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  • Writer's pictureTam

Fertility Charting 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for Boosting Your Pregnancy Odds

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

A fertility chart for tracking ovulation with a basal body thermometer and pregnancy test lying next to it.

As a fertility juju educator, I get so many women in my DMs asking me “Tam…why can’t I get pregnant?” And the BIGGEST mistake I see happening with many of my juju mamas is:

  1. They don’t know how to track their cycles, so they have no idea when they're ovulating

  1. They are tracking their cycles, but they may be tracking the wrong things, or don’t know what to look for in their fertility charts

If you’re struggling to get pregnant, fertility charting is one of the most important things you can do to find success on your natural fertility journey.

Keeping a fertility chart can help you become more familiar with your cycle, learn when you are most fertile, and tap into any irregular patterns that could be preventing you from getting pregnant.

What is fertility charting?

Holistic Fertility Charting helps women and couples become more in tune with their natural cycles by charting the signs of ovulation to better understand when conception is most likely. When you’re ovulating, your body is ready to make a baby. In other words, by knowing exactly when that is, you’re a lot more likely to get pregnant.

But fertility charting can tell you a lot more than when you’re ovulating. By learning to track your cycle, you’re able to better understand your reproductive health as a whole. This is especially important for all my juju mamas struggling with irregular periods, or reproductive issues like PCOS.

How to get started with fertility charting

So what’s the secret to holistic fertility charting? It’s to find that magic 7 day window of ovulation! You can do that by using a combination of these three methods:

The Temperature Method

Because your temperature fluctuates throughout your cycle, recording your daily body temperature in a fertility tracking app or chart can give you insights into your hormone levels and help you accurately predict when you’ll start ovulating.

The Cervical Mucus Method

Check your cervical mucus daily and make note of the color, texture, and amount. Ovulation is characterized by wet, slippery mucus that looks and feels like raw egg whites. This method can help you tell when you’re ovulating, but it isn’t 100% reliable, as cervical mucus differs for every woman.

The Calendar Method

Track the length of your menstrual cycle by marking the first day of your period, and counting the number of days until your next one. The calendar method helps you familiarize yourself with the length of your menstrual cycle, but it doesn't give you accurate information about your hormone levels or ovulatory window.

For the most accurate way to predict ovulation, I recommend starting with the temperature method.

How to read your basal body temperature

  1. Make sure you purchase a basal body thermometer online or at your local drug store. Clinical thermometers aren’t accurate enough to track temperature changes associated with fertility.

  2. Starting the first day of your period, take your temperature each morning immediately after waking at the same time everyday. Since your body temperature rises by mid afternoon, early morning is best!

  3. Record your basal body temperature in your fertility chart or fertility tracking app.

What to look for in your fertility chart

A fertility chart may look complex, but once you understand the data it’s trying to tell you it’s actually pretty easy to read.

A basal body temperature fertility tracking chart with the ovulation date circled in red ink.

The most important thing to look for is your when your daily temperature starts to increase. Your temperature ranges from 97-97.5 degrees before ovulation, and 97.6-98.6 degrees after ovulation. Ovulation occurs the day before your temperature rises.

This change splits your chart into two sections: your pre-ovulatory phase and your post-ovulatory phase.

Your pre-ovulatory phase starts on day 1 of your cycle (the first day of your period) and lasts until the first day of ovulation. Estrogen levels are higher during the pre-ovulation phase, and peak just before ovulation.

Your post-ovulatory phase starts after ovulation and lasts until day one of your cycle. As progesterone levels increase, your body temperature will rise. If you’re pregnant, your temperature will remain high. If not, it’ll drop before the start of your next period.

If your cycle is regular, you should be able to see a pattern emerge after a few months of tracking similar to the photo above. Even if your cycle is irregular, tracking can help you see where those irregularities are, so you can make an informed decision about what to do next.

Best fertility charting apps

The easiest way to record your basal body temperature is with a fertility charting app. There are a lot of free apps online, but I suggest avoiding ones with fertility prediction features. These features sound great, but they are notoriously inaccurate and discourage you from learning to read your own chart.

You also want to choose apps that protect your privacy and do not collect or sell your data to third parties. Here are a few I recommend:

When it comes to fertility charting, practice makes perfect! I recommend tracking your basal body temperature for at least 6 months so you can learn how to interpret your chart.

Now that you understand how to track your cycle, it’s time to tap into the spiritual side of fertility! My fertility readings offer messages from your guides, ancestors, and spirit babies to help you dive deeper into what’s holding you back on your fertility journey. Learn more about my readings here.

Looking for more inspiration on your fertility tracking journey? Check out these dope fertility resources!

Read up on the 4 phases of your cycle in this blog post.

Learn my best lifestyle tips during your ovulatory phase in this blog post.

Get ALL the details of tracking your cycle in my H.O.E.listic Fertility Workbook. You’ll learn the QUICKEST and EASIEST way to know when you’re ovulating, plus my complete list of magick fertility herbs to help you get pregnant faster.

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