How To Track Your Cycle in Erie CO?

How To Track Your Cycle in Erie CO?

Chiropractic Erie CO Tracking Your Cycle

By Dr. Samantha Boldt

Why Track?

A lot of women's initial reaction to tracking their cycle and ovulation is to think about how much extra work this is going to add to each of their days. However, an experienced tracker can easily complete their day in under a minute. Not only is it fast and easy to do, it gives you so much information about your hormones and your health!

Tracking your cycle in Erie CO allows you to know when you're going to ovulate (for fertility or contraception purposes) and to know when you're going to get your period. You will start understanding your body's unique patterns (and we all are unique!) and be able to know if and when something starts going wrong. This allows you to take action more quickly. Tracking will also tell you a lot about your overall health and especially how your hormones play a role in it.

Tracking your cycle in Erie CO

When we're talking about tracking, it's not just putting a start date and end date of your period. It's a daily quick report of what your body is doing. Many women are shocked after they track for 3 months at just how much insight it gives them into their health and hormonal patterns. Things they used to think were random (getting headaches 1-2x a month, feeling exhausted once in a while, feeling way more stressed and trouble sleeping but it comes and goes) easily to start to fit into a pattern and gives valuable information about your hormone levels.

Remember, tracking is a privilege, not a burden. We are so lucky to have the knowledge that we do and the ability to keep track of things more easily than ever before. By tracking, we get to take control of our hormone health and stop feeling like our hormones are a mystery!


One of the easiest ways to start tracking your cycle is by taking your waking temperature. In the follicular phase of your cycle (first half) your temperature is often .5 to 1 degree lower than in the luteal phase of your cycle (second half). The increase in temperature happens within a day after ovulation. Progesterone, which is created by the corpus luteum (previously the egg), starts to build up, causing the rise in temperature. This rise in temperature typically maintains until the start of your period. If you are pregnant, the temperature will remain elevated throughout most of the pregnancy.

When tracking your waking temperature, it's important not to look at it day by day, especially for the first few months while you're learning. If your average follicular phase temperature is 97.4, you have a day that it drops down to 97, and the next day it rises up to 97.6, this doesn't necessarily mean you ovulated. That increased day is still really close to the average temperature. You have to step back and look at the pattern of the first two weeks and the second two weeks to gain a better understanding of your temperatures. Usually after two full months of charting, you will feel much more confident in knowing when you ovulated based off of temperature.

Remember, your temperature goes up AFTER you ovulate. It often takes between 12-48 hours after ovulation to see the waking temperature change. Once you ovulate, women are set to have their period in 12-16 days.

Factors that will influence waking temperatures:

  • Being sick
  • Getting less or more sleep than normal (especially less)
  • Waking up at a very different time than normal (at least an hour difference)
  • Drinking alcohol the night before
  • Certain Medications
  • A LOT of stress
  • Sleeping in different temperatures

As you can see, there will be variations on what the waking temperature is day to day. If you step back and look at the whole month, usually, a very clear patterns emerges.

Cervical Fluid

Not all women realize that there is normally a very consistent pattern to their cervical fluid. In fact, I have many women who think they have just a bunch of small infections and UTIs throughout the year, because they don't understand that changing cervical fluid is not only normal, but also very healthy.

Timeline: Right after your period, most women typically have a dryer vaginal sensation. You may either notice no moisture during this time, or very slight moisture that evaporates quickly if touched. Sometime between Day 5 and Day 10 of your cycle (remember day 1 is the start of your period), you will probably start noticing a change in your cervical fluid. Estrogen levels are rising, and so the cervical fluid is going to start to become sticky.

Sticky: The next few days, which can be anywhere from one day to multiple days, is probably going to fall into the sticky definition. This can be pasty, gummy, crumbly, flaky, rubbery, it's different than before, but it's not very wet yet. While possibly fertile, it's not very conducive to the survival and motility of sperm.

Creamy: The next type of cervical fluid is creamy. Again, this can last anywhere from a day to multiple days. This is a wetter type of cervical fluid. It can be creamy, lotiony, milky, but while it's more wet than the sticky type, it's not quite as wet as the final type.

