Ovulation Test Chart: Everything You Should Know
It can be a misery if you do not know when you ovulate, especially when you’re trying to get pregnant. In fact, some months you may not ovulate, especially if you have abnormal or irregular periods (i.e., cycles that are more than 35 days long). It is therefore important that you monitor ovulation so that you can keep track of days when you are most likely to become pregnant – in other words, by keeping track of your fertility you will know when it’s the right time to have intercourse to increase your chance of getting pregnancy (or when to avoid it).
How then will you monitor your ovulation? There are several ways of doing it. One of these is the calendar method, also known as the rhythm method, where you count the days of your menstrual cycle. Another method is using an ovulation kit. These methods will help you determine whether you’re likely going to ovulate.
You can also use a basal thermometer to track ovulation. Contrary to an ovulation predictor that will tell you that you’ll ovulate soon, a basal thermometer will tell you that ovulation occurred. This is also helpful because it will help you know that you have ovulatory cycles. Besides, it will help you understand your cycles and prepare you physically and emotionally for the task of becoming pregnant.
What You Will Need
Before you actually start charting your basal body temperature, take time to learn about monitoring ovulation. While some people find basal body temperature (BBT) monitoring effective, some prefer other methods.
A basal thermometer can be bought in local drugstores. It is physically similar to a regular body thermometer. To measure your basal body temperature, insert the thermometer sensor in your mouth. Some women prefer to insert it in their armpit. The good thing is, it works both ways.
After getting the result, you must record the reading on a chart; note that some basal thermometers are sold with a chart to help you keep track of your temperature. In the absence of chart, you can use free online tools that permit you to document your readings. You do not need to enter your data immediately since many basal thermometers store your last readings. So, you can conveniently record your temperature whenever you get out of bed.
How to Chart Ovulation
Charting ovulation will help you pinpoint the time for intercourse, whether you wish to get pregnancy or not. You must start recording your basal body temperature from the first day of your period.
Every morning each day, record your basal body temperature before getting out of bed. After getting the result, note reading on the chart; you can also do it at some later time during the day if your BBT thermometer stores the last reading. Also, check your cervical mucus (appearance and consistency) and write down your observation. Do this every day until your next menstrual period.
After your first menstrual cycle, review and study your chart. Check the day that your cervical mucus had the feel and look of egg white. On that date, check your chart and study your body temperature on the prior three days. If you observe a shift in your body temperature, note what cycle day it was (the first day of your period is cycle day 1).
During your next menstrual cycle, chart your basal body temperature again. Study the chart and compare it with the previous one. It is best to chart a few months before comparing each chart to help pinpoint when you ovulate during your cycles.
You should be able to observe a pattern and determine when your fertility period. Say, on the first chart, you found a pattern on cycle day 16 to 19. On the second chart, you found the same pattern from cycle day 17 to 19 and a similar pattern on the third chart, that means cycles day 16 to 19 are the best days for you to have intercourse (when your chances of conception are highest)–or days you should avoid having intercourse if you’re not planning to get pregant.
If the patterns on your chart vary, try to identify the pattern where you had an increase in body temperature and excellent cervical mucus quality.
Remember that a rise in your basal temperature may not always mean you are ovulating. Several factors may affect your body temperature, such as fever, cold, flu, or the weather. When charting, keep these factors in mind.
You may also get inaccurate basal body temperature results if you do not have enough sleep. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also affect your body temperature. That said, strive to have enough sleep (at least six hours) when recording your basal body temp (not just on the first day of the period but throughout your menstrual cycle).
Also, always place the basal thermometer where you can reach it while still in the bed. Excessive movement can increase your body temperature and result in inaccurate basal body temperatures, though rarely.
The video below walks you through the process of detecting ovulation and your fertile days.
If this seems a little complex for you, you can always change to other methods. You can try using an ovulation predictor kit or a fertility monitor, which can be bought in drugstores or online stores such as Amazon and ebay.
If you’re able to identify your ovulation period, you’ll know the best time to pregnant (or avoid having intercourse or using a birth control method). You may begin having intercourse a few days before ovulation and continue through the three days of the ovulation period if you wish to get pregnant. It requires some time and patience to understand how your body functions.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time without success, it is best to consult your physician. Your physician will be able to determine whether you have an underlying medical condition that is preventing you from getting pregnant.