# Fertility Awareness Mastery Charting Workbook: A Companion to The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack >[!Abstract] Description > TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FIFTH VITAL SIGNIn The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles and Optimize Your Fertility, Lisa Hendrickson-Jack reveals the key to understanding your menstrual cycle and using that knowledge to monitor, measure, and improve your health. Your menstrual cycle isn't just about having babies-it's a means to understanding your health and fertility as you never have before. Now, in this companion workbook to The Fifth Vital Sign, Lisa empowers you to put these tools to work. By recording and interpreting the information your menstrual cycle is telling you, you can find a path to improved health and gain a better understanding of your fertility and your cycle. With three full years of charting pages, the Fertility Awareness Mastery Charting Workbook, Celsius Edition provides a customizable paper charting system that will work with any charting modality.Here's what you'll find inside: How to chart your cycle and increase your fertility awareness; Answers to the most common questions about charting your 3 main fertile signs: cervical mucus, basal body temperature, and cervical position; 36 beautifully designed and fully customizable paper charting pages (in Celsius) - enough to cover you for 3 full years of charting; Cycle summary pages that allow you to monitor your average cycle length, luteal phase length, ovulation date, and other cycle details. Pick up your copies of both right now to start using your fifth vital sign to improve your life! %% ### How to use - Some women prefer phone apps - Other women prefer paper tracking - Benefits - No distractions - Physical reminder to track - No predictions & calculations - Focus on YOUR daily observations - Space in chart - Choose what you want to pay attention to - Customise your charts with what is important to you ### What is fertility awareness? - Refer to 5th vital sign ### Charting your CM - Intro - How? - Know the difference between a dry day and a mucus day - Dry - = refers to the sensation you feel when you wipe yourself - Remember when checking internally = vagina is never dry - Mucus day - = when you can see mucus on your toilet paper - Feel a lubricative sensation - Check for mucus regularly throughout the day - Before and after you go to the toilet - Record what you see - FAQs - What are the main types of CM? - Peak - Non-peak - Both types are considered equally fertile during follicular phase - Don't think of as more or less ferile - Can't be more or less pregnant! - How does CM make me "fertile"? - Keeps sperm alive for up to 5 days - Is "sticky" CM fertile? - Yes (in preovulatory phase) - How much CM should I see? - 2-7 days of CM - > / = 1 day of peak mucus - Small amount of CM once during the day? - Still fertile regardless of how much you see - Difference between CM, vaginal cell slough, arousal fluid & semen? - CM - normal - Specifically related to fertility - Vaginal cell slough - Crumbly white or yellow discharge - May also appear as shiny film - May see most days - normal - Shedding of vaginal cells - Vagina cleans, rejuvenates and replaces dead cells - Arousal fluid - Released when sexually aroused - NOT produced by cervix - When sexually aroused = veins and capillaries fill with blood - Similar to an erection - Pressure forces arousal fluid through vaginal tissues - Vagina = wet & slippery - May be produced any day of cycle - Rapidly dissipates when you touch and stretch it - May also be produced when breastfeeding - Discharge related to infections - STIs - Yeast infection - Continuous = does not stop after ovulaton - White/ yellow/ greenish discharge - Yeasty or fishy smell - Irritation / itchiness & discomfort - See GP - Discharge related to abnormal cervical cells - And/ or cervical dysplasia - Abnormal cell growth on surface of cervix - May release watery discharge - Yellow or gummy? - May be a sign of cervical inflammation / inferction - Isn't normal - But common - Consistently observe this = see GP - I barely see any CM - Is it in the normal parameters? - Factors that interfer - HCPs - HPV - Cervical dysplasia - Cervial surgeries/ procedures - Medications - antihistamines - Some fertility drugs - Natural ageing process - If I'm on the pill will I still see CM? - No - Prevent cervical crypts from producing CM - Stimulate cervix to fill with thick mucus plug - I have CM almost every day... - Check properly? - Dont include internal checking - Still have CM - Could be sign of infwction - I'm using FAM for birth control - Fertile on each day you observe CM prior to ovulation - PLUS 3 days following peak CM - Ovulation predictor kits - Test for LH surge 24-36 hours prior to ovulation - Do not confirm that ovulation has happened - Indicate that your will likely ovulate within the next 24-36 hours - Show a +ve reading several days AFTER you've started to see CM - Should always come second to CM observations - Best time for conception? - On any day of CM production prior to ovuaton - Peak CM = optimal days - How much CM for conception? - Possible to conceive during any cycle when ovulation takes place - Regardless of how much CM is produced - Other factors - Quality of eggs - Quality of sperm - Overall health - CM