The Fifth Vital Sign: Fertility Tracking as a Window to Health
“Behind every wise woman are many other wise women,” is the motto of Justisse Healthworks for Women and Justisse College. The impetus for Geraldine Matus to found this system and network for women began 39 years ago after having an adverse reaction to the Pill, which set her on a search to discover ways to recover her health, as well as natural birth control options. She learned natural family planning. “I saw in it women’s absolute freedom to care for their bodies as they see fit.”
The Justisse Method of fertility awareness is about more than preventing or achieving pregnancy, Matus says. “It can be used as a window into a woman’s endocrine system.” The second most vital system after the central nervous system. “If the endocrine symptom isn’t working, you aren’t working.” Because of this she considers a woman’s cycle the fifth vital sign, after blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate.
“As soon as our reproductive health declines, our whole life health declines.” She compares the stresses that women face today to the straw that broke the camel’s back. “Wifi, stress, dietary pollution, what are the stressors on the camel’s back that breaks a person? One person will say it is high fructose corn syrup and another lead in water.” Ultimately, “It’s epigenetics: the environment determines how the genetic information is realized.”
Signs of a Healthy Menstrual Cycle
- A health cycle is about 28 to 35 days.
- Day one of the cycle begins with a true, healthy menstrual bleed which is a bright red bleed that last three to five days and is neither too heavy nor light in that time, nor should it be extremely painful.
- This is followed by a period of follicle and egg development where there will be no cervical fluid, this period is variable depending on the woman’s health and environmental factors.
- Then there is a period of 3 to 5 days of cervical mucus that ideally is stretchy, and slippery and clear like raw egg-white.
- The last day of that type of mucus is associated with ovulatory event, followed by a 12 to 14 day post ovulatory time where the uterus lining becomes develops a secretory in anticipation of conception.
- Cycles that include extreme pain, premenstrual syndrome, and extreme moodiness are signs that something is wrong with the system.
- It is possible to “see” what is happening with a woman’s endocrine system by tracking these three biomarkers: cervical fluid, basal body temperature, and position of the cervix. All of which only take a few minutes a day to observe and record.
- A healthy woman, with a healthy cycle can use the knowledge of her cycle to help achieve pregnancy. Conception is possible only on ovulation day, and a woman is only fertile the few days every cycle that she has cervical mucus. Preventing pregnancy naturally through charting menstrual cycle event has been proved to be extremely effective up to 99.4 percent when followed perfectly. This is not the same the rhythm method, which isn’t as effective because it depends on mathematical calculations to predict fertile days, rather than daily tracking the body’s indicators of fertility: cervical mucus, basal temperature, and cervix position.
You can work with a Justisse Method HRHP, learn more about fertility tracking, or download the app to get started today at https://www.justisse.ca/
I was fortunate to be able to interview Geraldine Matus when researching fertility, toxins, and women’s health for my book Green Mama-to-Be. Learn more about the Green Mama books and what life is really like living on an island, researching toxins and health, and raising children with science and spirit by signing-up for the newsletter.