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Can I Get Pregnant, or Get or Pass On an STI From That?

Want a quick way to sort out what does and does not pose real risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections? We've taken the temperature for you here.

Talking Menstruation with Toni

Toni Weschler used to be my neighbor, a fact that caused me to squee more than a little loudly and scare the bejeezus out of my pets when I first discovered it. Sadly, we didn't connect as often as I wish we had before I moved out of Seattle and to a more remote island outside the city.

A while back, I sent Toni some questions for Scarleteen, and many months later, she apologized for sending them to me so late. Now I owe her an even bigger apology for publishing them far later than that!

If you don't know who Toni is, she's the author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health, which is pretty much THE book for people who want to chart fertility, and the book I used to learn how to do it well in my 20's. She also wrote a great book about menstruation and charting for teen women, called Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body. She's an amazingly dedicated and energetic person

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It's Smart to Chart

What's charting? It's a person taking and keeping notes about their menstrual and fertility cycles. Those notes may be as little information as what days you get your period, may have more information, like what kind of flow you had and what discharges you experienced that month, or have just about anything and everything you can think of that does or may have something to do with your fertility cycle: your basal temperatures (a vaginal temp you take daily with a thermometer made for that purpose), your libido, your sleep patterns, the whole works. What information you include depends on what you want to observe, and what your needs in charting are.

When you hear about people charting their periods or overall fertility cycles, it's usually either about trying to conceive or using natural family planning (NFP or FAM) as a primary method of birth control. Many of you are not trying to conceive, and for younger people, NFP isn't a sound sole or primary method for you either because your

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