I’m a midwife in the field since 1988. I have worked in hospitals, homes, and birth centers. I’ve provided family planning to gazillions of folks: everything from fertility awareness, to placing IUD’s, to referring for sterilization. I mention this because a lot of time people think midwives “just” tend to pregnancy. Anyway, this website will become my go-to recommendation for my young clients and parents who see me for care. It’s just wonderful, and it’s teaching me lots of ways to use inclusive language around sexuality.
I was perusing your Glossary (what a smart inclusion!) and bumped into something that concerned me though. It says (maybe under “charting”, but I forget now) that Fertility Awareness Methods of natural family planning aren’t reliable for contraception because, mainly, of cycle variation. I’m really sad to see this, because on such a well-informed site this is a surprising error.
Sympto-thermal fertility awareness methods (now supported by amazing smartphone apps, at least one of which is approved in Europe as a contraceptive) are extremely effective...equal to the real-life user effectiveness of oral contraceptives. This site is so good about laying out the realities of sex, I was surprised it hedged on this subject.
Tbh, it’s not how I’d want my own teenage kid to avoid pregnancy, since the stakes are so high at this time in life. And, sadly, because people don’t always have a say in when they are placed at risk of pregnancy. BUT I always want folks to know about this very empowering option for such times in their lives when it’d be exactly right.
It matters to me that people have autonomy. Knowing when in one’s cycle to avoid (or seek!) potentially impregnating activity, simply by understanding (and carefully recording) the ebb and flow of one’s body, is profoundly empowering and liberating. It can also be a beautiful way to help the partner who doesn’t have these cycles to understand the “tides” of their partner’s cyclic experience.
I hope you wonderful educators rewrite that section with the same amount of honesty, respect, and attention to current evidence as the rest of the material on your site. Knowledge is power, and that’s what y’all are clearly here to promote!
Your work here is, in my opinion, revolutionary. Bravo to you all!