Get pregnant faster with the Fertility Awareness Method
- 1.5 hours on-demand video
- 16 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.Try Udemy for Business
- The fertility charting course is going to teach you how to identify exactly when you are fertile each cycle and about to ovulate so that you can time intercourse in your fertile window to maximize your chances of a pregnancy occurring.
ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO BECOME PREGNANT?
If you are trying to become pregnant naturally but the months are going by and you aren’t getting a positive pregnancy test, if you are feeling frustrated, anxious and fearful that you are running out of time, or that you might never become pregnant, then this message is just for you.
I have a proven method that will help you precisely pinpoint those crucial 3 days in your cycle when you are fertile and ovulating so that you can time intercourse at exactly the right time and easily and quickly become pregnant.
And you need to realise, that there is a cost to not doing this.
IF YOU ARE ALWAYS MISSING THOSE IMPORTANT 3 DAYS WHEN YOU ARE FERTILE AND OVULATING, YOU SIMPLY WON’T BECOME PREGNANT.
What most people do when they aren’t becoming pregnant is to have intercourse on or around day 14, use ovulation prediction kits or devices, have intercourse every second day or track their cervical fluid.
But for most people, none of that works.
Many couples are having intercourse at the wrong time in their cycle month after month missing that narrow 24-hour window when the egg can be fertilized.
Many couples incorrectly time intercourse around day 14 or in the middle of their cycle, when in fact ovulation is occurring much earlier or later in the cycle.
Women rely on but don’t realise that ovulation prediction kits are notoriously inaccurate.
Intercourse every second day soon becomes tiring and unsustainable.
Cervical fluid only tells part of the story and needs to be combined with basal body temperature results to get an accurate picture of your fertility status.
So what happens if you do nothing? If you just keep doing what you’ve been doing? You could continue to go month after month without becoming pregnant because you are missing your fertile window every cycle and you don’t know when (or even if), you are ovulating.
HOW THE FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD CAN HELP YOU PINPOINT EXACTLY WHEN YOU ARE FERTILE AND OVULATING IN EACH CYCLE SO THAT YOU CAN BECOME PREGNANT EASILY AND QUICKLY.
I’ve got an answer that works. Here’s the story.
I remember when I myself was taught the fertility awareness method.
I found it remarkable that a woman’s body could tell her very clearly when she was fertile and ovulating, no guessing required, no ovulation prediction kits necessary and all that was required was to track a couple of fertility signs each day and then time intercourse at the right time to become pregnant.
It was such a simple, easy, proven and effective method that I knew that every woman trying to become pregnant MUST learn this method to help them properly understand their bodies so that they could become pregnant.
As I started teaching it, pregnancy rates amongst my clients started to skyrocket.
IT WORKED FOR THEM AND IT WILL WORK FOR YOU.
Here’s what the Fertility Awareness Method did for me.
I myself struggled with infertility for over 10 years and using the fertility awareness method helped me identify those 3 days in my cycle when I was fertile and where intercourse was most likely going to result in a pregnancy…helped me pinpoint exactly when I ovulated in a cycle…..helped me know when I didn’t ovulate in a cycle and therefore couldn’t be pregnant…… helped me identify if my luteal phase was long enough for implantation of a fertilised egg to occur……helped me to identify if I had a luteal phase defect….helped me find out if my hormones were balanced and my body was working properly to enable a pregnancy to occur.
And it's not just me. Here is what the Fertility Awareness Method has done for others.
“The Fertility Awareness Method helped me to understand my body and figure out my cycles and what they meant. I had assumed I ovulated towards the middle of my cycle because that is what ovulation prediction tests indicated, but I found out by using the Fertility Awareness Method that I ovulated early on in my cycle which was surprising. From then on it was a matter of having intercourse around my fertile timeframe and I was pregnant naturally within three months".
