Our survey of xxx women showed us that most of you knew roughly when your period was going to show up. But how would it feel to know EXACTLY when she was going to show up? Without taking a pill or relying on vague ‘signs’. Too good to be true?
Nope. Just good old ‘family planning’!
The Fertility Awareness Method (and its less accurate cousins Natural family Planning and the Rhythm Method) have a bad rep; for a reliable contraceptive purpose in my opinion it’s as reliable as a chocolate pencil in a smelting works (many studies would disagree with me: you can find links to them here). They are also pretty useless if you’re not with one sexual partner as they have no protection against STDs.
But for trying to work out your own personal cycle, it’s gold.
- You take your temperature every month at the same time every morning using a special Basel Body Thermometer (this measures to 0.00 of a degree) and enter this result into an app. This will show you a ‘pattern’ which will help you work out when you ovulate.
- You add to this certain ‘signs’ from your body using saliva ferning, cervial mucus (bear with me) and cervical position.
- You add these up with your temps to work out when you are about to ovulate and then use the results at the end of the month to work out how long your follicular and luteal phases are as well as when you have ovulated.
Like any good science project you get the best results from this when you have a few months worth of data to compare. Many of us will come out with a fantastic idea of pretty much when we’ll ovulate especially if you’re a person who has regular periods.
Click here for more details on charting
What if I have irregular periods?
I have an answer for this and I will take myself as an example.
Despite the fact that my ovulation jumps around like crazy and I have pretty irregular cycles, I know that as I have a standard 14 day luteal phase that I can predict (from many months of charting) with pinpoint accuracy when my period will arrive if I know when I have ovulated.
This is very useful if, say, I have a busy week at work or a project that needs completing or I have a holiday planned for that week. No ‘being taken unawares’ or failing to pack the tampons again.
What if i have PCOS?
Ah, this is trickier. Affecting 1 in 5 of us, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (hence PCOS for short) is a condition where the body produces more androgens which causes multiple cysts on the ovaries. This causes longer and irregular periods, no periods, excessive bleeding.
Charting is trickier as cycles can be unpredictable. Not impossible but harder. More on that on the charting page….
If you think you might have PCOS (symptoms include the above with excessive hair growth in odd places, acne and obesity) then go to your doctor now. It’s really vital to get this information early and the good news is that while PCOS can’t be cured you can keep it in check with drugs, hormone treatments and lifestyle changes like keeping your weight down, eating a low carb, low sugar, high fibre diet and exercising. See links to helping with this condition on NHS direct and support at Verity.