Signs of Fertility

Fertility Care in Leigh on Sea Essex at Eco Therapies with Fertility Acupuncturist & Functional Medicine Practitioner Elaine Otrofanowei

Female Fertility Signs

Usually, the four primary fertility signs which ovulating women show are changes in:

  • Basal body temperature or waking temperature
  • Cervical fluid or mucus
  • Position of cervix
  • LH surge

Basal body temperature (BBT) or waking temperature

The basal body temperature (BBT) is the temperature of the body on waking. It is called basal because it is measured at a time when the body is deeply rested and the body’s metabolism is at its baseline.

A woman’s BBT rises after she has ovulated and begins to produce progesterone. A woman’s pre-ovulatory BBT typically range from about 97.0 (36.1 C) to 97.5 (36.4C) degrees Fahrenheit, with postovulatory temperatures rising to about 97.6-98.6.(36.4 -36.9C) After ovulation, they will stay elevated until her next period. If she were to become pregnant, they would remain high throughout her pregnancy.

Temperatures typically rise within a day or so after ovulation and are the result of the heat inducing hormone, progesterone. Usually, the rise in temperature signifies that ovulation has already occurred. It does not reveal impending ovulation, as do the other three fertility signs, the cervical fluid, LH surge and cervical position.

When interpreting temperatures, the key thing to do is to look for a pattern of lows and highs. See the whole, rather than day-to day changes.

Certain factors can increase your BBT, such as:

  • Having a fever
  • Drinking alcohol the night before
  • Getting less than three consecutive hours sleep before taking it
  • Stress
  • Taking is at a substantially different times than usual
  • Using an electric blanket or hot water bottle that you normally don’t use

The BBT chart can indicate not just your fertile period and best timing, but can be show up issues such as:

  • short luteal phase
  • thyroid problems
  • anovulation
  • low progesterone
  • hormonal imbalance (PCOS)
  • very early miscarriage

Cervical fluid or mucus

Cervical fluid or mucus is to women what seminal fluid is to the man. Men produce seminal fluid continually because they are always fertile. Women, on the other hand are only fertile the few days around ovulation, and therefore only produce the substance necessary for sperm nourishment and mobility during that time.

As you approach ovulation, your cervical fluid gets progressively more lubricative. It may change from being sticky to being creamy or lotion like, and then to resembling raw egg white. At this time, it’s slippery and can stretch. You may also notice that the fluid is wet and that you feel a lubricative vaginal sensation.

After oestrogen has peaked, the cervical fluid changes abruptly, sometime within hours. There will be a drying of the fluid and the lack of cervical fluid will usually last the duration of the cycle.

Finally, just before menstruation, you may notice a wet and watery sensation, which is due to the drop in progesterone that precedes the disintegration of the lining of the uterus. This is not a fertile fluid.
Factors which can affect cervical fluid are:

  • Vaginal infections
  • Seminal fluid
  • Spermicides and lubricants
  • Some medication such as antihistamines, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants
  • Coming off the contraceptive pill

Cervical position

Your cervix, the lower part of the uterus, which extends into your vagina, goes through cyclical changes throughout the cycle. As the hormones signal the approach of ovulation, the shape, position and texture of the cervix change.

As with the cervical fluid, the cervix prepares itself for a pregnancy by becoming soft and open around ovulation in order to allow the sperm to pass through the uterus. In addition, the cervix also rises due to the oestrogenic effect on the ligaments that hold the uterus in place.

So the cervix goes from being firm like the tip of your nose to becoming soft and mushy as you approach ovulation. In addition, it is normally fairly low and closed, and rises and opens around ovulation.

Luteinising Hormone (LH) Surge

The surge in LH produced by the pituitary gland last 24 to 48 hours and is responsible for triggering ovulation.  This surge also coincides with the slippery/stretch cervical mucus. LH levels can be monitored using test /OPK strips  starting from about day 9 of a 28 day cycle. Often women with high LH levels (PCOS) often have problems using these .


