Tracking your fertility is an important step on the journey towards parenthood. A woman’s fertility waxes and wanes over the course of her menstrual cycle, though because no two menstrual cycles are exactly alike, there’s no easy way to say when any one particular person’s fertile window will be.
There are lots of different ways to track your fertility, and today we’re trying to help you identify the one that will get the right results for you.
What Do You Need?
The first thing you need to do is understand what you need. There are some criteria that are generally desirable: whatever their situation, there are some basic functions everyone needs in a fertility monitor. Others are specific to you, and you need to take both into account to ensure you’re getting the best outcome.
The first and most important thing you need are accurate results: if you’re not getting trustworthy results from your fertility tracking method, then you’re wasting your time. Whatever method you’re considering, do your research: find out if it’s clinically tested, endorsed by health services and doesn’t make bold, ‘too good to be true’ promises.
Secondly, anyone who’s tracking their fertility is looking for predictive power. It’s helpful to know when you are fertile, or to confirm when you are ovulating, but it’s far more helpful to someone who’s trying to get pregnant to know when you’re going to be fertile, and when you will ovulate. Some tests can tell if you’re ovulating that day, but that means you miss the majority of fertile window, which begins up to five days before that.
More specific needs will be individual to you, of course, and it may be for the best to discuss with a doctor to make sure you know your situation as you begin to try to conceive.
If you have PCOS, for example, or any other condition that can affect your hormones (or take medication that could do so) then it could cloud the results of standard, hormone based ovulation tests.
If your cycle is irregular, then merely charting the days from period to period won’t tell you when you’re fertile, because it’ll be different each month!
Many of the best methods use more than one stream of data to make predictions: combining your basal body temperature with your progesterone levels, for example, gets you a better, more accurate prediction than either of those metrics alone!