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When pregnancy occurs, the cervix begins producing a mucus plug, which produces a lot of white creamy cervical fluid. When first pregnant, the fluid may be dry, or you may notice a little more creamy fluid. Usually when menstruation draws near, the fluid will take on a more creamy/watery appearance. When pregnant it will be more whitish or yellowish.
Fertile quality cervical fluid around the time of ovulation will be either clear or clear streaked with creamy (white). It will have the consistancy of egg whites - when placed between the forefinger and thumb it will stretch (spin) and feels very slippery. There should be an abundance of it, especially at the cervix.
In order to effectively chart your fertility signs, you will need a good chart. You can download your chart from a number of websites, such as www.fertilityplus.org or you can make your own. If you buy a brand new basal body thermometer, the package should contain a blank one you can copy. Or you can purchase a book such as Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and copy the charts in the back of her book.
To properly check the cervical position, thorougly wash your hands first. Pick a position and use this position each time - that way you will always get a true reading.
1. Sitting on the toilet - 2. Lying on your back
Some women prefer to check while in the shower, the hands will already be clean and squatting can easily be done. Then gently insert one or two fingers into your vagina until you feel the cervix.
In order to get an accurate basal body temperature you need to have been asleep at least 3 hours prior. Before you take your temperature, be sure to not move around unnecessarily and don't talk. These things can affect the temperature, causing it to rise from the true reading.
A possible indicator of low estrogen could be if your pre-ovulation temperatures are on the high side. Estrogen will normally cause the basal body temperature to be low. Another indication of estrogen is the quality of cervical fluid around ovulation. Estrogen will help the body to produce more of the fertile quality cervical fluid.
You can check your cervical fluid by wiping tissue or clean fingers over the opening of your vagina before urinating. Or you can insert a finger or two into the vagina to "draw" some of the fluid out. Whichever mode you choose - stick to it because there will be more in the vagina than on the outside.
When charting your temperature, you will notice a rise of about .4 a degree the day after ovulation. This occurs, normally, in the middle of your cycle. The temperatures should stay high once you see this rise.
If you don't see a .4 rise, but notice a steady slow rise, you can assume that ovulation occurred the day before the first highest temperature. It's important to chart cervical fluid and cervical position in conjunction with basal temperatures to accurately pinpoint ovulation.
The cervical position can show where you in your cycle. However there is a small danger in checking the cervix. Some doctors say it can introduce germs and can cause infections if the cervix is checked too often. If you wish to check the cervical position be sure to thoroughly wash your hands prior to the check. There are many women who use this particular sign every month to help them pinpoint where they are in their menstrual cycle.
The basal body temperature during ovulation is on the low side. From the first day of your cycle till ovulation the temperatures range in the lower end. The day after ovulation the basal body temperature normally rises about .4 a degree. Occasionally the basal body temperature will dip even lower on the day of ovulation.
If at the time of ovulation you don't have an abundance of cervical fluid, go by the wet feeling in the vagina. At ovulation, the vagina and cervix becomes increasingly wetter and softer feeling. This wet feeling is fertile quality cervical fluid.
Semen can mask fertile quality cervical fluid. Mark on your chart when you have intercourse. Semen feels slippery, however when "stretched" it will break quicker than true cervical fluid. Also semen will evaporate faster when waved through the air (while on the finger to test).
If you are charting your fertility signs, be sure to chart every day. While it is not fully necessary to take your temperature on the days of menstruation, it is a good idea to go ahead and keep in the habit of temping every morning. Make a habit every day to run down the list and mark it off of your chart - temperature, cervical fluid, cervical position and any variations you need to record.
A good chart will have an area to daily record your basal body temperature. It will also have an area to record you cervical fluid and cervical postion. Be sure to note anything out of the ordinary, such as illness or room too cold/warm or in a different location (on vacation) - as these things will affect your fertility signs.
The cervix after the menstrual bleeding and before ovulation will be low and closed. It will feel like the tip of your nose. As ovulation approaches, the cervix will rise up high in the vagina and become soft. It will feel like your lips and the O's will be open. At the height of ovulation, you may not even be able to find your cervix because it will be so high up.
Several things can affect the basal body temperature (BBT). 1. If the room is too cold or warm. 2. Sleeping with your mouth open. 3. Sleeping outside or inside the covers (whichever is NOT normal for you.) 4. Having a fever. 5. Snuggling with your partner.
To start with charting you will need a good basal body thermometer. A fever thermometer is not as good, since a basal body thermometer will show the temperature to 1/10 a degree increments. Either a traditional glass or a digital basal body thermometer will work well.
Hyperthyroid can be discovered through the charting of your basal body temperatures. If you temperautures pre-ovulation are above 98.0 F - you may want to have your thyroid checked. This is a possible indication of high thyroid. Keep in mind that some women may normally have high pre-ovulation temperatures and their thyroid still be normal too.
When charting your basal body temperature, you will need to draw a cover line once ovulation has occured. The cover line is taken by going back 6 days before the rise in temperatues (ovulation). Take the highest of the 6 temperatures and draw a line .1 a degree above it. This is the line in which your post ovulation temperatures should stay above.
An indication of low progesterone is when your basal body temperatures post ovulation fall at or below your cover line. Also your luteal phase (the time from ovulation to menstruation) will be under 10 days. If you suspect this - ask your doctor for a progesterone level test. There are over-the-counter remedies too for raising the progesterone. See the other tips for more advice.
Hypothyroid can be discovered through the charting of your basal body temperature. If you have unusually low temperatures in the first week of your monthly cycle - this could be an indicator of low thyroid - which can cause infertility. Be aware, though, that some women will have low temperatures and their thyroid will be normal.
The charting of your fertility signs can greatly help in determining if you are indeed ovulating, are pregnant, or are having problems with your fertility. The areas you can chart are basal body temperature, cervical fluid and cervical position. You will need a good chart, a basal body thermometer and the willingness to get to know your body to start charting.
When charting your fertility signs, be sure to mark any variances such as too cold or too warm room. These are important and will affect your fertility signs and symptoms:
2. Having Intercourse.
3. Slept over or under the regular time.
4. Room unusually cold or warm.
Mark each of these on your chart if they pretain.
Occasionally the post ovulation temperatures will stay high when menstruation occurs. If this happens, normally it will fall back down on day 2 or 3 of the new cycle. Some women's temperature will drop down a day or 2 before menstruation while others will drop after the fact.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|