Secondary fertility signs

Many women notice other signs and these can be practical information to identify fertile and infertile phases:

  • Midcycle spotting
  • Pain or achiness near the ovaries
  • Increased sexual feelings
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Increased energy levels
  • Heightened sense of vision, smell and taste
  • Water retention
  • Increased sensitivity in breasts and skin

Lyttleton J (2004) Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine Churchill Livingstone
Toni Weschler (2003) Taking Charge of your Fertility Vermillon

If you would like to know more or have 1 to 1 coaching on how to monitor your body’s fertile signs book an online video consultation appointment or sign up for the online fertility coaching

Need Help? Contact Me

If you interested in fertility Care in Leigh on Sea, Essex or the London Area and would like an appointment please phone or or email me.

It still takes two to a make a baby, so it is important that both partners make sure that they are achieving the optimum environment for conception to take place.

Even if you feel that you have no fertility issues and planning to conceive, acupuncture and reflexology may ensure that your body is in peak condition for your planned pregnancy. See male infertility

Where should I start?

Sometimes deciding where to start on your journey to parenthood can be daunting, it is essential to make yourself a plan of action and see it through. Below are some steps that I suggest you take.

  • If you have been trying to conceive for more than a year without success you should seek medical advice, if you are over 35 years old then seek help after 6 months. Though it is advisable to put some of these steps below into action as soon as you decided to try to conceive.
  • Your GP or consultant will arrange for both female and male to be tested.  This will give you a good picture of what is happening inside your body. Having these results to discuss during your consultation with me will be very helpful and gives us a head start when using natural fertility therapies. (see fertility testing)
  • Seek the help from a complementary therapy practitioner with experience in treating fertility
  • Fertility diet, this is one of the most powerful tools to help boost your fertility and prepare your body for pregnancy. Good nutrition provides the building blocks of your hormones, optimizes the health of your eggs and sperm . It is also just as important to know what foods you should reduce or avoid, going Gluten and Dairy free and reducing sugar intake.
  • Supplements , preconception supplements should contain these vitamins and minerals Vitamin D,E and C, B6, B12, folic acid. Iron, selenium, zinc.  You will also need to add a good antioxidant and  essential fatty acids such as omega 3. See my product page.

Other self -help treatments –  Castor oil & heat treatment, Hot water foot soak and femoral massage. 

Exercise – There are very important reasons why exercise helps to keep us healthy fertile beings. Regular exercise strengthens our muscles, builds stamina, may increase flexibility, increases circulation, keeps stress, depression and anxiety at bay, and promotes regular detoxification of excess hormones and toxins in the body. It is important to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Regular exercise also is beneficial for preparing the body for the hard work of childbirth.  Exercise needs to be low-impact, moderate and done on a consistent basis.

Ideas for Exercise:

  • Walking
  • Fertility Yoga
  • Biking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming Laps

Reducing stress – research has shown that excessive stress can have a negative effective on your fertility, by effecting the fertility hormones and reducing blood flow to the pelvic area. So it is important to find ways that help you to reduce your stress levels and the emotional impact of infertility. Fertility yoga, meditation, tai chi, journaling, EFT, acupuncture and reflexology or just going for a walk can be helpful. See this Daily Mail article.

Fertility monitoring – the four primary fertility signs which ovulating women show are changes in:

  • Basal body temperature or waking temperature
  • Cervical fluid or mucus
  • Position of cervix
  • LH surge

These signs will help you to time your sexual intercourse at your most fertile time. They are also used by your practitioner to diagnosis any imbalances and monitor improvements during your treatment. ( see signs of fertility and fertility monitoring).

Please note that natural fertility treatment takes time to bear fruit, thinking of it this way when you plant a seed, it is important to prepare and nourish the soil, water and feed it and give it time to grow. It is important to give natural fertility treatment between 3 to 6 months to see positive results. So try to be patient!

Need Help? Contact Me

If you interested in fertility Care in Leigh on Sea, Essex or the London Area and would like an appointment please phone 07949407336 or email me.

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