Charting is the basic tool of fertility awareness methods (FAMs). Each day, you make a note of your body’s fertility signs, so that you can see the patterns that occur throughout each monthly cycle. Charting will allow you to make accurate predictions about your approaching ovulation and let you know exactly when you’re past the fertile time in your cycle.
Your chart is also a valuable tool for a doctor trained in NaProTECHNOLOGY or FEMM to precisely diagnose and treat reproductive health problems. Charts for the various fertility awareness methods are similar, but adapted to each particular methodology. Charts can be kept on paper or online, and many excellent apps for charting are now available, as well.
If you’re like most women, your monthly cycle is not “average.” Only 5 to 10 percent of us have what many consider an “average” and “regular” 28-day cycle.
Whatever the length of a given cycle, which starts the first day of your period, it is composed of several distinct phases. These phases are regulated by hormones triggered by your brain. The most important phase of each cycle for family planning purposes is ovulation.
When you ovulate, an egg is released by your ovaries. It’s only when an egg is present that you can get pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm, it will only live 12-24 hours. Since sperm can live up to 5 days, intercourse within the 5 days leading up to ovulation may result in a pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to know when ovulation is approaching and when it actually occurs.
These fertile days are clearly signaled in a few different ways by your body. Once you learn to recognize these signs of fertility, you can know with certainty on any given day whether you could get pregnant or not.
To learn how to chart your cycle, connect with a fertility awareness educator today.
To learn more about cycle charting, see the articles below.