Frequently Asked Questions

What is FEMM?

FEMM is a comprehensive women’s health program that teaches women to understand their bodies, as well as hormonal and other vital signs of health. FEMM recognizes that the health of a woman’s monthly cycle is an important part of her overall health. By educating women, FEMM empowers them to identify signs of health or potential issues so that they can seek the treatment they need as early as possible. Through its medical management programs, FEMM provides accurate testing and treatment based on research and medical protocols.

What programs does FEMM offer?

FEMM education provides instruction to women who would like to learn more about their bodies and health, to people interested in becoming FEMM teachers, and to medical personnel interested in incorporating FEMM and its protocols into their practice.

FEMM has a health app that provides an easy platform for women to track their health and to avoid or achieve pregnancy.

FEMM Medical Management provides general wellness checks to women through FEMM clinics and FEMM-trained affiliated physicians. FEMM Medical Protocols assess over a dozen hormones and review a woman’s clinical history and cycle data in order to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of symptoms associated with infertility, menopause, thyroid dysfunction, migraine headaches, depression, weight gain and acne.

Can FEMM help with depression?

Depression can be related to hormone-imbalances, and FEMM protocols can help to diagnose and address these imbalances. FEMM may also work with a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist to ensure that you receive the best possible integrated care. 

Does FEMM provide nutritional support?

FEMM provides a strong focus on nutrition, along with exercise and sleep. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical to overall and hormonal health, and collaboration with a nutritionist can be an important part of successful FEMM treatment.

Does FEMM provide lactation consultants?

FEMM encourages women to reach out so they can receive the support they need when breastfeeding. We do not have lactational consultants on staff, but we are always ready to work with the health care providers and consultants each patient needs, and we help connect FEMM users to lactation consultants where possible.

Where can I learn more about the research behind FEMM?

The FEMM whitepaper [hyperlink to whitepaper] offers an overview of the research behind FEMM and similar methods. You can also explore the Science section of our website to learn more about the evidence for FEMM.

How can I find a FEMM teacher near me?

If you are interested in consulting with a FEMM teacher online, please visit this pageIf you prefer to work with a FEMM teacher in-person, you can find a FEMM teacher near you through our teacher directory

How can I find a FEMM doctor near me?

If you are interested in consulting with a FEMM doctor online, please visit our telemed page. If you  prefer to see a FEMM doctor in person, you can find local providers here

What is charting?

Charting refers to the practice of observing daily biomarkers associated with hormonal activity and noting them on a chart. Women who chart may also indicate when they experience PMS symptoms, headaches, and other issues so that they can observe patterns, connections to hormonal health, which can help to identify potential hormone imbalances. 

What is cervical fluid?

Cervical fluid is a mucus produced by the cervix, an organ located at the bottom of a woman’s uterus (womb) and connecting to the top of her vagina. As estrogen rises, cervical fluid increases, becomes slippery, and actually changes its structure so that sperm can swim through it into the cervix, the uterus, and eventually the fallopian tubes. Fertile cervical fluid helps to protect and feed the sperm. Infertile cervical fluid is inhospitable to sperm and hinders their ability to swim up the vagina and through the cervix.

How do I check my cervical fluid?

Cervical fluid is sensed throughout the day and can also be observed as you run a tissue over the entrance to the vagina before or after going to the bathroom. The slippery or moist sensation that it provides allows women to make a record of their hormonal changes and patterns.

What is normal hormonal behavior in women?

FEMM educates women on the range of normal hormonal behavior. Within this range, every woman will have her own unique pattern. A healthy cycle is ovulatory and between 24-36 days long. It includes 3-5 days of bleeding, a clear ovulatory pattern (estrogen), and a luteal phase of 9-18 days (progesterone). FEMM helps women to monitor their health by charting their cycles and understanding the signs that their cycles indicate.

Are there ways of checking for sufficient hormone levels regularly other than blood tests? Are there home tests?

Charting provides the easiest and least invasive method of observing estrogen and progesterone patterns, which in turn provides evidence of healthy follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. If a chart indicates that any of these hormones may be out of balance, a blood test is suggested in order to identify the primary hormonal disturbance (which is often not directly estrogen or progesterone).

I often experience symptoms during my period. How do I determine what is normal and what needs to be checked?

PMS and extreme menstrual discomfort should not play a role in a healthy cycle. That said, natural hormone fluctuations do affect women’s moods and energy levels. Charting any symptoms you experience alongside your cycle indicators can help you recognize patterns that are normal for you. However, if you experience PMS, intense mood swings, or debilitating cramps on a regular basis, then this could indicate a hormonal imbalance or underlying  issue.