without ovulation? - Yes - Produced in response to rising oestrogen - Possible for body to start gearing up and then back down again - Called double peak - Mucus during period? - possible on light days - Potentially fertile - On moderate & heavy days - Hormone levels too low to produce CM ### Charting your BBT - Intro - BBT only confirms ovulation - Does not predict it - Helps predict when period is coming - Number of days between ovulation & period = fairly consistent - Take temp one of 3 ways - Orally - Most common - Vaginally - Axillary (under arm) - How do I get an accurate temperature reading? - Take temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed each day, after a minimum of 5 hours consecutive sleep - Need enough time for resting metabolism to 'reset' itself - Leave your thermometer in place for 10 minutes before pushing the button - Called temping - Can make more consistent - Take your temperature around the same time every morning - BBT increases with every additional 30 minutes you sleep - Take reading regardless - Make a not of anything that may have affected readings - Never going to be perfect - Always have 1 or more questionable temp in every cycle - FAQs - Factors that affect BBT readings - Factors affect readings - Stress - Illness - Fever - Shift work - Night wakings - Restless sleep - Alcohol on the previous day - Travel, flights - Time zone changes - Daylight savings time changes - Food allergies / sensitivities - Taking temp after you've got out of bed - Drinking before you take the temp (orally) - Changing how you take your temp - Eg From oral to underarm - Changing thermometers mid cycle - Every woman is differenct - Some won't be affected by these factors - Some will be affected dramatically - You job is to figure out which factors affect you and your temp - What kind of thermometer? - A BBT that measures to 2 decimal places - Eg 37.36 degrees C - Round up if 0.5 of higher - Round down if 0.4 or lower - Other features are sometimes helpful - backlight - Ability to sync with phone - Not essential - BBT vs average sleep temp - Average sleep temp - Calculated based on multiple reasons of your body temp as you sleep - Using awearable device - Gives a 'perfect' looking chart regardless of any health issues - Not great when looking for info about your health - What if don't wake at same time? - Perfection is not the goal - Do your best to take within a 2 hour window - Make a note of the time - Wake up early on weekends? - No! - Benefits of sleep outweighs the benefits of charting - Tracking fits into your life - Not the other way around - Shift work? - Need to sleep >5 hours consecutive hours - Still get an accurate reading any time of the day - Make sure to make a note - See how shift work affects you - Get up to wee in night? - Note sleep disruptions / disturbances - Young children who wake? - Note sleep disruptions / disturbances - Wake 1-2 hours before? - Sleep quality more important - Temps normal? - Preovulatory = around 36.4 (97.5) or higher - Constantly below 36.4? - Low metabolism - Thyroid? - Postovulatory = consistently higher than prevoulatory temps - With at least one or more reading measuring higher than 37.0 - Confirm ovulation? - Clear and obvious shift between temps before & after ovulation - 3 consecutive (normal) temps that are higher than the previous 6 (normal) temps - Normal = not affected by factors - Draw the baseline after the temp shift - Do a cross check with CM - Temp rises slowly - Everyone is different - Still looking for 3 consecutive (normal) temps that are higher than the previous 6 (normal) temps - Temp rises then falls next day - Why we look for 3 consecutive (normal) temps that are higher than the previous 6 (normal) temps - If feel confused or temps drop below baseline - Probably haven't ovulated yet - Erratic temps (high/low) - Need to rule out incorrect temp taking - Keep thermometer in place for 10 mins - Note factors that could be affecting it - Purpose of charting is not to have a perfect chart - Aim = body literacy - Confirm pregnancy with temp? - 18 normal temps in a row that are higher than previous 6 (normal) preovulatory temps - Some women have a triphasic shift - A second shift to higher temperatures once pregnancy has occured - Taking temp when pregnant? - Can cause additional stress - Not helpful - BBT will fluctuate day to day - Won't help prevent miscarriage - If you see 18 high temps after ovulation - Take a pregnancy test - Put down thermometer until post pregnancy - Can't make sense of temp? - Wait 3 days until observations make sense again - Rely on CM observations in meantime ### Charting your cervical position - intro - Works best with CM & BBT - Can be confusing - Check every day for a full cycle - Get to know your cervix - How? - Choose a time of day that makes sense to you - Try and stay consistent - Shower works well - Wash hands - Insert middle finger into vagina - Touch cervix - Notice what it feels like - Located at end of vagina - Feels similar to end of nose or lips (when they are puckered) - Can't find it? - Try squatting - Not a lot happens until you approach ovulation - Notice a dramatic shift - SHOWing - After ovulation = - Dramatic shift - Firm - Low - closed - Plus abrupt change in tilt of cervix - Note - Height - Opens - Firmness - Tilt - FAQs - Necessary? - Option tool - Work well with CM & BBT - Helpful if CM is limited - When CM & or BBT observations are confusing - How can I tell if high or low? - Subjective - We are all different - Low = dont need to inset finger as far - High = may not even be able to each it - Confirm ovulation? - Don't just use on own - Once ovulated = dramatic shift - Happens from one day to the next - Quite pronounced - How does cervical position change after birth, miscarriage, abortion? - Will cervix ever be closed? - Before = Closed position feels fully closed - After = met never be fully closed again - closed will always be a little bit dilated - Should still be able to noticce changes in your cycle - Get to know what your cervix feels like - Can't reach cervix - Squat - One leg on sink - If all else fails = skip this step - Angle or tilt of cervix change throughout cycle? - After menstruation - Uterus sits flat - Cervix faces backwards - Fertil window - Upright position - Change position throughout the day? - Activity etc - Other factors - Tf check once only - At the same time ### Charting your observations - Takes time - Learning a new skill ### Using the charting pages - Cycle - How many cycles you've tracked - month - Which month (s) your cycle falls into - Year - Length - Note the total length of MC once your cycle has completed - Luteal phase - Note the total length of luteal phase once your cycle has completed - ovulation - Note approximate day (based on BBT & CM) - Cycle day - Day of your cycle - weekday - M - Monday - T - Tuesday - W - Wednesday - R - Thursday - Avoids confusing it with tuesday - F - Friday - Weekends - Helps to visually see the weekdays - Date - CM - Note the most 'fertile' observation - D - Dry - E - Egg-white - C - Creamy - S - Sticky - W - wet - Bleed - VH - Very heavy - H - heavy - M - Moderate - L - Light - VL - Very light - Sex - Cervical position - Filled in circle - Indicate low firm & closed - Blank circle - Indicate SHOWing - temperature - Circle appropriate temp on chart - Connect the dots using a ruler - Draw a baseline after confirmed ovulation shift - Time - Time took BBT - Blank spaces - Record own observations ## Highlights ### Location 199 > Is “sticky” mucus fertile? In a word, yes. When you start observing “sticky” (non-peak, lotiony, or pasty) CM in your preovulatory phase, pregnancy is possible for three important reasons: Sperm can survive for up to five days in your CM;9 You’re officially in your fertile window, your estrogen levels are rising, and you are approaching ovulation; and Your cervix is officially open for business, and pregnancy is possible. For these reasons, all preovulatory mucus is considered fertile, as unprotected sex on days of “sticky” mucus can result in pregnancy. [Location 199](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=199) ### Location 207 > How much cervical mucus should I see? What is “normal”? In a normal cycle you will produce CM (either type) for 2 to 7 days, with at least 1 day of peak mucus leading up to ovulation.10 Although you might expect to see large quantities of mucus every day, you’ll produce about one-quarter to one-half of a teaspoon of CM on your fertile days.11 [Location 207](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=207) ### Location 211 > Am I fertile if I only see a small amount of cervical mucus once during the day? Yes! You are considered fertile on any day you observe CM prior to ovulation regardless of how much you see. When you see mucus it means you are in your fertile window, your cervix is open, you are approaching ovulation, and pregnancy is possible (refer back to Is “sticky” mucus fertile? on page 6). [Location 211](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=211) ### Location 332 > What kind of thermometer should I buy? Look for a thermometer that measures to two decimal places (e.g., 36.62oC). You may find additional features such as a backlight, memory, the ability to shift between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and the ability to sync with your phone helpful, but they aren’t necessary. [Location 332](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=332) ### Location 335 > What is the difference between basal body temperature (BBT) and average sleep temperature? Your average sleep temperature is calculated based on multiple readings of your body temperature as you sleep. A number of wearable devices are programed with algorithms that calculate your average sleep temperature, and they automatically adjust any abnormal temperature readings, thus giving the appearance of a “perfect” temperature chart every cycle. This feature can be extremely helpful if you have a hard time remembering to take your temperature or if you consistently have disrupted sleep schedules (given that your average sleep temperature is equally helpful in confirming ovulation). However, if you were hoping to glean additional health information from these devices, you’re out of luck. Since your BBT is a measure of your baseline metabolism, it is receptive to a wide variety of changes including thyroid or other endocrine issues, stress, illness, allergies, food sensitivities, and more (as listed in the previous section). Many of the wearable devices will spit [Location 335](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=335) ### Location 343 > out a perfect-looking temperature chart regardless of any underlying health