October 4, 2020

Charting Your Menstrual Cycle: 6 Easy Steps To Pregnancy


Our intention is to add value. We share our independent research, compare, and may recommend the best products we can find. 

We receive commissions from qualified purchases made through our links.

Are you and your partner ready to have a baby? 

Have you been trying for a while and can’t seem to succeed?

Try charting.

Charting your menstrual cycle is a great tool when you are trying to conceive. 

Not only is it used as a method of natural birth control, but it is also used for pregnancy achievement - increasing your odds of getting pregnant on your first try!

It is known that women who are experienced in charting can tell on a day-to-day basis if they are capable of getting pregnant.

Wouldn’t that be great to have the capability of knowing what days you are fertile each month?!

If you’re anything like me, wanting to get pregnant as fast as possible - this caught my attention right away!

And your first question may be the same as mine - “How do I start charting my menstrual cycle?!”

Well, to effectively chart your menstrual cycle it is important to understand what happens during your cycle and what to look for to be successful.

So, before we start diving into charting, let’s go over a few of the basics on your menstrual cycle so you can successfully chart it later on.

What is a menstrual cycle?

As women we all get our periods!

It comes and goes each month and reminds us that our bodies are doing exactly what they are supposed to.

According to womenshealth.gov, your menstrual cycle is a monthly hormonal cycle that every female body experiences each month to prepare for pregnancy. 

How long is a menstrual cycle?

Have you ever thought that your menstrual cycle starts on day 1 of your period and ends on the last day of your period and that was it?

Yep - that’s what I thought - that is until I started learning about charting.

And boy was I wrong... 

Your menstrual cycle starts on day 1 of your period and ends on the day before your next period begins again.

And the length of your menstrual cycle will vary from woman to woman.

A normal cycle length is anywhere from 21 to 35 days.

What happens during your menstrual cycle?

Whether or not you are trying to conceive, your bodies will prepare itself for a possible pregnancy during each menstruation cycle.

Your uterus will become thicker and richer in blood cells, prepping for a possible embryo.

If your egg was not fertilized during your ovulation phase, your uterus lining that was once thick and full of blood cells will now begin to shed, and your cycle begins again.

During each menstrual cycle, your bodies will go through phases in preparation for a possible pregnancy. 

Your menstrual cycles are divided into four phases:

Menstrual Phase

The Follicular Phase

The Ovulation Phase

The Luteal Phase

The Menstrual Phase

Your menstrual phase is the first phase in your menstruation cycle - this is when you get our periods. [1]

This phase starts on day 1 of your cycle and ends whenever you stop bleeding.

Bleeding can last anywhere between 3-8 days, it will vary from woman to woman.

The Follicular Phase

Just like the menstrual phase, the follicular phase begins on day 1 of your cycle as well.

But unlike the first phase, the follicular phase ends when your cycle begins ovulation. 

During the follicular phase your hypothalamus will send a signal to your pituitary glands to release FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). [1]

This hormone will then stimulate your ovaries to begin producing small sac follicles that each contain an immature egg.

This will cause your estrogen levels to rise that will tell your uterus to begin preparing for a possible pregnancy.

The Ovulation Phase

Ahhhh - the ovulation phase!

This phase is the most important phase when trying to conceive. 

The ovulation phase is when your ovary releases a mature egg, which will then find its way down your fallopian tubes towards your uterus in hopes to be fertilized by a sperm. [1]

This phase is triggered by your rising estrogen levels that were signaled in the previous phase (follicular phase) - which then signaled your pituitary gland to go ahead and release another hormone called Luteinizing hormone (LH).

This process starts your ovulation phase, which happens to be the only phase in which getting pregnant is possible!

The Luteal Phase

This is the phase after ovulation in which your body is either preparing for that new embryo growing inside you or getting your uterus ready to shed - beginning your cycle all over again. [1]

If a sperm successfully reached your egg duringy our ovulation phase, then your body will now begin producing human chorionic gonadotropin, also commonly known as hCG.

If your egg was not fertilized by a sperm, then your body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone will start to decrease during this phase, causing your uterus lining to shed and your cycle begins again.

What to look for during your menstrual cycle when charting?

If you and your partner are trying to conceive…

...we could all agree that the two-week wait for a late period is dreadful…

...and the constant worry, the persistent thoughts...

“Am I pregnant?”

“Maybe I’m not pregnant”

“Was I really ovulating?”

“What if I take a pregnancy test right now?”

“What if it comes out false?”

What if there was a way that we could eliminate the wait and all the questions?!

There is!

In Weschler’s book “Taking charge of your fertility” she mentions that women who chart consistently can tell if they are pregnant just by observing one of the 3 primary fertility signs, thus eliminating the distressing wait of the “late period!” [2]

These 3 fertility signs are the 3 things you want to track when charting your menstrual cycle.

So what are these 3 fertility signs you may ask?

The 3 primary fertility signs are:

cervical fluid

Cervical Fluid

basal body temperature

Basal Body Temperature



Cervical Fluid

Your cervical fluid is the ultimate key to timing intercourse!

Throughout your menstrual cycle, your cervical fluid will go through different phases depending on where you are in your cycle.