I am currently trying to determine the exact day I ovulate, and according to information provided by FEMM, LH surges about a day before ovulation. The kit I use says it could be two days before ovulation. So is it one or two days?

LH rises to a plateau that can last for 24-36 hours.  Identification of ovulation through charting observations is always approximate.

How do I know if my period is normal or irregular? I’ve heard that it’s normal to have irregular periods, but also that they could indicate a problem. Which is true?

A healthy cycle is 24-36 days long and includes ovulation. Having more than two consecutive cycles that do not meet these requirements is a reason to seek medical advice. Within this range of normal, women’s cycles can vary, which is why charting can be so important to establish what is normal for you. The length and bleeding pattern of your period is also an important health indicator that FEMM helps women to track.

My cycles have always been consistent in length, but this month my period was a week late. Is that normal? Should I worry?

Delayed ovulation can occur if you experience acute stress, illness, or other lifestyle changes prior to ovulation. This delay in ovulation would result in a longer-than-average cycle. However, consistent delayed ovulation may indicate a health issue, so FEMM recommends charting your cycles. If you experience two or more irregular cycles in a row, consult a FEMM medical provider.

When should I see a physician or gynecologist for mood changes?

See your doctor when mood changes are frequent and severe. We recommend that you chart your mood changes along with your cycle biomarkers. This information will help a FEMM physician to note any pattern that may indicate a hormonal issue.

Can FEMM help with acne?

Yes, acne is often a result of hormonal imbalance. FEMM has an acne protocol and can help to correct this imbalance at its root.

Can FEMM help with endometriosis?
Can FEMM help with PCOS?

Yes, FEMM can help to diagnose and treat PCOS. PCOS is often linked to multiple hormone dysfunctions that FEMM can clearly identify. Identifying the underlying and primary hormonal disturbance is critical to getting an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Can FEMM help me with menopause symptoms?

FEMM has specific menopause protocols, which are highly effective. Because menopause is a time of hormonal fluctuation, FEMM is uniquely situated to identify a clear diagnosis and provide effective treatment.

Can FEMM help with obesity?

Leptin is a hormone that is critical to managing weight and that interacts with the other hormones of the cycle. In addition, fat cells produce estrogen, so this condition can influence all the other hormones in the cycle. FEMM teachers and providers can assist in a full health workup in order to build a healthy lifestyle and get support with treatment of this condition.

I’m on hormonal birth control to manage my irregular cycles, is that a proper remedy?

80% of women with irregular cycles have an underlying hormonal imbalance. Birth control pills disrupt or suppress natural hormone production and cycle health and do not address the underlying hormonal imbalance. FEMM recommends and can help in diagnosing and treating the underlying cause of the hormonal imbalance in order to restore a healthy cycle.

I have not been able to get pregnant after getting off of birth control pills. Is this normal?

The average time it takes for a woman’s fertility to return to normal is about six months and depends on the type of hormonal contraceptive used, age at first use, and duration of use, as well as a woman’s individual biology. That said, FEMM recommends that you see a FEMM teacher or physician if your cycles do not normalize (are not ovulatory) within 3 months to make sure that you are on track to regain healthy cycles and fertility.

Can FEMM help me get pregnant or avoid pregnancy?

Yes, women can use the biomarkers they track using FEMM to accurately manage the fertile window of their current cycle. In addition, by correcting hormonal imbalances, FEMM can help make family planning easier and more accurate by restoring the woman’s cycle to health as needed and reducing cycle irregularity.

Does FEMM provide prenatal care?

FEMM provides prenatal care, particularly since the best prenatal care is getting yourself healthy! FEMM providers can provide pregnancy confirmation and early prenatal support to the mother, as well as ongoing healthcare management before and after each pregnancy. 

What support does FEMM provide to breastfeeding mothers who are trying to avoid pregnancy?

Expert FEMM teachers with experience in the postpartum phase can provide health support and 1-on-1 care during breastfeeding. This support is critical to monitor and understand confusing cycles. Knowing the physiology and understanding the changes that your body is going through can help you make sense of difficult data at this time. In addition, our FEMM medical doctors can provide hormonal support by examining and monitoring existing and returning cycle function as needed.

How effective is FEMM for achieving pregnancy?

FEMM can be highly effective for achieving pregnancy. Whether and how quickly a particular woman gets pregnant varies depending on her own unique circumstances. Nonetheless, research  indicates that women who know and understand their cycles, have a 30% higher chance of conception.

If I’m taking hormonal birth control, can I still use FEMM?

