A free fertility chart is available when you purchase a basal body thermometer, like the one shown below. You can make a few copies and this chart and use one every month.
In order to correctly chart your ovulation cycle, you need to make sure you have purchased the correct type of thermometer the kind that provides temperature readings to 1/100th of a degree. Many thermometers also have a memory function, which is great if you want to record your temperature later.
You can use a simple fertility chart or you can purchase a more sophisticated fertility software that helps you keep track of your fertility. If you are a techno wiz, the latter may be more for you, otherwise, simple charting works just fine. I also recommend online charting at fertilityfriend.com
A free fertility chart is also available for download online here.
Using a fertility chart you can get online can help you better understand your basal body temperature patterning in order to see if you ovulate, to determine how long your cycle is, and to assess the best time for love making. Many women use a fertility chart to evaluate a potential fertility problem, or to see if their fertility treatment is working.
Charting your cycle each month allows you to measure how long the follicular and the luteal phase are. If the luteal phase is shorter than 10-12 days, you may have a luteal phase deficiency.
If your follicular phase is too long, your may have too much estrogen and low progesterone levels in your body. Also by charting regularly your basal body temperature, you can visualize your cycle and understand your unique fertility signs better.
You should see a clear increase in temperature at ovulation, which is called the biphasic curve or ovulation temperature shift. Many women do not have such a clear pattern and this makes it hard to understand when they ovulate.
1. Start measuring you basal body temperature (BBT) beginning on the first day of your period.
2. You can take your oral, rectal or vaginal temperature.
3. Take your temperature before you get out of bed after you have been sleeping for about 3-4 hours, preferably always at the same time each day.
4. Use the same thermometer through your cycle.
5. Going to sleep late, travelling, especially airplane travel, drinking alcohol the night before can affect your morning temperature readings.
6. Chart your cycle for a couple of months before attempting to conceive. Learn your unique patterns first.
7. One critical issue is to be able to determine your cover-line.
This is the horizontal line you should be able to trace after you have ovulated in order to see the difference between the follicular phase (before ovulation) an the luteal phase (after ovulation). It is the line you trace just above 6 consecutive low temperatures just before the thermal shift. Usually you should notice a rise of two-tenths of a degree for two or three consecutive days after the thermal shift. This is your ovulation time.
After three consecutive high temperatures after the shift your are no longer fertile. Your temperature will stay above the coverline for the entire luteal phase and if you get pregnant. If your period is about to come, your temperature will fall down below the cover-line.
Every woman's chart will be different and each chart for each cycle will look different especially if you have fertility issues. The most important aspect of fertility charting is been able to understand what the graph is saying so that you can address whatever imbalance you have. Many fertility experts will ask you to see you fertility charts in order to help your individual case.
Ovulations charts can tell you numerous things about your fertility:
Ovulation occurs when you notice a thermal shift at mid cycle. During the first half of your cycle your basal body temperature stays low and then at ovulation it increases and stays high during pregnancy and falls just before you get your menstrual period.
The absence of a thermal shift tells you that ovulation did not happen that month. You need a clear and a biphasic basal body temperature chart to know that you are ovulating.
Not every woman ovulates on day 14 of her cycle even if she has a 28 days cycle. Depending on your hormonal levels and balance, you can ovulate anytime between day 8 and day 22 of your cycle.
Many women miss their ovulation and fertile window simply because they fail to monitor their basal body temperature and do not know their specific ovulation pattern.
If your cycle is irregular, your will ovulate at different times so monitoring in your case is even more important.
In order for the embryo to successfully implant itself in the lining of the uterus, it needs at least 10 days (ideally you need 12-14 days) of high temperature after the shift before the next period.
If your luteal phase is less than 10 days long you can conceive, but the embryo cannot implant itself in your uterus leading to a early miscarriage.
It is common for women with short luteal phase do ovulate and conceive but cannot support a pregnancy. In their case the fertility chart tells them exactly where the problem is.
If your basal body temperature is below certain ranges, you may have thyroid infertility. For example, your waking basal body temperature should be:
Pre ovulatory waking basal body temperature: 97.0 to 97.5 degrees.
Post ovulatory waking basal body temperature: 97.6 to 98.6 degrees.
Any value higher or lower than the above range may indicate either hyperthyroid or hypothyroid problems.
Hypothyroidism is related to low waking temperatures, long cycles, anovulatory cycles (with no thermal shift), prolonged phase of fertile cervical mucus, heavy menses, and unexplained infertility.
Hyperthyroidism is related to higher than normal waking temperatures, scanty menses, long cycles, and infertility.
If your basal body temperature remains high for 18 days in a row, take a pregnancy test because you could be pregnant!