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January 21, 2011

Getting to know my body

While ultimately this is all done for baby preparation, I've recently begun on this journey to get to know my body better. After the episode of July with the irregular cycles, I started to use my menstrual app to chart things: Girly things... like spotting, periods, sexual activity, migraines, and other pms symptoms. Because I did this, I had an easy handy dandy reference when my ObGyn would ask me a question when the drama began a month ago.

I'm very Type A, as I mentioned before and I like to research things and be thorough... so I purchased a basal Temperature thermometer and began charting in December. I started this b/c I knew that it could help us on that fateful day when we decide "let's try for a baby" because by then (hopefully), I would know my body's cycle and be aware of the pattern it was in...and knowing is half the battle, right? I also assumed that with my previously jacked up cycle, it would take months for me to even see any clearly defined pattern. 

I didn't realize how helpful it would turn out to be until the episode of "pregnant for a day" turned up... and I realized that I'm doing things right. 
*one thing to note, the days where the temp is exact same were days I missed. I just added them in to try to fill in the blank.

Because i missed a few days, the ovulation date is either on the 30th or the 3rd or 4th. But this is the general chart. You will see the red dotted lines that indicate when ovulation occurred and that my temperature continued to increase and that on day 13, is when i had my first positive blood result. On the 18th, it dropped (the day the HCG levels Dropped) and on the 19th it plummeted indicating the pregnancy disappearing.

It is so interesting to me... Basically, as you chart, on the first day you see a spike that stays consistently high for about 3 days, the last day for the low temp is the day you ovulated. It's that Easy.  I mean its not, b/c there are any factors that can distort your numbers and change things, but in essence - that is what tracking your temperature can do.

Do i need all this info to survive? Not at all - but for my own sanity and my personality type, I love knowing that I can easily see things on a chart. And now that I'm in the habit of doing it, i find it interesting and intriguing to see what my body does and how my body temperature can reveal that. I'm not ready to do the cervical mucous stuff yet, so for now... bbt charting will have to do

I use the free version of and the Iphone App comes in handy.

Things I've learned:
1. Always take it at the same time in the morning before you do anything throughout that one cycle.
2. Make sure to get three hours of sleep (i was getting up to pee in the middle of the night, but i guess b/c that was consistent every night, it wasn't a changing factor)
3. Always chart it right away. I always forget the number by the time i wake up again (or if i let 5 minutes pass)
4. Denote if you had drank the night before or anything that changes your pattern, it helps to explain irregularities.
5. It may take months before you get it down.
6. The charting lessons from that are free ARE very helpful.

Have any of you tried this? Has it been helpful or hurtful? What has been your experience? Are you doing this solely for baby production, or has this also revealed getting in touch with your body as it did for me? What tools have you used to help you on this journey to get to know your body or to have a baby?


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  2. So great to see your post about charting. I've found that not many women are aware of this... and totally unaware how much they could know about their body. Like you, I just find it all interesting.

    Toni Weschler ( an excellent book called "Taking charge of Your Fertility" that goes into tremendous depth on all the ins and outs of fertility. Here's a link for the book:

    I began using these tools when my husband and I decided to avoid the chaos of hormonal birth control. I use a diaphragm, but also enjoying having the charting knowledge to know when we are free and clear to just have fun. :-)

  3. ... and it was also fun to know the info recently when I thought I was prego. Makes sense that I could get pregnant on ovulation day even if using BC. :-)

  4. WoW! I think I learned my "new" thing today!

  5. I have been charting for over a year now with 9 months of that being while trying to conceive. I am really glad I have been charting because I was able to identify issues. For example, why did I have a cycle that lasted NINETY DAYS followed by another that lasted sixty days? (Fortunately, my last two cycles have been around 35 days so maybe the horribly long cycles are over.)

    Lately, I have realized how stressed I have been and how routined everything is. So I decided to take a break. Now, I will take my temperature around when I think I am going to ovulate and then when I do, I stop again. It has been nice to not think about all that and just focus on having fun.

    Basically, what I am saying is it's awesome you are charting! But if it ever gets stressful, or you find yourself obsessing, try taking a break for a while.

  6. I've never tried this, but maybe I will when I'm ready to try for a baby. Honestly, I am not looking forward to going off my awesome three-month cycle pills. Having only four periods a year is awesome, and I can hardly even remember what it was like to have more than that. Actually, I can, and that's why I had to go on the three-month cycle. :)

  7. I haven't started charting yet. We are going to keep trying and having fun for a while but this is something to think about if we are not successful.


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