Your core body temperature can detect the presence of progesterone, which is the hormone you make following ovulation. Progesterone raises your core body temperature by approximately 0.3 degrees Celsius, which is enough to indicate that you’ve ovulated. It is important to start measuring your body temperature within a few days after your period has ended as this will capture any obvious rise in body temperature on your chart.
Equipment: You will need a digital basal body temperature thermometer that measures to one decimal place (0.1) in Celcius.
Method: Take your temperature under your tongue first thing in the morning before you get out of bed or interact with your partner. Aim to record your temperature at the same time every morning for accurate results. Record this information directly into your Fertility Awareness Chart, or into your Smart phone for later charting.
Additional Information: If you wake up later than your usual recording time, subtract 0.1 of a degree for every hour after your usual time. If you take your temperature earlier than normal, add on an extra 0.1 of a degree for every hour before your usual time. In addition, external factors may also influence your temperature such as illness and stress. Please indicate these temperature confounding factors within the Fertility Awareness Chart.
Cervical mucus, or cervical fluid is a sign that appears before ovulation, and lets you know when you are fertile. The quality of your cervical mucus changes in both appearance and consistency as you become more, or less, fertile throughout your cycle. It is important to be consistent and make your observations on a daily basis, and also to be consistent with how you are analysing what sort of cervical mucus you have on any given day. As such, cervical mucus should be observed around the same time each morning before urination. The best way to determine the consistency is to feel your cervical secretions between your thumb and forefinger, in addition to examining your vulva with your fingers for dryness, wetness and moistness. Cervical mucus can also be observed on white toilet paper or in the bottom of underwear. If multiple types of mucus are noted throughout the day, the most fertile type of cervical mucus should be the one recorded (NB: transparent and stretchy mucus with a wet, slippery sensation is the most fertile sign).
Method: Take note of the sensation felt on the vulva as either dry, damp or wet. If present, lift mucus directly from the vaginal opening, toilet tissue or the bottom of your underwear and observe it’s consistency between your forefinger and thumb. Note the colour, appearance and consistency of the cervical mucus should be observed and recorded.
The other rows on your Fertility Awareness Chart will help both yourself and your Practitioner understand what else is happening in your cycle. Any experience of pain and/or emotional state can be scored out of ten (with 1 being very minor and 10 being very significant), then ‘tick’ the boxes for sexual desire, intercourse, menstruation and menstrual spotting where appropriate on any given day.
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