It is so helpful for me when a client comes in with a completed basal body temperature (BBT) or cycle chart. Seen through my Chinese Medicine eyes, the chart can reveal so much about fertility and reproductive health. I can see if the month has been a particularly stressful month, what is likely happening with progesterone levels during the days of the luteal phase and if intercourse happened on the most fertile days.
I strongly encourage my clients to chart, even just for 3 months, so we can get an objective measure of what is happening during her cycle. But charting has it’s challenges, so I thought I would offer a few tips to make it easier.
1. Get a good thermometer – nothing is worse than getting unreliable readings and wondering if your chart is even accurate. I like this thermometer but any digital that reads to 0.1 of a degree should do the trick.
2. Prepare yourself mentally – recognize that first thing in the morning you will be doing something that will remind you that you’re not pregnant yet. It can set a negative tone for the day if you let it. So just know it’s coming and prepare yourself with an affirmation; something like “This is part of my path toward my heart’s desire” or some version that works for you.
3. Make use of online tools – it takes a lot of knowledge to interpret a BBT chart, and you want to keep your energy focused on getting pregnant, not becoming an expert in BBT charting! So make use of the amazing tools available online to make this easier. I like Kindara and Taking Charge of your Fertlity.
Bring your chart to your acupuncturist. She can interpret it for you in terms of Chinese Medicine. And you will most likely make her day!!
4. Don’t wait for the temperature spike – know that when your temperature spikes, you’ve already ovulated. Don’t wait for the temperature spike to start having intercourse. You will have missed the fertile window for the month. It’s best to start trying every other day from about cycle day 10 to cycle day 20, depending on your ovulation pattern.
5. Check your fluids – watch for changes in cervical fluid to signal imminent ovulation. Cervical fluid changes from creamy to egg white and stretchy as ovulation approaches. Egg white mucus is often present for 2-3 days and signals imminent ovulation. Have intercourse on the days you see egg white cervical mucus. If you have little mucus or are relatively dry, Fertile CM is an excellent product to try. Check with your care provider if it would be appropriate for you.
Your chart is a very useful tool! Make it work for you by setting yourself up for success. Follow these tips and the complete instructions for BBT charting found here.