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Tracking Your Fertility at Home

Before deciding whether to book an appointment at a fertility clinic, you might want to do some home testing first. The textbook definition of “infertility” is the inability to become pregnant after 12 months of sexual intercourse without contraception.

There are several at-home tests you can do to help you plan your conception, and gauge your fertility. Most of these revolve around determining the optimum time for fertilisation during your cycle, and are most effective when used in conjunction with each other, to give the most accurate reading possible.

Your chance of conception is highest if you have intercourse during ovulation. This article is just a brief introduction to some of the most popular home fertility and ovulation tests. For more information please take a look at our wonderful list of related articles, and visit our tools and resources page.

Cervical Mucus Tests

Cervical Mucus Tests can be done manually, by testing a sample of your cervical mucus, or by buying a testing kit that works by analysing your saliva. Your cervical mucus becomes thin and stretchy, just before ovulation, and the composition of your saliva also changes at the same time. If you’re testing the mucus yourself, you’ll need to get some on your fingers, press them together and then stretch it. Next, take note of the following variables: is it stretchy, is it tacky, is it slippery, what colour is it?

Now compare your observation to the following guide:

Infertile Slightly Fertile Fertile Highly Fertile
Not Stretchy
As per the ‘Fertile’ column plus:
Comparable to a raw egg white

Please note: This is NOT a medical diagnosis. Your cervical mucus can change throughout the month, and even throughout the day, and is greatly affected by stress, drugs, illness, infection, age, diet and much more. It’s a really good idea to chart these changes so you can start to see your personal ovulation and fertility cycle. Also, be aware that showering, swimming or bathing can all affect the quantity and quality of your cervical mucus. So if you’re checking your cervical mucus in order to predict your most fertile days, it’s best to do so BEFORE doing any of these activities.

Did you know…?

Some women swear by Evening Primrose Oil to increase their levels of Egg-White Cervical Mucus (EWCM).

If you’d prefer a saliva-based Cervical Mucus Test, that does the analysing for you, we suggest you speak to your local chemist, pharmacist or doctor to find out where you can purchase one.

Ovulation Predictor Kits

Ovulation Predictor Kits work by measuring the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Ovulation Kits are available at most chemists or pharmacies and will help you predict the best time to for intercourse, and can also highlight any menstrual cycle irregularities, which could be hindering conception. There are also free Ovulation Calculators available on our resources page.

Basal Body Temperature Tracking

Basal Body Temperature (BBT) tracking requires a thermometer that can measure temperatures to .10 degree. Your BBT must be taken at the same time every day, and recorded. (Download a Free, Printable BBT Tracking Chart.) Your body’s temperature raises roughly 0.2 degrees after ovulation and stays at the heightened temperature for a minimum for 3 consecutive days following. Charting your BBT will enable you to predict when you will next be ovulating, which can help with timing your baby-making efforts. For more detailed instructions, visit our resources page.

Fertility Stress Tests

Your emotions and thoughts can and do affect your body. It has long been accepted that hormones play an enormous role in priming a women for, or inhibiting her from, pregnancy. Dr. Elizabeth Muir, a clinical psychologist specialising in treating infertility, has recently found that the hypothalamus gland, which is responsible for controlling the flow of hormones in the body) is sensitive to stress.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As Obstetrics & Gynecology specialist Dr. Christine Northrup put it: “your ability to conceive is profoundly influenced by the complex interaction among psychosocial, psychological, and emotional factors.”

As such, we feel that if you’re tracking your fertility, in an attempt to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to take into account your stress levels too. The Brisbane Fertility Clinic has created a custom ‘fertility stress test’ to help you assess your level of stress and subsequent fertility. It is merely a guide, and not meant to replace medical opinion or professional advice. To take the test: click here.

Don’t forget -
It’s also important to consider the fertility of your partner. Talk to your doctor or chemist about Sperm Count Tests and Sperm Motility Tests.