Fertility charting helps you learn your specific fertility signs. When trying to get pregnant, it's important to know when you are about to ovulate in order to time intercourse accordingly.
There are many ways to calculate ovulation, some women will prefer one over the other. It is important for you to read as much as possible on each different method and consider using one or even two at the same time.
1. BBT (Basa Body Temperature)
I would recommend using BBT to begin with. If your cycle is regular and you do not work shifts this method can help you achieve conception.
It is the most affordable one! In association with measuring your BBT, many fertility expert recommend checking your fertile mucus and checking your cervical position.
Just before the ovary is ready to release the egg, your cervic will open and it will produce large amounts of fertile mucus. This mucus is call eggwhite cervical mucus because it is transparent, very stretchy and profuse.
The more of this mucus you have just before ovulation, the higher you chances of conception.
2. Ovulation Kits
If you want to add ovulation predictor kits or simply ovulation strips to your BBT charting, it will help you confirm your ovulation, but Ovulation predictor kits will not give you lots of warning time to get busy! You onle have approximately 24 hours to have sex and conceive using a OPK. OPks measure the surge of LH just before the egg is released.
3. Fertility Monitor
Ovacue Fertility Monitor is by far the best way to predict ovulation. Many fertility specialists recommend this monitor where there are difficulty getting pregnant after months of trying, especially if the cycles are irregular, the women is over 40 and taking fertility drugs.
Ovacue also is able to tell you if your treatment, either natural or conventional is working in helping you ovulate. I see this be very useful for those with high prolactin levels and taking medications.
The three most important signs of ovulation are:
One aspect of fertility charting involves taking your basal body temperature (BBT), which is the most common way to determine ovulation.
You may know when you ovulate by the way you feel, but taking your BBT makes it more certain to you and your partner.
If you are not charting you BBT yet, you should!
This is the very first step toward getting to know your body and your fertility.
Many women think that they are infertile because they do not get pregnant within a certain period of time.
When they start timing intercourse based on their fertile days (after learning fertility charting), they realize that before they were just missing an important piece of information and that after all they never had a fertility problem!
Most women ovulate anywhere between day 8 and day 22 of their menstrual cycle.
If your cycle is regularly 28 days long you may ovulate around day 14 depending on the length of your luteal phase.
Some women ovulate earlier than they think missing their chance each month, while others ovulate too late because they have a luteal phase problem and don't know.
Fertility charting will show your typical ovulation pattern.
If you have fertility and hormonal issues related to your cycle, your ovulation charts will be very useful to you.
Basal body temperature (BBT) is the temperature of your body at rest. Take your temperature first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
Make sure to, record your temperate every day at the same time.
When charting your basal body temperature you should use what is called a basal body temperature thermometer.
It records temperatures to the tenth degree and it is the most precise thermometer.
By charting your temperatures you can see patterns in your menstrual cycle and be able to determine when you are just ready to ovulate.
If you can't find a good BBT thermometer at your local pharmacy, you can purchase iBasal digital thermometer online. This is the one I really like best because it shows your fertility status.
The normal thermometer that you use to check if you have a fever is not good for this purpose.
You need a thermometer that reads temperatures to the 1/100th degree.
Also, you want to look for one that records your reading and has a memory function, so that you don't have to write your temperature down right away.
The two main types are: Digital Basal Thermometer and Non-Mercury Glass Basal Thermometer.
I prefer the digital one because it has the digital memory recall and a peak temperature indicator.
Once you record your BBT every day for at least one month you will notice that just before ovulation your BBT increases and then stays high throughout the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Once your temperature rises and stays high for at least three days you know you have ovulated.
By recording your temperature shift you will learn which day of the month you are more likely to ovulate and so you will know to have intercourse just before that day the next month.
If your temperature stays high you might be pregnant.
Your BBT will stay high throughout your pregnancy because the hormone progesterone is in charge during that time.
When your temperature goes down, you will most likely have your period within the next 24 to 48 hours.
To record your basal body temperature download and print your fertility chart here.
Fertility charting also involves recording the changes of your cervical mucus throughout your cycle.
You need to become very familiar with the quality, consistency, quantity, and color of your cervical mucus. This is where you will find out how your fertility plays out in your case.
During your monthly cycle the appearance, color and consistency of the cervical mucus changes.
By learning how your cervical mucus changes, you will be able to time intercourse and get pregnant!
1. Collect your cervical mucus
Begin checking your cervical mucus after your period is over. Make sure your hands are clean. Insert your index finger inside your vagina and try to pick up a small amount of cervical mucus.
Remember that depending on the timing of your cycle, you may find very little cervical mucus present.
