Embodied Cycles, LLC is a fertility awareness education practice founded by Kelly Brichta, a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP) and certified Fertility Awareness Educator (FAE). Kelly offers programs and workshops online and at the Boulder Healing Hub.
Embodied Cycles' mission is to provide benchmark fertility awareness education 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 primarily a Sympto-Thermal Method, which means it is already one of the more thorough methods of fertility awareness due to the observation of two primary and accessible signs of the body, cervical mucus and basal body temperature (BBT). However, it can also be practiced as a Mucus Only Method. One of its distinguishing aspects is the detail and standardization of both mucus observations and sensations. This standardization is beneficial not only to identify fertile and infertile days, but also gain insight into reproductive and hormonal health.
FEMM stands for Fertility Education and Medical Management and is a Sympto-Hormonal Method of tracking that uses cervical mucus and LH testing (also known as Ovulation Predictor Kits, or OPKs) as its primary fertility signs. Much like other FABMs, you can observe cervical mucus and LH test results to learn more about your hormonal health. If taking temperature does not fit into your fertility awareness practice, but you still want to reference two fertility indicators, FEMM may be a good option for you.
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 and FEMM involve an initial dedication of time to learn, usually at least three months for the basics in order to get some experience charting and understand the rules of the method on an intellectual level. Oftentimes, it takes longer to build confidence relying on the method if you are avoiding pregnancy. Once it all starts to makes sense and the new observational routines are integrated with your lifestyle, it can become second nature like setting an alarm before bed or going to the bathroom. That said, it always depends on the person. Everyone learns differently and at different paces.
Menstrual cycle health can be 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 this may still 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 to better address symptoms. You can also track ovulation during perimenopause and learn more about your cycle parameters for birth control and/or optimizing for conception during this time.
Due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, I will be working with clients virtually via Zoom for the foreseeable future.
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This is a 4-6 month, individual program to learn the Justisse Method or FEMM accurately and effectively in order to achieve your goals, whether that is to achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy, track your cycle or monitor your hormonal health. Cost includes method materials (thermometer, paper charts, guides, and an optional free 3 months of charting using the Read Your Body App), two-hour introductory session to learn the foundations of your chosen fertility awareness method, and 4-6 follow up sessions. This program is ideal for someone who has a regular cycle, but is also a great start for anyone interested in charting.
This is a 10-12 month, individual program to learn the Justisse Method or FEMM accurately and effectively in order to achieve your goals, whether that is to achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy, track your cycle or monitor your hormonal health. Cost includes method materials (thermometer, paper charts, guides, and an optional free 3 months of charting using the Read Your Body App), two-hour introductory session to learn the foundations of your chosen fertility awareness method, and 10-12 follow up sessions. This program is ideal for someone who is postpartum, has irregular cycles, or who is discontinuing hormonal birth control.
Kelly Brichta is a certified Fertility Awareness Educator (FAE) and Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP) based in Boulder, Colorado. She has been passionate about fertility awareness since 2015, teaches sympto-thermal, sympto-hormonal, mucus-only, BBT-only, calendar, and postpartum methods, and is a member of the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals and Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science. Kelly aims to meet people where they’re at and find the method that works best for them in order to provide benchmark fertility awareness education, whether it’s as a form of birth control, to optimize conception, or for insight into cycle health.
Embodied Cycles, LLC is devoted to providing 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, immigration status, ethnic background, ability or class.