Introduction to Fertilty Charting and Techniques
for Knowing When You are Most Fertile
For couples who are trying to conceive a baby,
the key to success is knowing when a woman is most fertile
during her monthly menstrual cycle. And fertility charting
is the simple, natural method that allows you to predict ovulation
each month, get in touch with your body's unique cycle, and increase
your chances of becoming pregnant sooner!
Fertility charting is particularly important today because many
of us are trying getting pregnant a bit later in life than in
previous generations. And that means it may take several cycles
- or even longer - to successfully conceive. In this regard, fertility
charting and associated methods of ovulation prediction will vastly
compress the amount of time it takes to get that long-awaited
positive pregnancy test! And to most of us, that's a quite a big
relief indeed, as trying-to-conceive may come to be a bit stressful
after a few months' efforts.
Fertility Charting and Conceiving Sooner
Let's take a quick look at female fertility
and ovulation - the two key terms for achieving
pregnancy. Fertility is understood as the ability or best
time to conceive. Ovulation is defined as the release of
the egg by the ovary - the moment a woman becomes fertile. A woman
is fertile for just a few, short days during each menstrual cycle
- the days just prior to and during ovulation. Because
an unfertilized egg can only survive for just 12 to 24 hours,
timing lovemaking is often essential in successfully
conceiving a baby. For many couples, "guesswork" by
itself (or random lovemaking) will not do the trick, and charting
fertility - or predicting when you ovulate - will help
you identify that sudden "window" of peak fertility
To "take charge" of your fertility, as the saying goes,
all you need is a fertility chart, a special basal thermometer,
and a sharp understanding of your own natural fertility signs.
Ovulation tests or fertility monitors are also instrumental in
pinpointing the time of month you will most likely become pregnant.
Let's look at the details involved in fertility charting and help
you get started today!
First, tracking your basal temperature (bbt charting)
will be the foundation of your fertility chart. The purpose of
bbt charting is to identify the very day you ovulate, and by taking
daily temperature readings in the morning you can know when ovulation
takes place each month. That's because at the moment you ovulate,
your body starts producing the hormone progesterone. Progesterone
heats up your body to create a warm, fertile environment for a
developing baby. If you monitor your basal temperature daily,
you will see a clear "thermal shift", or temperature
increase, around the middle of your cycle that signals you have
ovulated. By knowing when you ovulate each month, you can effectively
time lovemaking and vastly increase your odds of conceiving a
Learning about your Body's Unique Fertility Signs
Natural fertility signs are also great predictors
of ovulation, and changes in cervical
mucus are surely one of the clearest signs of an impending
"fertile window". During your monthly cycle, the amount
and texture of cervical mucus will noticeably vary due to fluctuations
in your reproductive hormones. Throughout much your cycle, you
may experience dryness or a thick, sticky cervical mucus that
will be opaque or yellow in color. This is "non-fertile"
cervical mucus, which tells you that your odds of conceiving now
are low. However, in the days just prior to ovulation and peak
fertility, you should experience a marked increase in the amount
of cervical fluids present - and the texture of "fertile"
cervical mucus experienced during this time will be clear, slippery,
and thin; it should stretch between your fingers just like raw
egg-white. When you encounter this abundant, "fertile"
cervical mucus, you can expect to ovulate very soon, typically
within the next handful of days! On your fertility chart, simply
notate daily changes in "CM" along with your basal thermometer
Other relatively common natural fertility symptoms include midcycle
pains, or mittelschmerz, which is characterized by a
mild ache in the lower abdomen. Not all women experience mittelschmerz,
pains that are actually caused by the egg's release from the ovary.
Women may also experience an increase in libido as well as heightened
breast sensitivity. All of these signs can be included on your
fertility chart to augment your data and better focus in on your
most fertile time.
Ovulation Testing and Timing Lovemaking!
Speaking of focusing on fertility, ovulation predictors
like Fertile Focus or urine LH tests are exceptionally reliable
and accurate tools for helping you pinpoint the days to make love.
Urine ovulation tests work by detecting a sharp rise of the hormone
that actually causing ovulation to take place. Luteinizing hormone,
or LH, surges in your body around ten to thirty hours before the
egg is released. A positive on an ovulation test tells you that
you are at peak fertility and should get to work! What's wonderful
about urine LH tests is that they are highly accurate and provide
a very defined window for peak fertility: If you receive a positive
result, you know to time intercourse each day for the next three
Other fertility monitors like Fertile Focus function by detecting
changes in other hormones, particularly estrogen. The amount of
estrogen rises in your body as an ovum (or egg) matures in your
ovary. An ovulation microscope like Fertile Focus is designed
to detect this "estrogen surge". To use this fertility
predictor, you simply view a dry saliva sample through the handy,
lip-stick size microscope. If you see strong crystal patterns
in the saliva sample, you know you are nearing peak fertility
as these "ferning patterns", as they are called, are
the by-product of the increase of estrogen that takes place as
a precursor to ovulation. Other fertility monitors work in the
same way, or by combining LH and estrogen methods of detection.
The computerized ClearBlue
Fertility Monitor works in this way, and provides you with
one of three possible results: low fertility, high fertility,
and peak fertility.
In today's fast-paced, high-stress world, we need all the help
we can in conceiving both healthier and sooner. If we're in our
late 20s or 30s, "taking charge" of our fertility is
a smart move. A sound preconception diet, a good prenatal vitamin,
a fertility chart and ovulation tests or a fertility monitor will
provide that special advantage we need to decrease the number
of cycles required to conceive. And fertility charting also offers
a wonderful headstart for learning about the nuances of your body
- something you'll certainly be doing during your very dynamic
nine months of pregnancy!