2. Take a look at the mucus
When you have very little mucus you may not be fertile. If the mucus is white and creamy, you are not fertile yet. What you are looking for is very stretchy mucus that is clear like the white of the egg.
If you have fertile mucus you should be able to put some mucus between your thumb and your index finger and stretch it for at least 2-4 cm (1 inch).
3. Recognize fertile mucus
Spotting fertile mucus is the key to knowing your fertility. You want lots clear, stretchy cervical mucus around the time of ovulation.
This mucus allows optimal sperm motility, keeps the sperm alive for 3-5 days (if you have fertile mucus for that long) and also makes sure the acidic environment present in the vaginal cavity will not destroy the sperm.
4.Keep track of your fertile mucus
A very important aspect of fertility charting consists of recording the changes of your mucus during your monthly cycle.
It will take at least one cycle in order to fully understand how your cervical mucus changes.
Remember that dry and sticky mucus, which is white creamy or yellow in color indicates no or low fertility.
Instead clear and stretchy cervical mucus is what you want to see for at least three days in a row at ovulation.
Many women may have fertile mucus but it does not last for long or does not align with their BBT thermal shift.
This pattern is what may be preventing them from conceiving.
If this is your case, do not despair because there are things you can do in order to increase your fertile mucus, like taking a supplementation of specific remedies and cdietary changes.
The female ovulation cycle can be very complex and most women do forget to support healthy cervical mucus production and only concentrate on ovulation.
Supplementing with natural products can definitely help increase your fertile mucus faster, but you should also consider important nutritional guidelines that you can implement in order to help your cervical mucus production.
Before we get to that, let's talk about how your hormones affect the cervical mucus :
1. The changes you see in your mucus are under the control of your hormones.
Estrogen influences the quality and consistency of the cervical fluid. During the first half of your cycle, when the estrogen level in your blood goes up, the cervical mucus is slippery and you can feel moisture coming from your vagina that you can notice on your underwear.
As ovulation approaches, this fluid secretion of cervical mucus turns into stretchy and transparent mucus. Y
ou can literally take a little bit between your fingers and notice how stretchy it can be.
2. Progesterone rises right after ovulation and its presence contributes to making the cervical mucus dry and looking like white cream or yellow and lumpy but not stretchy.
You are now in the luteal phase of your cycle.
Some women do not detect fertile mucus because they ovulate right after their menses and the fertile mucus is mixed with the menstrual period.
Some women do not detect fertile mucus because they do not produce a lot.
These are more likely to be infertile.
Many fertility drugs like Clomid can cause insufficient cervical mucus as well as low estrogen, low body weight, smoking, and unbalanced vaginal pH caused by chronic infections or Candida.
1. Drink plenty of purified water
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Make sure to drink purified or natural spring water from a mountain source.
Do not drink tap water because it contains many chemicals that can disrupt your hormonal balance and cause toxicity.
Absolutely avoid chlorinated and fluorinated water as it can disrupt thyroid function.
2. Eat alkaline foods
Eat almonds, apples, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, beets, lemons, asparagus, broccoli, celery, carrots, kale, onions, potatoes, brown rice, melons, grapes, apricots, limes, pears, berries, plums, sweet potatoes, artichokes, peaches, papayas, mangoes, kiwi, cabbage peppers, radishes, seaweed, cauliflower, spinach, bananas, parsnips.
3.Decrease acid foods in your diet
Avoid too much meat, fish, beans, wheat, white rice, milk, corn, tomato, oranges, oats, eggs, mushrooms, etc.
Many fertility charting spreadsheets allow you to record your cervix position during your monthly cycle.
The position of your cervix changes when you become fertile.
Among all the symptoms of ovulation, this one is not very popular because it can be tricky to detect.
Cervix position is a sign of fertility which can be very accurate if you know how to check it. Many people though, seem to find it difficult.
If you want to chart the position of your own cervix, insert a finger or two inside your vagina and feel the cervix (make sure your hands are clean) while sitting on the toilet.
When you are not fertile you will notice that your cervix is harder and not open.
It feels like the tip of your nose.
When you ovulate the cervix is easier to reach, a bit softer and slightly open. At this point your cervix may feel more like your ear lobe.
As use learn more and more about your body, your fertility charting becomes easier and easier and you can add how your cervix position changes during your cycle.
Many women love fertility charting, others become frustrated with all the little details so they use ovulation prediction kits which are becoming a very popular method of detecting ovulation.
One of the benefits of using an ovulation prediction kit is that you can predict ovulation before it occurs.
These kits detect luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in your urine. Just before ovulation there is a surge in LH. When this LH surge is identified, ovulation should occur within 24-36 hours. This method allows you to time intercourse promptly.
