrual Cycle Awareness and not sure where to start?

Download my free guide with 3 simple steps to get to know your cycle.

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