Jennifer Aldoretta wrote this on January 11, 2016
I have a confession: I’m a HUGE data junkie. I absolutely love gathering data about my body and being able to benefit from it. Even though I’ve never personally been pregnant, I’m glad that if/when that time comes, I’ll have the know-how to collect the data I need to maximize my chances. And I have the sympto-thermal method to thank for that.
As the CEO of a company that helps teach women when they’re fertile, I’ve talked to TONS of people who have struggled to conceive. And the ones who tracked their fertility using the sympto-thermal method all said the same thing: it helped make the process less stressful and made them feel in control. It’s easy for things to feel out of your control when something isn’t quite going the way you’d hoped, so being able to feel in control is a BIG deal.
Groove has helped countless women get pregnant, and I get so much joy from hearing their stories. Knowing that our hard work has made a difference in someone’s life is honestly the best feeling in the world. So just how does the sympto-thermal method help you get pregnant? DATA.
In order to get pregnant, you need to have unprotected sex as close to ovulation as you can. There are several biomarkers you can easily track that let you know when ovulation is coming up. The most important biomarker is cervical fluid.
Cervical fluid is a substance produced by your cervix in response to hormone changes that are caused by your maturing eggs. The hormone changes are basically your eggs are shouting: “We’re almost ready!” and your cervix responds by producing cervical fluid. Cervical fluid increases sperm penetrability,1 which has been shown to be a strong predictor of conception.2 So collecting data about your cervical fluid effectively raises your chances that sperm will successfully fertilize your egg.
The second biomarker to pay attention to is the cervix itself. I already mentioned that your cervix is what actually produces cervical fluid, but it also changes in other ways as ovulation approaches. It softens just before ovulation (becoming mushy like your lips) and positions itself higher in the vagina to help deliver sperm to the egg. These changes also happen in response to hormone levels. Isn’t data awesome?
Did you know that your egg only lives for a maximum of 24 hours after ovulation? It’s true! Studies have also found that unprotected sex on the day before ovulation gives you the best chances of conceiving. So why is this important?
It’s important because it means you can determine with certainty when your egg is dead and gone and your baby-making window has ended. Another biomarker, called basal body temperature (which is your waking temperature), rises suddenly after ovulation in response to an ovulatory surge of the hormone progesterone. So if you track your basal body temperature, you can easily see when ovulation has occurred and when baby-making is no longer possible. There are SO many couples out there who stress out throughout the entire menstrual cycle about having sex as much as possible. But when you know when you are and aren’t fertile, it can help alleviate a lot of that burden.
Since your cervical fluid and basal body temperature are both dependent on your body’s hormone fluctuations, they can also let you in on some seriously helpful information: they can tell you if you might have a hormone imbalance that could cause difficulty getting pregnant. Having this information and finding out about a hormone imbalance early on can have a huge impact on your journey (and your stress levels). Data is so empowering…I love it!
Charting your fertility using the sympto-thermal method can do all of these things for you…using your body’s very own data! Hopefully you can see how knowing this sort of information can seriously reduce stress and help you feel in control. But I don’t want you to take my word for it, so I asked someone else to share their experience:
Krystal: I’m still trying [to get pregnant], but [charting my fertility] has given me more knowledge. I feel like I know my body now. I know everything I need to do. It helps give me that sense of control and also has helped me learn there is more I can do rather than just being sad it’s not happening.
If you’re having difficulty conceiving, or if you have in the past, there’s a good chance you have an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. Unhealthy periods are a REAL problem these days, which is why I created Period Reset, the 30-day program designed to help you heal your periods and make way for the perfect baby-making bod. Check it out »
Zinaman MJ. Using cervical mucus and other easily observed biomarkers to identify ovulation in prospective pregnancy trials. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2006; 20(Suppl. 1): 26–29.
Lynch CD, Jackson LW, Buck Louis GM. Estimation of the day-specific probabilities of conception: current state of the knowledge and the relevance for epidemiological research. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2006; 20(Suppl. 1): 3–12.