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OH BLOODY HELL, IT'S SHARK WEEK... AGAIN
When I was younger, I used to be completely surprised by the arrival of my period. I was also a little fuzzy about when exactly I was most fertile each month, even after I became a mother. Twice. (I know... right?) Fast forward to last year when, in my late 40s, I decide to study up in order to answer a frequent Bullet Journaling Tips & Tricks request, "Let me see your period trackers." Thanks to you all, I am now far less clueless about the female cycle! Oh, how I would have loved what I'm about to show you when I was younger. Better "late" than never I guess? (Har, har!) Anyways, below I'll describe how to track the length of your cycle, better predict the start of your next period and identify the portion of each month you're more likely to be fertile. I'm using the Period Fertility Tracking Stencil we designed to make the whole process both simple AND lovely.
LATHER, RINSE, AND REPEAT
Since the length of your cycle can vary slightly from month to month, keep track of your cycle for at least 5 or 6 months initially in order to get an overall average of your cycle lengths.
FERTILITY AND FAMILY PLANNING
Intercourse during the first seven squares on the circle will have a very low likelihood of resulting in pregnancy. However, somewhere between squares 8 through 19 will be a fertile period of approximately 6 days, during which there is a higher likelihood of getting pregnant if you have unprotected intercourse. Here's how you can get a little bit closer to figuring out where your 6 days will fall each month using trackers.
Becoming more aware of your cycle can give you an idea of when to use additional birth control methods if you want to avoid pregnancy or help highlight the days during which you're more likely to conceive if you're hoping to start a family. Identifying the day you actually ovulate and the days that proceed and follow it when conception is actually possible is a more involved process. It involves tracking your menstrual cycle as described above, combined with the Temperature Method where you take your temperature in the morning every day before you get out of bed and the Cervical Mucus Method where you check your cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) every day. We've included the icons in the center of the Period Fertility Tracking Stencil to make recording these types of details in your daily, weekly, or monthly spreads more enjoyable as well.
LASTLY, PLEASE NOTE: NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME
This tracking technique is effective if your menstrual cycles are regularly between 26 and 32 days long. Determine if your cycles are in this range and whether they stay in this range first before you use a tracker like this for family planning purposes. If you have cycles outside this range, you should use a different family planning method to prevent pregnancy. It's also advisable to use more than one method of birth control at a time if you want to avoid becoming pregnant.