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Charting Your Cycle

Fertility Massage And Charting Your Cycle

For your Fertility Massage session to have the most benefit, it's important for me, as your massage therapist, to know when you are about to ovulate. Typically, you should not have a fertility massage session any closer than two days prior to your anticipated ovulation day. So how do you accurately predict your ovulation day?

Knowing Your Cycle

Most women assume that their menstrual cycle should be 28 days long and that ovulation usually occurs on Day 14 of that cycle. This is not true. According to Toni Weschler, MPH in her book, Taking Charge of your Fertility, the truth is that menstrual cycles differ greatly among women and each woman individually. Cycles can average anywhere from 24 to 36 days in length. The notion that ovulation has to occur around day 14 has lead many couples to simply miss their ovulation day. They've been fertile..but their timing has been off.

Predicting Ovulation

Many couples rely on over the counter ovulation test strips to predict when ovulation may occur. Unfortunately, (and this is from personal experience), those test strips are not very accurate. In fact, they may be as much as a two days off. (Again, my own personal experience.) So how do you accurately predict your ovulation?

There are three great ways to predict your ovulation.

1. Charting you waking (basal body) temperature.

2. Checking your cervical fluid.

3. Checking your cervical position.

Charting Your Basal Temperature.

The following is from the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH. This is a great book and everyone with fertility challenges should pick up a copy.

A woman preovulatory waking temperatures typically range from about 97.0 to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit, with postovulatory temperatures rising to about 97.8 and higher. After ovulation, they will usually stay elevated until her next period, about 12 to 16 days later. If she were to become pregnant, they would remain high throughout her pregnancy.

 

Temperatures typically rise within a day or so after ovulation and are the result of the heat-inducing hormone, progesterone. Progesterone is released by the corpus luteum (the follicle that previously housed the egg before it burst out of the ovary). So usually, by definition, the rise in temperature signifies that ovulation has already occurred.

By charting your basal temperature, you begin to notice when you are more likely to ovulate. Again, when your temperature goes back up, you've already ovulated.

Checking Your Cervical Fluid

Unlike men who are fertile all the time, women are only fertile for a few days around ovulation. This is when a woman's cervical fluid changes to create a hospitable environment for the man's sperm. During each cycle the cervical fluid may be different, but the fluid will change the more the woman becomes fertile.

Characteristics Of Cervical Fluid

Right after your period, you may notice dryness around your vaginal opening, or perhaps the amount of moisture that you would feel if you touched the inside of your mouth. At this point, there is no cervical fluid.

After a few days, a more sticky fluid may developed. Some women describe it as similar to the paste or rubber cement we all used in school. This type of fluid is not wet.

A few days later you may notice a cold, creamy or lotion-like fluid around the vaginal opening. It may also be similar to skim milk in consistency. This change of cervical fluid to a more wet substance definitely indicates that the woman is nearing her most fertile stage of her cycle.

Now we're moving into the most fertile part of the cycle. Following the "skim milk" days, the cervical fluid should now look like raw egg white that is very slippery and may stretch between the fingers for several inches. It may be clear, yellow-, pink- or red-tinged, all signs of possible ovulatory bleeding. The slipperiness of this fluid indicates that you are now extremely fertile...so have fun and get "busy

Checking Cervical Position

A woman's cervix is usually firm and only becomes softer when she approaches ovulation. Also, it is normally low and closed, and only rises and opens in response to the high levels of estrogen around ovulation.

(For a more detailed description of fertility signs, please pick up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler, MPH.)