January 6, 2022
This podcast episode is for all our ladies out there. We’re getting up close and PERSONAL on today’s episode and talking all about birth control. YEP, WE’RE GOING THERE!!! Today, we’re chatting with Berrion Berry.
If you’re not familiar with her from our previous episode with her about cycle syncing (episode 181) Berri is a Menstrual Health Educator, Practitioner & Founder of Optimize Your Flo. She teaches modern women to fix their problematic periods naturally. Focused on fusing biology with practicality Berri helps people with periods create a new menstrual reality.
Her work has been featured on top podcasts like the Balanced Black Girl, the Goal Digger Podcast, SHE podcast, as well as in leading publications like Shape Magazine, Thrive Global, & The Every Girl. From hormone balancing to cycle syncing, to mood-enhancing and self-healing, Berri covers it all and is excited to help you have your best period yet.
Today is a fresh dose of REAL with Berri. We talk about hormonal birth control (aka the pill, IUDs, and others) and what those are actually doing inside your body. We then talk about other options you have when it comes to either preventing pregnancy OR trying to conceive. We go in-depth and super personal. It’s such a fun, fresh, uplifting conversation FILLED with insanely tangible takeaways, explanations, breakdowns, tools, and so much more.
Who’s ready to understand and support your body, your hormones, and your fertility?
Hormonal birth control is a synthetic form of contraception. From the pill (there are two different types of pills), the patch, the ring, a shot, IUD, and the list goes on and on. When we think of birth control most people are familiar with the pill or the IUD.
The pill works by preventing the communication between your brain and your ovaries. It inhibits that communication and in doing so it stops you from actually having a period. This is why most women experience what is called a withdrawal or breakthrough bleed. What you need to know and understand is, that is not a real bleed, it’s your body kind of doing its job and getting toxins out of its system.
Then we have the way that it works with an IUD, a patch, a ring, or the shot. It will do one of two things, generally, it will thicken the cervical fluid so that if sperm enters into the uterus it can’t swim to fertilize the egg. Or it will thin out the uterine lining and prevent an egg that may be fertilized and be able to live and be supported because the uterine lining is too weak.
Synthetic hormones are tampering with the natural rhythms of your body. With the pill, for instance, there is something called the mini pill and then there is a combination pill. First and foremost most people don’t know that the combination pill that contains the synthetic form of estrogen as well as progesterone, is a known carcinogen according to the world health organization.
The pills are preventing your body from doing what it naturally needs to do and can cause a lot of negative side effects such as decreasing your libido, mood swings, weight gain, etc.
It also impacts your fertility. Hormonal birth control plays a big role in that and people just don’t know.
First and foremost, there is a lot of other options. The one that people need to know about the most is called the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). You can use it as a natural contraceptive and utilize it for family planning.
The fertility awareness method is essentially knowing your body and cycle so well that you can look at your biomarkers, know your cervical placement or feel cervix placement, look at your cervical fluid and track your basal body temperature, and know where you are at in your cycle.
Know your menstrual cycle and the four phases. You want to utilize your menstrual cycle as a blueprint. There are four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. Once you’ve got a general mastery of those four phases you can recognize the fertile time throughout your cycle. You must start with knowing and truly mastering those four phases. From there that’s where you can build from and know how to actively practice. Berri recommends the sympto-thermal method which is essentially you learning three biomarkers and tracking them.
Cervical mucus: How it is going to look and feel like is going to change throughout your cycle? Imagine you first wake up in the morning and you notice that your panties feel a little bit wet and that would be your cervical mucus. Cervical mucus, if you are fertile, will look like raw egg whites. If you are ovulating it will look like raw running egg whites and be very similar inconsistency. If you are not ovulating, it will not look like that, it will generally resemble lotion.
When you’re getting close to ovulation it will look wet and watery. When ovulation may be on its way it will look creamy and lotion-y. When ovulation is done and over, generally you will notice that it is dry, tacky, or pasty.
Menstruating: you’re bleeding, that is it.
Follicular: it’s going to look creamy and lotion-like. The closer you get to ovulation the more wet and watery the cervical mucus becomes.
Ovulation: it is clear, slippery, and stretchy. Once you are done ovulating it will become dry, tacky, and pasty.
Cervix Placement: This is where you are going to take your index finger (recommended once a week) and insert it into the vaginal canal to feel for your cervix. What you’re feeling for is something that either feels like the tip of your nose or it feels like your cupid’s bow (the top of your lip). If it feels like the tip of your nose, then you are not ovulating. If it feels like your cupid’s bow then you are ovulating. As you are checking your cervix placement if it goes to that first line on your index finger, that means that your cervix is low, but throughout your cycle the closer you get to ovulation the deeper your finger will be able to go. So it will go to that third line closest to your palm. If you are ovulating you are going to be soft, high, open, and wet.
Basal Body Temperature: You take your BBT before you get out of bed because we want it to be at a resting state. You only track that to confirm that you have ovulated. A lot of people think that it will tell you when you’re ovulating but it only tells you after you have ovulated. Once you have ovulated your temperature will increase 1-2 degrees.
One of the main things is reading your cervical mucus but then two is timing it the right way. A lot of people think we should do the baby dance (that is when you are trying to get pregnant), people try to conceive on the day they are ovulating. No. You’re doing it wrong. You want to time it 2-3 days before ovulation because sperm can live in the uterus for up to five days and the fallopian tube for up to 7 days. To wait for the day you are actually ovulating isn’t going to benefit you. Especially since you only ovulate for 24 hours.
The best thing to do is go back to reading your cervical mucus, wait for it to look like it is more watery and more slippery and that is when you try to conceive.
Superfoods to take:
You know when people say “your body your choice” when it comes to a specific topic. Berri wants you to remember to keep that same energy when it comes to your menstrual cycle and any decisions you are making with your body. This is your choice, regardless of whatever else you are doing when it comes to your cycle or your overall health. You are the one that makes that call, any decision that you make, make it in an educated and empowered one.
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Follow along with Berri:
Flo with Berrion Berry
Links from Berri:
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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