I’m seriously trying to keep myself occupied these next few days (the excitement is really getting to me!) so I thought what better time than to write about fertility awareness and tracking?
Many battling with infertility will know all about fertility tracking but I believe that it is of huge benefit to every woman out there, especially when you are not on contraceptive.
The basic principal is becoming aware of the cues your body sends you about your cycles and can be used to avoid pregnancy or achieve it (or so I’ve been told. I’m going to put this to practice this month, but I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding pregnancy since July last year.)
Right to here are the things you track:
Basal Body Temperature
To do this you simply take your temperature with a good digital thermometer each morning. Many people get confused and think the thermometer goes in down south, but no you put it under your tongue in standard temperature taking procedure.
There are a few things to remember here though: take your temperature first thing in the morning as you’re trying to get a reading of the lowest temperature in a 24 hour period; try take it at the same time each day – so between 6 and 8am and stick to it for accuracy; remember a sleepless night and illness will affect your readings; you have to do this EVERY DAY!
Once you have your temperature you chart it so you can track when you ovulate. Normal temperatures range from 35 to 37 degrees. A lower body temperature is recorded from the first day of your cycle (day 1 of your period) to the day you ovulate. Then it elevates until your next period is due when it will drop again. For more information on this click here, here and here.
This sounds gross, but you quickly get the hang of it and it’s the most accurate way to gage whether you are in the baby making zone. Every woman is different so our cycles vary in length and we don’t all ovulate on day 14. Also it is better to get it on a few days before you ovulate. The best way to tell is by monitoring your CM (cervical mucus)
If it has an egg white consistency then you’re in your fertile window and have a chance of conceiving. If it is opaque or creamy you are not fertile and won’t get pregnant. For more click here, here and here
Other body cues
I always, always break out when I’m close to ovulating. The hormone surge makes my skin go crazy. I also get crampy and bloated (isn’t being a woman delightful?) and finally headaches are not uncommon for me preovulation. Again each woman is different but our bodies give us clues as to what’s going on inside. You just need to learn to speak its language.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the female reproductive system in a really useful and completely non biology class way I highly recommend Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It’s very informative and eye opening!