Below are some common ttc and charting questions. If you have any additions or corrections, please PM me.
What do I need to start charting?
The #1 thing is the Book Taking Charge of Your Fertility
This book will tell you anything and everything you need to know about charting and about your reproductive cycle.
Also important is a basal body thermometer and a place to chart. Most posters here use www.fertilityfriend.com
Itís much easier to do it online.
How do I chart my basal body temperature?
Your BBT is taken first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, after a minimum of three hours of sleep. Your temperature should be taken at about the same time every morning.
What is a thermal shift and what does it mean?
The thermal shift will occur the day after ovulation due to an increase in progesterone levels. The temperature will rise 0.2-0.5 degrees. The presence of the thermal shift is a good indicator that ovulation has already occurred.
What is the luteal phase?
The LP is the number of days from ovulation until the start of AF. Typically, it is 12-16 days in length and does not vary by more than a day in each person. If your LP is shorter than 10 days you might consider consulting with a dr. as a short LP can make it impossible for an egg to implant properly
If Iím not pregnant, when will my temperatures drop?
If conception and implantation did not occur in a cycle, the BBT will drop near or below coverline the day before or the day of the start of AF. It's important to remember though that this can vary from person to person. Your temps may well stay up a few days in to AF.
Is it necessary to take BBTís during AF?
No, it is not necessary to take BBTís during AF. Temperatures can be erratic during AF due to residual progesterone levels. Some see it as a break away from charting, while others continue to temp so as to keep in the routine.
How do I determine my coverline?
Following the thermal shift, look at the preceding six temperatures. Take the highest of these six temperatures and add one-tenth to it. This is your coverline.
How do I check my CM?
Cervical mucous can be checked either externally, at the vaginal opening, or internally, at the cervix. Rub the CM between two fingertips to evaluate its texture and consistency. CM is absent or sticky after AF. Then, as ovulation nears, it will change to creamy or lotiony, then to the consistency of raw egg-white. EW CM may be stretched one or more inches between your fingertips and is considered the most fertile of all types of CM.
How to I check my CP?
Your cervical position should be checked daily (or more often at or near ovulation). It is firm (like the tip of your nose), low, closed, and dry during your infertile days. As ovulation nears, it will become soft (like your lips), high, open, and wet. When this happens, your are considered very fertile, especially if you have EWCM as well. CP can be checked while sitting on the toilet or squatting in the shower, just be consistent how you check.
When is Day 1 of my cycle?
Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of red menstrual flow, not any spotting that may precede AF.
Is it possible not to ovulate at all?
Yes, it is very common to have annovulatory cycles now and then. If, however, you are not ovulation on a regular basis then itís probably time to see a doctor.
How soon can I test?
Some people can get a + hpt as early as 10 days past ovulation, but generally itís recommended that you wait until 14-18 days past ovulation to test.
Here's a good place to check for pregnancy test testing levels and it also answers lots of questions about testing:
The February 2003 issue of Consumer Reports rated pregnancy test kits. Here are the results:
The hands-down winner was the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test. Although the most expensive test ($18 for 2), this test had by far the best hCG sensitivity.
The next three were rated very good:
* Answer Quick & Simple One-Step Pregnancy Test
* Answer Pregnancy Test
* ClearBlue Easy One Minute Pregnancy Test
The next were rated good:
* Clear Choice At Home Pregnancy Test
* e.p.t Pregnancy Test
* ClearPlan Easy Pregnancy Test Pack
* Inverness Medical Early Pregnancy Test
* American Fare (KMart) Easy to Read Pregnancy Test
The following were rated fare:
* CVS Pregnancy Test
* Target Brand One Step Pregnancy Test
* Walgreens One Step Pregnancy Test
* Sav-On Osco (Albertson's) One Step Pregnancy Test
* Inverness Medical Early Pregnancy Test
* Rite Aid One Step Pregnancy Test
* Eckerd One Step Pregnancy Test
* Equate (Wal-Mart) Pregnancy Test
This one was rated poor:
* Confirm Pregnancy Test
Ovulation Predictor Test:
Itís important to read the directions on your ovulation predictor tests. Most recommend that you test between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and hold urination for 2-4 hr. before testing. The best time to start testing is when you first notice fertile cervical mucous. Once you get a + opk then it is not necessary to test again. However, a positive OPK does not guarantee ovulation.
Ovulation predictor kits were rated in the February 2003 issue of Consumer Reports. Here are the results:
The top rated kit was the ClearPlan Easy Ovulation Test Pack. This was "the most sensitive product by far, but will not detect the LH surge of approximately 12 percent of women." It is "easier to read than most." Note: This test will be renamed the ClearBlue Easy Ovulation Test Pack in March 2003.
The following tests were rated good:
* ClearPlan Easy Fertility Monitor (Note: This test will be renamed the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor in March 2003.)
* CVS One Step Ovulation Predictor
* Eckerd One Step Ovulation Predictor
* Inverness Medical Early Ovulation Predictor - Cassette (Note: This test will be renamed the Accu-Clear Early Ovulation Predictor in March 2003.)
* Inverness Medical Early Ovulation Predictor - Wick-type stick (Note: This test will be renamed the Accu-Clear Early Ovulation Predictor in March 2003.)
* Rite Aid One Step Ovulation Predictor
* Target One Step Ovulation Predictor
* Walgreens One Step Ovulation Predictor
The following test was rated fair:
* First Response Pregnancy Planning Kit
The following test was rated poor:
* Answer Quick & Simple One-Step Ovulation Test