What is the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)?
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a system for predicting the fertile (and infertile) days in your menstrual cycle, by observing and charting two primary fertility signs: basal body temperature and cervical fluid (mucus). In keeping with Toni’s Weschler’s recommendations in Taking Charge of Your Fertility, we also consider vaginal sensation to be a fundamental fertility sign.
What does the vertical line called Possible Ovulation mean?
OvaGraph uses a combination of BBT algorithms to interpret your temperatures. In many cases, the results of these different tests will show the same ovulation date. However, if you happen to have more than one temperature rise (that fits the algorithm's definition of a "rise") in a cycle, it is possible that you will see both a Likely Ovulation day (displayed as a dark purple vertical line) with a cover line AND a Possible Ovulation day. The Possible Ovulation day will be displayed as a purple day. If you see a Possible Ovulation day, we recommend that you consider the Likely Ovulation day and the Possible Ovulation day in relation to all of your other fertility signs to determine when you ovulated.
What does the green shading on my graph indicate?
If your Basal Mode is set to FAM:
Each day that you see fertile quality cervical mucus/fluid and/or experience fertile quality vaginal sensation, you will see light green shading on that cycle day. Seeing those fertile signs can indicate that you are near ovulation, so we recommend you are considering yourself fertile.
If your Basal Mode is set to BBT:
Once OvaGraph determines that ovulation has occurred, it will display a purple vertical line on the cycle day where ovulation occurred. It will also display green shading on the days just before ovulation. The green shading indicates your most fertile days based on the BBT algorithm and ovulation confirmation (light green = high fertility, darker green = peak fertility). Although this information is retroactive, it can help you to know if you timed intercourse during your fertile window, and can be used to help you predict your fertile window in your next cycle.
Why did my Likely Ovulation day shift?
OvaGraph is designed to display the Likely Ovulation day and coverline when a verified temperature shift is detected while you are seeing fertile quality cervical mucus/fluid and/or experience fertile vaginal sensation. However, as you move through your cycle, OvaGraph will continue to monitor your BBT data as well as those other ovulation tracking tools, and will continue to look for another temperature shift. If a second temperature rise is detected that points to ovulation with more certainty, your Likely Ovulation day will shift accordingly. If this happens, the day that was previously labeled as Likely Ovulation will now be labeled as Possible Ovulation.
What is the difference between your Peak Fertility day and your Likely Ovulation day?
When you are trying to get pregnant, it is important to have intercourse before ovulation and when you see egg white cervical fluid (or experience lubricative vaginal sensation). Remember that egg white cervical fluid is “fertile” fluid, and must be present to help carry the sperm to meet the egg for fertilization. While Peak Fertility might sometimes land on the same day as the Likely Ovulation day on your OvaGraph chart, these are not at all the same thing. Peak Fertility is the most fertile day of your cycle, as defined by the last day that you see egg white cervical fluid or experience lubricative vaginal sensation. On the other hand, your Likely Ovulation day is displayed after a confirmed temperature shift. In most cases, Peak Fertility will be displayed a day or two before the Likely Ovulation day, but if you see egg white cervical fluid on the day of ovulation or even the day after, Peak Fertility will be displayed there.
How does OvaGraph define and display your Peak Fertility day?
When charting at OvaGraph using the Fertility Awareness Method, Peak Fertility is considered your most fertile day of the cycle. Simply put, Peak Fertility is the very best day for intercourse if you are trying to get pregnant!
By definition, Peak Fertility is the last day that you experience fertile quality cervical fluid (or lubricative vaginal sensation) in relation to a confirmed temperature shift. Once OvaGraph detects a temp shift and confirms that your temps have remained elevated for 3 out of 4 days, it will display a purple line on your chart (called Likely Ovulation), and will find the most recent day that is charted with fertile quality cervical fluid (and/or lubricative vaginal sensation) and mark that day with a “P”, for Peak Fertility. This day will also have dark green shading.
But, keep in mind that Peak Fertility will only be labeled on your chart AFTER you have seen a temp shift, which is AFTER ovulation has likely occurred. So, don’t wait to see that P on your chart before you begin having intercourse when you are trying to conceive. It is important to remember that any day on which you see egg white cervical fluid or experience lubricative vaginal sensation is potentially your most fertile day of the cycle. To help you identify these days, each day that you see fertile quality cervical mucus/fluid and/or experience lubricative vaginal sensation, you will see light green shading on your chart for that cycle day. Seeing those fertile signs can indicate that ovulation is about to occur, so we recommend you consider yourself fertile.
