Fertility awareness. Let’s throw this one out there to start. How proactive are you about your fertility?
In an age where you can track the movements of your loved ones on a phone app, get a detailed daily breakdown of your screen time at a glance and monitor the number of steps you’ve taken on your Apple Watch – it’s high time we gave the same attention to tracking our fertility.
Fertility tracking is not a new concept. It’s been around for eons; in fact the rhythm method was once-upon-a-time promoted as a ‘natural’ method of avoiding pregnancy. But the truth is that the benefits of fertility tracking are well documented.
How often are we told to ‘listen to our bodies’? But what does that actually mean in terms of your fertility?
In a nutshell, fertility awareness involves identifying that golden window of opportunity of fruitfulness. That briefest of moments when we are locked, cocked and ready to rock!
Because guess what? Despite the general assumption, we don’t spend the majority of our cycle walking around in a heightened state of fertility. The harsh reality is we are only actually capable of getting pregnant during a general five day opening around ovulation.
Tight schedule. Sort of like timing your walk through a revolving door. It’s simple enough in theory, but it gets complicated when you’re carrying bags (think jobs, children, social engagements, stress) and that gap suddenly becomes a lot narrower.
The benefits of fertility tracking go way beyond just increasing your chances of getting pregnant. Check out these three benefits to tracking your fertility:
We are all different to some degree, but once you start charting your cycles, you’ll get to know what is ‘your right’. Understanding how your menstrual cycle works for you can alert you not only to potential fertility problems but can give an indication of your overall health.
Not knowing where you stand with your fertility can be stressful, isolating and demoralising. By tracking your fertility and taking control, you can alleviate some of these mental pressures. Organise fun times with friends during the ‘non-fertile’ period on the calendar…and plan for romantic evenings in (or away) during the fertile window.
Ideally, tracking fertility will result in the outcome you most desire. But if it doesn’t, getting to know the stages of your cycle and what a healthy menstrual cycle looks like can help identify (and resolve) potential fertility problems faster.
If you’re new to the fertility tracking game, don’t worry. The way forward is clearer than you think. Here are three tips on how to track your fertility:
This is the timeframe just prior to and including ovulation (the release of the egg). Studies really vary on this one – with some suggesting the window can last up to 10 days – but an average would fall at around six days. If your period’s arrival date is as regular as a royal scandal and your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, chances are you’ll ovulate halfway through the cycle on day 14. Your fertile window opens on day 10, so get marking that calendar! For those with irregular cycles, fertility tracking is all the more vital in understanding when ovulation occurs. Try to keep each cycle logged on a calendar – this could prove useful information should you require a fertility specialist later down the line. Tips number two will also be useful for you.
Old wives’ tales or true science? Opinions vary as do individuals, but there are tell-tale signs from your body that ovulation is imminent. Look out for a change in cervical mucus. So-called ‘egg white’ discharge (wetter, clearer and more slippery than usual) can indicate you are in the window. Keep a thermometer handy to check for a general rise in temperature, which also occurs at ovulation.
Take advantage of technology. Struggle with maths? Use an ovulation calculator to give you a better idea of where your fertile window lies. Home ovulation predictor kits can help to detect the levels of hormones in your wee (these tend to increase at ovulation – the hormones not the wees). With new products constantly on the market, it’s worth a quick Google to check reviews. Those with irregular cycles may find you need to test more frequently month-to-month.
With so much focus and attention on the outside world and how we can improve conditions, surely our own bodies and fertility deserve the same care and consideration?
If you’re ready to start tracking your fertility, or have any questions about your overall female health, we’d love to help you out. Why not join our waitlist and we’ll let you know when we’re live so we can help guide you along the fertility path.