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Charting Your Cycle

3 min read

Chart Your CycleSome couples get pregnant even when they are not trying, while some take a bit of time to conceive.  The female partner can try increasing the chances of conception by tracking the monthly cycle, thus timing sex with the most fertile days and hence boosting chances. Our amazing bodies give us many signs and indications on our most fertile days, and once a couple is able to look for them, they have high chances of conceiving. Though it may sound slightly demanding, when so many people seem to get pregnant everyday, one needs to understand that not every body performs the same way, and a little effort from your side will help you get pregnant sooner.

Charting your period basically involves the following steps:

  • Taking your basal body temperature
  • Checking cervical mucus

Make a simple chart indicating date, days, cycle day and time. Buy a basal thermometer and start charting your temperature and cycles. You could also indicate the days and time of your sexual activity.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT) :  A basal thermometer can be bought from any drug store and a chart usually comes with the kit. The best way to find out when you are ovulating is to take your basal temperature the first thing in the morning. The normal temperature would range from 97.2 to about 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit, however, post ovulation your body temperature will go slightly up from about 0.4 to 1.0 degrees. This increased temperature will stay till your next cycle and indicates that you have ovulated. Of course, this chart is not very fruitful the first month, but over a period of time you will realize a pattern of your most fertile days and sex can be planned accordingly.

Checking Cervical Mucus : Among many vaginal discharges, cervical mucus is a great indicator of the time a female ovulates. Easy to track, and again preferred to be done first in the morning, a woman can feel the cervix under her vagina by inserting a clean finger and looking at the white discharge. A woman’s body is so designed that when it is ovulating, the cervical mucus becomes light and greasy , almost a clear white, which basically smoothens the transfer of sperms to the eggs. This is the most fertile time in a woman’s cycle. One could use a toilet paper to check the cervical mucus, or simply use a finger. Typically, for a 28 days cycle, the vagina remains dry for 6-9 days after your first menstrual day. After that it discharges a sticky heavy mucus which prevents the sperm from reaching the eggs. During days 13-15, it becomes clearer, like an egg white, and this is the time of ovulation.

Ideally if you are looking to get pregnant, mark your chart with the color and consistency of the discharge, and plan a sexual intercourse accordingly. Some women can see a definite pattern in the days their cervical mucus turns eggy and BBT rises a day or two later. Others may see no clear connection, but can still find an equation to mucus and BBT. If your periods start at different days over a course of a few months, you might have to work a bit on getting the equation right. If you ovulate at different cycle days, you might have to figure out a pattern; like maybe usually on your second or third day of egg white cervical mucus your temperature takes a little dip before rising the next day – and this is when you are ovulating. This pattern of signs can help you predict when you’re about to ovulate during your next cycle, sexual intercourse can be timed accordingly.

Making a chart is upto a couple, however, research has shown that unless there are hormonal problems (again, you will be able to determine any gaps in your cycle if you are charting it), charting the cycles is an effective way to get pregnant. In case this seems like a hassle to too tedious a task, opt for ovulation predictor kits instead. The luteinizing hormone (LH) is tested in your urine, and these kits can tell you when the LH levels are going up by 12 to 36 hours prior to ovulation. These kits have been found to be more than 90% accurate.

We suggest that you do not stress yourself out and make sex a task on specific days. This information only makes you aware of your most fertile days, conception, however, is dependent on many external and internal factors as well. Take it slow, and take it easy.

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