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The FAbM Base Podcast

The FAbM Base Podcast

By FAbM Base

FAbM Base co-founders Emily Frase and Mary Bruno bring you authentic conversations about fertility awareness and restorative healthcare.
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S1 E8: From Prescribing Birth Control to Advocating Fertility Awareness & Holistic Health with Dr. Susan Caldwell

The FAbM Base PodcastApr 25, 2022

20. What is Hormone Coaching? with Jamie Rathjen, M.A., FCP
Jun 20, 202355:26
19. When Charting Sucks: Health Issues with Mary
May 30, 202340:17
Website Overview: Two Ways to Find the Best Method Fit
May 23, 202315:40
18. When Charting Sucks: Unplanned Pregnancies with Emily

18. When Charting Sucks: Unplanned Pregnancies with Emily

Well, it's no secret that we have a deep appreciation for the benefits of charting our cycles, but let's be real - sometimes it just sucks! Charting is more than putting marks on the paper or app and making observations. It has an effect on life and life has an effect on it and Emily's story illustrates this really well.

In this episode, Mary interviews Emily about her expectations about sex going into marriage, how that played out, the pressure of needing to avoid a pregnancy, sharing the responsibility, the mental health importance of finding the right method for each individual woman, and when Emily wanted to stop charting.

May 16, 202350:28
17. How to Talk Infertility with Friends & Family
May 09, 202351:53
Pelvic Floor PT Part 2: Pain w Sex & Tampons - and What You Didn't Realize Could Cause it, with Jenny Porter

Pelvic Floor PT Part 2: Pain w Sex & Tampons - and What You Didn't Realize Could Cause it, with Jenny Porter

Dr. Jenny Porter is a physical therapist at Pivotal PT & Wellness in Mandeville, Louisiana, specializing in pelvic floor therapy for men, women, and children with bladder, bowel, sexual, and pain dysfunctions. This episode was dedicated to bringing awareness to what it means to have a normally functioning pelvic floor.

Here is some of what was discussed:

-A normal pelvic floor vs changes identified that cause pain

-What causes pain with intercourse? What is vaginismus? What about postpartum?

-The range of pain intensities possible (mild, moderate, severe)

-Should a tampon ever hurt? An OB/GYN visit?

-Can my husband be "too big?"

-Should I bring my teen, or even younger daughter to pelvic floor PT if she has pelvic pain?

-How does endometriosis cause painful sex? Why do I still have pain after surgery?

-What does treatment look like? How long can it take?

-What is a dilator and do I have to use one? Is this licit?

-If I have tightness/painful intercourse, does this increase my risk of tearing during labor?

Mary shares a bit about her personal experience with pelvic floor tightness, painful intercourse, and pelvic floor physical therapy. Since Jenny is her PT, they were able to offer a unique perspective of these situations. This is an honest conversation about the most intimate parts of a woman’s body. We know that this can be a sensitive subject, and please know that we did our best to handle it with care. We won’t shy away from these difficult conversations because we believe they are important and often do lead to healing.

Links mentioned in the episode:

S1 E3: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy with Drs. Emily and Jenny by The Intersect: The Official Podcast of FAbM Base (

Dynamix PT & Wellness - Physical Therapy, Dry Needling (

Nov 08, 202201:06:42
Pelvic Floor PT Part 1: Prenatal and Postpartum with Emily Jurschak

Pelvic Floor PT Part 1: Prenatal and Postpartum with Emily Jurschak

Emily Jurschak is an orthopedic and pelvic floor physical therapist located in Alexandria, VA. She owns and operates her own private physical therapy practice, Fiat Physical Therapy. Emily is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist who emphasizes the importance of integrating the whole person into her treatment and plan of care, and loves teaching women about their bodies.

Emily Frase sat down one-on-one with Emily Jurschak for an indepth conversation around prenatal and postpartum pelvic floor physical therapy. Jurschak kicked things off with a fascinating explanation of the function of the pelvic floor as it relates to pregnancy and postpartum (which you may want to watch on our YouTube channel), which gave great context to answering questions like when to start PT whether during or after pregnancy, and how C section scar massage is beneficial. Frase also shared her own experiences during pregnancy and birth. The two Emilys also shared the importance of gentleness and mind-body connection through these two wildly changing periods in a woman’s life.

