Charting Basics Putting It All TogetherLori Ramsey
Now that you have all the basics to charting your fertility symptoms - it's time to put your knowledge to use. Be sure to print out a good BBT (basal body temperature) chart. See the link below, and be sure to have a good BBT thermometer.
It's a good idea to chart the temperature every day throughout your cycle. However you can skip the days of menstrual bleeding, if you want. The important thing is to take your temperature every morning at the same time - after having three consecutive hours of sleep. Remember the rule of thumb to adjusting if need be - .1 up for every half hour early you rise and .1 down for every half hour late you awaken. Another important thing to remember when establishing ovulation, is to have at least three days of high temperatures. That is, three days of temperatures above the coverline. And the coverline is drawn by noting the six most recent temps and going .1 above the highest.
The second sign to observe is to chart the cervical fluid. This can be an easy task to do every time you urinate. Just swipe your fingers or toilet paper across your vaginal opening before urinating and you can check the toilet paper after urinating. If you're inclined to check internally, be sure your hands are washed first. The cervical fluid can be dry (the absence of fluid), sticky, creamy or clear and egg-white like. The clear stretchy egg-white cervical fluid is the most fertile. Mark this on your chart every day.
If you choose to chart your cervical position, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and trim your nails. I explained exactly how to do this in a previous article. This sign is a good one, though not too highly recommended because of the risk for infection. But if you are careful and clean, there shouldn't be a problem.
On the chart, there should be places to mark the temperature, date, time, cervical mucus and cervical position, as well as a place to record ovulation predictor kit results (if you choose to use them) and a place for symptoms such as headaches, cramps, etc. Also, a good chart will have a space at each day, to record any variance you may experience - such as not getting enough sleep or being sick. It takes practice and a little time - but as with all things we do everyday - charting will become a daily habit.
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