Introduction to charting

Introduction to charting

To get started charting your fertility signs, you need a basal body thermometer (the package will say "basal" or "fertility" thermometer).

A fertility chart, like your menstrual cycle, starts on cycle day 1.

Cycle day 1 is the first day of your period this is full red flow that requires a pad or tampon, not spotting.

The essential signs to check for and record on your chart are:

  • Your cervical fluid. The type that you had most of that day
  • Your basal body temperature
  • The time you took your temperature
  • When you have intercourse
  • When you have menstrual bleeding or your period

 Anything else that might help you interpret your chart – travel, lack of sleep, sickness etc

Your primary fertility signs are your cervical fluid and your basal body temperature (BBT). These are the signs that you must track and record to get a reliable interpretation of your body’s fertility status.

Your secondary fertility signs include results from kits and devices (if you use them) and other personal observations which can help offer added insight into chart interpretation but mustn’t be relied on as they are not always reliable or accurate.

Checking your primary fertility signs

Basal Body Temperature: Your basal body temperature must be taken when you wake up in the morning using your basal body thermometer.

Cervical fluid: You can easily observe your cervical fluid when you go to the bathroom and wipe or you may feel sensations such as dryness or wetness as you go about your day.

Fertility signs

Your basal body temperature rises after ovulation due to increased progesterone (a hormone) in your bloodstream.

Your cervical fluid is the fluid that is produced by your cervix as ovulation is approaching. You can see and feel it in or outside your vagina. Cervical fluid changes throughout your cycle depending on your fertility status. It becomes watery and stretchy, like raw egg white when you are most fertile just before you ovulate.

Taking note of these observations and recording them in your chart will provide the information you need to help time intercourse appropriately during your fertile window to become pregnant and see when (and sometimes if), you ovulated each month.

Secondary fertility signs can add extra insight and help to cross-check the interpretation from your primary fertility signs, but they mustn’t be relied on.