These stages are:

  • Dry

  • Sticky

  • Creamy

  • Egg white

At the end of your period - The menstrual phase - your cervical fluid becomes dry. 

You may notice little to no cervical fluid at all.

As Weschler mentions, after a few days of dryness you will go through a point of change when the estrogen in your body will begin to rise, which indicates that ovulation is approaching. [2]

This kicks off the phase of our cervical fluid becoming sticky.

Your cervical fluid will then go to creamy until you have finally reached ovulation when your cervical fluid is an egg white texture.

This egg white cervical fluid is your most fertile fluid and is crucial when trying to conceive. 

How to observe your cervical fluid?

In the book ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’ author Toni Weschler suggests to observe your cervical fluid every day in the following steps:

  1. Both before and after using the bathroom, take a tissue, and fold it flat. Separate your vaginal lips and wipe front to back

  2. Focus on how the tissue glides across your vaginal lips. Does it feel dry, smooth, or lubricative?

  3. Now lift the secretion off the tissue to feel it with your thumb and middle finger. Focus on quality. Does it feel dry, sticky, creamy, or lubricative like eggwhites?

  4. Look at it while slowly opening your fingers to see if it stretches

Tips for checking your cervical fluid:
  • Start checking your cervical fluid after your period has ended.

  • Pay attention to your vaginal sensations during the day (dry, sticky, creamy, wet)

  • Try to check your cervical fluid every time you use the bathroom.

  • Check your cervical fluid at least 3 times a day.

Your Waking Basal Body Temperature

Out of the 3 primary fertility signs, this one is certainly the easiest to chart.

Before ovulation (preovulatory), awaking basal body temperature is around  97.0 – 97.7 ° F.

After ovulation (postovulatory), awaking basal body temperature is around 97.8 ° F or higher.

After your bodies have gone through ovulation your waking basal body temperature will remain elevated until your next cycle begins and your temperature will go back down to preovulatory temps- unless that is, a pregnancy has occurred. 

If pregnancy did occur during your cycle, your waking basal body temperature will continue to stay elevated- meaning you could tell if you are pregnant just by checking your body temperature!

How to observe your waking temperature?

  1. Take your temperature first thing in the morning.

  2. Take your temperature orally.

Tips for taking your basal body temperature:
  • Start checking your cervical fluid after your period has ended.

  • Pay attention to your vaginal sensations during the day (dry, sticky, creamy, wet)

  • Try to check your cervical fluid every time you use the bathroom.

  • Check your cervical fluid at least 3 times a day.


Along with your cervical fluid, your cervix will also prepare for pregnancy during each cycle.

Though checking your cervix is optional and not as crucial to track as the other 2 fertility signs mentioned above, it is a great addition to helping you know when your body is going through ovulation. 

During ovulation, your cervix will become soft and open up to allow sperm to travel through.

It will also rise becoming higher in position due to the higher estrogen levels to hold your uterus in place. 

As Toni Weschler puts it - your cervix transforms into the “biological gate” for sperm to pass through during the ovulation phase. [2]

How to observe your cervix?

Insert your middle finger and observe for the following conditions-

    1. Softness – is it firm or soft?

    2. Height in the vagina – is it low or high?

    3. Opening – is it open or closed?

    4. Wetness – dry, sticky, creamy, or egg white?

Tips to checking your cervix:
  • Once your period has ended, try checking your cervix at least once a day.

  • Try to check around the same time each day.

  • Fingernails should be trimmed and always wash your hands first to avoid infections.

  • Squatting is the best and most effective way of checking your cervix.

How to start charting your menstrual cycle

There are multiple ways in which you can start charting your menstrual cycle. 

And each of us will have our preference.

There are fertility charts and hundreds of apps available that could make charting easier and more convenient for many of us. 

Or maybe you prefer to keep track of your menstrual cycle in your journal.

Whatever way you choose, make sure it fits you and your lifestyle. 

If you prefer to use charts to keep track of your menstrual cycle, partofyourworld.org offers a free printable/interactive pdf for you to begin your journey to charting. 

A filled out an example is provided below.

Steps to use the partofyourworld.org charting sheet:

Step 1: Fill out the cycle day, what day of the week it is, and the date as shown below.

Step 1

Step 2: Record your temperature. 

Fe. My temperature on Sunday, September 9th was 97.6° F.

Simply click on the number and a circle will appear.

Step 2

Step 3: Record any symptoms you had that day. 

Simply click the box and an ‘X’ will appear.

Step 3

Step 4: Record your cervical fluid. 

Simply click the box and an ‘X’ will appear.

Step 4

Step 5: Record your cervix.

Simply click the box and an ‘o' will appear.

Step 5

Step 6: Lastly track if you had sex.

Simply click the box and a heart will appear.

Step 6

You may also like

The costs of having a baby: Your Ultimate Guide to help you decide if you´re ready

The costs of having a baby: Your Ultimate Guide to help you decide if you´re ready
With more clarity and direction 
partofyourworld.org helps you become more certain in parenting
so you can see your child thrive.

As first-time parents we have never raised children before. But all of us want to see our child grow up to live a happy and fulfilled adult life. This expectation can create a lot of pressure and uncertainty, especially for us first-time parents - partofyourworld.org is here to help you!