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Predict Ovulation!
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 each month.

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 baby.

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 readings.

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 days.

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!

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