Chart Topping Hits (AKA: Charting Your Cycle)

{Photo Credit: Hinge Photography}

The land of trying to conceive is a tricky one. Some people are able to conceive the month they start having unprotected sex. Other people have to try a bit longer. One way to increase your odds of becoming pregnant sooner is by getting to know your personal cycle through charting.

To be candid, charting is a bit of a pain in the butt. Nothing takes the romance and spontaneity out of sex faster than having a graph nearby. Ovulation typically occurs roughly half way through your menses monthly cycle, but sometimes your body may be operating on a schedule all its own. By knowing your body’s trends, you can maximize your chances of getting pregnant sooner. You may also be able to detect earlier if you are having problems ovulating at all, and can seek medical assistance.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

Monitoring your basal body temperature has been around the longest. Typically, before you ovulate, your body temperature ranges from around 97-97.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As you ovulate, your body releases a hormone called progesterone, which causes your temperature to spike a bit, on the average about 0.1 – 0.2 degrees. Your temperature should stay at that slightly higher rate until you get your period. (If you are pregnant, it will remain at that elevated rate throughout your pregnancy.)

An important thing to remember is that, many times, average thermometers do not read this precise (we suggest checking out this Nexcare Thermometer.) Also, once your temperature shows that you have ovulated, you have missed your pregnancy window for this cycle. You will want to “utilize” the week before ovulation to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Here are some temping tips to remember:

  • Start taking your temperature on the first day of your period
  • Take your temperature at the same time every day; it works best to do it in bed before getting up and moving around, or eating or drinking anything.
  • Write it down every single day
  • Know that this method is not always 100% accurate. Your body may be different.
  • It doesn’t matter how you take your temp (orally, rectally, vaginally) just make sure to stick with that method and don’t interchange.

 {Photo Credit: The Memoirs of Megan}

 

Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK)

OPK’s measure a hormone in your urine that naturally surges about 12-36 hours prior to ovulation. Research has shown that these kits are 90% accurate. You can buy OPK’s over the counter at any drug store, but we suggest checking out these deals on OPK on amazon, to save some money.

Cervical Mucus

This final one may seem a bit odd to your beginner, however, research has shown that, if done correctly, charting your cervical mucus is more accurate than charting your BBT.

Getting to know your body’s cervical mucus may be daunting, but once it becomes part of your routine, it can open up your mind to many more benefits, such as natural (hormone free) family planning once you have successfully had a baby. We suggest checking out the book, Natural Birth Control Made Simple, to learn more about how to check your cervical mucus, and use it to predict your most-fertile days.

What method are you currently using to conceive? Do you have any success stories of any of the above methods? Tell us in the comment section!

This post is meant for educational purposes only.
It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

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Megan

Megan lives in Michigan with her husband, daughter, and son. Her days are spent hanging out and doing family projects on her real-life farm, and spending time on the Great Lakes. She loves swimming, celebrity gossip, University of Michigan and Denver Broncos football, trashy reality TV, and writing. In addition to being a Mommy and self-proclaimed urban-farmer, she owns a photography business located in Southeast Michigan, Memoirs Photography.

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