“My husband and I started to panic when we hit month 8 and we still weren’t pregnant. I had assumed that I was ovulating because I knew to look for fertile cervical fluid each cycle, I was using ovulation prediction kits and my cycles were regular. After charting for a few months and tracking my basal body temperature it became clear that I wasn’t ovulating at all, which explained why I wasn’t becoming pregnant. I was then able to get treatment for anovulatory cycles and went on to become pregnant. Without learning the Fertility Awareness Method we would have just kept going around in circles and making assumptions with no results, probably ending up having expensive IVF.”
FINALLY, IT’S YOUR TURN
When you enrol to learn the Fertility Awareness Method, you’ll become pregnant more quickly and easily because:
You will know exactly when you are entering your fertile window in each cycle so that you can start to time intercourse to coincide with when you are most fertile.
Be clear on exactly when you ovulated in a cycle so you can check that you correctly timed intercourse around this time.
Know whether your luteal phase is long enough for implantation of a fertilised egg to occur.
Know whether you are producing fertile cervical fluid.
Know with certainty whether you are ovulating or not.
Know if your hormones are balanced, and your cycles are ovulatory and fertile.
It all comes as part of this online program called ‘Get pregnant faster with the fertility awareness method'.
And you are 100% safe to try this out. That’s all I’m suggesting. Just try it to see if it is helpful for you. If it is, you’ll be delighted – and I think that’s what’s about to happen. You are going learn how to understand and work with your body to become pregnant more quickly and easily. If for some reason you’re not delighted with what you learn in this program. If you don’t find it useful to know how to pinpoint those crucial 3 days in your cycle when you are fertile and ovulating so that you can time intercourse correctly and easily and quickly become pregnant, then you get all your money back.
IT’S DECISION TIME.
You have a choice to make.
Do what you have been doing (or worse, do nothing at all). You know where that will lead. Is that really where you want to go?
Take a new action and get a new result. Finally get clarity on when you are most fertile and ovulating in a cycle so that you can time intercourse exactly around your most fertile time to become pregnant.
Which do you really want for yourself?
Here’s what to do now.
Join my course to learn The Fertility Awareness Method and get started on the path towards a positive pregnancy test.
ARTICLE - Study show lack of fertility awareness possible cause of infertility - by Dalene Barton
Surprising results of a recent study by Monash University in Melbourne Australia, showed that only 13 percent of women seeking fertility assistance, could accurately identify the most fertile time in their menstrual cycle. Is it possible that poor fertility knowledge could be a key factor in cases of infertility?
It seems rather silly, but fertility awareness is often overlooked as a contributing factor in an infertile woman’s struggle to become pregnant naturally.
The study, published in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing, surveyed 204 infertile women seeking Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Of those 204 women, 68% believed they timed intercourse during their most fertile times each cycle, but really only 13% knew how to accurately identify their most fertile times – optimizing natural conception. Results clearly show that proper fertility awareness education is needed.
According to Kerry Hampton, from Monash University’s Department of General Practice, “Fertility education should be a fundamental part of pre-conception care, and the primary care of couples when they first report difficulty conceiving.”
“Accurately timed intercourse on fertile days of the menstrual cycle may reduce the time it takes a couple to get pregnant, helping some to avoid unnecessary ART treatment,” Ms Hampton said.
I couldn’t agree with Ms Hampton more. I review many fertility charts each week and often see couples trying for a baby on the wrong day. Knowing the natural rhythm of your personal menstrual cycle, it’s intricacies and noting changes is something we all should be brought up knowing. The sad truth is, that most women don’t and never will. The more you know about how your menstrual cycle works, the more likely you are to conceive and also verify a potential fertility problem. Fertility Charting is one of the best tools a woman can have to achieve pregnancy naturally!
Learn to Chart Your Menstrual Cycle
The first thing a couple should do if they are struggling to get pregnant is to learn the female partner’s most fertile time each cycle. You have a 6-day window to get pregnant, with only 2 peak days. Begin trying to conceive 3 days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation. If your male partner has low sperm count or poor sperm health, try to have sex only the day of ovulation. Abstaining from sexual intercourse for the days prior to ovulation will help to build up his sperm count. Charting helps you to know if and when ovulation may occur, which will help you to know when to try to conceive.
See you on the inside.
