To chart or not to chart
Charting your body basal temperature (our body temperature upon waking after 5 hours of undisturbed sleep) and cervical mucus whilst trying to conceive for some can be off-putting, time-consuming and stressful. I have lost count how many people have said “but isn’t it just best to wait until it happens naturally”. I guess this a fair point but I’m of the mindset that it is so so important in a lot of circumstances (even if it’s only for a few months).
I appreciate it is not for everyone but for me it was a necessity. After coming off the pill after 13 years and with conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS and an underactive thyroid, I needed to get back to basics. I looked at diet, nutrition and my current lifestyle. I needed to regain some control in a world where the doctors were somewhat unhelpful, dismissive and trying to get me to take drugs. I started listening to my body. I found it both empowering and fascinating.
It is so important to become in tune with our bodies. So many of us now have very busy, stressful jobs and just as hectic social lives. We just lose sight of our bodies and what they are trying to tell us and actually what they are telling us is a huge amount.
Charting our basal body temperature and cervical mucus can tell us so much about our hormonal health, particularly making sure the luteal phase (the phase after ovulation) is long enough for an egg to implant to sustain a pregnancy. A luteal phase of shorter than 10 days means the lining of the uterus starts coming away (what is recognised as a period) before the egg has travelled out of the fallopian tube into the uterine cavity to implant. There are plenty of options (without the need of medical intervention) out there to help with this luteal phase issue so don’t panic if yours is too short. I had a luteal phase of 8 days and managed to rectify this within 3 months.
I only recommend people chart for three months and then throw the thermometer and the charts away. 3 months should be enough time to really understand your natural cycle and pinpoint your fertile window and the best time to conceive.
By Katy Flello