Lesson 15 – How to Identify Ovulation Patterns

Lesson Objectives:

  • Be able to identify ideal ovulation patterns
  • Learn how to cross-check to interpret ambiguous signs
  • Know what pattern variations can occur

Major Points in this Lesson:

  • The ability to identify an ideal ovulation pattern can increase the odds of conception.
  • Ovulation can typically be detected on the day before a temperature shift.
  • Ovulation typically occurs on or around the last day that fertile cervical fluid is observed.
  • It’s not unusual to have a chart that doesn’t match an “ideal” pattern.
  • Flexibility is required to properly interpret charts to identify ovulation.

Interpreting a fertility chart requires an understanding of the female menstrual cycle, why and when ovulation signs occur, and how these signs form a pattern. Ovulation patterns are most recognizable when your data is reliable and complete. Fertility charting software makes predictions about when you will most likely ovulate based on this data input. 

Some fertility charts are easy to interpret due to the accurate and consistent data entered to create the chart pattern. Other charts are more difficult to read, especially for women who experience irregular menstrual cycles or do not consistently chart. However, the process gets easier the more you do it. With each charted cycle, you will likely find that your charts become easier to interpret. 

Ideal chart patterns contain all of your fertility signs to suggest when you’re most likely to ovulate. Certain signs may line up properly to detect ovulation. For example, if your cervical fluids have dried up and you observe a thermal shift (temperatures that are higher than the previous several temperature points for a minimum of three days), ovulation can typically be detected for the day before the temperature has shifted.

Basal body temperature (BBT) is often used as a marker for detecting ovulation. A woman’s normal temperature when not ovulating ranges from 96 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. After the release of an egg, a woman’s BBT will increase by approximately half a degree due to the release of the hormone progesterone. Body temperature remains high until right before menstruation when it returns to normal. If your temperature does not change over the course of your cycle, you may not have ovulated.

As the spike in body temperature that indicates ovulation is so small, you need a special basal in-ear thermometer to measure it. Basal thermometers record temperatures in one-tenth of a degree increments compared to traditional fever thermometers that record in two-tenth increments. Basal in-ear thermometers make charting your cycles fast and easy.