The Natural Fertility Coach
- This course is for women who are wanting to become pregnant in the future or who are currently trying to become pregnant. This course will help you understand your body and cycle so that you can maximise your chances of conceiving in a given cycle.
How knowing about your fertile window could help you become pregnant easily and quickly
Did you know that there are only a few days in your cycle that you can become pregnant?
It’s a fact. In each menstrual cycle there are just a few days that make up your fertile window when having intercourse is most likely to result in you becoming pregnant.
Charting your fertility by using the Fertility Awareness Method is an effective way to help you identify your fertile window, or those day in your cycle when intercourse is most likely to result in a pregnancy.
Study finds a lack of fertility awareness could be a cause of infertility
A study published in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing surveyed 204 infertile women who were seeking Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to help them become pregnant.
Of those 204 women, 68% believed they successfully timed intercourse during their most fertile time each cycle. However, only 13% knew how to accurately identify their most fertile time to optimize a natural conception. This means that 87% of couples did not know how to identify their most fertile time.
Results of this study indicate that proper fertility awareness education is needed.
Knowing about your fertile window will increase your chances of becoming pregnant
If you know when your fertile window is in each cycle and time intercourse during your fertile window, you have a much higher chance of becoming pregnant compared to those who are unaware of their most fertile time in their cycle.
You probably aren’t ovulating on day 14
You may have been told or perhaps assume that you ovulate or are most fertile on or around day 14 of your menstrual cycle.
This assumption is based on broad averages that may not be true for you even if your cycles are regular and exactly 28 days.
How your body tells you that you are fertile or ovulating
When you chart your fertility, you observe and record your body’s natural fertility signs which help you to identify your fertile window.
Your body provides you with so many clues that tell you about your fertility status throughout your cycle.
These fertility signs include your:
1. Basal body temperature (BBT) which rises after you ovulate; and
2. your cervical fluid which becomes increasingly wet, clear and stretchy like egg white as you approach ovulation.
There are 6 days in a cycle that you can become pregnant
The days when you are most likely to become pregnant are the days just before and on the day you ovulate.
Human sperm can live for up to 5 days. You egg can live for up to one day.
This means your fertile window is at most six days made up of the five days before you ovulate and the day you ovulate.
But pregnancy is most likely to occur on just three days of your cycle
Though a pregnancy is possible during your entire six-day fertile window, most pregnancies result from having intercourse in the two days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation.
So, this makes for a fertile window of just three days in each cycle made up of the 2 days before you ovulate and the actual day of ovulation.
How fertility charting will help you find your fertile window
Your own fertility pattern and chart will be unique to you. Charting your fertility is going to help you identify your unique cycle pattern and find the days in your cycle that are your fertile window and when you are most likely to become pregnant.
When should you be having intercourse to become pregnant?
To improve your chances of becoming pregnant it is recommended that you have intercourse every day or at least every second day during your fertile window until you see a clear and sustained thermal shift (or a rise in your basal body temperature) on your chart.
Timing crucial in achieving pregnancy. (n.d.). Source: https://www.monash.edu/news/articles/timing-crucial-in-achieving-pregnancy
In this activity I would like you to start to observe your cervical fluid every time that you go to the bathroom. Either observe it on your underwear or on the toilet paper after you wipe, or you can collect some from about 1cm inside your vagina on your finger and examine it. This is so that you start to become familiar with the different types of cervical fluid and what they mean.
In this activity continue to check your cervical fluid each time you go to the bathroom. You might want to start writing down your observations so that you can start to identify where in your cycle you might be, either a fertile or non-fertile stage.
Basal body temperature and ovulation
After ovulation, the corpus luteum (the remains of the follicle that released the ovum or egg at ovulation), produces the heat-inducing hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes your resting body temperature to rise after ovulation. Because progesterone is only secreted in high amounts after ovulation has occurred, it is possible to pinpoint ovulation as occurring on the day before your temperature rises when your temperatures are plotted on a graph.
A fertility chart that shows ovulation detected by a rise in basal body temperature (BBT) will have a biphasic pattern. This means that your chart will show lower temperatures before ovulation, a rise in temperature (thermal shift) and then higher temperatures after ovulation.
