Dictionary.com defines fertility as the state or quality of being fertile. How exactly do you determine when you are fertile, when you are trying to conceive a baby? There are two methods and many tools to use.
There are many natural methods of determining the fertile part of your cycle. You can determine when you are fertile by taking your basal temperature. Another natural method of determining when you are fertile is to observe your cervical mucus for the fertile mucus.
Basal body temperature is taken when your body is at rest, usually as soon as you wake and before you move around. The idea is to keep your basal thermometer by your bed. This way you can take your temperature as soon as possible after waking. It is also ideal if you take your temperature at the same time every morning.
Cervical mucus can also determine how fertile you are. You do need to understand what fertile mucus looks like. When the mucus is wet and slippery that is when you are fertile.
There are some tools to use that will help you determine your most fertile days. One tool is Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK sticks). The kit tests for luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. OPK's can help you determine the surge. When the surge occurs, you will know ovulation is about to happen. According to Consumer Reports Clearplan and OvuQuick are two popular Ovulation Predictor Kits. When I was using OPK's I was told that around 2 in the afternoon was the best time to test with your OPK. Women have tested anytime though between noon and 8 p.m. and have been successful using OPK's. If you have short cycles start testing on the 5th day of your cycle. If you have average length (28 days cycles) start testing on day 11 of your cycle.
Fertility monitors are another tool to use when trying to predict your fertile days. The Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor is one of the popular monitors. Monitors detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), just like the OPK's. The monitors can detect the LH surge sooner than OPK's up to 6 fertile days each cycle.
Another tool to use is charting software. The software that I used was the fertility software at fertilityfriend.com. This site offers the ability to chart your temperatures so that you can pinpoint your fertile days. The software will detect your ovulation and give you a coverline. There is also fertility experts to help you with your charting questions. Fertility Friend also has a community forum where you can share your experiences and ask questions of others charting with Fertility Friend. Fertility Friend offers a Basic Membership and a VIP membership.
Another software that I have not used myself but have heard really good things about is Taking Charge of Your Fertility Charting Software (Ovusoft). This is not online software, it is software that you purchase as a download or on a CD.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is the leader in FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) software. This software is also known as TCOYF and is the only software of its kind that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a device to aid conception.
When you are trying to conceive it helps to have others to talk to during your journey. Online forums not only give you the chance to find others who are trying to conceive but it can be a great source of information.
There are several things you can do to determine when you are fertile. There are natural methods you can use like taking your basal body temperature. You can monitor your cervical mucus changes. Tools to use for detecting your fertility are OPK's and Fertility Monitors. Charting is a common tool to detecting your fertile days and Fertility Friend is just one site online that has charting software. Another way to find out information concerning fertility issues and to find others who are trying to conceive is to join online fertility forums.