FEMM teaches that all women deserve to be informed about their bodies and their health, so FEMM education is open to all women. However, hormonal birth control disrupts or suppresses natural hormone production and cycle health. Therefore, charting your cycle while taking hormonal birth control will not be effective, since it will not provide information about your natural cycle and health. If you have been prescribed hormonal birth control for health reasons and are unsure about discontinuing it, you might consider consulting with a FEMM doctor to explore additional health options.

Isn’t FEMM family planning just the rhythm method, which we now know to be ineffective?

FEMM is not based on the rhythm method. The rhythm method predicts ovulation based on the calendar, and does not account for the many variations specific women experience. In contrast, FEMM family planning is based on daily observations of hormonal biomarkers. It helps women to understand their own individual cycle and patterns, allowing them to pinpoint their unique days of fertility in order to achieve or avoid pregnancy. 

What is FEMM?

FEMM is a comprehensive women’s health program that teaches women to understand their bodies, and hormonal and other vital signs of health. FEMM recognizes that the health of a woman’s monthly cycle is an important cornerstone of her overall health. Through education, FEMM empowers women to identify signs of health or potential issues so that they may seek the treatment they need as early as possible. Through its medical management programs, FEMM provides accurate testing and treatment based on new research and medical protocols.

What makes FEMM different from conventional medical management for women?

FEMM understands the central role of reproductive endocrinology in the management of women’s health. Additionally, FEMM provides women with the necessary information to work with their doctors to make informed decisions about their health care. FEMM physicians are uniquely equipped to use the data FEMM users provide in order to better treat issues like irregular bleeding, pain, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, infertility, menopause, thyroid dysfunction, migraines, depression, weight gain, and acne.

What programs does FEMM offer?

FEMM Education provides instruction to women who would like to learn more about their bodies and health, to people interested in becoming FEMM teachers and others, and to medical personnel interested in incorporating FEMM and its protocols into their practice.

FEMM has a health app that provides an easy platform for women to track their health, and to avoid or achieve pregnancy.

FEMM Medical Management provides general wellness checks to women at FEMM clinics and by FEMM-trained affiliated physicians. FEMM Medical Protocols assess over 10 hormones, a woman’s clinical history and cycle data in order to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of symptoms associated with infertility, menopause, thyroid dysfunction, migraine headaches, depression, weight gain and acne.

What is charting?

Charting refers to the practice of observing daily biomarkers associated with hormonal activity and noting them on a chart. Women who chart may also indicate when they experience PMS symptoms, headaches and other issues so that they can observe patterns and connections to their hormonal health or potential hormone imbalances. Paper charts have traditionally been used, however the FEMM app makes it easy for you to keep all of your data in one place.

What is cervical fluid?

Cervical fluid is a mucus produced by the cervix, which sits at the bottom of a woman’s uterus (womb), and connects it to the top of her vagina. As estrogen rises, cervical fluid increases and becomes slippery and actually changes its structure so that sperm can swim through it up through the cervix, into the uterus and eventually into the fallopian tubes. Fertile cervical fluid helps to protect and feed the sperm. Infertile cervical fluid is inhospitable to sperm and hinders its ability to swim up the vagina and through the cervix.

How do I check my cervical fluid?

Cervical fluid is sensed throughout the day as you run a tissue over the entrance to the vagina when going to the bathroom. The slippery or moist sensation that it provides is clear and tracking it can help to indicate your hormonal patterns.

What is normal hormonal behavior in women?

FEMM provides a range of normal for every woman to know, in order to better equip women to manage their health. Within this range of normal every woman will have her own unique pattern. A healthy cycle is ovulatory and between 24-36 days long. FEMM helps women to monitor their health by charting their cycle and understanding the signs that it provides to them.

Are there other ways of checking for sufficient hormone levels regularly other than blood tests? Are there home tests?

Charting provides the easiest and least invasive method to observe estrogen and progesterone patterns, which in turn provides evidence of healthy follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteneizing hormone (LH) levels. If charting indicates that any of these hormones may be out of balance, a blood test is suggested in order to identify the primary hormonal disturbance (which is almost never estrogen or progesterone).

I often experience symptoms during my period, how do I determine what is normal and what needs to be checked?

PMS and extreme menstrual discomfort should not play a role in a healthy cycle. That said, natural hormone fluctuations do affect women’s moods and energy levels. Charting any symptoms you experience alongside your cycle indicators can help you recognize patterns that are normal for you. However, if you experience PMS, intense mood swings, debilitating cramps, etc. on a regular basis, then this could indicate a hormonal imbalance or other issue.

