Yesterday, I addressed using ovulation calendars to get pregnant. Today, let s look at the serious stuff. Charting to conceive, an old method that is now used with the help of the internet, is the most all-encompassing fertility analysis that you can do. Fertility charts are a list of many relevant factors, and details of Basal Body Temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, periods and when you had intercourse are all listed. With the help of charting, you get to know your body, and truly maximize your chances of conceiving.
Tracking BBT is an old method that can be used both to encourage conception and to avoid it. When you are charting to conceive, your BBT is a very important part of knowing which days are your most fertile. As a rule of thumb, charting women take their temperature (you ll need a Basal Body Thermometer) just after getting up, at the same time each morning. This is the best timing, because Basal Body Temperature measures your body when it is in a relaxed condition. Changes in temperature are subtle, but when they are continuously monitored they can give a lot of information.
Most ovulating women notice a rapid rise in their temperature, a quarter to half a degree Celsius, or half a degree to a degree Fahrenheit. This happens because of the release of the hormone progesterone. While a rise in BBT is reliable in showing you that you are ovulating, it does not give you any advance warning. That is where cervical mucus comes in.
You might have noticed that mucus varies in structure, amount, color, and smell throughout your cycle. But did you know that it can give you valuable signs about your fertility status? When your cervical mucus is thin, and white in consistency, that means your ovulation is approaching, and your body is creating a more sperm-friendly environment.
Online charting to conceive sites, such as Fertility Friend, allow you to enter information about your mucus in your personal fertility chart. If you are not squeamish, checking your own cervix give you great insights too. For information about how your cervix can change throughout your cycle, and what a fertile cervix feels and looks like, I recommend you take a look at the beautiful cervix project, which has photos and observations.
Good fertility charts combine all this information, and create a chart automatically, showing you graphically when you had intercourse, what your cervical mucus was telling you, what your BBT was. After the first cycle of charting, charts can predict when you are going to ovulate, so that you can take, well, the appropriate steps to make pregnancy more likely. Charting to conceive can be intimidating and confusing when you are just starting out, but after you get the swing of it, websites like Fertility Friend can turn out to be a real advantage.
What are your experiences with charting to conceive? Did you get pregnant while charting, and do you think charting made it happen faster? How useful do you find your fertility chart, and does it ever give you conflicting signals?