Ovulation Chart – How to Use it

ovulation chartDo you want to know when you are fertile? An ovulation chart is just what you need.

Understanding your menstrual cycle and the bodily changes that come with it may help you to predict your ovulation – the time you’re most likely to conceive. Menstrual cycles can last from anything between 21 days and 35 days. For women with irregular periods, menstrual cycles vary from month to month.

There are 3 ovulation chart methods used to keep track of your ovulation – the Calendar method, Basal Body Temperature method and Cervical Mucus Charting. Basal Body Temperature method and Cervical Mucus Charting are usually used together.

Ovulation Chart Methods

Calendar method ovulation chart

With the Calendar method you monitor your menstrual cycle for 8 to 12 months. Mark the first day of your period as “Day 1 of Cycle 1”. Wait until your next period. The day before the next period starts is the “Last Day of Cycle 1”. Do this for the following menstrual cycles and mark the dates accordingly such as “Day 1 of Cycle 2”, “Last Day of Cycle 2” and so on. This will tell you the duration of each of your menstrual cycles and may help you predict your fertile days.

Fertile window

Your fertile window represents the dates you are most fertile. To find the first day of your fertile window, look for the menstrual cycle with the shortest duration. Subtract 18 days from the total days of that cycle. The difference will help you determine the first day of your fertile window. From Day 1 of your next period, count forward using the difference. The date it falls on is Day 1 of your fertile window.

To find the last day of your fertile window, look for the cycle with the longest duration. Subtract 11 days. From Day 1 of your next period, count forward using the difference. This is the Last Day of your fertile window.

Basal body temperature ovulation chart

With the Basal Body Temperature and Cervical Mucus Charting method, you record your body temperature and mucus texture every day for 3 months. Generally, your body temperature is lower in the first days of the cycle and higher during ovulation. Below are the steps to follow.

  • Record your body temperature starting from the first day of your period.
  • You can plot the body temperatures on a chart so you can see the temperature changes throughout the cycle.
  • Record the texture of your cervical mucus starting from the first day of your period.
  • Body temperature increases during ovulation. Usually your temperature will rise by 0.4 degrees.
  • Also, the cervical mucus will feel and look like egg whites during ovulation.
  • The dates where your temperature and mucus texture coincide are the days you are fertile.

The downside to Basal Body Temperature Chart is that it cannot tell you in advance when your ovulation will take place. It only tells you when you ovulated. But you can tell by the increasing amount and changed nature of the cervical mucus that your ovulation is approaching.

An ovulation chart is inexpensive, simple to use and provides helpful information about your menstrual cycle. You’ll become aware of your fertility patterns and you’ll be able to detect any abnormalities in your cycle. These may help your doctor identify any fertility problems you may have.

Are you using an ovulation chart? Or do you prefer gadgets which predict ovulation? Would like to know your thoughts!

Sources:

  • National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2009. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 19 February 2011.
  • Women’sHealth.gov. 2010 . Office of Women’s Health – US Department of Health and Human Services. 19 February 2011.
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About the Author: Iva Keene MRMed. ND. - Natural Fertility Specialist

Iva Keene is co-founder, creator and award-winning author of the NFP Program and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy and a Master Degree in Reproductive Medicine. She has been a qualified and internationally accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 15 years. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva’s articles, videos, guides, and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols, and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments, and integrative reproductive health.