Conceiving with the Symptothermal Method
What is the “fertile phase” of the menstrual cycle?
Research has shown that pregnancy can result from sexual intercourse that takes place during 6 specific days (the day of ovulation itself and the 5 days that precede it). But the sperm can’t fertilize an egg unless conditions in the woman’s uterus are favourable. The best conditions for fertilization are created by cervical mucus, which is produced in response to the pre-ovulatory hormone estrogen.
If you know what to look for and pay close attention, you can observe the changes in these fertility signs.
By recording your observations on a sympto-thermal chart, you can tell when you are in your fertile phase, the time when sperm are able to fertilize an ovum that’s already present or that will appear within a few days.
If you wish to conceive, it’s suggested that you have sexual intercourse approximately every 2 days during the time that you see or feel cervical mucus, even when it shows transitional characteristics (ie. it’s opaque, gluey, and breaks easily). But you should absolutely not miss the days when the cervical mucus is slippery, transparent, or wet, no matter how it looked the day before.
How can you tell if ovulation has taken place?
If you see your basal body temperature rise, then remain in a higher plateau, that’s confirmation that ovulation happened. But since an ovum only survives for a few hours, by the time you see your temperatures rise and remain high for three days, it’s already too late to conceive for that cycle.
The Symptothermal Method allows you to recognize the signs of approaching ovulation as well as to confirm that it has already taken place. With this information, couples will have a better understanding of the menstrual cycle and how to maximize their chances of getting pregnant.
How can I tell if I’m pregnant?
With a symptothermal chart, it’s possible to confirm a pregnancy before any medical testing can. Around a week after conception, you’ll often see another temperature spike appear on the chart. This third temperature plateau is caused by the implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Finally, you can confirm a pregnancy with the help of the Symptothermal Method once you have experienced 20 days of high temperatures (including both the 2nd and 3rd temperature plateaus).
Detecting anomalies that can impact fertility
Just as the Symptothermal Method allows you to take advantage of the most fertile phase of your cycle, it can also give you important insights into your fertility.
The Symptothermal Method can help you discover:
If you are not ovulating (indicated by the absence of a temperature spike between two breakthrough bleeds that may seem like two menstrual periods).
If you might be experiencing hypothyroidism (indicated by a basal body temperature under 36.2°C).
If you may have inadequate progesterone (indicated by a post-ovulatory phase of high temperatures less than 10 days long).
If you experience any of these situations, it is best to consult a doctor.