Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the Justisse Method the same as the Rhythm Method?
A: No. The Rhythm Method makes mathematical projections based on past menstrual cycle history to predict future fertile and infertile phases of the menstrual cycle. These predictions, though occasionally right, in general do not accurately reflect fertile days.
The Justisse Method teaches users how to determine the status of their fertility through real-time, daily observations.
Q: Do I need regular cycles to practice the Justisse Method?
A: Even if your menstrual cycles vary in length, the Justisse Method will teach you how to reliably observe your symptoms of fertility.
Q: Do I have to practice abstinence to use the Justisse Method to avoid pregnancy?
A: Couples need to abstain on fertile days (or choose another method of pregnancy prevention). Folks who use a barrier method on fertile days (condom, foam, cervical cap, diaphragm, etc.) are no longer strictly using the Justisse Method for birth control, and can expect the effectiveness for birth control of the barrier method they are using.
Generally, a female is fertile for about one week of each menstrual cycle, when cervical mucus is present and during ovulation. Mucus allows for the survival and transportation of sperm. The exact number of fertile days (and days that are considered fertile) varies cycle to cycle and person to person.
Q: What about “Safe Sex” practices?
A: The Justisse Method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If you are unsure of your health status – or that of your partner – seek medical guidance, and use protection.
Q: What is a menstrual cycle?
A: A menstrual cycle consists of menstruation, as well as follicle and egg development (accompanied by changes in the cervix and the appearance of cervical mucus) ovulation, development of the corpus luteum (accompanied by changes in the cervix and absence of cervical mucus), changes in the uterine lining both before and after ovulation, and changes in basal body temperature.
Q: How can I assess my own fertility?
A: By learning to observe, chart, and interpret your body's signs of fertility. A Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner can guide you to learn how to assess your fertility using the Justisse Method and a functional approach to understanding how your chart reflects your overall health. You may also wish to find individuals or groups in your area who offer fertility awareness education and consultation.
Q: What if I have extreme cramping and pain with my period? Is this method not for me?
A: Extreme cramping and pain (dysmenorrhea) does not interfere with the observations of fertility signs. In fact, charting with the Justisse Method can support you to monitor your symptoms, and partnering with an HRHP can help you examine the root causes of PMS and period pain.
Q: What is cervical mucus?
A: In response to rising levels of the hormone estrogen, the cervix is stimulated to produce mucus. Rising levels of estrogen, and thus cervical mucus, signal the approach of ovulation. The Justisse Method teaches users how to monitor the presence of cervical mucus, and understand the changing pattern of these mucus secretions in relation to your fertility.
Q: What is the number of days from ovulation to my next menstrual period?
A: A typical number of days from ovulation to your next menstrual period ranges from 12-14 days. This is called the post-ovulatory, or luteal, phase. A post-ovulatory phase that is consistently less than 12 days or greater than 14, may indicate a hormonal and/or endocrine concern.
Q: What affects male fertility? Does stress play a role in male fertility?
A: Environmental degradation over the past 50 years is partly responsible for declining male fertility. Fertility is affected by diet and lifestyle, including regular consumption of certain prescription and recreational substances, caffeine, fried and processed foods, and exposure to excessive heat, radiation, and certain pollutants. Men can improve their fertility by reducing environmental and physical stressors. Varicoceles, prostrate infection, history of high fevers, hypothyroidism, and andropause also affect male fertility.
Q: What is a semen analysis and what does semen analysis look for?
A: A semen analysis is a safe, non-invasive procedure and is the first step in diagnosing a man’s fertility. A semen analysis examines a man’s:
Sperm count – the number of sperm should be at least 20 to 40 million per milliliter of semen
Motility – the spontaneous motions (60% of the sperm should be vigorously swimming)
Morphology – shape of the sperm (60% of the sperm should be normally formed)
Viscosity – the quality of the seminal fluid
pH – acidity/alkalinity
Discuss the details of your analysis with your urologist, and make sure you keep a copy of your lab results. Semen analysis is not necessarily final – it reflects a current condition. Like other body functions, fertility can wane or be enhanced.
Q: I experience days of spotting just before my period. Will this affect the success of the Justisse Method?
A: The Justisse Method provides for ways of interpreting individual variations in the menstrual cycle. If spotting occurs for more than 1 or 2 days before menstruation, a consultation with a reproductive health care provider is advised to assess the cause.
Q: What does it mean if my periods are less than three days long? Am I infertile?
A: Light menstrual bleeding of less than three days duration may indicate poor development of the endometrial lining due to hormonal imbalances. Or this type of bleeding may not be menstrual bleeding but rather ‘break through bleeding’ due to prolonged estrogen stimulation of the endometrium without ovulation occurring (common with the use of birth control pills). A consultation with a reproductive health care provider to assess the condition of your fertility is advised.
Q: What if my period is more than 9 days in length – would the Justisse Method still work for me?
A: The Justisse Method provides for ways of interpreting individual variations in the menstrual cycle. When your period lasts for more than 7 days, a consultation with a reproductive health care provider is advised to make a thorough assessment of your reproductive hormone and endocrine functions.
Q: What does it mean when my mucus is tinged with blood, hardened, or like glue?
A: It is not unusual for cervical mucus to be tinged with blood accompanying ovulation. If this occurs for more than two days and is more than just a tinge, you may want to consult your Justisse HRHP or other reproductive health care provider. Cervical mucus that appears hardened or glue-like may indicate cervical dysplasia or cervicitis and is not uncommon in the first few cycles coming off hormonal birth control. If it persists for more than three cycles, see your Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner or other reproductive health care provider.
Q: I see a small amount of clear and/or stretchy mucus on only one day. Should I contact my doctor?
A: Cervical mucus on one day only may indicate low estrogenic activity. A consultation with your Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner or other reproductive health care provider is advised.
Q: I typically experience a lot of clear, stretchy mucus for longer than a week. Am I overly fertile?
A: The presence of clear, stretchy cervical mucus for longer than a week is not a sign of being overly fertile; rather it may indicate a hormonal or endocrine issue. A consultation with a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner or other reproductive health care provider is suggested to make a thorough assessment of your reproductive hormone and endocrine health.