Here’s what mine looks like:
I’m actually really excited about it! It was less than $8 at Walmart. It’s a basal thermometer and it said “family planning” on the packaging (but I don’t think the cashier gave me a funny look). It took me a while to get around to getting it. But I got it before my next cycle starts so I’m calling this a success. 🙂
As I was about to head to bed last night I remembered about the thermometer and that I would be able to use it the next morning. I opened up the pink packaging and read the directions. Cleaned it like it said to, stuck it in its case and set it on the dresser next to my bed. Then I just had to try to make my excited self get to sleep. (Hm…after re-reading this I realize I might be a bit of a charting dork.)
This morning I got to “temp” for the first time. That is, when I woke up I grabbed the thermometer and stuck it in my mouth under my tongue. I didn’t think I’d done it right the first time so I did it again. But the temperature was about the same. So I guess I did all right.
I made sure to jot down my reading and the time I took it on a piece of paper so I could enter it into my fertility tracking sites later. I’m currently signed up for 3 and am trying to whittle the number down.
The 3 are:
- TCOYF.org (Taking Charge of Your Fertility, as in the NFP book of awesomeness that everyone swears by)
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of them.
TCOYF is all official and puts cool, easy to read, icons on the calendar for menses and ovulation. However, it doesn’t allow me to add symptoms such as cramps, dizziness, or mood except as a note (and those are hard to review). This is because I just have a free membership instead of a paid one. I think with the free version I can only store 3 months of cycle data too, which is lame.
Fertility Friend has a chart and calendar all on one page. They also are sending me a 30 day course via email that teaches you about charting and your cycle. Right now I can also add symptoms which are then colored-coded and numbered and put on the chart. But this is only because I was given a free 30 day trial of their premium membership. After that, I would have to do notes.
My Monthly Cycles allows me to add symptoms free and easy. (It actually has a pre-set list which you select from). For anything not listed I can write a note which are a lot easier to read and access than on TCOYF. However, My Monthly Cycles doesn’t have a chart per se. Rather they have a graph for BBT which will also give you your CM observations as little abbreviations at the top.
I’m still deciding which to use. TCYOF isn’t really working for me and my needs (at least not the free version). I do like My Monthly Cycles. Their symptom entry is great, especially compared to just taking notes. You can also chart symptoms on their site too. But not having a standard chart for my cycle is kind of a drawback (though not a huge one I guess).
The next month or so I’m going to be getting myself in the habit of temping every morning. And I can use those temps to determine when ovulation happened and by extension when my period should come. I have wonky cycles (as this post explains). In fact, I entered the dates of a few of my last periods on Fertility Friend and it told me this:
So yeah, that’s my update on my charting journey. Check back later (or follow!) for more!
Let me hear your questions and/or comments below! I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s temping/charting!