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Ovulation chart: How to track your basal body temperature and cervical mucus

Charting your basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus is a way to estimate when you'll ovulate so you'll know when to have sex if you want to conceive.

See our article on how to detect these ovulation symptoms. Print out copies of our blank chart so you can track them each cycle.

You can also take a look at our sample chart to see what a completed one looks like. (Remember that every woman's cycle is different, and your chart may not look exactly like the sample, or even be the same month to month.)

Now you're ready to start charting. Here's how:

1. On the first day you get your period, fill in the date and day of the week under cycle day 1. Continue noting the dates of your cycle until the first day of your next period.

2. Each morning when you wake up – before you drink, eat, have sex, or even sit up in bed – take your temperature with a basal thermometer, and put a dot next to the temperature that matches your thermometer reading for that day. (You can also note the time you took your temperature. Try to take it at about the same time each morning.) Connect the dots to see how your basal temperature fluctuates from day to day.

3. You can also check your cervical mucus each day if you wish. Record the type of discharge you find each day, according to the key at the bottom of the chart:

P = period

D = dry

S = sticky

E = egg-white

4. Toward the end of your cycle, watch for a day when your BBT rose 0.5 to 1 degree F and stayed high. That day is usually the day you ovulated. It should correspond with the last day you noticed egg-white type cervical mucus. The days when you notice egg-white type mucus are your most fertile.

5. Track these symptoms for a few months to see if you notice an uptick in BBT and egg-white type mucus at the same time each cycle. That will allow you to plan which days to have sex if you want to get pregnant.

6. For the best chance of conceiving, have sex at least every other day during your most fertile period.

For more information, read about how to boost your chances of getting pregnant, connect with other couples trying to conceive, and learn the most common early signs of pregnancy.


What tools do you need to take your basal body temperature?

The change in your body temperature is very slight, so you need to use a special thermometer. You can use a regular digital thermometer or buy a basal thermometer. A basal thermometer shows you the temperature in tenths of a degree. This allows you to note tiny changes in body heat. This thermometer is faster and more exact than a regular thermometer.

Use a simple Celsius temperature chart (What is a PDF document?) or Fahrenheit temperature chart (What is a PDFdocument?) to track your temperature for several months.