issues you may have (including thyroid disorders, endocrine or immune issues, and illness). For that reason, you may wish to measure your BBT using an “old-fashioned” thermometer when you… [Location 343](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=343) ### Location 346 > What if I don’t wake up at the same time every day? As you jump into menstrual cycle charting, it’s important to acknowledge that perfection is not the goal. Some days you’ll wake up earlier or later, and some nights you won’t sleep very well. Do your best to take your temperature within a two-hour window each day, but remember these two steps when you’ve woken up earlier or later than normal: Hold your thermometer in place for a full 10 minutes prior to measuring your temperature, and Note the time you woke up on your chart. That’s it! While some women find that their temperature significantly fluctuates when they get up earlier or later, others don’t experience that. Taking your temperature correctly and noting your wake-up time on your chart are much more important than waking up… [Location 346](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=346) ### Location 355 > Should I wake up early on the weekends so I can take my temperature at the same time as I usually do during the week? Definitely not! The benefits of getting a full night’s sleep outweigh the potential benefits of charting at the same time every day. I feel that charting should fit into your life — not the other way around! So instead of disrupting your sleep and forcing yourself to wake up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday to measure your temperature, just take your temperature when you wake up. If it… [Location 355](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=355) ### Location 360 > What if I work different shifts and sometimes sleep during the day? To get an accurate temperature reading, you ideally need a minimum of five hours of consecutive sleep to allow your resting metabolism to “reset.” When you work all night, you can still get an accurate measure of your resting metabolism provided you take your temperature after you’ve slept for at least five hours straight the following day. Note your wake-up time on your chart and how many hours you slept. As you record your temperatures you’ll… [Location 360](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=360) ### Location 366 > What if I get up to pee one or more times each night? For some women, getting up to pee during the night will cause an obvious disruption in their temperature patterns. But since not going to the bathroom (when you need to) isn’t an option, you’ll need a strategy. Simply note sleep disruptions on your chart. Create a notation for yourself or use the comments section to mark when your sleep was disrupted and by how much.… [Location 366](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=366) ### Location 370 > What if I have young children who wake me up during the night and/or early in the morning? When you have small children jumping into your bed throughout the night and/or first thing in the morning, it can be hard to remember to take your temperature — let alone get an accurate reading. Try leaving your thermometer in a place that’s easy for you to access (and remember), such as your night stand, on top of your cell phone, on the headboard of your bed, or under your pillow. If your children disrupt your sleep, I would still encourage you to take your temperature in the morning when it’s time to get out of bed. Note any sleep disturbances on your chart and you’ll have a better idea of how your temperatures are affected. Many women in this situation find that wearable thermometers help… [Location 370](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=370) ### Location 377 > What if I wake up an hour or two before my normal wake-up time? Should I take my temperature early or wait until I get up for the day? If you wake up in the middle of the night, or you wake up earlier than your usual time (and you plan to go back to sleep), I recommend that you go back to sleep and wait until you’re ready to get up for the day. Just note on your chart that you woke up in the middle of the night. Since getting enough good-quality sleep is more important than waking up early to take your temperature, it makes… [Location 377](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=377) ### Location 383 > How do I know if my temperatures are normal? Although your preovulatory BBTs will fluctuate, they should fall consistently around 97.5°F (36.4°C) or higher. Your postovulatory temperatures should fall consistently higher than your preovulatory temperatures, with at least one or more readings measuring higher than 98.0°F (37.0°C). If your preovulatory BBTs consistently measure below 97.5°F (36.4°C), you’ll want to look into possible causes… [Location 383](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=383) ### Location 390 > How do I confirm ovulation with my BBT? You’re looking for a clear and obvious shift between your pre- and postovulatory temperatures. Anyone should be able to look at your chart and see the temperature shift. To confirm ovulation with your BBT you need three consecutive (normal) temperatures that are higher than the previous six (normal) preovulatory temperatures. Normal means temperatures that are not abnormally high