Embodied Cycles is a fertility awareness education practice founded by Kelly Brichta, a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP) Intern and Fertility Awareness Educator (FAE) in training. Kelly offers programs and workshops at the Boulder Healing Hub.
Embodied Cycles’ mission is to provide benchmark fertility awareness education, teaching the Justisse Method to clients seeking to achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy and/or as an insight into reproductive health across the reproductive lifespan.
As an advocate of Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) and an Associate member of the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science (FACTS), Kelly Brichta works towards a vision to increase knowledge of all FABMs through education, accessibility and collaboration.
Fertility awareness is a general term used to reference a variety of Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs). These involve the tracking of primary fertility signs to determine the fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle to achieve pregnancy or avoid pregnancy. Tracking the menstrual cycle is also used to monitor reproductive health. Six main categories of FABMs include Sympto-Thermal Methods, Cervical Mucus Only Methods, Basal Body Temperature Only Methods, Sympto-Hormonal Methods, Lactational Amenorrhea Methods and Calendar Methods.
The Justisse Method is a Sympto-Thermal Method of fertility awareness that tracks the primary fertility signs of basal body temperature and cervical mucus (description and sensation), and occasionally cervical position. It is one of the most thorough, secular FABMs and integrates a holistic reproductive health perspective. The Justisse Method is committed to a non judgemental approach, serving and respecting all individuals and their reproductive health decisions. To learn more about the Justisse Method, visit the Justisse Website.
As a Sympto-Thermal Method, Justisse is already one of the most thorough methods of fertility awareness due to the observation of primary and accessible biomarkers of the body. However, one of its distinguishing aspects is the detail and standardization of mucus observations and sensations. This standardization is beneficial to better identify fertile days as well as track reproductive health. Other factors include the Justisse Method’s holistic and secular approach to education.
Learning fertility awareness can feel confusing and frustrating, and cycles can change month to month. There is also a lot of information on the internet and in books that can be hard to parse through. Depending on the method you learned and practice, there could also be more to learn as there are nuanced differences between FABMs. No matter the reasons you are tracking, working with a Fertility Awareness Educator can help you reach a point where you feel confident using the method correctly and effectively.
Like many FABMs, the Justisse Method involves an initial dedication of time to learn, usually at least three months for the basics. However, once it all starts to makes sense and is integrated into your routine, it becomes second nature and is as easy as waking up in the morning or going to the bathroom. And, the longer you track, the more you learn about your body especially as you experience different reproductive events across the lifespan from puberty to pregnancy to perimenopause.
Menstrual cycle health is a reflection of overall health, so tracking your cycle can give you a lot of information. Whether you are trying to achieve pregnancy and/or fertility or not, you can begin to understand, identify and manage the impacts of premenstrual symptoms (PMS), dysmenorrhea, stress, anxiety, trauma, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and uterine fibroids among other health issues in relation.
You can still learn fertility awareness if you are on the pill, have an IUD, or take hormone therapy. However, learning by tracking the menstrual cycle is most useful when you are not taking hormonal contraception or other endocrine disruptors. Some people track their cycles while on the copper IUD because it is non-hormonal, but it may interfere with cervical mucus observations. Fertility awareness can also be used to learn about your cycle before or after taking transitioning hormone therapy.
Yes, many people find tracking perimenopausal symptoms such as irregular periods, fibrocystic breasts, fatigue, headaches, depression, mood swings, weight gain, etc. all helpful in taking care and managing the transition.
*The services below are available at discounted rates during my supervised clinical practicum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.*
This is a 4-hour, group workshop that introduces you to fertility awareness. If you have always been curious about fertility awareness or tracking your menstrual cycle, this workshop establishes an educational foundation tailored to your interests and questions. Price varies, depending on the group size.
This is a 4-6 month, individual program to learn the Justisse Method accurately and effectively in order to achieve your goals, whether that is to achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy, track your cycle or monitor your reproductive health. Cost includes Justisse Method materials (thermometer, charts, and guidebook), two-hour introductory session to learn the foundations of fertility awareness and the Justisse Method, and 4-6 follow up sessions.
This is a 10-12 month, individual program to learn the Justisse Method accurately and effectively in order to achieve your goals, whether that is to achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy, track your cycle or monitor your reproductive health. Cost includes Justisse Method materials (thermometer, charts, and guidebook), two-hour introductory session to learn the foundations of fertility awareness and the Justisse Method, and 10-12 follow up sessions.
I have successfully used fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy and monitor my health coming off hormonal contraception as well as during lifestyle changes in light of reproductive, thyroid and other health concerns. My experience learning fertility awareness informed me that quality, inclusive education was hard to find.
As a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP) Intern and Fertility Awareness Educator (FAE) in training, certified through the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals (AFAP), I look forward to building my experience and applying my training in order to provide benchmark fertility awareness education accessible to everyone.
Embodied Cycles is devoted to providing inclusive services to all individuals, couples and partners regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, relationship structure, age, religion, spirituality, race, color, country of origin, ethnic background, ability or class.