Saturday, September 21, 2013

Charting. What it is and why I do it.

I've had a few comments lately about my charting posts. Mostly that people don't get what they are all about, or that they look complicated. And one lovely comment about not letting myself get stressed by it.

Why I do it.

For me charting is a way of avoiding stress. Honest! I know I've posted a few times about why its driving me crackers... But I'm not really "stressed" by it. Just annoyed that my body isn't behaving! I am, at my core, something of a control freak. I try not to be in my day-to-day life. There's no point trying to "control" my hubby or kids! So I don't even bother! But I do like to feel as though I have a good handle on myself.

I struggled to conceive a second time round. Charting kept me sane and gave me something I could take to my doctor and say "look, I have a problem. Help me!" And he did. Plus, I enjoy it! I love watching my temps change and finding optimum times to pounce on my hubby, I love watching for the little dip that might be a wee fertilised eggy implanting.... And the excitement of waiting for a second temp rise that might, maybe, just maybe, lead to a positive preg test!!! And failing that, the drop in temp that says Aunt Flow is on her way so I don't get caught out.

So that's the "why" so how about the "what".

I passed the Fertility Friend Charting Course!
You can visit or any of the other charting sites and read up in detail about charting, and if you're going to do it then I recommend that you do. FF even has a quiz you can take so see how much has sunk in! I took it, I passed! But for now I can give you the gist of it.

What you actually "chart" is your body temperature when rested, ideally first thing in the morning, same time every morning, after a minimum of 4 hours sleep. You should take it it same way every day too, either orally or, ahem, down below (the latter being more accurate if, like me, you sleep with your mouth open).

Typically your temp should be low before you ovulate. A sudden jump in temperature which stays high or continues to rise for 3 days pinpoints when you (likely) ovulated. If you've been charting for a while and see that you usually ovulate around the same number of days after your period starts then you can plan when to best try for a baby, usually the 3-4 days in the run up to ovulation.

After ovulation you can expect to see one of two things (again, typically): if the temps fluctuate but tend not to continue rising, and then start to decrease, chances are you're not pregnant. Temps tend to drop before your period starts. On the other hand, if temps continue to rise, or level out for a few days and then start to rise again, you might be pregnant. You could also keep an eye out for a single, isolated dip, which might be implantation. This is occasionally accompanied by spotting.

You can also record the position and other details of your cervix, and your cervical mucus, and add the results of ovulation tests & pregnancy tests. All information recorded helps to work out your cycle, with the theory being that the better you know your cycle the better you can plan your baby making.

Is charting for you?

If you're the kind of girl who gets stressed and worried, then it might not be right for you. If you just want a little more knowledge about your cycle, give it a go. It's not perfect, and I've never met anyone who fit the "typical" pattern perfectly either. But it's a guide and a useful tool. I've used FertilityFriend for my 2nd and 3rd babies, and I'm using it again now for my 4th.

If you do chart or start charting drop me a message, I love a good "chartstalk" and enjoy chatting about what they might mean!

My Ovulation Chart

I have not been asked to write about Fertility Friend, and I am not being compensated in any way for this post. I wrote it because some of my readers have asked questions and left comments that I thought deserved answering properly. There are other charting sites available and I have used others. I always come back to Fertility Friend. 

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