Ovulation usually occurs on the last day of lower temperatures.
The rise in temperature is usually about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.2 degrees Celsius, but the rise may be as slight as 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.1 degrees Celsius or even less in some cases. The actual temperatures are less important than noting a biphasic pattern showing two levels of temperatures.
So, to summarise a biphasic chart pattern will show low temperatures before ovulation, ovulation occurring and then higher temperatures after ovulation.
Basal body temperature and ovulation
Your basal body temperature is your body temperature at rest as measured in the morning, after at least three hours of sleep and before you get up measure using a special basal body temperature thermometer.
Your temperature sign is the sign that will best help you to precisely pinpoint the day that ovulation occurred. This is because progesterone, and hence your temperature, increases quite dramatically just after ovulation has taken place.
The rise in your basal body temperature is the only sign that that you can observe on your own that can confirm that ovulation occurred. All the other signs (including OPK’s) only tell you that ovulation may be approaching.
If there is no pregnancy, your temperature will stay elevated for 10 to 16 days, until the corpus luteum regresses. Unless there is a pregnancy, progesterone levels drop dramatically, and you get your period. Your temperature normally drops as well, though it is not unusual to have erratic or high temperatures during your period.
Temperature shift and conception/pregnancy
Your basal body temperature rise can tell you when you have ovulated, but it will not tell when you are most fertile in a current cycle. This is because your fertile days are the 2 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation (your fertile window).
Once your basal body temperature has shifted, it is too late to conceive in that cycle as the fertile time has already passed. So, while measuring your basal body temperature can help to pinpoint or confirm ovulation, it is important to observe this sign in conjunction with other signs as well, particularly your cervical fluid (to identify your fertile window). Observing multiple signs allows for cross-checking in the case that one sign is ambiguous or affected by other factors.
In this activity we are going to have a look at some charts that show a visual representation of a basal body temperature rise as well as a biphasic pattern of lower temperatures before ovulation and higher temperatures after ovulation.
Understanding your secondary fertility signs
In addition to the primary fertility signs that may be checked (your basal body temperature and your cervical fluid), secondary fertility signs may also provide insight into your fertility status.
Secondary signs include:
• Ovulation pain
• Breast tenderness
• Sex drive changes
• Abdominal pain
• Vulvar swelling
• Lower back pain
• Intermenstrual bleeding or spotting
• Complexion changes
• Anything else that you can associate with your cycle phases.
Secondary fertility signs can vary from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle and so they cannot be used to definitively identify and pinpoint your fertile window and ovulation.
They are useful for noting your own unique pattern and for cross-checking with your primary signs.
You may or may not notice additional fertility signs so don’t worry if you do not experience or cannot identify additional fertility signs.
Introduction to charting
To get started charting your fertility signs, you need a basal body thermometer (the package will say "basal" or "fertility" thermometer).
A fertility chart, like your menstrual cycle, starts on cycle day 1. Cycle day 1 is the first day of your period this is full red flow that requires a pad or tampon, not spotting.
The essential signs to check for and record on your chart are:
Your cervical fluid. The type that you had most of that day
Your basal body temperature
The time you took your temperature
When you have intercourse
When you have menstrual bleeding or your period
Anything else that might help you interpret your chart – travel, lack of sleep, sickness etc
Your primary fertility signs are your cervical fluid and your basal body temperature (BBT). These are the signs that you must track and record to get a reliable interpretation of your body’s fertility status.
Your secondary fertility signs include results from kits and devices (if you use them) and other personal observations which can help offer added insight into chart interpretation but mustn’t be relied on as they are not always reliable or accurate.
Checking your primary fertility signs
Basal Body Temperature: Your basal body temperature must be taken when you wake up in the morning using your basal body thermometer.
Cervical fluid: You can easily observe your cervical fluid when you go to the bathroom and wipe or you may feel sensations such as dryness or wetness as you go about your day.
Your basal body temperature rises after ovulation due to increased progesterone (a hormone) in your bloodstream.
