Tina is determined to get pregnant, and pictures herself holding her beautiful baby in her arms. She knows that understanding her own fertility by watching for her signs of ovulation will help to achieve this. She has enjoyed keeping track of these signs on an ovulation calendar every month, and saves them to learn from. It is like taking a college course to study your own body.
One way to use an ovulation calendar is to use an online version that will help you predict your most fertile days for getting pregnant. You put in the date of your last menstrual period and the average length of your cycle. It is really just a calendar view of the same thing you get from an ovulation calculator. The program will tell you what days you are most likely to be fertile around your predicted ovulation.
This is somewhat helpful if your cycle is very regular, and you ovulate 14 days before your next menstrual cycle starts. What I am describing here is something far more thorough and helpful. This way of using an ovulation calender will help you to keep track of all things related to your fertility. It is far more fun, interesting and informative. Not only for you, but also to any health care provider who you may seek out to help you on this journey.
What 10 Things Should I Put on My Ovulation Calendar?
- Cycle Day 1
- Predicted ovulation
- Cervical mucus
- Position of your cervix
- LH surge
- Saliva Ferning
- Basal Body Temperature elevation
- Actual ovulation
- Changes from your normal routine
- When you make love
Cycle Day 1 is the first day of your menstrual cycle, the day you begin bleeding. This is the beginning of this “month”. This cycle ends the day before you begin bleeding again.
Predicted ovulation can be calculated by you or by using an online ovulation calculator or ovulation calendar. You usually ovulate 14 days before your next period. You can predict the days you may ovulate by taking the longest and shortest cycles you have had and subtract 14. So if you have a 25 day cycle, you may ovulate on day 11. If you have a 32 day cycle, you may ovulate on day 19. Mark down predicted ovulation for the window of time from cycle day 11 to cycle day 19.
Cervical mucus. Your cervical mucus will usually be dry after your period. It will gradually progress to feeling tacky, then creamy, and to thick and slippery. This is your fertile mucus. It is often thick like egg whites, and will stretch between your fingers. Write a short description as it changes throughout your cycle, particularly noting when fertile mucus is present.
Position of your cervix. Note when your cervix becomes higher, softer and more open. This indicates you are fertile. During the infertile times of your cycle the cervix tends to be firm, closed and lower in the vaginal canal. Check this regularly during your cycle so you become aware of the difference.
LH surge. Use an ovulation predictor kit that monitors the level of Leutenizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. You simply pee on the stick and read the result. When the level of LH rises (surges), and the test is positive, you know you are likely to ovulate within 12-36 hours. You can find an LH test kit your local drug store.
Saliva ferning. Use a ferning microscope to observe changes in your saliva that indicate you are fertile. When you see a ferning pattern develop with your dry saliva, this in an indication that you are fertile. It is really quite beautiful and exciting to see.
Basal Body Temperature elevation. Your basal body temperature rises after you ovulate. Mark this onto your calendar and take notice if it supports the previous information you have collected. This rise should follow fertile mucus, changes to the cervix, a positive LH surge test, and ferning of your saliva. You can buy a digital basal body thermometer in your local drug store.
Actual ovulation. Take all of these signs of ovulation into account, and mark on your calendar when you most likely actually ovulated, and note if it is within the window of time you predicted at the beginning of your cycle.
Changes from your normal routine. Note if you stayed up late, did not get enough sleep, if you were stressed or sick. These things can all affect your fertility and your signs of ovulation. Do not stress about keeping a rigid routine, just make a note and that information may be helpful for understanding why something appears unusual.
When you make love. Oh yes! It is kind of difficult to get pregnant without this part. Remember, when all of your signs of ovulation tell you that magical time is approaching, this is when to make sure the sperm is there. Mark this on your calendar, because when you get pregnant you will want to know when you actually did conceive.
Remember, this should be fun. If it is not, it is time to take a break and work on your attitude. Research supports that if you are stressed about the details of becoming pregnant it is less likely to happen.
This more thorough way of keeping an ovulation calendar will help you to understand if your own menstrual cycle is normal and healthy. If it is not, you are far less likely to get pregnant, and certainly not as quickly. Immediately begin to educate yourself about what to do. That is what this website is about, and you will find much information to help you here.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO