Women go through many changes to their fertility throughout their lifetime - from puberty right up until menopause.  Each change has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to monitoring your fertility.

How can Fertility Awareness help?

NFNZ Educators can help women understand changes in their cycles by teaching them the signs and symptoms of their fertility and how to record these daily on a chart.  Women can then monitor their declining fertility and accurately predict menstruation.  By taking advantage of increasing infertility women can avoid unnecessary use of contraceptives.  Charting will show if a woman is still releasing eggs (ovulating) and reassure her that she is not pregnant.

With more understanding of what is happening, women and their partners can meet the challenge of the peri-menopausal phase and reduce stress and uncertainty.

Menopause 101

Each year, thousands of New Zealand women reach menopause.  Over a period of time hormone production becomes erratic, fertility drops and menstrual periods stop.  Some women's lives are unhampered, others endure embarrassing and painful symptoms.

Menopausal symptoms are caused by the shutting down of the ovaries and the decrease, and eventual cessation, of the production of the hormone oestrogen. Symptoms vary from minimal to severe and may precede changes in periods.  Symptoms may include irregular bleeding, hot flushes, night sweats, skin changes and itching, vaginal dryness, urinary symptoms, osteoporosis, loss of libido, breast tenderness, tiredness, weight changes, forgetfulness, depression and anxiety.

Menopause is said to have occurred once a woman has had no periods for a year and/or a blood test to check Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) is at a post menopausal level.  After menopause has occurred, many women report increased energy and libido due to no longer having to worry about pregnancy.

NFNZ Educators can provide advice on how to navigate this transition, improving your quality of life during this time.

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