Sarah Kurtanich is a Fertility Awareness Practitioner and Health Coach who has focused her career on finding holistic solutions to menstruation problems. She is joining us as a member of the Larken Lineup panel to offer her expertise on fertility awareness and cycle tracking. 

Sarah works with clients to help them feel empowered and supported as they search for solutions to conception difficulties and period problems through resources like fertility education, cycle coaching, group circles, and one-on-one consulting. Sarah has extensive training and experience in fertility coaching, including certifications from the Wild Woman Project, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and FEMM. Her services help clients bridge the gap between learning about their menstrual health and making real life changes to support fertility goals. 

Sarah had her own journey through different forms of hormonal birth control, period symptoms, and even a cone biopsy that led her to discover that menstrual cycle awareness allows her to track and optimize her cycle. She has been able to diminish the negative symptoms of periods that she had struggled with for years, while also reaping the benefits of healthy ovulation and healing her relationship with food to support her hormonal regulation. 

As 15% of all couples struggle with infertility, the World Health Organization has recognized infertility (being unable to conceive within 1 year) as a public health issue for couples across the globe (WHO). But, you do not have to wait until it has been a year if you have concerns or want to learn more about your fertility. In many cases, Sarah says, it is possible to uncover the causes of subfertility and seek treatment before that one-year mark. Using her expertise, Sarah shared with Larken how you can use fertility awareness to track your cycle and better understand your fertility concerns at home, while also building a stronger connection between you and your body.

The first signals that Sarah looks for are your cycle biomarkers (things like cervical mucus and Basal Body Temperature) and cycle patterns, which point to overall hormone sufficiency and probable ovulation. She explains that your cycle can provide clues which can be used to direct further exploration of what might be going on. If you decide to seek professional medical care, this information can help you have more specific and effective conversations to get to the bottom of your fertility concerns. 

When monitoring the cycles of her clients, Sarah starts by checking for some  specific clues if they are trying to conceive. 

1. A cycle that is 24-36 days long. 
2. A menstrual bleed that is 3-7 days long with at least one day of medium to havy bleeding. 
3. A pattern of increasingly fertile cervical mucus over at least 6 days. 
4. A luteal phase that is 10-18 days long with very little to no pre-period spotting
5. Any recent history of abnormal cycles. 

However, beyond these five key signs, she recommends that you keep some other things in mind.

First, it is not always the female/menstruator that has a problem. Both menstrators and sperm-producers can have fertility issues. Roughly one third of infertility cases are due to problems with the menstrator, another third are due to problems with the sperm-producer, and the final third are a combination of both partners (OASH). 

However, most couples do conceive within that one-year time frame used to define infertility, says Sarah. The process of conceiving, even if you do not have diagnosed fertility problems, can still feel really long for parents. Sarah advises that it is important to try not to stress. While it is certainly easier said than done, stress can really do a number on our ability to ovulate. 

Finally, Sarah warns that while many cycle tracking apps on the market try to predict when you will ovulate, their accuracy can vary widely. Ultimately, Sarah advises that you learn to listen to your own body as you know your body better than any algorithm. 

It can be difficult to feel empowered enough to take charge of your own menstrual health. Fertility and period coaching services, like the strategy sessions that Sarah offers, can help ensure that you do not feel alone on the journey to take charge of your own menstrual health. Whether you are trying to prevent pregnancy, just starting your pregnancy journey, or continuing to manage infertility, fertility awareness can have a profound impact on your overall well being. 

Through a combination of science, education, and support from professionals like Sarah, you can learn how to understand your body to better pursue your own pregnancy goals. Join us at the Larken Lineup to hear from other members about all things fertility and reproductive health-related. 

As always, our content is not medical advice and does not serve as a substitute for medical device. Please consult your doctor and health team for medical advice.