Lesson 18 – Distinguishing an Ideal Ovulation Pattern

Lesson Objectives:

  • Understand the characters that signify an ideal ovulation pattern
  • Recognize a regular ovulation pattern on a fertility chart

Major Points in this Lesson:

  • An ideal ovulation pattern shows correlating signs
  • There are several types of “ideal” ovulation patterns
  • An ideal ovulation pattern shows a clear thermal shift following ovulation
  • An ideal ovulation pattern is accompanied by fertile cervical fluid (egg white or watery) prior to ovulation.

When some women begin the fertility charting process, they have a preconceived notion of what an “ideal” ovulation chart should look like. Some research may lead you to believe that you must have certain fertility signs on certain days of your cycle for your fertility chart to be accurate. However, this is false. There is no one correct ovulation pattern. In fact, there are many types of “ideal” fertility patterns that can help you identify when you are most likely ovulating. 

An ideal ovulation pattern is simply the most common pattern seen in women. If your chart does not have this “regular” or “ideal” pattern, it is not an immediate cause for concern. Your regular ovulation chart may be different than someone else’s, and learning how to read your own normal chart can be more valuable. However, to distinguish your fertility chart from the regular, it’s important to know what to look for.

Regular ovulation patterns typically have the following characteristics:

  • As ovulation nears, cervical fluid becomes increasingly wet or watery
  • Soon after the temperature rise, cervical fluid promptly dries up
  • In the days leading up to ovulation, a patch of egg white cervical fluid is often observed
  • After ovulation, there is a biphasic temperature shift which indicates a notable increase in temperature
  • Throughout the luteal phase, temperature rises occur in a single abrupt shift
  • Just before the temperature rise, the cervix is soft, high, and open
  • About 12 to 36 hours prior to the temperature rise, an OPK is positive
  • An OPK is typically only positive in the one to two days leading up to ovulation
  • Full ferning is seen via microscope immediately before ovulation
  • A fertility monitor may show a peak reading the day before a temperature rise and a high reading in the days leading up to ovulation

Just like there are “ideal” fertility patterns, there are also “non-ideal” patterns. Having a non-ideal pattern does not mean that you cannot use charting to identify ovulation and other changes in your cycle. Remember that a chart can still be “normal”, yet not fit the ideal.