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Fertility Charting 101: Your Questions Answered! Part 1

The world of fertility awareness and charting doesn’t have to be confusing. In today’s blog post, I’m answering the fertility awareness questions you submitted on Tempdrop’s Instagram and Facebook!

How do you differentiate between cervical mucus and cell slough?

Cervical mucus is a hydrogel secreted by your cervix and responds to changing levels of progesterone and estrogen.

Tracking cervical mucus is key in charting your fertility, because it indicates when your fertile window opens and when ovulation is approaching.

Some people may notice a substance that looks like cervical mucus but disappears quickly or disintegrates. This is called cell slough, and it is characterized by a shininess on the toilet paper as you wipe, with no actual mucus present. It may also look like little pieces of toilet paper. If you place cell slough in a glass of water it will disintegrate, while cervical mucus will ball up and fall to the bottom of the glass. 

How do you chart postpartum before your cycle returns?

Charting in the postpartum can be challenging! This is because it will take some time for your fertility to return, and this length of time can’t be predicted. However, several factors will impact the time that it takes for fertility to return including frequency of breastfeeding, whether you’re sleeping with your baby, and generally how much time you’re spending with your baby. 

Charting postpartum relies on cervical mucus observations. Your temperature will only rise after ovulation takes place and you may ovulate before you get your first period postpartum. However, if you do decide to chart postpartum, Tempdrop can be really handy as you can get an accurate reading even if you wake up multiple times throughout the night. Working with an instructor is highly recommended for relying on FAM for birth control in the postpartum. Read more in this blog post. 

How accurate is finding the day of ovulation when only charting temperature with Tempdrop?

Tempdrop wearable thermometer is accurate in reading the rise in basal body temperature after ovulation, but using this device is only one part of charting your fertility. Tempdrop will help you identify whether you have ovulated after it’s actually happened. Using Tempdrop means that you need to understand how to chart and interpret your temperatures. You will also need to learn how to chart your cervical mucus to identify the start of your fertile window.

Whether you’re avoiding pregnancy or trying to conceive, understanding cervical mucus alongside temperature is essential!

Check out Tempdrop’s guide to fertility awareness to learn more. 

Help - I’ve just been diagnosed with PCOS!

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is characterized by irregular cycles, high androgens levels, or polycystic ovaries.

If you have recently been diagnosed with PCOS or suspect that you have it, charting your cycles will be an excellent tool to help monitor your health and the success of any treatment plans. Working with a women’s health practitioner who specializes in PCOS will be extremely beneficial.

With PCOS you may experience a long pre-ovulatory phase, which is the time before ovulation with multiple attempts of ovulation. Tracking both cervical mucus and basal body temperature will help you tune into when you’re ovulating, which is helpful for both avoiding pregnancy and getting pregnant. 

What is the easiest way to take my temperature, I’m so inconsistent!

When taking your basal body temperature, it’s important to take your temperature at the same time each day, before you get out of bed, after at least 3 hours of sleep. For some, it can be challenging to remain consistent especially if you work night shifts or have young children. This is where the Tempdrop really comes in handy. With Tempdrop wearable thermometer, you don’t have to wake up at the same time each day to take your temperature, and you can still get an accurate reading waking up multiple times throughout the night. 

What to do if I notice a short luteal phase?

Progesterone is the dominant hormone in the second half of your cycle, or your luteal phase, and this means that its length will be reflective of progesterone levels. A healthy luteal phase is generally 9 days or longer. Progesterone is created by the corpus luteum which is only present when we ovulate. You can increase progesterone by reducing stress, eating nourishing foods, sleeping well and living in line with your cycles. You may also benefit from working with a practitioner who specializes in women’s health, who may suggest you take an herb like vitex agnus-castus or chaste tree, which is an herb that may lengthen the luteal phase. It is important to note though that some individuals may not benefit from vitex and it is recommended to work with a practitioner if you’re taking it.

 

Nathalie Daudet is a social worker and FEMM instructor based in Winnipeg, Canada. She discovered fertility awareness after searching high and low for a non-hormonal method of birth control. After learning the magic of fertility awareness and the gift of body literacy, she decided to pursue formal fertility awareness training and share the knowledge of fertility awareness with women looking for a natural birth control option. Fertility Awareness Project is the hub for Nathalie’s FEMM classes in both group and individual formats, online and in person in Winnipeg. If you love this post and would like to thank Nathalie, shop Tempdrop with Nathalie's unique referral link

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