And you’ll want to listen all the way to the end of the episode - Jurschak shares the most common issue she tends to treat for both pregnant and postpartum women.

Whether you’ve have or are planning to get pregnant soon, no matter if you’ve had vaginal or C section deliveries, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Find out more about Emily and her practice. Find her on Instagram @FiatPhysicalTherapy

Search our External Resources page for ways to find pelvic floor PTs near you. 

Check out the first pelvic floor PT episode we shared here on The Intersect, Episode 3 with Drs. Emily and Jenny on your favorite podcast app. 

Nov 01, 202259:51
The Sexpisodes Part 3: How These Ideologies Can Creep into Everyday Life

The Sexpisodes Part 3: How These Ideologies Can Creep into Everyday Life

We couldn't finish up our Sexpisode series without giving some very real examples of how these ideologies can be brought to life, and often without us realizing it. Emily divulges about how purity culture has affected her relationship with her body image. Mary shares how one aspect of purity culture did some huge damage to her understanding (or lack thereof) of sex and how it is still having a pretty big impact on her and her marriage. Since it isn't always easy to see, we explain how damaging it is to insist that NFP can be used with a contraceptive mentality specifically for those who are infertile. 

Mary and Emily get pretty vulnerable in this episode. Don't miss the conclusion of this special series and please don't forget to rate this podcast/leave a review! 

Aug 01, 202201:08:51
The Sexpisodes Part 2: Contraceptive Mentality & Providentialism
Jul 28, 202201:22:07
The Sexpisodes Part 1: Intro & Purity Culture
Jul 26, 202201:02:01
Mary and Emily Chat about Mary's New Book

Mary and Emily Chat about Mary's New Book

We’re back with an exciting off-season episode to announce the launch of our very own Mary Bruno’ s memoir, Twelve Stripes Deep: How Infertility & Other Suffering Delivered My Greatest Joys.

You're getting some behind the scenes info in this episode! We go in-depth about what inspired Mary to write her story to begin with and what that process looked like. We also talk about who this book is for - definitely infertile women, but also for women who don’t carry that cross and long for a more holistic understanding of womanhood, motherhood and femininity.

From Emily’s foreword for Twelve Stripes Deep:

“When Mary asked me to write the foreword for her book, she said, “All the books and talks out there for infertile women are from women who eventually had a child. I want to write a book for the woman who will never have a child, and let her know there is still hope.” That is what you hold now. In sharing her own story, Mary invites women into a process where they can explore their femininity, womanhood and motherhood as the inherent gift it is, regardless of whether they ever produce a biological child. She doesn’t do this with theological platitudes, but from her own heart. She illuminates the truth of the Catholic female identity in its fullness because she has labored to discover it.

Mary’s story isn’t a challenge to the Catholic understanding of womanhood and motherhood. Rather, her story shows us the narrow ways we often limit and confine the meaning of these states, which is not Catholic at all, but a reflection of our limited human understanding. Her story can remind us that the lives of the saints, though all expressions of virtue and striving for holiness, were lived in wildly different ways. This book is an invitation to see your life and your suffering, not as a curse or a cross to bear alone, but simply as a totally unique life with a unique call to love and to experience God.”

You can buy Mary’s book TUESDAY, JULY 12 by clicking the link below:

Twelve Stripes Deep: How Infertility & Other Suffering Delivered My Greatest Joys

“In Twelve Stripes Deep Mary brings a unique and needed voice to a rarely discussed topic. It is clear that she has sought the face of Christ in all of her sufferings.  If you are feeling the nudge to read this book, do it!”

-Christopher West, Th.D.

President, Theology of the Body Institute

Author, Good News about Sex & Marriage

“Mary Bruno shares the intimate details of her struggles, yet writes with a light, accessible tone that makes you feel like you're at brunch with a friend. I have no doubt that many women -- both those who have struggled with infertility and those who haven't -- will feel less alone thanks to her words."

- Jen Fulwiler, standup comic and bestselling author of Your Blue Flame

“It would be nearly impossible for your doctor, close friend or counselor to delve as deep into the heartbreak of infertility as Mary does. She crumbles before you on the pages so you can experience her journey, then she leads the way to put the pieces back together - no matter the outcome.

