The 5 Most Common Charting Mistakes
Maybe you just discovered Fertility Awareness and want to jump right in. So you read everything you can find online about it and try to piece together all the information. The downfall:
1 - Mixing and matching different Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs)
Maybe you just discovered Fertility Awareness and want to jump right in. So you read everything you can find online about it and try to piece together all the information. The downfall: there are many different FAMBs and while most of them share foundational factors (like observing cervical mucus, writing down your observations), many have different systems of observing cervical mucus and interpreting those observations, and different methods also have different rules when it comes to identifying your fertile and infertile days. The same goes for knowing temperature rules if you follow a sympto-thermal method. Different methods have different rules for confirming ovulation with your BBT!
2 - Asking for advice in facebook groups
You want to know if you’ve ovulated or if you’re pregnant or how to get rid of your PMS symptoms, so you just post your chart in a Fertility Awareness facebook group. But remember, while some people in those groups are in fact fertility awareness educators, MOST of them only chart their own cycles (which is a huge difference!!). If you’re not trained in looking at the menstrual cycle in a systematized way, all you have to go off is your own charting experience, and your cycles might look completely different than someone else’s! The same goes for [insert cycle issue]. If magnesium worked for one charter to completely eradicate their PMS symptoms, it might not be the magic bullet for you.
3 - Rhythm method thinking - assuming you’re infertile because you’re on [insert day] of your cycle
What do you call people who use the rhythm method? PARENTS!
We as humans like predictability and consistency. And it is SO easy to fall into the rhythm method thinking trap even when you chart your cycles. Thoughts like “wellll… I always ovulate later in my cycle, like around day 25 or 26 soooo I won’t be fertile this early in my cycle” might seem logical, but remember that you can only confirm that ovulation has happened in retrospect. So if you’re adamant about avoiding pregnancy, paying attention to cervical mucus (which leads up to ovulation) and knowing your method’s rules about determining fertile and infertile days are your safest bet!
4 - Thinking some mucus is more or less fertile
Can you be more or less pregnant? No. You’re either pregnant or you’re not. So you’re either fertile or you’re not. All cervical mucus has the ability to keep sperm alive for up to 5 days. If you see sticky or lotiony mucus, that is your red flag that today is a fertile day. And the same goes for TTC! Don’t dismiss a day because you think it’s “less fertile”!
5 - Reconstructing your chart from memory when you haven’t recorded your observations for a couple of days
You’d be surprised how much your memory can deceive you. Trying to back track is a sure way to miss something which can be a problem for both TTA and TTC! Finding a way to incorporate noting down your observations into your daily routine is key :)
Just to confess, I’ve made at least 3 of those mistakes, especially at the beginning of my journey!
Have you found yourself falling into any of these traps? Share with us in the comments!