Fertility Charting

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on March 30, 2012

In today’s day and age, lifestyle and many other environmental factors contribute to changing the body’s physiology. It has therefore become important to make certain lifestyle changes before you start trying for a baby. One main step in preconception planning is, fertility charting for the woman. Fertility charting is an important part of planning a baby. It involves tracking a woman’s fertility cycle in order to identify the best window for conceiving the baby naturally.

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Why is Fertility Charting Important?

One of the main reasons for fertility charting is to understand the fertility cycle. Understanding the fertility cycle increases the couple’s chances of conceiving a baby.


There are many methods of fertility charting, each method with some advantage and benefit. Some of the more popular methods include the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) method, the Cervical Mucus method, and the Calendar method. These methods are also called fertility awareness based methods. These methods use the menstrual cycle to track fertility. It is important to track the cycle in order to be able to plan your pregnancy well. Knowing your menstrual cycle in detail also helps if you need fertility testing later on. You will save important time as you will have a better idea of your cycle time. Let us look at these methods in greater detail.

Measure The Temp!

The Basal Body Temperature (BBT) method involves tracking the woman’s body temperature through her menstrual cycle. The female body goes through monthly cycles, where once a month her body produces eggs that form a baby when met with a sperm. In the first half of the cycle, the woman’s body temperature is lower. When she starts to ovulate, the body temperature rises. This temperature remains on the higher side till the end of that cycle. The method works by tracking the BBT every day. This is also the temperature of the body at rest. Once you start recording the temperature through this method, you need to also begin recording your body temperature before any activity you do. This step is important initially, because you need to take temperatures to set a baseline. These temperatures need to be taken at a specific and fixed time, so an alarm is sure to aid the purpose. As you record regularly, you will notice the changes and whether they are sudden or gradual. In a few months you will be able to find that window, when you ovulate and figure out the perfect time to have intercourse.

Observe Carefully

The next method is the Cervical Mucus method. This is another way to figure out the best window to conceive a baby naturally. The woman’s cervix generates mucus. This mucus changes quality and quantity before and during ovulation. When the woman’s body produces eggs, the mucus thickens and becomes sticky. Once you start observing, you will notice these changes. The peak of your fertility is when the mucus resembles raw egg white. For a few days after this stage, you continue to remain fertile. Once the mucus disappears and you become dry, it is considered a ‘safe’ period. It helps to mark the different stages of mucus on your calendar for a few months, just so that you become sure. This is not a foolproof method, because there are many external factors that can also affect this mucus generation.

The Date Game

The Calendar method is another way by which the woman can keep track of her menstrual cycle. She marks the date her period begins and notes down how many days after the previous period it began. The duration between two cycles tends to be 28 to 45 days. This method is not advised if the duration between two cycles is less than 27 days. This record needs to be maintained for 8 to 12 cycles at least. In order to figure out the fertile days, you need to subtract 18 from the number of days of the shortest cycle. The answer of this calculation should be subtracted from the present cycle. The day you arrive at, will be the last fertile day. Seven days before this day is a fertile period and you could have intercourse without contraception to aid conception.

Conclusion

Such methods can be used to naturally increase your chances of conceiving a baby. People who are trying to conceive should try these methods before they seek artificial or external methods to have a baby. There are also different kits available in the market to help you identify the days you are ovulating. There are also quite a few books suggesting certain positions during intercourse to increase chances of conception.

Along with these methods, it is also important to lead a healthy life. Both parents need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and engaging in adequate exercise. Reducing stress and dependence on addictive stimulants is also very important for a good healthy baby.

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