All Women of reproductive age can easily learn how to observe and chart three primary fertility signs that their bodies produce. This information can then be used to tell them numerous things about their cycle, the most obvious being whether they can or can’t get pregnant on any given day.
The three fertility signs that almost every women produces are:
- Basal Body Temperature (BBT), or, Waking temperature
- Cervical fluid
- Cervical position
The following is a brief summary of each.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Taking Your Temperature
- Take your daily temperature first thing upon awakening, before any other activity and record throughout the cycle.
- If using a digital thermometer, wait until it beeps, usually about 30 seconds. If using a glass thermometer, leave it in 5 minutes.
- Take your temperature orally or vaginally, but always from the same place.
- Try to take it at the very same time each day.
- Before taking your temperature, a minimum of 3 hours consecutive sleep must have been had.
- If you use a glass thermometer, shake it down the day before.
Charting Your Temperature
- Try to get in the habit of recording you temperature soon after it is taken.
- If the temperature falls between two numbers on a glass thermometer, always take the lowest.
- Make dots on the appropriate temperature and connect the dots with straight lines.
- Note events such as stress, or illness in the miscellaneous row. Temperatures taken late should be noted in the time taken row.
- In the above cases your temperature may be quite high. For these days, draw a dotted line between the day before and the next days temperature.
Drawing the Coverline
- Highlight the six temperatures before the midcycle rise.
- Find the highest temperature within these six.
- The cover line should be drawn one mark above the temperature found in these six.
*This line helps determine with more accuracy when ovulation occurred, and the temperatures that have been experienced before and after.
Observing Your Cervical Fluid
- Start checking the day bleeding stops.
- Pay attention to vaginal sensations.
- Try to check fluid everytime you go to the bathroom.
- Check every morning and night.
- Checking fluid while sexually aroused may not give accurate information.
- To check your cervical fluid, separate your vaginal lips and swipe with fingers.
- Be sure to have clean hands.
- Does it feel dry, sticky, creamy, slippery like egg white?
- Put finger with fluid on it together with your thumb, then slowly pull apart to see if it is stretchy, holds together, or immediately breaks apart.
- After urinating, pay attention to how easily the tissue slides across your vaginal lips.
- Take note of the secretions on your underwear.
- Around fertile times, check in the toilet water to see if you can see cervical fluid.
- Note the colour, consistency, and amount of fluid.
- Using your finger to insert into the vagina to feel the cervix may be necessary for some.
Charting Your Cervical Fluid
- Day one of your cycle is the first day of true menstrual bleeding.
- Distinguish between sticky, creamy, and slippery egg white.
- Sticky breaks when you pull your fingers apart. Slippery egg white is quite wet and stretchy between fingers.
- Slippery egg white indicates fertile days.
- Note any vaginal sensations.
Identifying Your Peak Day
- Your peak day is the last day of slippery egg white fluid. This is your wettest-quality day.
- Record your peak day. This tells you that ovulation has occurred.
Observing Your Cervix
- Start observing cervix once bleeding has stopped.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Try to check at the same time each day (+/-).
- The best position is squatting.
- Use your middle finger to check softness, height, opening, and wetness of the cervix.
- Women who have had children vaginally will note a slightly open oval cervix.
- In your fertile period before ovulation is the best time to start checking because of the wet slippery conditions.
- You may feel small nabothian cysts on the cervix.
Charting Cervix Position
- Use a dot to indicate a closed, low, and firm cervix (before and after menses).
- Use a small circle to indicate a partly open cervix (approaching fertile period).
- Use a large circle to indicate a high, open, soft cervix (fertile period before ovulation).