Ovulation prediction kits use ovulation strips that can be costly and do not show you any patterns that a practitioner may be able to use to address your problem.
That's why they should always be used in conjunction with fertility charting and never alone.
Taking your temperature can tell you if you have any erratic patterns or if you ovulate too late or if your temperature shift during ovulation is not consistent.
When you start charting your temperature, you can see how your body works throughout the entire cycle not just at ovulation time.
Ovulation prediction kits do not tell you anything about your fertile mucus and if you have enough and for enough days.
They are very useful in conjunction with fertility charting like taking your basal body temperature and checking your cervical mucus.
Learn more about using ovulation kits with fertility charting.
Another useful fertility gadget that is becoming very popular is Ovacue Fertility Monitor. This monitor is a saliva-based electronic fertility monitor designed specifically for trying-to-conceive couples as part of the fertility awareness method.
With the OvaCue, you can predict your ovulation date up to seven days in advance by measuring changes in the electrolyte concentration of your saliva, giving you more opportunities to conceive each month.
The OvaCue is ideal for women with regular cycles or irregular cycles.
The FDA-cleared OvaCue Fertility Monitor has been clinically proven to be 98.3% accurate in monitoring ovulation in studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health.
Simply place a spoon-sized sensor on your tongue for five seconds each morning and the Ovacue will automatically record your fertile status for the day.
The tracks the readings in memory and indicates your most fertile days in an easy-to-read, color-coded calendar. OvaCue users also have access to OvaGraph, an online charting tool that can be used to graph your OvaCue readings, store an unlimited number of cycles, and much more.
Ovacue is less than ovulation predictor kits because you do not have to test your urine.
It is more accurate as it gives tells you when you are about to ovulate a lot earlier, giving you lots of time to plan intercourse with your partner.
Some signs of ovulation other than increased fertile cervical mucus, changes in your cervix position and basal body temperature (BBT) shift can be:
1. Ovulation pain on one side
3. Breast tenderness.
Make sure to use your fertility charting skills to record these changes as well. The information you collect will help you greatly when deciding your ovulation date.
During the process of ovulation, follicles begin to grow and mature within the tissue of the ovary.
When they mature they produce estrogen. This increase in the hormone estrogen triggers a surge in Luteinizing Hormone (LH). This hormone signals the mature egg to burst from the follicle.
Estrogen spikes sharply just before ovulation occurs. This may cause a light spotting to happen. In general ovulation spotting will last for one or two days and you are likely to ovulate soon after.
This is the best time to start having sex and continue for two to four days to make sure ovulation has occurred.
To learm more about charting and conception, get my free guide to fertility charting and natural conception.
Having intercourse every other day is best to make sure the male sperm is released in large amounts.
Having too much sex close together may deplete the male sexual energy and the sperm quantity may become less.
If the male partner has low sperm count, it is advisable to avoiding having sex for 1-2 days and use an ovulation prediction test to pinpoint ovulation accurately.
With the ovulation pain, you should also notice the presence of cervical mucus that looks like egg-white.
Please note that there are some conditions that could be confused with ovulation pain such as ovarian cysts, appendicitis, or endometriosis.
If you are having severe abdominal pain that persists and bleeding not spotting at ovulation, please seek advice from a medical doctor.
I would like to write a short note on this topic because it happened to me and I know that there are more and more cases occurring.
This condition is very rare and life threatening and at times difficult to diagnose, BUT if you are charting your cycle you will be able to tell.
If you know you might be pregnant as a result of accurate fertility charting and experience severe abdominal pain, usually caused by internal blood loss or unexpected bleeding through the vagina seek immediate medical care.
Other less common symptoms include referred shoulder pain, dizziness and fainting, pregnancy symptoms and desire to pass a stool, high heart beat and fever.
An ectopic pregnancy can present itself in many ways, sometimes the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tube, on the ovary, on the abdominal cavity, or on the cervix.
If the embryo implants itself anywhere else but the uterus, you have an ectopic pregnancy.
There are no at home natural health remedies for this condition.
You need to go to the emergency room at once! You can use homeopathic medicine like Arnica montana to aid healing afterward.
Consider investing in an easy-to-use pregnancy calculator wheel to determine your most fertile days of your monthly cycle. This type of wheel can be used as an ovulation monitor tool as well as a pregnancy guide once you get pregnant. It is inexpensive and fun to use.
You can also use a fertility days calculator to help you determine your most fertile days of the month and your ovulation date.
This is just a tool that can be useful only if you have regular periods and know your luteal phase length, which is the number of days from ovulation until your periods. You know this form your fertility chart.
If you are really serious about having a baby, charting your cycle is the best way to start learning about your fertility and get pregnant faster.
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