What are the circled numbers on my BBT chart indicating?
The BBT readings that you've entered are rounded to the nearest 10th of a degree, and that value is shown in the circle. This can help you see those changes in your BBT readings when you're looking for that thermal shift that takes place after ovulation.
I am new to BBT charting. How do I get started?
So, you've just purchased your first basal thermometer - congrats! Charting your BBT is a great way to understand more about your menstrual cycle and help you pinpoint your fertile days. To be sure you get started on the right track, we recommend that you take a couple of minutes to read our article on Basal Body Temperature Charting at https://www.ovagraph.com/basal-body-temperature-charting before you begin.
What are some of the dos and don’ts of BBT charting?
To get accurate results from BBT charting, it is important to be consistent about how and when you take your temperature. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow when charting your BBT:
- DO take your BBT at the same time each day.
- DO take your BBT consistently throughout your entire cycle.
- DO take your BBT while laying in bed without moving.
- DO get a consistent night of sleep - at least 4 hours of continuous sleep before taking your BBT.
- DO chart your BBT to the 1/100th of a degree.
- DON'T brush your teeth, eat, drink, go to the bathroom or move before taking your BBT.
- DON'T worry if you miss a day, we're human and it's bound to happen - just make sure you get back to it the next day.
On which cycle day should I start charting my BBT?
We recommend that you begin taking your BBT on Cycle Day 1, which is the first day of full menstrual blood flow (not spotting). Continue taking your BBT daily throughout your entire cycle. By charting your BBT daily, you will get a full picture of your cycle.
What conditions might alter my basal body temperature and impact my chart?
There are many factors that can impact your basal body temperature. These include, but are not limited to:
- Inconsistent sleep (for any reason)
- Alcohol and/or Smoking
- Change of seasons (temperature of house or climate change)
- Change of sleep schedule
If you are worried that one of your readings might be "incorrect" due to one of the factors listed above, we recommend that you chart the reading anyway. If you decide that you don't want this reading included in the ovulation calculation, you can always check the "Exclude from BBT-based interpretation" box.
How much does my BBT need to rise to signal that I have ovulated?
A general rule of thumb in BBT charting is to look for a temperature shift of at least .4 degrees Fahrenheit from one day to the next as a sign that ovulation has occurred. Then, watch for your BBT to remain elevated for the next several days to confirm that the temperature shift is sustained and that you are now in your luteal phase. Because some women have a more subtle temperature shift, you can also look for a temperature shift of at least .2 degrees Fahrenheit above the highest temperature in the previous 6 days.
OvaGraph automatically runs your BBT data set for each cycle through its algorithm to produce a BBT-based ovulation date and to display a cover line.
What is a coverline and how does OvaGraph determine where to draw it?
When interpreting BBT charts, we often look for a so-called "biphasic" pattern. A typical BBT chart will have two distinct phases ("biphasic"), showing relatively low temperatures before ovulation and slightly higher temperatures after ovulation. These phases are seperated by the temperature rise that occurs just after ovulation takes place.
A general rule of thumb in BBT charting is that this biphasic pattern suggests successful ovulation - as long as the your BBT remains higher after ovulation you can rest assured that ovulation has taken place. But, because the temperature shift that follows ovulation can be very small, it can be difficult to identify this biphasic pattern. As a result, drawing a "coverline" on your chart can be a helpful way to seperate the two phases of your chart and help you determine if your temperatures are, in fact, remaining elevated. OvaGraph will automatically draw a cover line once ovulation has been detected. The coverline will be drawn .1 degrees Fahrenheit above the highest of the previous six temperatures before the temperture rise.
It is important to keep in mind that the coverline is only a visual tool intended to help with chart interpration and has no physiological meaning. Many different factors can cause temperature fluctuations and a temperature that falls below the coverline does not necessary indicate anything significant. Please use the coverline as a guide, and keep in mind that as long as you are able to detect a general biphasic pattern in your chart, you need not worry about one or two temperatures that drop below the coverline.
How long after my temperature rises will OvaGraph detect that ovulation has occurred?
Once a BBT shift is detected, your BBT must remain elevated for an additional 3 to 4 days in order for OvaGraph to confirm ovulation. If your BBT does remain elevated for several days following the rise, OvaGraph will confirm ovulation on the day before the rise by displaying a purple vertical line and a purple horizontal coverline. If your BBT does not remain elevated following the rise, OvaGraph will continue looking for another temperature shift.