due to illness, sleep disturbances, or any other factors. The baseline (also referred to as the coverline) refers to the line that divides the low and high temperatures. You draw the baseline after your temperature shift. As shown in the BBT chart above, the preovulatory temperatures are below the baseline, and the postovulatory temperatures are above the baseline. You’ll… [Location 390](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=390) ### Location 398 > What if my temperature rises slowly? Different methods of FA charting have different rules for how to interpret temperatures. Some specify that the temperature must rise above a certain level in order to be valid, while others classify different types of temperature rises. However, the basic rules are the same no matter which method you use. You’re looking for three temperatures that are higher than your normal preovulatory temperatures (specifically your previous six normal preovulatory temperatures). What I’ve found over the years is that temperature rises don’t always look the same, but when you’ve ovulated you’ll see a clear shift between your pre- and postovulatory temperatures. You’ll easily be able to see three temperatures in a row that are higher than your previous six normal preovulatory temperatures. Even if the rise is “slow” and you don’t experience a giant change from one day to the next, provided your temperature… [Location 398](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=398) ### Location 407 > What if my temperature rises and then falls back the next day? Since you’re looking for three consecutive (normal) temperatures that are higher than your previous six (normal) preovulatory temperatures, if your temperature drops back down to the preovulatory range, then you must wait until you have three temperatures in a row that are all higher than the previous six to confirm a temperature shift. If your temperature rises and then falls back a bit the following day, it would still count as a temperature shift provided it doesn’t fall below the baseline/coverline. The key is having three consecutive high temperatures. Your temperature shift should be clear and obvious. The moment you feel confused, or you see that your temperatures are going back down into the preovulatory range, the simplest explanation is that you probably haven’t ovulated yet. Whether you’re actively trying to conceive or you’re using FA to avoid pregnancy, it’s crucial to accurately identify ovulation, and the best way to do it is to wait until all signs match up to each other — and to the rules. Put simply, when in doubt, wait three days and you’ll have your answer. [Location 407](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=407) ### Location 416 > What if my temperatures are erratic and frequently swing between high and low on my chart? The first thing I like to rule out is incorrect temperature taking. Review the instructions for correct temperature taking on page 10, and make sure you’re keeping your thermometer in place for a full 10 minutes before turning it on. Many women find that by simply following the 10-minute rule their temperatures stabilize and their charts are much easier to interpret. If you’re already following the 10-minute rule and your temperatures are still erratic, it’s time to do some detective work to figure out what else could be affecting your temps. My best advice is to start taking note of any actions you feel could be related to your erratic temperatures on your chart. Anything that triggers your immune system (illness, allergies, seasonal allergies, food sensitivities, immunizations or other injections, etc.) will likely affect your temperatures. Similarly, your temperatures may be sensitive to sleep disruptions and varying wake-up times, travel, and time zone differences; many women also experience dramatic fluctuations in temperature when they consume alcohol. Regardless of these fluctuations, you should be able to see a clear and obvious shift once you ovulate. As you embark on your charting journey, you will rarely (if ever) have a “perfect” chart because you are a real woman (not a robot), and your cycles reflect the state of your overall health. As you learn which factors affect your temperatures and your charts, you’ll gain a much deeper insight into how your body responds to everyday life. The purpose of charting isn’t to have a perfect-looking cycle every month; instead, it is to develop body literacy and enter into a lifelong conversation with your body and your cycles. [Location 416](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=416) ### Location 430 > How do I confirm pregnancy with my temperature? When one of your eggs is fertilized and successfully implants into your endometrium, pregnancy occurs. During the early stages of pregnancy, your temperatures not only remain high, but they climb even higher than your normal postovulatory temperatures (when pregnancy does not occur, your corpus luteum stops producing progesterone, your temperatures fall back down to preovulatory levels, and you get your period about 12 to 14 days after ovulation). You can confirm pregnancy when you have 18 normal temperatures (in a row) that are higher than your previous six normal preovulatory temperatures. Many pregnant women notice what’s called a triphasic shift… [Location 