When you are trying to conceive, charting your menstrual cycle in a meaningful way is essential.
Before you choose which method you will use to track your cycle - it is important to work out why you are tracking your cycle and what type of information is important for you because there is no point in tracking irrelevant information or making it too hard for yourself as this is the sure path to failure.
So if you haven't already, ask yourself - Why am I tracking my cycle? Is it just so you know when your next period will be? Is it to track PMS because unmanageable emotions are impacting your relationships? Is knowing your fertile time important to either avoid or achieve conception? Are you having sex at the moment or is it a non issue?
Depending on the answer to these questions - you will be able to work out whether you just need to note down bleeding each month on a calendar or whether you need to track cervical mucus, temperature, moods, other symptoms and therefore need a more sophisticated system.
Another question - is what type of person are you? Are you into details, or do you hate them? Do you want a comprehensive system or a simple one? Do you want to note down the details each time you go to the loo, or are you more comfortable using the computer?
If you like simplicity - keep it simple - just record the bare minimum but do it regularly. It is far better to pick one signal you will track eg. mucus and do it religously than to overwhlem yourself with too much information and do it sporadically.
There is alot of information that your body will tell you about your fertility status throughout the menstrual month - it is just a matter of finding a method of keeping track of it that you like. This way it is easy to keep track and it becomes a habit.
We have created a free paper chart system which takes into account your lunar fertility and leaves you space to record temperature, mucus, libido etc. You just print out the blank chart each month, fill in the dates and lunar phases and place this chart somewhere convenient, for example, the bathroom/toilet so you can record the information regularly.
Alternatively, you can use a ready made menstrual calendar eg Moon Diary WallChart - although these may not have sufficient room to list symptoms and additional information.
You can also use electronic software on your computer. Hormonal Forecaster is an excellent software program that makes tracking your fertility easy. It covers a myriad of options, from counting the days, tracking mucus, temperature plus a number of other events. This software is the only one of its kind that lets you track lunar phases aswell as all the other fertility signals. Bear in mind though, that the graphics for the moon phases suit the Northern Hemisphere. This means if you are using the software in the southern hemisphere and want to check out the lunar phases in the sky - the first quarter and third quater moons will appear differently to you. See Recognising Lunar Phases in the Sky.
Written by Nadia MacLeod