Your cervical fluid is the fluid that is produced by your cervix as ovulation is approaching. You can see and feel it in or outside your vagina. Cervical fluid changes throughout your cycle depending on your fertility status. It becomes watery and stretchy, like raw egg white when you are most fertile just before you ovulate.
Taking note of these observations and recording them in your chart will provide the information you need to help time intercourse appropriately during your fertile window to become pregnant and see when (and sometimes if), you ovulated each month.
Secondary fertility signs can add extra insight and help to cross-check the interpretation from your primary fertility signs, but they mustn’t be relied on.
For this activity please find either an APP that you would like to use (Fertility Friend, Period Track, Ovia) to chart your fertility or download the manual chart below. Start charting wherever you are in your cycle to start to learn what to do. Don't aim for perfection initially, with time you will get better at charting and it will make more sense.
How to record your cervical fluid
The best way to check your cervical fluid is to make observations when you go to the bathroom. When you wipe you can note what, if anything, you see on the bathroom tissue. This will soon become a habit and you will find yourself noticing your cervical fluid every time you go to the bathroom.
Remember to avoid checking your cervical fluid just before or after intercourse as arousal and seminal fluids will skew your observations.
Things to notice when checking your cervical fluid include:
• Does your vagina feel wet or dry?
• Is there any cervical fluid on the tissue?
• How does it look?
• What colour is it?
• What consistency is it?
• How much is there?
• How does it feel when you touch it?
• Can you stretch it between your thumb and index finger?
If you are using an APP it might specify the recording terminology that you must use, otherwise you can use the convention below to record your cervical fluid types:
• Dry: Record your cervical fluid as ‘dry’ if you have no cervical fluid present at all or if you notice no cervical fluid in your underwear and if the outside of your vagina feels dry. You can expect to see dry days both after your period, before ovulation and after ovulation occurs.
• Sticky: Record your cervical fluid as ‘sticky’ if it is glue-like, gummy, stiff or crumbly and if it breaks easily and quickly and if it is not easily stretched. It will probably be yellowish or white but could also be cloudy or clear.
• Creamy: Record your cervical fluid as ‘creamy’ if it is like hand lotion, white or yellow or cloudy or clear or has a consistency like milk or cream. It may stretch slightly but not very much and will break easily.
• Watery: Record ‘watery’ if your cervical fluid is clear and resembles water. This cervical fluid is considered fertile and this may be your most fertile cervical fluid, or you may get it before you get egg white cervical fluid, or you may not get this type of cervical fluid at all.
• Egg white: This is your most fertile cervical fluid. Record ‘egg white’ if your cervical fluid looks at all like raw egg white, is stretchy and clear, or clear tinged with white, or even clear tinged with pink. You should be able to stretch it between your thumb and index finger.
• Spotting: Record ‘spotting’ when you have any pink or dark red/brown spots that leave a small mark on your underwear or panty liner or that you only see when you wipe. If it does not require a pad or tampon, record it as spotting rather than your period. You may see spotting before or after your period, around the time of ovulation or around the time of implantation if you are pregnant. Do not start a new chart when you are spotting start a new chart (cycle day 1) when you have full red flow.
Menses: When you record "menses" (period, menstruation) you can choose light, normal and heavy. Always start a new chart on your first day of menses. That is the first day that you have red blood flow that requires a pad or tampon. This is cycle day one.
The following factors may impact cervical fluid patterns and should be noted on your chart when possible:
Medications such as antihistamines and diuretics
Some fertility medications, tranquilizers, antibiotics, expectorants and perhaps other medications – check with your doctor
Herbs (always ask your doctor before taking herbs or supplements while trying to conceive) and vitamins/minerals.
A vaginal infection or sexually transmitted disease
Delayed ovulation can cause multiple cervical fluid patches
Being overweight can cause increased cervical fluid
Arousal fluid can be mistaken for egg white cervical fluid.
Semen residue can be mistaken for egg white cervical fluid
Lubricants (most are not recommended when trying to conceive as they can be hostile to sperm and contain spermicides that kill sperm).