430](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=430) ### Location 437 > Should I continue taking my temperature when I get pregnant? Experience has taught me that continuing to take your temperature once you’re pregnant isn’t helpful and instead causes additional stress. Many (if not all) women are concerned in the early weeks of pregnancy that they might miscarry. It’s true that in some cases, if your pregnancy is not viable, your temperatures will fail to continue rising. In other words, low BBTs during the first few weeks of pregnancy can be an early indication of a pending miscarriage. For this reason, many women continue taking their temperature for several weeks after pregnancy is confirmed. However, I don’t advise you to do this, and here’s why: Your BBT will fluctuate from day to day, and when you see a temperature that is slightly higher or lower than you expected, it can (and will!) cause unnecessary stress. Taking your temperatures won’t help you prevent miscarriage, and if you have any concerns about your pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor.… [Location 437](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=437) ### Location 446 > What if I can’t make sense of my temperatures? If you’re sick for several days and your temperatures are all over the place, you’re still looking for three normal temperatures that are higher than your previous six normal preovulatory temps. If your temperatures are questionable (due to the factors listed earlier in this section), wait until they stabilize. Remember these two important steps: When in doubt, wait three days until your observations start to make sense again, and Rely on your CM observations in the meantime. If you can’t see a clear pattern between your low preovulatory temperatures and your high postovulatory temperatures, assume you haven’t ovulated until your temperature pattern becomes clear and consistent. If you’re ever unsure of your observations, consider yourself fertile… [Location 446](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=446) ### Location 457 > Charting Your Cervical Position Cervical position is more of a secondary sign that works best in conjunction with CM and BBT. Tracking changes in your cervical position will give you more confidence in your observations by giving you an additional data point. If you’ve never checked your cervix before, or if you’ve always found your cervix confusing, I highly recommend that you commit to checking it every day for one full cycle. Choose a time of day that makes sense for you, and try to stay consistent. Insert your middle finger into your vagina, touch your cervix, and notice what it feels like. If you’re having a hard time finding your cervix, try squatting while you check, which can make it easier to reach (refer to Common Questions About Cervical Position Charting for a full description of how to check your cervix). A disclaimer: not a whole lot changes until you approach ovulation. If your cervix were a newspaper, most days it would have nothing to report. But as you’d start approaching ovulation, you’d notice a buzz of news. The “breaking news” in your cervical newspaper is the shift that happens after ovulation — you’ll notice a dramatic shift from high, soft, and open to low, firm, and closed. You’ll also notice an abrupt change in the tilt of your cervix. Once you feel the shift, you’ll have an additional fertile sign to help you identify your fertile window and confirm ovulation. As you approach ovulation (during your fertile window), your cervix is higher inside… [Location 457](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=457) ### Location 473 > Common Questions About Cervical Position Charting Is it necessary to chart cervical position? Cervical position is an optional sign that can be extremely helpful to corroborate your CM and BBT observations. Monitoring your cervical position gives you an additional tool to confirm ovulation and is especially beneficial in any cycle when your CM or BBT readings are unclear. I recommend cervical position charting in certain situations: When your CM production is limited (with very little to no mucus production even though you are ovulating regularly), and During any cycle when your CM and/or BBT observations are confusing (for example, if you have a yeast infection and you’re having a difficult time identifying your fertile window, or if you’re sick and have an elevated temperature before your sustained thermal shift). With that said, not all women are comfortable enough to insert… [Location 473](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=473) ### Location 483 > How do I check my cervix? Wash your hands and insert your middle or index finger inside your vagina until you feel your cervix. Your cervix is located at the end of your vagina, and it feels similar to the end of your nose or your (puckered) lips. Choose a time of day and stick with it every day for one full cycle to help you get into the habit of checking. You may want to do your check when you’re in the shower (given that you’re already naked and your hands are clean!). When you check your cervix, you’re feeling for four… [Location 483](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=483) ### Location 489 > How can I tell if my cervix is “high” or “low”? Unlike your BBT, cervical position changes are subjective. Each woman will experience