Eggwhite: This brings us to eggwhite. Eggwhite cervical fluid is basically just that. It resembles raw eggwhite. It's very wet, lubricative, and stretchy. The actual biggest factor is that it creates a very lubricative vaginal feeling, even if you don't SEE these other descriptions. Most women have this for 2-4 days, somewhere between day 10 to day 16.

Next, due to a sudden drop in estrogen and a surge of progesterone as the egg is about to be released (ovulation), cervical fluid changes pretty abruptly. Within just a few hours, you can go from feeling very lubricated back to the initial dry sensation, which usually lasts the rest of the cycle. Some women do feel a watery sensation just before the onset of their period. However, the first part of the uterine lining that exits is typically the water, and so this is not to be confused with other fertile cervical fluid sensations.

  • Sticky - Cervical fluid that is pasty, gummy, crumbly and causes a dry or sticky vaginal sensation. Usually white, yellow, or cloudy.
  • Creamy - Cervical fluid has a wet consistency and is the transition between sticky and eggwhite. Can be creamy, lotiony, milky, gummy. Usually opaque.
  • Eggwhite - Cervical fluid that is stretchy, clear, or lubricative. Can be slippery or watery. Usually clear, cloudy, or streaked. IT causes a lubricative vaginal sensation. This is the most fertile fluid.
  • Arousal Fluid - Arousal fluid is typically thin and dries very quickly. Wet cervical fluid tends to stay wet until washed off.

Cervical Position

For most of the cycle, the cervix (between the vagina and the uterus) is firm, low, closed, and non-wet. It can be a challenge to figure out what that means until you start tracking it. After 3-4 months, it becomes very clear when you cervix is getting ready for ovulation.

Every month, the cervix prepares for pregnancy. For a few days, it will become softer, more open, more wet, and also rise up to be closer to the top of the vagina and further from the vaginal opening. The SHOW acronym is used to know when your cervix is preparing for ovulation. Soft, High, Open, and Wet. This happens a few days before ovulation. After ovulation, the cervix will return to its typical state.

If you're having trouble initially figuring out what your cervix feels like, remember, you also have two other signs to help compare it to! By tracking the waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position, you will be able to have a very good idea of when ovulation is happening and how healthy your cycle is.

Secondary Ovulatory Signs

Some women have other signs that they're about to ovulate or have just ovulated, and while common, they aren't necessarily healthy.

These signs include:

  • Spotting at Ovulation
  • Abdominal, Low Back, Or hip Pain
  • Water retention and abdominal bloating
  • Swollen vulva
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Breast tenderness
  • Heightened sense of vision, smell, and taste
  • Increased sexual feelings
  • Increased Energy Levels

The signs that we pay particular close attention to are the spotting, pain, water retention, and swelling. Again, these signs are fairly common, but they often mean that there is some hormonal imbalance going on causing these unwanted symptoms.

How effective is tracking for birth control?

Tracking can be very a very effective form of birth control. Contraception failure rate is expressed as "perfect use" and "typical use." Perfect use is how often contraception fails when they use the contraceptive method perfectly. Typical use is how often contraception fails when allowing for human error (forgetting to take a pill, condom breaking, taking medication that interferes with birth control, improper storage, etc).

The common birth control pill has a perfect use failure rate of just .3 percent, but its typical use failure rate is close to 9 percent. Meanwhile, tracking your cycle using all 3 signs above has a perfect use failure rate of .6 percent, slightly higher than the pill, and a typical use failure rate of just 1.8 percent!

A lot of women are shocked to hear that the pill has about a 9% failure rate. It seems like there would be a lot more unplanned pregnancies if this was the case. However, while men are fertile every day, women are only fertile 4-6 days a month. Women can normally have a pregnancy occur when having sex 4-5 days before they ovulate and the day after they ovulate.

So not only does the birth control pill have to fail to get pregnant, it needs to fail on very specific days. When tracking your cycle, you know exactly when ovulation is coming. However, I still caution women to abstain from unprotected sex for a full 7 days before they ovulate and 2 days after. This leaves room for human error and lowers the typical use failure rate even more.


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