Wednesday, 3 April 2013

#atozchallenge - C is for Charting

When you’re trying for a baby, aside from the obvious, it feels like there’s not very much you can do to control when it’ll happen. But within the first few months of trying ‘seriously’ you pick up little things that you can do to get a better idea of what’s going on in your body.

One of these is known as ‘charting’. This basically involves taking your temperature each morning as soon as you wake up, before you get out of bed even, and plotting it on a little chart. This allows you to track any changes in your body temperature which is useful for working out exactly when ovulation occurs. When you ovulate your body temperature will raise slightly and when this shift occurs you can pinpoint the date of ovulation.

This can lead to a bit of fun first thing in the morning. Picture the scene: the alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button, reach for your glass of water for a swig to wet your dry mouth and then your hand brushes the thermometer. You fumble to remove it from its case, pop it in your mouth, wonder why it isn’t beeping, realise that you’ve not actually turned it on yet and press the magic button that brings it to life.

You start to doze again only to be woken up by the shrill beeping of the thermometer. Then you’ve got to try and read the numbers through your bleary eyes, if you’re sensible you’ll have turned the lamp on before you try doing this; if you’re lucky your thermometer will have a backlight on it. If you’re anything like me you’ll make a ‘mental note’ of the temperature, turn the thermometer off and then panic because you can’t remember if that was ‘.50’ or ‘.20’. Most thermometers will remember the last temperature when you turn them back on; if you’re anything like me, this will be a lifesaver.

Then is the fun bit of plotting it on the chart. I quite like doing this and joining all the lines up as the month goes on. It’s interesting to see when the shift occurs, particularly if you’re combining this method with others because it can really help to pinpoint the exact day. You can also use sites online like Fertility Friend to keep a record of your chart and get help analysing it.

I have to admit, I don’t do this anymore. Working shifts makes it tricky because you absolutely need to take your temperature at the same time every day to get reliable results. I’d end up having to set the alarm to go off at 5am even when I was on the late shift because that was when I’d taken my temperature at the beginning of the month. Plus, once you know why you’re not getting pregnant, knowing the best time to ‘try’ doesn’t really help much.

But it’s helped me to understand exactly what’s happening in my body each month, which is useful and it meant that I could provide important information to the fertility specialist we saw last year. And lots of people swear by it, so it’s definitely something worth trying if you think it’ll work for you.


  1. I found this especially moving, because my experience was a tough one as well. It took me years to get pregnant. The doctor said all test results were fine, stop stressing. Right, as it it's that easy. I took medicine, changed my diet, still nothing. Then, one day it just happened. I hope things turn out well for you. And I'm glad to have found your post on the A to Z list.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

    1. Glad to hear your experience had a happy ending. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by.


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