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What is a Fertility Chart?

A fertility chart is a graph denoting changes in a woman's menstrual cycle. After several months of observing physical symptoms, a woman can predict when she will ovulate and can plan intercourse to coincide, in an effort to become pregnant. Many women assume the most fertile day of their cycle is the 14th, but women's bodies develop individual patterns and rhythms. The 14th day of a cycle might or might not be the best time to conceive. With the use of carefully plotted graphs, a woman make decisions to optimize her chances to conceive.

In order to graph a fertility cycle, attention must be paid to a woman's basal body temperature, cervical mucus, starting date of menstrual period and timing of sexual intercourse. Additional factors to consider include the position and feel of the cervix and premenstrual symptoms, such as breast tenderness, mood swings and appetite changes. Ovulation test kits, available for purchase in pharmacies, might also be helpful by pinpointing the moment of ovulation.

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On average, without the use of fertility charting, couples conceive a child after six months of unprotected intercourse. The use of a fertility chart can decrease this wait to less than four months. The benefits of this type of natural conception include the ability to know when ovulation occurs and how long it lasts and early identification of pregnancy. The use of a fertility chart also can provide helpful information to healthcare professionals, which enables them to schedule tests for optimum times during a fertility cycle. Many women also appreciate the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their individual body chemistry.

For women who have not conceived after six months of using a fertility chart to assist in their attempts to become pregnant, other solutions might be necessary. Some women might choose to visit a fertility clinic, a medical facility where physical exams and testing are conducted in an effort to determine the reason that conception has not taken place. In some cases, hormonal injections, acupuncture or reproductive surgery might be necessary. Other options include using donor eggs, using a surrogate or choosing instead to adopt a child. Of course, continuing to use a fertility chart for more than six months is always an option, too.

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