Fertility Charting Basics

In this presentation you will learn:

  • Why charting is important and how it can help you understand your fertility

  • How to start charting

  • How to observe and record your basic fertility signs

  • How to find your best time to conceive

  • How to recognize ovulation

  • How to read your chart

Why Charting?

There are just a few fertile days each cycle. Charting will allow you to:

  • Pinpoint the days you can conceive.

  • Find out if and when you ovulate.

  • Monitor your cycles for regularity and any unusual patterns.

  • Monitor your health throughout your cycles.

  • Track and document your conception journey.

  • Communicate effectively with your healthcare provider.

  • Plan and predict your future cycles.

Reading Your Chart

Your chart is a compact representation of your cycle.

Once you'll get used to it it will provide you with a very comprehensive view of your fertility.

For detailed description of all elements on the chart check the chart key.

Cycle Phases

Your cycle is composed of the following phases:

  • Menses: This is your period. Your cycle begins on the first day of your period.

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  • Follicular Phase: This is the time from menses to ovulation. During this phase your eggs mature and your body prepares for ovulation. You are most fertile at the end of this phase. The dominant hormone during this time is estrogen.

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  • Luteal Phase: This is the time between ovulation and your next period. If conception occured, implantation of a fertilized egg happens about 7 to 10 days into this phase. If there was no conception, the lining of your uterus is shed (your period) and your body prepares for a new cycle. The dominant hormone during this phase is progesterone.

Fertile Phase - Best Time To Conceive

You are most fertile during the few days preceding ovulation and the day of ovulation.

The main advantage of charting your fertility signs is to be able to precisely identify this phase.

Identifying these days and focusing intercourse accordingly dramatically increases your conception chances.

Using FertilityFriend.com

Once you have configured your account you can start recording your fertility signs using the FertilityFriend.com charting software.

Click on the “My Chart” link on the left hand side to log into your personalized chart.

Starting Your Chart

Your fertility chart begins on the first day of your last menstrual period.

 

This is the first day that you have red blood flow (not spotting).

 

This is cycle day one.

 

Enter "menses" on the data entry page on the date your last period started.

Record Your Fertility Signs Daily

Your primary fertility signs are:

 
  • Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

  • Cervical Fluid (CM)

Record your Intercourse/Insemiination when it occurs as well for later analysis of your patterns.

Your Cervical Fluid:

 
  • is the fluid produced by the crypts of your cervix

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  • may also be called Cervical Mucus (CM)

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  • changes throughout your menstrual cycle depending on your fertility status

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  • can be observed on toilet tissue when you go to the bathroom

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  • becomes slippery and like raw eggwhite when you are most fertile

Observing and Recording your Cervical Fluid Data

A typical cervical fluid pattern:

 
  • Dry or sticky after Menses.

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  • Creamier (like lotion) as ovulation approaches.

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  • Slippery and stretchy like eggwhite during your most fertile days before ovulation.

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  • Dries up quickly after ovulation.

Record the cervical fluid type that best fits your observations. Charting is not just describing what you see, it is the very act of categorising your observations.

Basal Body Tempearture (BBT)

Your BBT is a primary fertility sign. It will help you pinpoint your ovulation day.

 
  • Your BBT is your waking temperature recorded with a BBT thermometer.

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  • Your BBT rises after ovulation. The rise is usually about 0.4 F (0.2 C) but may be smaller or greater. A few guidelines need to be followed to detect the rise (next slide).

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  • BBT or accurate digital thermometers are available at most pharmacies and drugstores.

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Taking Your BBT Accurately

Your BBT is sensitive to external factors. To make sure that you take it as accurately as possible, follow the following recommendations:

 
  • Take your temperature before doing anything else when you wake up in the morning.

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  • Take your temperature at the same time every morning.

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  • Take your temperature after a solid block of sleep.

  • Take your temperature with a BBT thermometer. Any really accurate thermometer may be suitable depending on your pattern.

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Taking Your BBT Accurately

You can take your temperature orally, vaginally or rectally. Be consistent throughout the cycle.

Record both your temperature and the time you took it.

Most Fertile Days

You are fertile for just a few days each cycle. Intercourse needs to be focused on these days to maximize your conception chances:

  • You are most fertile on the days just before and up to ovulation.

  • You can only conceive during this phase of your cycle.

  • The Fertility Analyzer displays a "Green Light" on your estimated fertile days.

Ovulation Patterns

An ovulation pattern is visible on your chart when your fertility signs collectively form a coherent picture:

  • Your BBT will rise after ovulation.

  • Ovulation usually occurs the day before your temperature rises.

  • Once you have a sustained rise (3 days or more) the ovulation detector will automatically mark your ovulation date on the chart (red crosshairs).

After Ovulation

  • This phase of your cycle is called the Luteal Phase (LP).

  • Your temperature stays elevated and your cervical fluid returns to a non-fertile (dry) state.

  • The luteal phase can vary from 10 to 16 days from woman to woman.

  • The luteal phase is usually constant from cycle to cycle for the same woman.

After Ovulation

  • If you become pregnant your BBT will stay elevated beyond your usual luteal phase length.

  • If you do not become pregnant your BBT will usually drop at the end of your luteal phase as you get your period.

The Pregnancy Monitor will:

  • Display a reasonable date for testing for pregnancy based on your data.

  • Scrutinize your chart for early signs of pregnancy.

  • Evaluate your intercourse pattern for chances of conception.

More In Deth Information

To learn more about charting and your menstrual cycle we have put together the following resources available on FertilityFriend.com:

Last but not least, if you haven't done so yet, register now for free:

Register Now!


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