Home » How to Chart your Cycles
When gender swaying, you need to start by tracking a minimum of 3 cycles before you try to conceive. If you have recently had a baby, are breastfeeding or are on a hormone-based contraception (so not including condoms or the copper coil) then you ideally need to track your practice cycles for 6 months prior. Your hormones are going through intense changes during the months following birth, whilst on contraception and when weaning off the breast, so allowing yourself this amount of time is advisable as those hormones may unsettle your cycles.
This free chart, linked here, will help you keep a log of everything important that you will need to write down during your sway.
You will need to record the following:
During your practice cycles, you are trying NOT to get pregnant so you can get as much information to favour your sway as possible. You must stop using contraception and either use condoms or abstain from sexual intercourse during this time. You can, of course, show each other sexual attention in other ways without it having to involve intercourse, in-fact we recommend continuing intimacy in the months leading up to TTC.
Practising your Charts
Below is information on how to chart your cycles using our FREE charts for Club Members, so you can get a gage of how they work and what you need to log. The first day of your period is the first day of your cycle, so in the first box, write down ‘period’ and CD1 (cycle day 1), then fill in the date.
To begin with, you should start testing your LH levels using the OPK strips the day after your period ends, around CD5 or 6, and every other day thereafter, until CD10 when you should test every day, twice a day- once in the morning (after 10am) and again in the evening. You will need to take more tests around the time of ovulation. The more tests you take, the closer you will get to detecting the absolute beginning of your surge in LH levels (ovulation). Once you see a darkening in the colour of the test line, we advise you take more than two tests in the day so you find your darkest strip. This usually takes places around CD 12-CD18. Depending on the length of your cycle you may need to continue testing until CD20 or longer. These practise cycles are to help you gage your average cycle length, and the length of your luteal phase. Fill in your test data every day from CD5 or CD6 until you find your surge (darkest test positive result). You should chart these results by writing ‘faint’, ‘medium’, ‘dark’ and ‘surge’.
Let’s say for example that you get your surge on CD14 at 11am (this is your darkest test strip), you would record surge and the time on the chart and then ovulation on CD15 since ovulation typically occurs without 24 hours of the LH surge being detected. Once you have detected your surge, you no longer need to test for this cycle. It is advisable to take a few tests after your surge to make sure the results start to fade again. After a few months of practise cycles, you should start to recognise a pattern, and can test less frequently- after all, ovulation testing isn’t cheap! ( We recommend THIS brand of ovulation tests, available from Amazon, cheap and reliable!)
On the days running up to ovulation, it is advisable to test your pH balance to see what your vaginal environment is favouring. Make sure you write your results on the chart. When you are ovulating test again using the litmus paper. When you are trying to conceive and if you are using the douches and/or lubricants, test your pH balance before and after sex.
Some women like to test dad-to-be’s pH balance prior to trying to conceive to see where diet can help change their results too.
After 3 practise cycles, you will begin to get a gage of your cycle lengths and average LH surge day. this is extremely important when swaying for a girl as you will need to predict when your LH surge will happen. It is also important when swaying for a boy as you will need to know when your LH surge happens due to timing intercourse 24hours and 48 hours after!
If you have been tracking for three months and have stopped all hormonal contraception but are unable to detect ovulation, or if your cycles are very short, you should consult your doctor as they may be able to help with lengthening your luteal phase with prescribed medication.