Know Your Fertility

Get pregnant naturally. Avoid pregnancy naturally.

By the time your temperature goes up, it’s too late.

on July 18, 2012

Or: Why, if you are trying to conceive, you should forget about taking your temperature.

Let’s begin by understanding the cycle: To begin the cycle of fertility, a hormone, called follicle-stimulating hormone, (FSH) is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. FSH travels through the bloodstream to the ovaries, causing a few (about 16) of the many tiny follicles there to begin to ripen, or mature. (A follicle is a ring of cells with a tiny, unripe egg, called an ovum, inside.)

As the follicles ripen, they produce another hormone – estrogen. Under the influence of estrogen, the cervix (the opening of the uterus,) begins producing fertile type mucus. For most of us there is enough mucus to be noticed as a wet, slippery sensation outside the vaginal opening. (Without knowing our signs of fertility, we could mistake the cervical mucus for perspiration or an infection!)

Estrogen signals the pituitary gland in the brain that some follicles have matured in the ovaries.

Ovulation: When the pituitary gland receives the message that some follicles have matured, it produces another hormone – leutenizing hormone, or LH. LH causes one of the ripening follicles to release its ovum into a fallopian tube – ovulation

The tiny ovum – barely visible without a microscope – is moved along the fallopian tube by the cilia, tiny hairs that line the fallopian tubes. Fertilization actually takes place while the ovum is still in the fallopian tubes. If the ovum is not fertilized by sperm within 12 to 24 hours, it disintegrates and is reabsorbed by the body.

After ovulation, the empty follicle, which is called the corpus luteum, lives for about two weeks, all the while making another hormone – progesterone.

Progesterone causes a woman’s resting temperature to go up about 4/10 of a degree Fahrenheit or 2/10 of a degree Centigrade.

So here is the important thing about taking your temperature: The rise in temperature is produced by progesterone. Progesterone is produced by the empty follicle. Why is the follicle empty? Because ovulation has already occurred! Since the egg is only capable of being fertilized for about 12 hours after ovulation, by the time the empty follicle produces enough progesterone to cause a rise in temperature, it is too late to fertilize the egg.

So, for those wishing to conceive, I recommend forgetting about the thermometer and paying attention to the sensation outside the vagina, using the wet, slippery days for sexual relations.

That wet, slippery mucus is what protects the sperm from vaginal acidity, keeping the sperm alive, ready and waiting for the egg when it appears. As soon as it does, they race to meet her.
For more information, and a sample chart for keeping track of your basal body temperature, see the free Fertility Awareness download available on this site.

– Marie

8 Responses to “By the time your temperature goes up, it’s too late.”

  1. marie says:

    Counting the days is about 80% effective in avoiding pregnancy. So it is only partially effective in achieving pregnancy, as well. Each woman is different, and so it is necessary to get to know your fertile signs, which allows you to recognize your time of fertility.
    Look at my blog on this site Achieving Pregnancy. Or download my free booklet, Fertility Awareness, on this same site. It will tell you how to recognize your days of fertility without tests. Blessings, Marie

  2. Viki says:

    Go to a local drug store and get a little box of test stpirs that tell you when you are ovulating. You should be able to find a box of 20 test stpirs for about 15.00 20.00. Start testing about 5 days after the last day of your period. So your period ends on monday then start testing on friday and keep testing yourself everyday until you see a positive result, meaning that your body is giving off the hormones telling you that you are ovulating (I think it’s hcg). Continue to test and see how many positive days that you get and mark all of this down on the calendar. Remember that sperm can live inside you for up to 5 or 6 days. Now if you started ovulating on the 15th then you would now know that (15-5 days) you can’t have sex safely past the 10th. There is a window of about 3 to 4 days that you are ovulating or the test will show positive for this hormone so then add those days on. Example: You start ovulating on the 15th then no sex without a condom from the 10th till the 19th. The best way to remember the ovulation day is actually to count how many days total it took you to ovulate from the first day of your period, that way you get it right every month.

  3. I think this is a powerfull website with a lot interesting topics about this stuff. And i just wanna say thnx for this. I’ll follow your blog to see if you post more stuff like these!

    • marie says:

      I do not think much of fertility indicators, since every woman can easily observe and chart her own signs of fertility.

      Observing the fertile mucus does not require “holding pee.” It is quickly and easily observed before and after using the toilet. Not only is it a sign of fertility, but it is also essential to fertility and a more accurate fertile sign than urine tests. The problem with urine tests is that, before the tested hormones are in the urine, they have been in the blood for at least 24 hours. So, for avoiding pregnancy, not so good. For achieving pregnancy, use the days with the wettest, most slippery mucus.
      For more information, download the free ebook, Fertility Awareness, at
      Blessings, Marie

  4. Hello you have a good blog over here! Thanks for sharing this interesting information for us! If you keep up the great work I’ll visit your blog again. Thanks!

  5. Hi there, I found your web site by means of Google whilst searching for a related topic, your site got here up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    • Paulo says:

      get to know your body. 14 days is based off of a regular 28 day cycle. every woman dseont have a regular 28 day cycle. this is also based off of an average. i have a very regular 28 day cycle and i found out that i ovulate early. between days 10 and 19 is usually when a woman ovulates. you can still ovulate early or late. what you want to do is watch your cm (cervical mucous). when you come off your period usually, (this is not in all women) your cm is dry and sticky. as you get closer to ovulation your cm becomes more slippery and it starts to look like egg whites. around this time is that best time to have sex. from what was told to me, it is not good to have sex everyday. i dont know how true that is but doctors say that it is unnecessary to have sex every day. every other day or every 2 days is good enough. if you dont want to check your cm buy a ovulation predictor kit. they are very useful. hoped this helped. i wish you the best in ttc!!!

      • marie says:

        You are correct about the cervical mucus. When I taught natural family planning, we advised women trying to conceive to have relations every other day during the fertile time, so the sperm would be young and viable, but the sperm count would not be exhausted.

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