December 11, 2017 December 11, 2017

Your Fertile Window

As I think of pregnancy & just how to do it, I consider the many options out there for me to start charting my fertility.

Sure, there's the fun part of "trying." Blind faith, no rhyme or reason. Kind of like the equivalent of throwing spaghetti at a wall til it just sticks. It has its appeal and I know plenty of people have conceived this way but...

What the heck, I ought to make it worth both our whiles and take full advantage of the fertility tools available! Let it be known I'm a touch squeamish.

So what is out there?

First, the best days to try are the days you are in your fertile window. Before ovulating, your body is the most fertile & you are most likely to conceive. Fortunately for us, we are also most attractive to the opposite sex on the days we ovulate, so we certainly have help in knowing just when our fertile days are!

There are various methods to determine your fertile window. Let's dive in!

1. Billings Method or Tracking your Cervical Mucus:

The hormones that control your cycle also make cervical mucus that changes in relation to your cycle. During one's period, mucus can be masked by the flow of blood, so you can't check then. After your period, there are a few dry days, with no mucus. You are not fertile.

As the egg starts to ready for deployment, mucus develops that is tacky & cloudy. Before one ovulates and releases the egg, cervical mucus becomes clear & slippery, like raw egg whites. The mucus is thinner & allows for sperm to pass more freely to fertilize the egg.

When the mucus can be stretched, these are the fertile days! Start making babies.

Women chart their mucus schedule on a calendar & can determine by its consistency the best days to try to conceive.

2. Standard Days Method or CycleBeads

CycleBeads involve no stringing of mucus and therefore is my personal preferred method. However, it is just as educational!

Cyclebeads are a colored string of beads. There is also an iCycleBeads app, where you can chart your fertility on your phone! Developed by Georgetown University, the Standard Days method is a clinically tested & proven method to plan or prevent pregnancy. CycleBeads work for women with 26-32 day cycles, which is about 80% of all women.

To use, you simply start on the first day of your menstrual cycle. Start at the red bead with the prominent arrow. Move the black band to the following bead every morning. When you get to the white beads, days 8-19, poof! These are the days you can get pregnant!

This is a very easy & from all reports very effective method of tracking fertility. What I like about it is I can use it as birth control as well after I've had the baby & my periods are regular. I can use a barrior method during the white beads. The other cool thing is a portion of all proceeds go towards family planning education for women in developing nations, so they can also make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

It's like the Toms Shoes of birth control! :)

Well, there you have it. My research & foray into the wild world of fertility. I know some women like to use Basal Body Temperature as well, but what's a squeamish girl to do?

With CycleBeads I have found a method that works. With the Billings method, I have another tool in my aresenal.

Good luck everyone!