I am currently trying to determine the exact day I ovulate, and according to information provided by FEMM, LH surges about a day before ovulation. The kit I use says it could be two days before ovulation. So is it one or two days?

LH rises to a plateau that can last for 24-36 hours. Identification of ovulation through charting observations is always approximate.

How do I know if my period is normal or irregular? I’ve heard both that it is normal to have irregular periods and that irregular periods could indicate a problem?

A healthy cycle is one in which ovulation occurs and is 24-36 days long. Having more than two consecutive cycles that do not meet these requirements is a reason to seek medical advice. Within this range of normal, women’s cycles can vary, which is why charting can be so important to establish what is normal for you.The length and bleeding pattern of your period is also an important health indicator that FEMM helps women to track.

I’m on hormonal birth control to manage my irregular cycles,is that good?

80% of women with irregular cycles have an underlying hormonal imbalance. Birth control pills disrupt or suppress natural hormone production and cycle health and do not address the underlying hormonal imbalance. FEMM recommends and can help in diagnosing and treating the underlying cause of the hormonal imbalance in order to restore a healthy cycle.

My cycles have always been consistent in length, but this month my period was a week late. Is that normal? Should I worry?

Delayed ovulation can occur if you experienced acute stress, an illness, or other lifestyle change prior to ovulation. This delay in ovulation would result in a longer-than-average cycle. However, consistent delayed ovulation may indicate a health issue, so FEMM recommends charting your cycles. If you experience two or more irregular cycles in a row, consult a FEMM medical provider.

When should I see a physician/gynecologist for mood changes?

See you doctor when mood changes are frequent and severe. We recommend that you chart your mood changes along with your cycle biomarkers. This information will help a FEMM physician to note any pattern that may indicate a hormonal issue.

I have not been able to get pregnant after going off of birth control pills. Is this normal?

The average time it takes for a woman’s fertility to return to normal is about six months, and depends on the type of hormonal contraceptive used, age at first use and duration of use, as well as a woman’s individual biology. That said, FEMM recommends that you see a FEMM physician if your cycles do not normalize (are not ovulatory) within 3 months to make sure that you are on track to regain healthy cycles and fertility.

Can FEMM help with depression?

Depression can be related to hormone-imbalances and FEMM protocols can help to diagnose and address this. FEMM may also work with a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist to ensure that the best integrated care is provided to you.

Can FEMM help with acne?

Yes, acne is often a result of hormonal imbalance. FEMM has an acne protocol and can help to correct this imbalance at its root.

Can FEMM help with endometriosis?

Yes, FEMM can help to diagnose and treat endometriosis.

Can FEMM help with PCOS?

Yes, FEMM can help to diagnose and treat PCOS. PCOS is often linked to multiple hormone dysfunctions which FEMM can identify clearly and sensitively. Identifying the underlying and primary hormonal disturbance is critical to getting an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Can FEMM be used for family planning?

Yes, women can use the biomarkers they track using FEMM to accurately manage the fertile window of their current cycle. In addition, by correcting hormonal imbalances, FEMM can help to make family planning easier and more accurate, by first restoring the woman’s cycle to health and reducing cycle irregularity.

Can FEMM help me with menopause symptoms?

FEMM has specific menopause protocols which are highly effective. Because menopause is a time of hormonal fluctuation, FEMM is uniquely situated to identify a clear diagnosis and provide effective treatment.

Can FEMM help with obesity?

Yes. Leptin is a hormone that is critical to managing weight and that interacts with the other hormones of the cycle. In addition, fat cells produce estrogen, so this condition can influence all the other hormones in the cycle.

Does FEMM provide nutritional support?

FEMM provides a strong focus on nutrition, along with exercise and sleep. Adopting healthy lifestyles is critical to overall health and hormonal health, and collaboration with a nutritionist can be an important part of successful FEMM treatment.

Does FEMM provide prenatal care?

FEMM provides prenatal care, particularly since the best prenatal care is getting yourself healthy! FEMM can provide pregnancy confirmation and early prenatal support to the mother, but does not offer obstetrical services.

Does FEMM provide lactation consultants?

FEMM encourages women to reach out to receive the support they need when breastfeeding. We do not provide lactational consultants on staff but are always ready to work with the health care providers and consultants each patient needs.

What support does FEMM provide breastfeeding mothers who are trying to avoid pregnancy?

FEMM provides charting support for breastfeeding mothers in order to help them understand and manage confusing cycles. Knowing the physiology and understanding the changes that your body is going through can help to make sense of difficult data at this time. In addition, our FEMM medical doctors can provide hormonal support by examining and monitoring existing and returning cycle function.

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