"[FERTILITY AWARENESS] IS ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN MERELY UNDERSTANDING FEMALE HYGIENE AND MENSTRUATION. "
These pages are designed to be read in order. Please follow the navigation links to read through all sections before charting.
HOW CAN FAM HELP?
Using the Fertility Awareness Method to get pregnant takes so much of the guesswork out of the equation. FAM can help you pinpoint your fertile days so you can time things properly. It can also help you diagnose things that may prevent or hamper your plans to get pregnant, such as annovulatory cycles, a short luteal phase, hormonal imbalances, or sporadic ovulation.
But honestly, the biggest benefit is KNOWING. You do not have to wonder if your body is capable of getting pregnant, or wonder if you actually ovulated, or if you're timing it right.
You will know.
In order to know, you need to be tracking all three fertility signs. Temperature alone is not a reliable indicator of fertility. With the three signs combined, you are able to triangulate the most fertile times of the month and ensure that your timing is accurate. If you miss your window by even a couple of days, your chances of conception can take a nose dive.
So, let's talk about how to get pregnant!
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO YOUR CERVICAL FLUID
The most important fertility sign you'll use when you're trying to conceive (TTC) is your cervical fluid. Its role in conception is vital, and it extends the lifespan of the sperm considerably.
In the days leading up to ovulation, your cervix produces more and more egg white cervical fluid (this is the stretchy, egg white-like fluid). This fluid allows the sperm protected and expedited passage to the fallopian tubes, where they can live for up to five days and wait for an egg to be released for fertilization.
So, if you're trying to conceive, any time you see fertile cervical fluid, have sex. Lots. :)
TIME SEX BEFORE OVULATION, NOT AFTER
The best chances for getting pregnant are before you ovulate, not after. This makes it crucial that you are paying attention to your fertility signs to know when you are about to ovulate.
If your cervix is high, open and soft, and you have fertile cervical fluid, that means ovulation is days away. NOW is the best time to have sex--not after ovulation.
The problem with sex after ovulation is that it's usually too late. The surefire indicator of ovulation, your temperature jump, tells you that ovulation already happened. Since the egg lives only 12-24 hours, waiting until your temperature jump to have sex means that the egg is most likely already gone or not viable.
It doesn't hurt to have sex from the start of your fertile period through the first couple of days of your luteal phase, but just remember that sex in the days leading up to ovulation are far, far more likely to lead to conception than sex after ovulation.
HAVE SEX EVERY DAY DURING YOUR FERTILE PERIOD
As long as your partner's sperm is healthy, you can have sex once a day during your fertile period. On average, men produce 1,500 new sperm every second--so having sex once every 24 hours is hardly putting a dent in their sperm production. Unless you know he has a low sperm count, having sex every day only increases your chances of getting pregnant.
While we're on the subject, let's talk about semen too. Semen is the fluid that surrounds, carries, and nourishes the sperm. Soon after ejaculation, the sperm leave the semen and enter the cervix. The fluid you see come out after intercourse is NOT a sign that you're "losing" the sperm and missing your shot at conception. In fact, the sperm is probably already long gone, and the seminal fluid is leaking out as nature intended.
What this means is that you don't need to worry about resting on your back with your hips elevated for hours after sex. You don't have to wait at all if you don't want to; if you do, twenty or thirty minutes should be more than sufficient to make sure the sperm have time to leave the semen and enter the cervix.
WATCH YOUR TEMPERATURE AFTER YOUR LUTEAL PHASE ENDS
Usually, your temperature drops back below the coverline at the end of your luteal phase. If it remains elevated for at least one or two days past your longest recorded luteal phase, this may be a good indication that you're pregnant. Sustained high temperatures means your body is still cranking out progesterone, telling your uterus to sustain the pregnancy.
After you've had sex during your fertile period, the most agonizing time is waiting to see if you'll get your next period. FAM can tell you a lot of things before you conceive, but in order to know if you're pregnant or not, you'll most likely have to wait until the end of your luteal phase.
In the baby-making communities, this is referred to as the dreaded 2WW: Two Week Wait. Continue taking your temperature every morning at the same time, and record it on the chart. If your luteal phase is usually 11-12 days long, wait one or two days past your longest luteal phase length and then take a pregnancy test. By that time, the egg should have implanted and the ovaries should have started producing hCG, the hormone that is detected in pregnancy tests.
The earliest hCG can be detected via urine test is usually around 10 DPO, but don't worry if you don't get a positive around that time. It may be that your levels are too low to show. hCG levels double every few days, so wait a couple days and test again.
If you'd rather not drive yourself crazy, waiting 1 or 2 days past your longest luteal phase to test can be helpful.