How to track O: BBT: basal body temp is the most accurate way to track your ovulation. They do sell BBT thermometers, but any digital or mercury will work. Do not trust ear thermometers – they can vary as much as 4 degrees – totally unreliable. Try to take your temp after 4 consecutive hours of sleep. Take it before you get up or really move at all. Basically, try to keep your heart rate from increasing at all – increased heart rate = increased temps. If you never get 4 hours of sleep, or sleep irregularly, you can still track your temps. Just not your basal temp. Simply relax for 15 minutes or so around the same time each day, then take the temp. It’s not as accurate, but I could still see a definite jump after Oing, even in the middle of the day. You may see a temp dip the morning that you will O, and you will see a temp spike the day after you O. The egg will die within 12 hours of Oing, so having sex is essential before O (It takes sperm approx. 5 hours to reach the egg). However, one method of TTC a girl requires having sex within12 hours after Oing (hostile cm will kill off male sperm). This method may decrease your chances of getting pg, as most sperm will die, and the timing is hard to catch. Cervical Mucus/Fluid: This is the second most accurate. Most women produce various amounts/types of cm throughout their cy. In a typical cy, a woman is dry the few days after having AF. Then they will get a few days of sticky (looks and feels like rubber cement glue) cm, then a few days of creamy (consistency of lotion, not able to be stretched out at all.), and finally a few days of egg white cm (looks and feels like raw egg whites, stretches easily, clear and abundant). The ewcm is the most fertile, and can help sperm to survive as long as 5 days (6 for my best friend!). Within hours after Oing, the cm will dry up or turn to the sticky cm. This is a great way to confirm O before seeing your temp spike the next morning. Cervical Position: This is an accurate way to detect O, but sometimes hard to decipher the results. Most women need a few months of practice before being able to interpret their own CP. The basics: Infertile mode is from AF to a few days before Oing. The cervix is low, hard (like the tip of your nose), and closed. As you near O day, it becomes higher, softer (like the softest part of your lips), and open (you may even be able to insert a fingertip – don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt.). Again, within hours of Oing, it will move back to low, hard, and closed. It’s another way of confirming O before the next morning’s temp spike. Ovulation Prediction Kits: An accurate (albeit expensive) way to track O. The test will detect the LH surge just before you will O, so you have approx. 48 hours notice. Great for planning sex around O. Be sure to follow directions on the package – some require first morning urine, others require midday urine. You have your LH surge mid-afternoon, so some try to time the test around then. I always tested at 5 pm, and always got the positive result. They only give 5-7 tests, so start testing when you first notice creamy cm. Saliva: This is a fun one for me! You can buy a mini microscope (brand names Donna or Lady Q) to track your hormones corresponding with O. You place a small amount of saliva on the microscope, let it dry, and then check the pattern. After AF, all you will see are pebble like patterns. As you near O day (3 days till O) you will start to notice the pebbles turning into eyelash type patters with little stems coming off of them. The day before and day of O, those eyelashes become large fern like patterns. Within hours of Oing, the pattern returns to pebbles. The hardest thing with this one is remembering to do it first thing in the morning before brushing teeth, eating or drinking anything at all. It is measuring the estrogen in your saliva, which becomes crystalline when it dries, hence the fern pattern. If you eat or drink, it wipes out the hormones, and introduces other substances that will mess up the results. (I once ate French fries and then did it – I had full ferning the day after my AF. The salt formed the same patterns as Oing would have.) I like to do it a few times a day once I think I am about to O – just be sure you wait two hours after eating or drinking before doing it. This method is best used in conjunction with one of the other above methods. Mittelschmerz: Otherwise knows as O pains. This one is hit and miss, so best not to be relied upon alone. I almost always get it, but there have been one or two months when I didn’t feel a thing. This pain varies, depending on what’s currently going on. If you pay close attention, you’ll be able to tell exactly when you O! Before Oing, your ovaries swell tremendously with the growth of several eggs trying to release. This can lead to pain. This pain is usually a dull ache, similar to a backache. It sometimes throbs as