You and your partner have decided to start a family. Before you learn how to have sex to up your chances , you need to listen to the cues that your body is giving you to let you know it is ready to conceive. But how to even start? Well, getting pregnant is all about timing: you want to make sure the conditions are right for eggs to meet sperm, and to do that, you need to track your fertility .
We know that ovulation cycles and fertility can be confusing and overwhelming subjects, especially when all you want to do is peeing on a stick and getting that positive result. But that’s why we are here: to help you learn the signs of ovulation and figure out your most fertile days.
Here are 4 tips to help you track your fertility.
- Calculate the length of your cycle. As it turns out, having a 28-day cycle is not the norm. So knowing the length of your menstrual cycle is the first thing you need to do when you begin to track your fertility. Why? Because the longer the cycle, the later the ovulation. So jot down the first day of your periods and figure out how many days are in between. Once you figure out how long your cycle is, subtract 18 days to know the first day that you are likely to be fertile. Then subtract 11 days to the length of your cycle. That is the last day that you are likely to be fertile. I always recommend tracking your cycle length for at least 4 to 6 months to get an average length. Glow app can help you keep all your information organized and track your period and fertile days, cycle after cycle.
- Take your body temperature. Basal Body Temperature, which is your temperature when you wake up in the morning, is a great method to track your fertility. When you ovulate, your body temperature rises slightly (usually by .4 to .5 degree) and stays up until your period starts. So if you take your temperature every day, you can spot the changes that indicate your ovaries are about to release an egg. But remember: for this to work, you need to take your body temperature at the same time (usually in the morning) every day throughout the month. To help you in this task, you can use a BBT Thermometer like TempCue.
- Know your cervical mucus. The hormones that control your menstrual cycle affect the mucus that your cervix makes. So taking a closer look at your cervical mucus (perhaps after showering) can tell you a great deal about your menstrual cycle and whether or not your body is ready to make a baby. What do you want to look for? Amount, texture, and color. When your ovaries are getting ready to release an egg, your cervix makes more mucus, and right before you ovulate, the mucus gets white and slippery, like egg white.
- Chart! Chart! Chart! Write down everything that’s going on during your menstrual cycle: the length of your cycle, your body temperature, changes in your mucus, the length of your period, and any other patterns that accompany your cycle throughout the month. It will help you understand your body in a much more intimate way and, ultimately, hone in on your fertility cycle. The chart on The Bump is easy to use and understand and has really helped me keep track of pretty much everything along this journey.
Choosing to track your fertility with this type of awareness will help you understand the conversations that your womb is having with you. Whether you use apps or a good old-fashioned pen and paper, try your best to relax and enjoy this process. You are embarking on a journey that will bring you so much joy and love in the end.