I have completed a full cycle of BBT charting. Why didn’t OvaGraph display my ovulation date?
If after a full cycle of BBT charting, you don't see a confirmation of ovulation on your BBT chart, it could be due to: 1) A lack of data points. 2) An ovulation trend was not detected in your data set.
I think I ovulated on a different day than OvaGraph displays. How can I display “My" Revised Ovulation Day on my graph and calendar?
If you think that you may have ovulated on a different day than OvaGraph.com displays, you can designate this on your graph by marking a specific cycle day as "My" Revised Ovulation Day. To do this, select the "My Cycles" tab, and then select "Edit" for the cycle you are interested in adjusting. Once you reach the "Edit" screen, you will see a drop down menu of cycle days to use to select the cycle day you would like to mark as "My" Revised Ovulation Day. This day will be marked on your graph with a green line.
If you're using the app, you can still add the "My" Revised Ovulation Day to your chart. Simply swipe from the Home screen to the Menu screen and select Cycles. From here, select your current cycle you are interested in adjusting. Then, you can select the "Revised Ovulation Day" field to notate the day you believe ovulation took place. This day will be marked on your graph with a green line.
Why do my BBT ovulation date and my other fertility signs not match up?
In a perfect world, all of our fertility signs would match up exactly, each them pointing to the exact same day for ovulation. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way. Ovulation is a complex process, involving the interaction of several different hormones. And because ovulation is a complex process, no fertility tracking method is perfect for every woman, every cycle. As a result, it is a tall order to expect that all of the different fertility signs (each one tracking or measuring a different hormone), would perfectly align in all cases. For example, ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) identify the surge in lutenizing hormone (LH) that precedes ovulation, while BBT charting identifies the increase in progesterone that follows ovulation. Not only are these two methods tracking different hormones, one is predictive of ovulation, while the other confirms that ovulation has occurred. A positive result on an OPK typically indicates that ovulation will follow in 12-36 hours. In BBT charting, the temperature rise typically follows ovulation by 24 hours, but some women experience a delayed temperature rise. These are just general guidelines, and the timing and manner in which testing is done (for both OPKs and BBT) can impact the results, as can even slight hormonal imbalances. Consequently, it is not surprising that these methods might place ovulation on different days, at least some of the time.
When it comes to fertility charting, the more information the better! By charting more than one fertility sign, you will gain a complete picture of your cycle, even if the results are not perfectly aligned.
One of my BBT readings is inaccurate. Can I exclude this reading from the ovulation calculation? And, if so, how do I exclude this reading?
If you’re entering those readings through the app, you’ll simply tap on ‘Basal Temperature Excluded’ to exclude that temperature (you’ll see a checkmark on that line to know it’s excluded). Then, just make sure to Save.
While on the website, when you "Add a Cycle Day", you can elect to exclude that temperature from the BBT calculation (but still display on your chart). Select the Temperature tab and click the box to exclude that temperature. When you view your graph, you will see the data point displayed, but it will be greyed out. This temperature will not be factored into the BBT algorithm.
How can I display my temperatures to the 1/100th of a degree?
You can display your temperatures with two decimal points instead of one (for example, 97.83 instead of 97.8).
If you're using the website to enter your readings, select "My Account", then select "Chart Settings". Scroll down to the Data Entry Preferences, and you can modify your Temperature Accuracy there. Make sure to select "Update Your Settings" at the bottom of the page!
If you're using the OvaGraph app to enter your readings, go to the Menu screen of the app and tap "Settings", then "Chart Settings". Scroll down to the Data Entry Preferences, and you can modify your Temperature Accuracy there. Make sure to select "Update Your Settings" at the bottom of the page!
How can I display my readings in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit?
To display your BBT readings in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, or visa versa, on the website select "My Account", then select "Chart Settings". Scroll down to the Data Entry Preferences, and then select your Preferred Temperature Unit there.
If you're updating through the app, swipe over to the Menu screen and select "Settings" and then "Chart Settings". Scroll down to the Data Entry Preferences, and then select your Preferred Temperature Unit there.
How can I show my Ovulation Date (per BBT) and my Coverline Temp on my Cycle Data chart that appears at the bottom of the graph page?
To display your Ovulation Date and Coverline Temp on your chart, select "My Account", then select "Chart Settings". Scroll to your Chart Preferences - to the last category, Display The Following Cycle Info. Here you can select what you'd like to see in the chart below your graphs.