well. This is due to the swelling. As you release the egg, you may feel a sharp pain, a stabbing jab of sorts. This is the egg actually breaking through the surface of the ovary. After Oing, you may feel crampy. This pain is due to released blood from the ovary (you’ll often also notice spotting after Oing) irritating the tissues in the abdomen. This can last for several minutes or hours. How to help/adjust/change your cy: To increase CM: Many women don’t experience the amount or length of time of ewcm. Proven ways to increase ewcm include eating/drinking foods and herbs high in natural estrogen, and taking meds used to thin mucus. These include: grapefruit juice (only 100% pure, no sugar added, white gfj – the rest is sweetened, which will dry up cm), tons of water, baby carrots, Robitussin (use the plain old robi, per directions on back), wild yams (pill or natural form), and using real egg whites. Use any or all of these from the day after AF to the day after you O. To regulate a long or irregular CY: Herbs help best with this. Common herbs include: Vitex, False Unicorn Root (this is great for increasing fertility – herbologists actually warn couples using this that they may end up pg because of it), Wild Yams (helps to increase estrogen, make you O, or O earlier than usual. Also linked to increased chance of twins, as it often results in multiple eggs being released), Evening Primrose Oil, Baby Aspirin (helps to build up a lining for the egg to implant, helps to keep progesterone levels high after Oing, to sustain a pg that may have miscarried. Best for women with short luteal phases (less than 12 days) and progesterone deficiencies – take this all cy long, and once pg, wean off of it over a period of one week. Take 80 mg. once a day), Green Tea (pill or drink) increases fertility in general – promotes healthy cy. TTC a Boy or Girl: The Basics: Female sperm are larger, slower, hardier, and live longer. Male sperm are smaller, faster, weaker, and die earlier. You can use this information to sway the odds in your favor to TTC a boy or a girl. For a Boy: Lucky you, it’s easiest to TTC a boy! Try to make as much ewcm as possible by following the above tips for increasing cm. Eat lots of meat, salty foods, and drink lots of water. Have DH drink strong coffee (or Red Bull, something with lots of caffeine) 30 minutes before having sex. This will give those sperm a little extra boost, and the faster males will get there first. Only have sex 48 or less from Oing. Male sperm live on average 3 days. Have DH wear boxers, not briefs – heat kills male sperm quicker than female. No hot showers or baths the week of Oing. No sex several days before Oing to build up supply. No milk or dairy products (creates an acidic vaginal environment that kills off male sperm) for the mom to be. Use an alkaline baking soda douche before sex to make the enviro. more alkaline ( I personally do not recommend using any douche, ever). Try to have an orgasm before, during, and after sex. Try to have DH ejaculate as close to the cervix as possible (deep as possible). For a Girl: This one is trickier, and may take longer to conceive. Females are able to live in acidic conditions, so you’ll be eating foods that change your Ph levels to more acidic. (Basically, try to dry up cm a bit.) Drink lots of milk and eat lots of dairy products. Use an acidic vinegar douche before having sex (again, I don’t recommend using douches at all), have sex up to 3 days before Oing, no closer than that. Most males will have died off by the time you O. Try to avoid orgasm (make those sperm work to get in!) and try to have DH ejaculate shallow. Some even recommend the “jump and dump” (let sperm leak out – decreased sperm count is linked to higher female rates). Now you see why it’s harder to ttc a girl! General TTC Tips: • Having sex as close to O as possible will get you pg fastest. • Having an orgasm before DH does increases your ewcm, allowing sperm to live longer. • Having an orgasm after DH increases the amount of sperm pulled into your uterus, rather than leak out. Your cervix actually dips down when you orgasm, and if semen is present, it dips into the pool of semen, sucking it into the cervix. This eliminates the hardest part of the journey for the sperm! • Do not elevate your bottom after having sex. Only women with a tilted uterus will benefit from this. If you check your cervical position right before Oing, you will find that it tilt backwards towards your back. When DH ejaculates, the semen pools up at the back of the vagina, near the neck of the cervix. If you prop your bottom up, the semen will pool on either side of the cervix opening. Don’t prop! • There is no need to stay lying down for hours after having sex. Within 15 minutes all the sperm that are going to enter the uterus will have done so. Anything that comes out after that is just semen (not sperm). • Sperm count is highest in the morning!