different cervical position changes, and no two women’s cervixes will feel exactly the same. When your cervix is low, you’ll notice that you don’t have to insert your finger very far inside your vagina, and when it’s high, you may have to insert your finger quite far inside (some women may not be able to feel their cervix when it’s at its highest point). Check your cervix daily for one full cycle (every day from the… [Location 489](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=489) ### Location 494 > How do I confirm ovulation by checking my cervix? Unlike BBT and CM charting, cervical position is not a sign I would recommend using on its own. I suggest using it to confirm ovulation by cross-checking your cervical position with BBT and CM. As you approach ovulation (during your fertile window) your cervix rises to a higher position inside your vagina; it is typically soft, open, and facing downward. Once you ovulate, you’ll feel a “dramatic” shift from soft, high, and open, to low, firm, closed, and tilted (usually backward). This shift typically happens from one day to the next and is often quite pronounced. When my clients commit to checking their cervix daily for one full cycle, they describe the postovulatory shift in cervical position as the most “exciting” event that happens throughout their entire cycle. Once you’ve felt the shift (from… [Location 494](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=494) ### Location 503 > How does cervical position change after birth, miscarriage and/or abortion? Will the cervix ever be fully closed? Prior to birth, miscarriage (depending on how far along you were), and/or an abortion, the “closed” position of your cervix will feel fully closed. Take a moment to touch your nose (go ahead … I’ll wait). Your nose feels similar to your closed cervix before you’ve experienced pregnancy and/or birth. When your cervix is in an “open” position, it feels softer, and the openness feels somewhat like a dimple. Pucker your lips and touch them (yep … still waiting for you to check it!). This is what your “open” cervix feels like prior to birth, miscarriage, and/or abortion. Once you’ve given birth or experienced a miscarriage and/or an abortion, your cervix may never feel fully closed again. Your “closed” cervix will always be partially dilated when you touch it. You may feel a slight opening that’s always there regardless of where you are in your cycle. When your cervix is in the “open” position it will feel softer and the opening will feel more pronounced compared to the “closed” position. Even though your post-baby cervix will always be partially dilated, you can still reliably identify the change in your cervical position throughout your cycle. My advice is the same in this situation: check your cervix daily for one full cycle and note the changes in height, firmness, openness, and tilt. The… [Location 503](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=503) ### Location 516 > What if my cervix is so high I can’t reach it? If you can’t reach your cervix at certain times in your cycle, try squatting when you check it (as if you were playing a game of leapfrog), which may lower your cervix. You can also try lifting up one leg when you check. If you can feel your cervix at certain times of your cycle and not others, that may be one of the ways you identify the change in your cervical position. If you can’t ever feel your cervix, either your uterus is in a position that prevents you from reaching it, or your fingers are too small. In that case, you may simply have to skip… [Location 516](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=516) ### Location 522 > Does the angle or tilt of my cervix change throughout my cycle? Yes, tilt is one of the lesser known aspects of cervical position charting. If you were to zoom the lens out and observe your entire uterus at different phases of your menstrual cycle, you’d notice that not only does your cervical position change, but the position of your uterus also changes. Your uterus sits in a flat position following menstruation (often causing the cervix to face backward), an upright position during your fertile window as you approach ovulation, and reverts back to the flat position once again after ovulation. The change in the tilt of your cervix always happens in conjunction with the other signs of ovulation (firmness, position, and openness). For many women, identifying the change in the tilt of the cervix is the final piece of the puzzle that helps them make sense of… [Location 522](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=522) ### Location 531 > What if my cervix changes position throughout the day? If you check your cervix multiple times per day, you may notice that it is in a different position at certain times. The cervix is the lower part of your uterus, and your uterus is a surprisingly dynamic organ. Not only does it change position and tilt as you pass through the different phases of your menstrual cycle and during sexual activity in response to sexual arousal, but your uterus may shift position throughout the day depending on your activity level or a number of other factors. For this reason, I recommend checking your cervix once (and only once!) per day. Checking it multiple times each day only… [Location 531](https://readwise.io/to_kindle?action=open&asin=B07WW53B6F&location=531)