Fertility Awareness: Man and Woman in My Image

I made man and woman in my image, so that you can understand my image better.

We believe in the resurrection of the body.

When we die, our body and soul are separated. That’s what death is: the separation of our body-soul unity as humans. Experiencing the separation of our body and soul is not natural, not the way we are meant to be. This separation is the result of original sin. But in death, our soul awaits the resurrection of the body.

Do you know what this means? It means your body is vitally important. It’s important to your life; it’s important to your salvation. What you do with your body matters, and what your body tells you matters.

All right now, ladies and gentlemen, especially the ladies, I want to tell you about fertility awareness and how it’s connected with God’s eternal plan for you in the resurrection of the body.

pregnancy test


Fertility awareness means being aware of a woman’s fertility by tracking the signs of fertility to determine the periods of time when she is fertile and infertile within her cycle. During the fertility cycle, which begins with menstruation, there’s only one window of potential fertility; the rest of the cycle is actually infertile. Fertility awareness equips a woman to track things like resting body temperature, cervical fluid, and hormone metabolites in urine to identify the signs of increasing fertility and ovulation. Married couples often use fertility awareness to plan when to have children, but the knowledge that can be gained from fertility awareness is far greater than family planning.

This female fertility cycle is extremely important. Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and the luteinizing hormone interplay throughout the cycle to prepare a woman’s body for ovulation and then the potential of life; a woman experiences these changes in her body like a roller coaster, with levels surging up and plunging down at different times throughout her cycle.

Fertility cycle graph
Fertility cycle graph from clearblue.com

But those hormones do more than just prepare the body for ovulation and a baby; those hormones are vitally important for a woman’s overall health. The development of brain, bones, breast tissue…everything. Those hormones are not just responsible for fertility. They are working to develop the entire body, and when they are suppressed, for instance, with the use of hormonal birth control, they cannot do the job that they need to do to optimize health.

Let’s switch gears for a minute and talk about the body of Christ, and in this instance, I’m talking about the community of believers we call the body of Christ. We are all called to do our part. You are called to do your part.  You are called to step into the place that God has designed especially for you. If you don’t, no one is going to fill that exact spot or purpose. That spot is going to be missing from the body of Christ. If you don’t step into the role that God has asked you to step into, that is going to be a hole in the fabric of the body of Christ.

praying at Ave Maria


The same goes for our body. If we turn off or ignore a perfectly well-functioning system of our body—the way we do to the female reproductive system with hormonal birth control—our whole body suffers because it’s all connected. Now, I’m not talking about the situation of someone born with a birth defect or who has loss of vision of hearing, these are not intentional manipulations or removals. Everything in our body working together is an image of the body of Christ, and we are called to work within our God-given body to be that image of God whether that body is male, female, old, young, missing an arm, or unable to hear.

These connections are not just coincidental.

The fact that your body and all its functions are connected and the body of Christ is all connected is no random happenstance. That is actually how God designed it to help us understand how everyone and everything—the saints and angels in Heaven and our brothers and sisters here on Earth—are all interconnected and need to work together for the glory of God.

Everything in the created world is a sign of God and His eternal plan. The way our bodies work, the union of man and woman, the marital act in itself: all of these elements were designed to be signs of the eternal—signs of the wedding feast of the Lamb in which we are all invited to participate. These all exist to help us to understand what we are really destined for.

wedding photo on bookshelf


So, when you are seeing these things play out in your life, when you are experiencing how each and every hormone present throughout the fertility cycle is connected to the rest of your body and that it has a specific role, it’s not just a coincidence. That is God trying to paint the picture for you.

God is trying to tell you this: I made man and woman in my image, so that you can understand my image better.


Are you a woman interested in learning more about how your hormones and fertility cycle work and how it is all connected to your faith? Check out Charting for Single Women, a PDF book by Christina Valenzuela. Use code FOCUS20 for 20% off until the end of May.


Ellen Holloway
Ellen Hollowayhttp://vinesinfullbloom.com
Ellen Holloway is the host of Charting Toward Intimacy, a podcast focused on NFP, fertility awareness, and sexuality all from a Catholic perspective. Ellen speaks and writes on topics ranging from gender ideology to marital intimacy to Theology of the Body and everything in between. To connect with Ellen, find her at vinesinfullbloom.com or on Instagram @chartingtowardintimacy.

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