What is charting?

posted 3 years ago in TTC
  • poll: Do you chart?
    Yes - and it helped us conceive : (21 votes)
    55 %
    Yes - and we're NOT TTC : (11 votes)
    29 %
    I tried it, didn't find it helpful and stopped : (2 votes)
    5 %
    No - but I plan to : (4 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 5
    3677 posts
    Sugar bee

    A great intro to charting is the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler. It helps you have a better idea of how your body works and what’s normal for you, regardless of whether you are trying to conceive or avoid conceiving.

    Post # 6
    7654 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    @MsGinkgo:  Getting pregnant aside, it actually helped me track my periods after coming off birth control. I was on it for so long I wasn’t sure if my cycles would be all wonky even though they never were, so it helped me track those.

    Besides the forum post above, a great app to get you started would be Fertility Friend. They also have a whole course for free on their website that tells you step by step how to chart, what to look for, etc. I’m glad I didn’t make it to the temping part because it was super confusing for me to grasp, but with a little practice (which I didn’t have the opportunity to experience) anyone can get it.

    Post # 8
    3360 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    @MsGinkgo:  The previous resources offered to you are great for more info – I’ll totally second the recommendation to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility if you’re interested in getting into charting.

    For me, charting involves taking my temperature every morning when I wake up, checking my cervical fluid and cervical position a couple times a day when I go to the bathroom, and noting any symptoms I’m experiencing throughout my cycle.  Charting can mean all of those things, or just a few – whatever works for you.

    I started charting to get to know my cycle after I came off the pill (which I had been taking for 9 years).  I wanted to know if/when I was ovulating, and have some data on what “normal” cycles look like for me.  My husband and I are not TTC yet, but will be soon – we look at this as a chance to get great info that can set us up for faster success once we are ready to try for a baby.


    Post # 9
    2494 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    @MsGinkgo:  We tried about 4-5 months to get pregnant (I’m currently almost 6 weeks). I didn’t consider myself charting. However, I had a little calendar in my nightstand (yep, an ACTUAL calendar, made of paper, I’m old school). I recorded the day I got my period, how many days it lasted, a little bit about my cervical mucous and cervical position, what days we had sex, any cramping, spotting, etc. That way I know what cycle day I was on and we had more sex in the fertile window, which I estimated at. This was the right amount of involvement for me. For the most part, my husband did not want to know if I was around ovulation or anything but sometimes he would ask.

    Post # 11
    3697 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I didn’t read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I did watch the videos on Fertility Friend (FF). They took all of 25 minutes total. 

    I chart my temperature when I wake up in the morning. It takes less than a minute. I also did OPKs. I didn’t do CM or CP be causer hey confused me 🙂 

    I was 38 when we started TTC and I got a BFP cycle 4, which sadly ended in a MC. I just got another BFP this past Saturday. So charting does seem to work for me 🙂 


    also, so, I never really told DH when was a good time for us to BD. I was just a bit extra friendly during the appropriate times. 

    Post # 12
    1059 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

    I started charting before we were TTC to spend a few months regulating my cycle off birth control. When we started TTC I conceived in the first month. I had been on BCP for 13 years and always thought it was fine, but I never realized what havoc the pill was wreaking on my body and emotions until I felt better NOT taking it, so I will continue charting and doing FAM after we have the baby (using barrier methods during fertile times instead of taking hormones). I’m sold!

    Post # 13
    10838 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @MsGinkgo: I started charting to get to know and better predict my periods and then when the time came I’d have a better understanding of my body for when TTC. I’ve been using Fertility Friend, it’s nice to use and tells me when AF is expected as well as ovulation. I’ve not used it for a couple of weeks to try and take the emphasis of things.

    Post # 14
    3778 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Charting can be as simple as just recording your CM… or just recording your temps… or it could be recording your CM AND temps! I’ve charted cm and temps for the sympto-thermal method of FAM (birth control) for over a year now. I’m starting my first cycle of TTC next month! (in a week! yikes!) I understand my body a hell of a lot more now and can predict my period to the day 10 days in advanced. It’s pretty awesome. I also understand why I break out at certain times, why my boobs hurt, and a lot more stuff!

    Post # 15
    3787 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    It’s pretty straightforward for me and it’s my BC. These are my general directions:




    1. Wake up at 7 am, take temperature, input into FF. I do this every day. 


    2. Starting around day 14, check cervical fluid and position if I remember. Input into FF if I think abou tit.


    3. Starting around day 15, use OPKs. Repeat until I get a – AFTER one or more +s. Usually 2-3 days. 


    4. Stop doing steps 2-4; only do 1. 




    Things I’ve learned:


    -I ovulate, most if not every month. 


    -I have a 12-13 day LP which is normal


    -When DH MUST pull out. 


    -I don’t have much EWCM, which could be a thing but no reason to worry now.


    -When my period will how up within a 6 hour window. 




    That last one has been super helpful. 




    Really, I’m at a point where I could probably only temp about 7-10 days a month and be fine.  The beginning and the end don’t really matter.

    ETA: So I’ve actually done a good sampling of birth control forms. Pills, NuvaRing, Mirena, and I can honestly say that I FEEL the best and have the highest levels of desire for DH when I’m using charting as a BC. It’s definitely not “a buzzkill for us.” He get bits of the chart here and there because we’ve both been responsible for not getting a BFP way too early. But he is definitely a big fan of the HUGE hike in libido that came with the removal of Mirena. (I had no idea there was even a dropoff on it.)

    Post # 16
    3787 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @Woodstock:  off topic: I didn’t know it was time for your switch! Yay! Hopefully I’ll be right behind you!

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