All you need to start charting your ovulation is a digital thermometer (ideally a thermometer that records to 2 decimal places). You do not need to spend a lot of money on an ovulation thermometer and one like this is perfect are sell for less than £5 on Amazon.
Once you have your thermometer, you need a temperature chart to record your measurements. You can use a paper chart which you can download off the internet or you can download a charting app on your phone. I use ‘Fertility Friend’ which is free and has everything you need to get going.
Where to start:
You should start charting your fertile signs and your temperatures from cycle day 3 which is the 3rd day of your period (CD3). This is to ensure your temperature is at base line level before you start recording.
You should try to record the following each day:
- The texture of your cervical mucous – cervical mucus is simply your vaginal discharge. This discharge is produced by your cervix and as you approach ovulation this discharge should change in appearance and texture. You can record this sign when you go to the loo and wipe or you can use a clean finger to collect some to examine. When you are not fertile your discharge is likely to be creamy, thick and tacky. As you approach ovulation it becomes thinner and watery and even stretchy. This stretchy discharge is referred to as ‘egg white cervical mucus’ (egg white CM or EWCM for short) as it can resemble egg in appearance and texture. If you find that you are not producing much fertile cervical mucus around your ovulation day then please see the sections on ‘sperm friendly lubricants’ and ‘how to increase your fertile cervical mucus naturally’.
- You waking body temperature – Your body temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning. Readings should be taken at the same time each morning and preferably around 6am – 7am. Your body naturally starts to increase from 8-9am so may give you inaccurate readings.
- When you have had unprotected sex.
- When you experience any spotting or bleeding
- The result of an ovulation test if you use them – more on these ‘here’. A positive ovulation test can indicate you are going to ovulate within 12-24 hrs.
- You may also record the position of your cervix and texture (more on this ‘here’).
- Ovulation pain – many women (including myself) experience pain in the abdomen during the preceding days or day of ovulation and this can also be a reliable sign that you are within the ‘fertile window’.
By recording the above fertility signs each day you will increase you chances of predicting when ovulation is about to take place each cycle and confirm when it has taken place. You may also discover if you have any issues which could affect your fertility e.g. delayed ovulation (see ‘here’) or a short luteal phase (see ‘here’).