Couple to Couple League International (CCL) states: “A woman’s body temperature rises after ovulation in response to progesterone, so recording the basal body temperature throughout the menstrual cycle provides important information. A woman takes her temperature each day and records it on her chart (and we encourage husbands to help here!). It’s very simple, and with a digital thermometer, you can take your temperature in a minute or less.” Digital thermometers specifically for charting ovulation are available in drugstores and do not cost much! If you buy abroad, it costs about P600. Locally, there is a brand sold that costs approximately P500.
In a nutshell, couples who want to avoid pregnancy have sex only on the fourth evening after the wife’s temperature has gone up. And for many women who chart both their cervical mucus (see article on “Natural Family Planning, Part 1”) and their temperatures, they will notice that on the fourth day after their “egg-white day,” they have no more or very little cervical discharge.
Is it important to chart both the wife’s temperatures and her cervical mucus? For advocates of the Sympto-Thermal Method, yes. Making use of two fertility signs can help couples be doubly sure about when ovulation takes place (and ovulation does not necessarily happen on Day 14!).
Wives who just want to chart their cervical mucus can follow the Billings Method, another scientifically proven Natural Family Planning Method (www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org). They have amazing research studies and data culled from thousands of women who have been following the Billings Method.
Women may likewise choose to chart their temperatures only. If they get erratic temperature readings, however, they have no way of cross-checking if they do not also chart their cervical mucus.
Another sign of fertility becomes obvious in the cervix. This is an optional sign to observe for the simple reason that most women do not feel comfortable doing an internal examination on themselves. What does the cervix tell women about their fertility?
CCL explains, “Like the cervical mucus, the cervix changes in response to both estrogen and progesterone. It is closed and hard until the beginning of the fertile time. As ovulation approaches, however, the cervix opens slightly and becomes softer, feeling somewhat like your lip. These are gradual changes that usually occur over a period of a week or more. After ovulation, the cervix closes and hardens again, and feels similar to the tip of the nose.” Again, examining this fertility sign is optional!
Natural Family Planning, Part 1