First up, let’s get things straight. I believe passionately, that learning how to chart your fertility with the fertility awareness method is the single most important step you can take if you’re trying to get pregnant – particularly if you’re having difficulty conceiving.
Not only can you essentially halve the time it takes to get pregnant, but your fertility charts can also be used as a powerful diagnostic tool to pick up potential fertility problems early on.
So why the title of this article then, which appears to be at odds with the ‘pro-charting’ message I usually promote? The simple explanation is that charting your fertility comes with a caveat. Understanding how to correctly chart your fertility and, even more importantly, how to correctly interpret what you’re charting, is absolutely imperative to making this valuable skill work for you, if you want to get pregnant faster.
To illustrate this important point, let me tell you about a client of mine, who inadvertently delayed getting pregnant, by simply misunderstanding her fertility charts.
Kathy (not her real name) came to see me after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for 18 months. Kathy was 34 years old and her husband was 36. Not helping their cause was the fact that the couple weren’t having sex very often. The pressure of ‘baby-making’ had taken the spontaneity and fun out of their sex life and feelings of anxiety meant that sex sometimes just ‘didn’t work’.
Kathy consoled herself, however, with the fact that they were having intercourse at least once during the time she understood she was fertile – around Day 14 of her cycle. In addition, Kathy’s cycles were very long, giving her fewer chances to conceive.
Kathy was keen to show me how she’d been charting her temperature on a popular fertility app and that she’d done this diligently for over a year. Her efforts had produced a number of nicely displayed temperature charts – but no pregnancy.
I was really impressed with Kathy’s commitment, but saddened by the fact that all this temperature charting had ended up being a waste of time; Kathy had completely misunderstood how her temperature related to her fertility. And as a consequence, the couple’s timing of sex had been way off!
Even more significantly, Kathy hadn’t realised the importance of observing and charting her cervical fluid. In fact, she’d neglected this vital fertility sign entirely. Kathy realised in retrospect, that during her fertile days over the previous months, her cervical fluid had been virtually screaming ‘peak-fertility!’ at her, but she’d missed these vital opportunities to conceive due to a basic lack of knowledge.
After I worked with her to ensure she had a complete and accurate understanding of the fertility awareness method and that she knew how to correctly interpret and apply her fertility charts, Kathy took just 3 cycles of well-timed intercourse to conceive.
Had she charted and interpreted her fertility signs correctly at the outset, the couple could have dramatically reduced the time it took them to get pregnant – possibly by a year or more!
Fertility Charting to get pregnant
Kathy’s situation isn’t uncommon. Many of my clients have already done some fertility charting before they come to see me, but despite some being relatively clued up on the topic, few couples actually know how to truly maximise the use of this information, in order to get pregnant faster.
When it’s used correctly, charting your fertility doesn’t just help you time sex optimally, but it also helps you recognise when there might be a problem that needs investigating. And this of course can save more valuable time.
By charting your fertility, you’ll quickly find out:
- if and when you’re ovulating
- when your peak fertile day or days are each menstrual cycle (often just 2 – 3 days each cycle)
- when you can relax and take a break from baby-making (which, actually, is most of the time!)
- if your luteal phase is long enough to get pregnant
- exactly when to expect your next period (great for those with irregular cycles!)
- if you might be pregnant
- if you’ve had an early miscarriage
- if you might have a fertility problem such as lack of ovulation, luteal phase defect, hormonal imbalances, repeat early miscarriage and more
Should you chart your fertility?
Charting your fertility is absolutely invaluable when it comes to getting pregnant. When it’s practised and applied correctly, fertility charting can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to conceive and provides numerous other benefits. But as we saw in Kathy’s case, simple mistakes and misunderstandings can undermine the potential of this wonderful tool.
So what’s the answer? Is it worth charting your fertility? Absolutely! Just ensure that you learn fertility awareness and fertility charting from an expert source, such as The Fast Track to Pregnancy Program™, a comprehensive textbook or a trained fertility educator.