Charting Your Fertility Pattern-Calendar method

Knowing when you re most fertile will help you plan a pregnancy. (Not useful as a birth control method). There are three ways you can keep track of your fertile times. They are: basal body temperature method, the calendar method and the cervical mucus method. Below is information on the calender method.

Calendar method - This involves keeping a written record of each menstrual cycle on a calendar. The first day of your period is Day 1. Circle Day 1 on the calendar. Do this for several months so you know how many days are in your cycle. The length of your cycle may vary from month to month. So write down the total number of days it lasts each time.

To find out the first day when you are most fertile, check your list for the cycle with the fewest days (example: 28 days). Then subtract 18 from that number (example: 28-18=10). Take this new number (example: 10) and count ahead (starting from cycle day 1) that many days on the calendar (example: day 10). Draw an X through this date. The X marks the first day you re likely to be fertile. To find out the last day when you are fertile, subtract 11 days from your longest cycle (example: 31 days. 31-11=20) and draw an X through this date (example: day 20). This method always should be used with other fertility awareness methods, especially if your cycles are not always the same length. (With this example, your fertile days are between day 10 and day 20).

If your cycles are very regular, your range of fertile days will be more narrow. However, if your cycles are irregular, then your range of possible fertile days will be more broad. In that case, other methods should be used to narrow down your fertile time. If you have difficulty, consult your doctor for help determining your most fertile time, and to confirm that you are ovulating.

To most accurately track your fertility, use a combination of all three methods (BBT charting, calender & cervical mucus methods). This is called the symptothermal method.

Also print your own Basal Body Temperature Chart to track your ovulation. View a sample BBT chart.

This information is supplied by The National Women s Health Information Center. The National Women s Health Information Center is Sponsored by the Office on Women s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.