4 Ways to Chart Your Cycle for Pregnancy Preparation

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Having a baby is a life-changing commitment. Although many people feel that children do not have to change a couple or a parent’s life, the truth of the matter is, they always do.

How to Get Pregnant

Imagine how long it takes for a working mother to get ready for work every morning compared to a woman who does not have any children? How much work is involved for a mother or father going on a trip versus someone who doesn’t have figure out who will care for their children or how much to pack for them? How much extra would paying for diapers, clothes, bottles, formula, and other needs children may have, actually cost every month?

Many couples time their pregnancy due to the fears and questions they have concerning the care of children. Some couples find, however, that when they finally start trying to have one, they run into conflict regarding reasons as to why they are unable to have children right away.

I started wondering if my husband and I had problems conceiving after 6 months of trying. I followed a calendar, which gave me approximate fertility and ovulation dates. After 6 months, we visited our doctor and asked if there were alternative ways. The doctor explained that people have the perception that a woman’s fertile dates are usually 14 days after the first day of her period. In reality, a couple should be trying day 7 through day 14. The following month, my husband and I tried that exact period and finally got pregnant.

Many couples are not as fortunate as those who are able to have a baby the first time they start trying. If you do not fall into this category, you may need to consider charting your cycle. There are four ways you can do this:

1. Prepare an ovulation calendar

2. Track your basal body temperature

3. Check for any changes in your cervical mucous

4. Use an ovulation predictor kit

How to prepare your ovulation calendar

You should begin by purchasing or making a calendar that you will be able to access as frequently and as easily as possible.  Your first entry date should be the first day of your cycle (first day of your period).  Track the number of days your period lasts.  As mentioned above, the 14th is usually the “known” start day of ovulation for woman as cycles typically last for 28 days.  However, if you are unsure (as I was), you should talk to your doctor as they would know how to guide you in this matter the best.

Track your basal body temperature

An oral thermometer is usually sufficient in tracking your basal body temperature.  To be more accurate, you should purchase a thermometer that specifically measures basal body temperature.

Prepare a graph that states what your temperature is every morning as soon as you wake up.  The best patterns to look out for are the height of temperatures (usually between 0.4 to 0.7 F) approximately two or three days prior to the rise of your temperature.  These are the days you are typically most fertile.  The consistent days the temperatures have risen are usually your ovulation period.

Check for changes in your cervical mucus

Check for changes in your cervical mucus may be very difficult for some women.  Many don’t like the idea of having to check their own mucus and others feel they can’t distinguish the difference.

The first step is to stick your index finger as close to your cervix as possible.  Once you remove your finger, touch your thumb and stretch it about an inch or more apart.  If you notice it to be stretchy and looking very close to raw egg whites, then you are very close to your ovulation period.  This would be the ideal time for some love making.

Use an ovulation predictor kit

An ovulation kit allows you to check your best ovulation period through your urine sample.  It is best to review information regarding the ovulation kit itself prior to purchasing it.  These kits can be very expensive.  Some people prefer to try the first three options prior to the ovulation predictor kit.

Of course there are also couples who try to have a baby for a while (like my husband and I), but just get unlucky. Then one day, they completely forget about the stress of how to have a baby, completely enjoy themselves, and miraculously get pregnant!