Your Menstrual Cycle and associated Biomarkers can reveal amazing facts about your body. Cervical Mucus is an amazing Biomarker which can be used for monitoring one’s gynecologic heath and fertility. Similarly, if you keep track of your bleeding patterns and ovulation, you can learn a lot about your body. By charting your Cervical Mucus and Basal Body Temperature or in other words, Fertility Awareness can help you determine if you are in your Pre-Ovulatory or Post-Ovulatory Phase. You can easily determine when you have ovulated and when you can expect your period. Isn’t it good to be aware of your cycles rather than playing the guessing game?
There are so many Advantages of Charting. You can know when you are most fertile. You can know if you have ovulated or not. You can know if you are pregnant or not. You can know when your period is due. And here are a few more reasons to chart:
Determining Your Ovulation
Around the time of ovulation, you can observe Cervical Fluid. After ovulation, you will observe a Thermal Shift (rise in Basal Body Temperature). Thus you can confirm if you are ovulating or not. Even if you haven’t ovulated in a cycle, you can have Anovulatory Bleeding (Withdrawal Bleeding or Breakthrough bleeding) which is not a true period. Thus charting can help you determine if you are having a true period or anovulatory bleeding.
Long Pre-Ovulatory Phase
If your ovulation occurs later than Cycle Day 21 or even Day 18, it could be either due to stress or Polycystic Ovarian Disease. So, it’s good to determine when you ovulate and the length of your Pre-Ovulatory & Post- Ovulatory Phases.
Some women may experience mild spotting for a day or two around ovulation. This is completely normal. If a woman isn’t charting, she may worry about this unusual bleeding. Whereas, if you are charting your cycles, you will know if it’s your ovulation time and can determine if the spotting is normal is not.
Some women may experience mild lower abdominal pain around the time of ovulation. It is usually one-sided pain. This mid-cycle pain related to Ovulation is known as Mittelschmerz and is completely normal. Keeping track of your ovulation can help you determine if the pain is ovulation-related or not.
Likewise, if a woman is trying to get pregnant and notices spotting 7-12 days after ovulation, it may be implantation spotting which is caused by the egg burrowing into the endometrial lining. This again can be tracked if you are charting your cycles.
The first day of menstruation is the day you have true red bleeding. If you have several days of spotting before your actual menstruation begins, it could be an indication of low progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone which is vital in sustaining a pregnancy in it’s early stage. Low progesterone can cause miscarriages. It can also cause PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome).
Tail End Brown Bleeding
If you have recurrent brown or black bleeding at the tail-end of your menstrual period for a few days, it could be an indication of low progesterone or endometriosis. It is probably caused by an irregular shedding of the endometrium. It can also indicate a precancerous condition of the uterine lining.
Luteal Phase Defect
If you have been tracking your ovulation, you can easily determine the length of your Luteal Phase (Post -Ovulatory Phase). If your Luteal Phase is less than ten days, you are at a higher risk for miscarriage. Luteal Phase defects are caused by inadequate amounts of progesterone being produced by the corpus-luteum after ovulation. This means that your uterine lining starts to shed before the fertilized egg can implant.
Long Luteal Phase
If your Luteal Phase is longer than 16-17 days and you are not pregnant and haven’t got your period, it could possibly be LUFS (Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome). LUFS occurs when a follicle matures around the time of ovualtion but doen’t rupture to release the egg. Instead, it turns into a cyst which produces more progesterone and prolongs your luteal phase.
If you have bleeding between menstrual periods (other than Ovulation or Implantation Spotting), it could be an indication of Endometrial Polyps. Polyps can prevent implantation of the embryo and thus contribute to infertility. A diagnostic hysterscopy can rule out Polyps. It can also be due to hormonal imbalances such as thyroid problems, PCOS, excess estrogen and so on.
Heavy Menstrual Periods
If you have abnormally heavy bleeding during your periods (soaking pads every two hours or more frequently), it could indicate uterine fibroids or endometriosis. Heavy bleeding requires medical attention.
Extremely Painful Menstrual Cramps
Most women experience some degree of pain during menstruation. If the cramps are extremely painful, it could indicate Endometriosis. Endometriosis can often cause infertility.
If you have notice intense pelvic pain during times of your cycle other than Ovulation Pain, it could be an indication of a potential problems like Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts, Ectopic Pregnancy, Pelvic Infections and so on. Any abnormal pain which is accompanied by abnormal bleeding needs immediate medical attention.
Long Mucus Patches
If you have been charting your cervical mucus and observe long mucus patches , it could be an indication of Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
Dry Cycles with Little or No Cervical Mucus
If a woman doesn’t produce good quality Cervical Mucus during her fertile phase, it could be due to poor production of estrogen. Cervical Mucus is important in achieving pregnancy. There are many treatments for increasing Cervical Fluid.
Vaginal Infections & Discharge
If you have been tracking your cycles, you will realize that Healthy Cervical Fluid is produced around the time of ovulation. This cervical fluid is important as it aids the sperm on its way to meet the egg. Healthy Cervical Fluid can be distinguished from a Vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is often caused due to vaginal infections. Unlike Cervical Fluid, Vaginal Discharge is a continuous discharge which has an unpleasant odor and cause itching, swelling and redness. It can be seen anytime in your cycle and not necessarily around the time of your fertile window.
Miscarriage Vs Late Period
If a woman isn’t charting, she will not know when she ovulated. She will not know if she is having a late period or a miscarriage. On the other hand, if you chart, you will know if you ovulated or not. Thermal Shift and high BBT for 18 or more days could indicate pregnancy. If she begins bleeding after 18 or more high temperatures, it could possibly be a miscarriage instead of a late period. Thus, a woman who is charting can determine if she is having a late period or miscarriage.
Achieving & Avoiding Pregnancy
Charting your Cervical Mucus and BBT can help you determine your fertile and infertile phases of your cycle. Thus, it can be used for achieving pregnancy or avoiding pregnancy.