Periods and Moons
Women's periods have been tied to the moon and the lunar cycle for literally thousands of years. Before modern science came along to explain that a woman menstruates because of her changing hormones, it was generally accepted that a woman's periods followed the lunar cycle. After all, the moon controls the ocean, why not women's bodies? As a result, some believe that it is possible for a woman to have two fertile times during her menstrual cycle: the first occurring when she ovulates and the second according to her lunar phase fertility period.
To the Moon
The theory of lunar phase fertility is generally credited to Dr. Eugene Jonas. In the 1950s, Dr. Jonas tried to find an explanation as to why so many women became pregnant despite faithfully practicing the rhythm method. The fact that these women were becoming pregnant at a time when they weren't suppose to be fertile lead Dr. Jonas to reason that maybe women had more than one fertile period during a month. Since Dr. Jonas was very much into astrology, and since the original ways of charting a woman's period were based on the lunar cycles, he turned his attention heaven ward.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Jonas was met with quite a bit of skepticism from the medical and scientific world. Since his theory cannot be proven by modern-day scientific reasoning, many choose to dismiss the idea of having two fertile times as nonsense. However, a British study done on lunar phase fertility found that men's sperm counts significantly increased during their lunar fertility period. Another study showed that women who practiced abstinence during both their biological and lunar fertile period were 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. This is a pretty significant increase from the 75% effectiveness rate of being abstinent only during your biological fertility period.
Myth or Reality?
Although the connection between the moon and our bodies is not fully understood, the fact remains that we are affected by the moon's phases. Most notably, our moods and emotions tend to peak when the moon is full. This is backed up by the fact that doctors and nurses who work in emergency rooms have said over and over again that their busiest night of the month always occurs when the moon is full. Women, however, have long held a connection with the moon.
Charting your menstrual period according to the moon is one of the oldest forms of menstrual calendars. In fact, it is believed that the first calendars were based upon women's charts of their menstrual cycles and the moon cycles. Yet, with the shift from Pagan beliefs to Christian beliefs came the shift from the lunar calendar (consisting of 13 months, all 28 days, totaling 364 days) to the solar calendar, which is what we have now (12 months, 28, 29, 30 and 31 days depending on which month you're in).
Many women have chosen to return to the lunar calendar in order to chart their periods while many others use a lunar calendar to compliment the more conventional type of menstrual chart. They also find it beneficial to use the moon as their guide to their periods because it provides them with a visual reference as to what stage of their cycle they are in.
Charting New Territory
To understand the lunar fertility cycle, you must first understand the moon's cycle. Quite simply, every month the moon transitions from a new moon to a waxing moon then to a full moon and finally to a waning moon before becoming a new moon once again. This lunar cycle, from new moon to new moon, takes 28 days to complete. Directly related to this is the fact that, on average, a woman's menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, it is normal for a woman's cycle to range from 25 to 34 days.
The lunar fertility cycle works on the premise that you can be fertile during your menstrual cycle when the moon is in the same phase it was when you were born. For example, if the moon was in the waning phase when you were born, then, once menstruation begins during puberty, you will be fertile whenever the moon is waning. It is thought that the reason for this fertile phase happens at birth when the moon arouses certain biochemical and hormonal states in your body, which then continue to influence your body for life.
In order to find your fertile lunar phase, it is necessary to know just what stage the moon was in at the time of your birth. Looking on an old calendar will probably provide you with this information. However, Dr. Jonas' theory also stated that the sex of your child could be determined according to which astrological sign the moon is in at the time of conception. To get a more detailed look at your lunar fertility cycle, then you may want to consult with an astrologist who will be able to prepare and interpret a lunar chart for you.
Because the lunar fertility cycle works on a 28-day cycle and your menstrual cycle (most likely) does not, this means that it is possible for you to be fertile twice during the same menstrual cycle. Many feel that lunar phase fertility could be responsible for spontaneous ovulation during the month and could explain why some women get pregnant while they have their period. However, it is also possible for your lunar fertility phase to coincide with ovulation, giving you just one fertile period during the month. By charting and keeping track of both your lunar and biological cycles, it will be easy to know just how fertile you will be during the month.
It is also worth charting your menstrual cycle symptoms, like PMS and cervical mucus consistency, in correlation to the moon's phases. Once you have established your menstrual patterns, you will only need to know what phase the moon is in to know what stage of your monthly cycle you are in.