Decreased ovarian function
Just stopping birth control pills.
How to take and record your basal body temperature (BBT)
It is important to use an accurate digital BBT thermometer. Choose a digital BBT thermometer that gives a quick reading, beeps when it is finished recording the temperature and is easy to read. This can make a difference when you are bleary-eyed first thing in the morning.
Ideally your thermometer will also store your reading for you, though it is recommended you record your temperature in your chart straight away.
It is best if you can establish a routine where you enter your data at the same time every day just to form the habit so you will not forget. This is because missing data, especially temperature data can skew the interpretation of your chart. Once a routine is established, taking and recording your temperature will probably start to feel as habitual as brushing your teeth.
Your temperature data will be most reliable if you follow these guidelines. Not following these guidelines may make your chart difficult to read and may make detecting ovulation more difficult.
• Take your temperature before getting up in the morning as any activity can raise your BBT.
• Take your temperature at the same time every morning.
• Take your temperature after at least three consecutive hours of sleep.
• Keep your thermometer accessible and near your bed so you do not have to get up to get it.
• Use the same thermometer throughout your cycle if possible. If it breaks or the battery runs out and you use a new one, make a note of it on your chart.
• Record your temperature straight after you take it.
• If you must use a heating pad or electric blanket, keep it at the same setting throughout your cycle. Make a note of its use.
• Take your temperature before doing anything else including eating, drinking or going to the bathroom. If circumstances arise that prevent you from taking your temperature right away, take it as soon as you are able and make a note of the circumstances.
• If you have special circumstances on a temporary or an ongoing basis and you are unable to follow all the above guidelines, keep taking your temperature anyway following the guidelines as closely as possible. Make a note of your special circumstances.
• Enter your temperature and always record the time you took it on your data entry page. The time you took your temperature is also important for the analysis.
Factors that influence your BBT
There are certain factors that can influence your basal body temperature. These should be noted on your chart.
• Fever, illness and infections (even those that do not produce a fever), cold and a sore throat
• Drugs and medications
• Alcohol (especially in large quantities, though all alcohol consumption should be recorded) and smoking
• Emotional stress, physical stress and excitement
• Sleep disturbances (insomnia, night-waking, upsetting dreams, poor sleep) and change in waking time
• Jet lag and travel
• Change of climate
• Use of electric blanket and change of room temperature
It is not unusual to have a chart that does not match the ideal textbook pattern. Your chart can still be very ‘normal’ and not fit the ideal.
Some women will only occasionally have an unusual cycle, while others will rarely see an ideal chart pattern. A bit of extra flexibility is required to interpret charts that do not have textbook patterns, but it is usually still possible to identify your ovulation date and analyse a chart that does not match the ideal.
Charting multiple fertility signs is important to interpret ambiguous charts because you can "cross-check". There are several ways that your chart may differ from the ideal pattern.
Slow sloping rise – your temperature may rise in a slow or gradual rise rather than an abrupt shift.
Fall-back rise – your temperature rises as it should and then there will be an abrupt dip at some point before it returns to rising again.
Sawtooth rise – temperatures rise, fall slightly and then rise again in a zigzag type pattern.
Staircase rise – the line may resemble a staircase.
Erratic temperatures – you may have temperatures that are all over the place.
Out of place temperatures – you may have a temperature that is abnormally higher or lower than the temperatures around it.
High temperatures during period are common.
Erratic temperatures during period are common.
You may get a dip before ovulation.
Keep charting and you will become familiar with your unique patterns of fertility. If both your primary and second fertility signs indicate you were fertile and that you ovulated and you timed intercourse to coincide with that time, you are on the right track!
There are no absolute signs that will indicate pregnancy with certainty or rule it out until you can reliably take a pregnancy test or until you get your period. All kinds of ovulation patterns can turn into pregnancy charts if there is well-timed intercourse. Your chart does not need to show any kind of ovulation pattern or post-ovulation pattern for you to be pregnant.
If you get to 18 days past ovulation with high temperatures and no sign of your period, you are most likely pregnant.
