To understand your cycle and what phase you are in, it is best to understand a couple of things, when you menstruate (usually pretty obvious!) and when you ovulate (not so obvious for most people).
Some people say to me when we have a consult, that they ‘know’ when they ovulate, they feel a slight pain, in one side, they can almost tell. However, for most people it’s not so easy. To understand you can do what many people do, which is they look at how long their cycle lasts for and pick out the dates roughly in the middle. So, for example, if your cycle is 28 days they would estimate they ovulate around day 13 to 15. But this is just a guess.
If you really want to understand your cycle and when you ovulate, there are some great methods you can start.
- First, pop to your local pharmacy to purchase yourself a fertility thermometer
- download a fertility app on your phone or download the free chart from my website and pop it in a folder (with your cycle charting folder) and place beside your bed
- then each morning, BEFORE you do anything, as soon as you wake up, take your temperature and record it in your log
What will you see?
What you may find is your body temperature remains lower, with a few ups and downs (you may get up earlier, you may go to the toilet before you take your temperature etc.) , but then a day before you ovulate, you will see a drop in your temperature, followed by a peak. It remains higher for the following week or two before you menstruate and the temperature usually drops again.
So now you can see when you are possibly ovulating.
Please note: if you are using this as contraception (knowing when to abstain or use protection) there are other factors you need to consider including mucus amounts and texture and your lunar cycle, so please seek more information.
But as far as a tool to connect more to your body and to understand the changes, this is a great place to start!
As I move into menopause, this has been really helpful to show me some of the changes happening in my body.
- take your temperature the same time each day if possible
- don’t move around too much before you take your temp – try to get resting body temp
- that even means before getting a little fresh in the morning!!
But what you will start to discover is powerful and easy to understand, embracing the power of your cycle and how you can use it to feel better each and every day.