Tracking your body’s fertility signs is one of the best ways to boost your chances of getting pregnant in the first few months of trying. Not only can it give you the best chance for success, but it can provide vital information should you need to pursue medical interventions to get pregnant. Here are the three best ways to track your body’s fertility.
- Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
This is the temperature of your body when it’s at rest, so the best time to take this temperature is in the morning before you get out of bed. Keep your thermometer next to your bed so you don’t have to get up, and take your temperature immediately. You should take your temperature at the same time every morning.
You can measure your temperature orally or vaginally. Just be sure to be consistent, and keep that vaginal thermometer marked for BBT use only!
Track your body’s temperature every day, and look for a spike in your temperature around day 14. That’s your sign that your body has ovulated! Many women are able to track this pattern and predict ovulation because of their BBT. You can print out a temperature chart or use one of many free apps to track your temperature.
- Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus is discharge found around the cervix. Its appearance and consistency changes over the course of a menstrual cycle, and monitoring these changes can alert you to your most fertile days–crucial for conceiving! In the days before and after your period, you may not have much mucus, but a few days after your period ends, you may notice some sticky, opaque discharge around the cervix. As your body gets closer to ovulating, this mucus changes to a slippery, stretchy discharge that is clearer and often compared to egg whites. This is your most fertile time as this discharge can make it easier for sperm to get to the egg. After ovulation, the mucus becomes thicker.
So how do you check this mucus? You might be able to see some on the toilet paper after going to the bathroom, but many women check their cervical mucus by inserting a clean finger into their vaginal opening and reaching toward the cervix. Checking the mucus on the finger gives you an indication of color and consistency.
- Other Body Signs
Many women note a heightened sense of smell or breast tenderness during their fertile windows. Others notice an increase in their libido. If you have been tracking your fertility signs for a few months, it may be worth writing these signs down on your temperature chart or in a journal. Some women experience ovulation pain, called mittelschmerz, on one side of their lower abdomen. Listen to your body and use these signs with other fertility signs to give yourself a better chance at getting pregnant.
There are a number of ovulation predictor kits and paid fertility monitoring services that you may be interested in. While you can never have enough information, these can also feed into how consuming getting pregnant can be. It can feel like it’s taking over your life. As someone who’s been there, I recommend giving the first three quite a few months to work before dropping money on these kits and services.