Some characteristics of pregnancy charts
Your intercourse pattern shows you had intercourse within your fertile window (the two days prior to and on the day of ovulation).
Your chart clearly shows ovulation occurred evidenced by a rise in basal body temperature and a biphasic pattern.
Your temperatures stay elevated beyond the usual luteal phase length.
Your chart may show a temperature dip around 7 to 10 days past ovulation.
Your chart may have spotting recorded when implantation is expected to occur (which is about 7 to 10 days past ovulation).
Temperatures may show a triphasic pattern. Your temperatures rise to a third higher level that is sustained around 7 to 10 days past ovulation.
You get a positive pregnancy test.
Your hormones and fertility signs
Each of the fertility signals that you observe when you chart your fertility corresponds to a hormonal process and the presence of hormones in your bloodstream. Oestrogen, luteinizing hormone and progesterone are the hormones that are responsible for the signals you observe when charting your fertility signs.
Oestrogen is high before ovulation and dominates the pre-ovulatory, follicular phase of your cycle (the days from the end of your period through to just before you ovulate).
Oestrogen does the following:
1. Builds up your endometrium so that a fertilized egg can find nourishment and implant. Your endometrium is the lining of your uterus which you shed each month as a period if you are not pregnant.
2. Produces your cervical fluid which is necessary for guiding and nourishing the sperm on its travels to your fallopian tubes where your egg may be fertilized.
3. Causes your cervix to soften and open so that the sperm may enter and reach your fallopian tube for fertilization.
4. Oestrogen signals the release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which is needed to trigger ovulation.
Luteinizing Hormone peaks before ovulation and is the hormone responsible for triggering the rupture of the ovarian sac that releases the egg at ovulation.
Progesterone is high after ovulation and during pregnancy it dominates the post-ovulatory, luteal phase of your cycle (the time from post ovulation until you get your period).
After ovulation, progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum (the remains of the ovarian follicle that houses your ovum or egg after ovulation) and is present in dramatically higher amounts.
Progesterone plays the following roles:
1. Makes the lining of your uterus soft and spongy so that your fertilized egg can latch onto it and implant.
2. Causes your basal body temperature to rise after ovulation so that it can be measured with a BBT thermometer.
3. Is needed to support and sustain a pregnancy.
4. Causes your BBT to stay elevated throughout pregnancy.
You don't have to be seeing a fertility specialist or GP if you want to have your hormones tested. If your cycles indicate that there may be a hormone imbalance or that you aren't ovulating, you can arrange to have testing done via an online provider.
If you are based in Australia and you want to order hormone or fertility tests you can do so yourself online. If you want to find out more, please email me email@example.com
Top of the diagram - shows the phase of your cycle - menses/period, the follicular phase, ovulation and then the luteal phase.
Middle of the diagram - shows your ovarian follicle (releases oestrogen), the ovulation whereby your egg is released followed by the casing called the corpus luteum (releases progesterone).
Bottom diagram - shows a period then your endometrium building up throughout your cycle.
All about ovulation
Detecting ovulation allows you to find out the following:
1. If intercourse was well-timed around your fertile window for a conception to occur.
2. If you can stop having ‘baby-making’ intercourse which may be more intentional, planned and frequent.
3. The length of your luteal phase. That is the 2nd half of your cycle after you ovulate. The length of this phase needs to be long enough for a fertilised egg to have enough time to properly implant. If your luteal phase is too short, then you will get a period before implantation can occur.
4. When to expect your period or a positive pregnancy test result.
What is ovulation
Ovulation is the release of a mature egg or ovum from the ovarian follicle. Each menstrual cycle, several ovarian follicles begin to mature and develop under the influence of pituitary hormones. Usually only one follicle develops fully. While the other follicles recede, this dominant follicle produces an egg which is released at ovulation ready to be fertilized. This growing follicle secretes increasing amounts of the hormone oestrogen. Following peak estrogen production, there is a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH). The LH surge triggers the release of the mature egg from its follicle and this is ovulation!
