Fertility Awareness Part Two: Making FAM work for you

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In this last post, I explained the three key fertility signs used to predict peak fertility days in Toni Weschler’s Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), which I use routinely in my clinical practice.

The difference between FAM and the rhythm/calendar method, which assumes ovulation happens at Day 14 of your cycle, is the charting of three key fertility signs to identify your peak fertility day: waking temperature, cervical mucus and cervical changes.

These three signs can also be combined with other indicators like luteinizing hormone (LH) strips, also known as “ovulation predictor kits” or OPKs, which measure the LH in your urine, which spikes in the lead-up to ovulation. Your LH is best tested in the mid-afternoon. A positive LH strip will indicate that your LH levels have risen to a point that would typically stimulate ovulation. Ideally, this test will confirm the peak days that you have been tracking using the Fertility Awareness Method.

Here are some more Frequently Asked Questions on FAM:

If I am using FAM to help conceive, how do I use this information?

If you are trying to conceive, have sex on your peak days (egg-white cervical mucus, cervix soft/high/open/wet, and LH surge; 1-2 days before waking basal temperature spike). Your fertile phase is as long as you have fertile cervical mucus – this might be several days, or as few as one. Once you have charted for a few months you will get a better idea of when you typically ovulate during your cycle (the temperature spike the day after your peak day confirms this), and what your fertility signs look like.

What are the priority days to try to conceive?

To maximize the quality of sperm, the top three priority days that I recommend in my practice are:

  • two days before expected ovulation/peak day
  • day of ovulation/peak day
  • day after ovulation/peak day

My chart doesn’t look ‘typical’ – am I doing it right and how can I interpret it?

Toni Weschler’s ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’ book and website ( has lots of fantastic information about how to chart your fertility signs and how to read the results – including an active forum on the website. You can even chart your fertility signs online if you prefer that method.

I always invite my own patients to bring their charts into their appointments so that I can help interpret the results. Every woman’s body is unique, so no two charts will be identical. We can help analyze whether your cycle is normal and healthy, whether there may be a hormonal imbalance, or whether there may be an error in how you are tracking your fertility signs.

Whether you are using FAM to learn more about your body, as a method of contraception (or to make your current contraception methods more effective), or to plan a pregnancy, the more information you have about your cycle the better!

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your fertility patients, please get in touch with us at

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.


Weschler, T. (2015). Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health. William Morrow Paperbacks.

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8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me