Naomi Whittaker, MD, OBGYN, CFCMC, FCI

“Mary’s book is the anthem for change in women’s health care.”

-Bridget Busacker, Founder of

Jul 11, 202259:44
S1 E10: Shall We Talk Method Wars, erm Choice? with Emily & Mary

S1 E10: Shall We Talk Method Wars, erm Choice? with Emily & Mary

In this episode, Emily & Mary dove deep into a topic that few people dare to address: method wars! Just kidding, but only sort of. We surveyed many of you to determine the theme of this final episode of season 1, and you chose a discussion between the two of us on method choice! We focused on the various things to consider when trying to find the method that will fit YOU best because you are unique and will want a method that reflects that. Our personal experiences with different methods, Emily’s experience as a coach, and Mary’s experience with different clients as a Creighton Practitioner were some great starting points that brought a lot of flavor to our convo.

As far as method wars go, they don’t serve anyone well. In fact in some cases, they cause outright harm. The fact that we have these options though is what makes fertility awareness stand out as a true alternative to hormonal birth control, because the focus is for each individual woman to learn and work with her unique body and situation. It is good that we have many different methods to choose from, but sometimes having lots of options is hard - and almost feels like scrolling Netflix ACK! Fertility changes over time along with our age, intentions, and reproductive category, so choosing a method can seem like a monumental task. What factors should you consider? What are your priorities? Do you have health concerns? Are you hoping to avoid or achieve pregnancy? 

In our conversation, we aimed to break down the complexity of this decision, and offer some insights from our own personal experience, and the experience of speaking with hundreds of women. As our friend Lisa puts it, “the best method is the one you’re going to use.” We are here to help you make that connection.

Resource mentioned in episode: 

Different Types of Fertility Awareness Methods, Which One is for You? (

User Database Archives - FAbM Base

Our Collaboration with the Body Literacy Collective, Instructors (

Birth Control vs. Fertility Awareness – Mary G Bruno (

Additional Resources from Emily's Total Whine blog that can help with method choice:

All the Single Ladies who want to learn fertility awareness (relevant to anyone new to fertility awareness, or those interested in a making a switch)

The Postpartum Conundrum of NFP (a list of questions and considerations for choosing a method for postpartum)

Which FABM to Choose? (a series of Q&As with instructors and users of 5 different  methods)

May 09, 202253:08
S1 E9: Collaboration vs. Competition with Bridget Busacker
May 02, 202253:07
S1 E8: From Prescribing Birth Control to Advocating Fertility Awareness & Holistic Health with Dr. Susan Caldwell
Apr 25, 202241:21
S1 E7: "What if I can't afford to be in the 2% failure rate of FABM methods?" with Louise Boychuck
Apr 18, 202245:49
S1 E6: Body Literacy for Girls and in the Parish with Christina Valenzuela
Apr 11, 202243:18
S1 E5: A Priest's Perspective with Fr. Justin Braun
Apr 04, 202232:47
S1 E4: Menstrual Stigmas and How to Change Them with Jamie Murphy
Mar 28, 202250:03
S1 E3: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy with Drs. Emily and Jenny
Mar 21, 202256:21
S1 E2: Life Before, During & After Birth Control with Taryn Delong
Mar 15, 202236:27
S1 E1: Welcome to "The Intersect" with Emily & Mary

S1 E1: Welcome to "The Intersect" with Emily & Mary

In this episode, Emily and Mary share their stories like you’ve never heard before. With new details and new perspectives, they engage in a raw conversation about their personal experiences, which is what has brought FAbM Base to life. This led into various side-discussions about the state of women’s healthcare, transvaginal ultrasounds, having the freedom to be authentic about our feelings, pro-woman vs. pro-birth, suffering, therapy, discovering self-awareness, non-judgmental listening, what you can expect from this new podcast, and so much more.

At one point, Emily said “We’re here to talk about fertility awareness and yet we have tangented onto so many different things. And that’s really important to call out because that’s what fertility awareness does - it’s not just learning your fertility because your fertility doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is affected by, and it affects, everything in your life…”

Welcome to “the Intersect!” We hope you enjoy hanging with us and can’t wait to do it again next Tuesday!

Mar 07, 202201:06:23