Once you have ovulated your egg is picked up by one of your fallopian tubes and begins to travel towards your uterus via the fallopian tube.
The follicle that released your egg becomes known as the corpus luteum after ovulation and begins to secrete the heat inducing hormone progesterone which causes your basal body temperature to rise.
The lifespan of your egg after ovulation is only 12 to 24 hours (one day), maybe even less. Fertilization must take place within that 12 to 24-hour time frame. After this time frame, the egg begins to degenerate and is no longer capable of being fertilized. This seems like a short window of time for conception to take place but remember that sperm can lie waiting in your body for up to 5 days prior to ovulation. So, the days before ovulation occurs are considered fertile days if you time intercourse around that time so that you have sperm waiting in your reproduction track ready for ovulation to occur.
Ovulation and the cycle phases
Ovulation is the event that defines the phases of the menstrual cycle. The phase before ovulation, when the ovarian follicles are developing is called the follicular phase. The phase after ovulation is called the luteal phase.
The length of the follicular phase may vary, but the luteal phase length is generally constant from cycle to cycle for the same woman, lasting 10 to 16 days. When cycles are irregular, it is usually because ovulation occurred earlier or later than usual. Knowing when ovulation occurred allows you to see if intercourse was well-timed in the fertile window for conception and helps you determine your luteal phase length. Knowing your luteal phase length tells you when to expect your period or a positive pregnancy test result.
When does ovulation occur?
Ovulation takes place about two weeks before your period, though it can vary from 10 to 16 days before the onset of menstruation depending on the length of your luteal phase. During a ‘textbook’ 28-day cycle, ovulation is usually expected to take place between cycle days 13 to 15. Based on this guideline, many women expect ovulation to occur around day 14 of their menstrual cycle. Many women, however, do not have average cycles and even those who usually do have regular cycle can see irregularities from time to time, so do not assume you will ovulate on or around day 14.
Your ovulation date and your fertile window can be detected by charting your fertility signs. Your body produce signals that tells you that ovulation is approaching and when ovulation has passed.
Fertility signs that indicate that oestrogen levels are high and ovulation is approaching and that you are fertile include observing increasingly stretchy and "egg white" cervical fluid and observing a high, soft and open cervix.
Commercial devices such as ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) and fertility monitors can also tell you that ovulation is approaching by measuring the presence of oestrogen or luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine.
Charting your basal body temperature (BBT) allows you to pinpoint the day of ovulation and tells you when ovulation has passed because progesterone raises the basal body temperature after ovulation.
Devices and tests for measuring fertility status
Devices such as saliva microscopes and ovulation prediction kids can give you secondary clues about your fertility status that can complement the observations you make from your primary fertility signs (your cervical fluid observations and BBT recordings). Remember that no device or kit that you can use at home can pinpoint ovulation as well as charting your basal body temperature data can.
Saliva microscopes are used to indicate how close you are to ovulating. They work by measuring the effect of oestrogen in your saliva or cervical fluid. When oestrogen levels are high when ovulation is approaching a saliva microscopes shows a ‘ferning’ pattern.
If you use a saliva microscope you can record no ferning, partial ferning or full ferning on your chart.
Ovulation prediction kits
Ovulation prediction kids or OPK’s are useful to help you find your fertile window. They work by measuring the presence of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine which surges about 24 hours before ovulation. An OPK is therefore expected to be positive the day before you ovulate.
It is important to be aware that OPK’s only tell you that you might ovulate, not that you have ovulated.
You must test every day from before you expect to be fertile so that you don’t miss the surge. If you test too late, you may miss the surge. Your first positive OPK result probably means that you are about to ovulate. You can only confirm that you have ovulated by referring to your chart and noting a rise in your basal body temperature.
Do not rely exclusively on OPK results to time intercourse as you may not see an LH surge (positive OPK), even though you may be fertile.
Recording your OPK results
Record your OPK results on your chart as positive if the test line is as dark as or darker than the control line.
Record your results on your chart as negative if the test line is lighter than the control line.
For fertility monitors and OPKs which measure both estrogen and LH record – low, high or peak.