Charting your menstrual cycles and tracking your fertility signs is the best way to know when you’re likely (or not likely) to conceive. If you chart correctly and consistently, there’s a much higher chance of getting pregnant. Luckily, there are many apps and websites out there to help you; my favorite and the app I currently use is Fertility Friend. If you would like to purchase the Fertility Friend VIP Package (which I HIGHLY recommend) and receive 30 days free, fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the invite. The app is full of useful information and has a great community in the forums.
This post may contain affiliate links.
Abbreviations index can be found HERE.
Tracking 4 Main Fertile Signs: Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you first wake up. This should be taken BEFORE you stand up, sit up, eat or drink anything, etc. For best results, it should be taken at the same time every day and after at least 3 hours of sleep. Your temperature should be taken with a Basal Temperature Thermometer as this type of thermometer is sensitive enough for charting purposes. Your temperature can be taken orally or vaginally. Either way, the thermometer should be cleaned after every use. This method doesn’t necessarily tell you when you will ovulate but it is the best way to confirm ovulation. Ovulation is confirmed after 3 consecutive days of temperatures higher than your cover-line (CL).
Tracking 4 Main Fertile Signs: Ovulation Predictor Tests (OPK/OPT)
Just as the name suggests, OPKs can be very helpful for predicting ovulation. There are many different brands on the market but I use iProvèn Kit which comes with ovulation test strips AND pregnancy test strips (plus it’s really cheap!). No matter which brand you choose, always refer to the packaging for usage as ovulation test strips are read differently than pregnancy test strips. The Fertility Friend website or app will tell you the best time to start using the ovulation test strips to cut-down on waste, as the costs for the strips can add up, especially if you have an irregular or long cycle.
Tracking 4 Main Fertile Signs: Cervical Mucus (CM)
Cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) is another way to track upcoming ovulation. This method is not very accurate when used alone but can be very helpful when combined with BBT and OPK. The main types of CM are:
- EWCM– Egg-white cervical mucus. The most fertile CM. Has the consistency of raw egg whites and is very stretchy.
- Watery or Wet CM– Thin and clear. Not stretchy. Usually happens right before EWCM. This is also fertile CM.
- Creamy CM– Lotion-like texture and color.
- Dry CM– Absence of any CM or very little cm. During this time, generally not fertile.
Tracking 4 Main Fertile Signs: Cervical Position (CP)
Cervical Position is the least accurate tracking method. It should be used in addition to the other tracking methods for best results. If you choose to incorporate tracking CP in your chart, always remember to wash your (or your partners) hands with antibacterial soap BEFORE AND AFTER. There are 3 items to track in this method, which are:
- Cervical Position– High (can barely reach, most fertile position), Medium, and Low (easiest to reach).
- Cervix Texture– Soft (very “squishy”, most fertile), Medium, and Hard (like the tip of your nose, least fertile).
- Cervix Opening– Open (most fertile), Slightly Open, and Closed (least fertile). Women who have given birth vaginally or have had a natural miscarriage may always have a slightly open cervix.
Take the guess work out of TTC by using the fertile signs tracking methods above in the Fertility Friend app. Happy charting and baby dust to you!