Many apps and devices claim to be able to predict ovulation, but this just can’t be done! What you can do is become smarter than any app or device and learn how to be your own ovulation calendar by charting your cycle and tracking ovulation.
What I love about the Tempdrop wearable thermometer is that the device doesn’t do the cycle charting for you. You have to understand your cycles and reproductive physiology in order to use the device (which is a good thing!). Once you learn how to use the information Tempdrop gives you, you have much more control over your hormonal and reproductive health.
To be your own ovulation calendar, you’ll need to be aware of your own cycle from day to day. While normally we are only aware of menstruation, tracking your cycle in this way means you become aware of ovulation - which is the main event of your cycle.
Fertility charting involves tracking and paying attention to the signs your body is telling you. You can only know if you’ve ovulated retrospectively using basal body temperature, but you can track many things each day to let you know if ovulation is approaching.
What you’ll need:
Find Your Cycle Day
To be your own ovulation calendar, you’ll need several things. First, you have to know what cycle day you’re on. If you’re naturally cycling, any given day you’ll be on a cycle day which is different from the day of the month. To calculate your cycle day, find the first day of your most recent period - that will be cycle day 1. Your cycle ends the last day before your next period.
Chart Your Cycle on Something
Keeping track of your ovulation calendar is done on a cycle chart. There are different ways to chart, depending on your personal preference and charting method. The most common way is on an app like Kindara, Ovuview or the forthcoming Read your Body App. Whatever app you use, pick one that doesn’t have ovulation predictions, or turn them off.
Remember, you are your own ovulation calendar and you can trust the signs of your body! You can also chart on paper, by finding a paper chart that works with your chosen method. If you’re using Tempdrop or any other thermometer you will need an app that allows you to record temperatures.
Pick a Fertility Awareness Method
There are many different forms of fertility awareness based methods. Some use temperature and cervical mucus, some are cervical mucus only, some use hormone testing and cervical mucus. Some are based in natural family planning which may align more with religious values, and some are more secular.
There are also a wide variety of instructors with varying expertise and training. The key to being successful in using your chosen form of fertility awareness is choosing a fertility instructor that aligns with your values. An instructor will help you speed up the learning process and learn to trust fertility awareness faster.
Choose a Basal Body Thermometer
Tracking basal body temperature is a key piece of tracking ovulation if you are using a method of FAM that involves temperature. After ovulation, your basal body temperature will rise very slightly. Using a basal body thermometer to track this will give you that information. There are a wide variety of thermometers with different features and price points - one of those options is the Tempdrop wearable thermometer.
Know What to Look For
There are many different layers of charting, and you can begin charting very simply or get more complicated. For the symptothermal fertility awareness method the two most basic things to chart are basal body temperature and cervical mucus. There are additional fertility indicators you can add such as cervical position and LH testing. If you want to go even more in depth, you can keep track of lifestyle and other markers such as mood, libido, intercourse, energy levels, moon phases, exercise, food, supplements, water intake or anything else you can imagine.
Putting Your Ovulation Calendar Together
Being your own ovulation calendar is so much more empowering than relying on an app or device to tell you when you’re ovulating. It takes patience and sometimes a learning curve to understand your body’s fertility signs, but once you can understand what your body is telling you it is so exciting! It is also so much more reliable and accurate to trust your body rather than an algorithm.
If you'd like to learn more about FABM, including how to chart your cycle, identify your fertility window, and be your own ovulation calendar, download Tempdrop's free Introduction to Fertility Awareness, a beautifully-designed guide written by seven certified educators (including Nathalie!).
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.