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Basic Definitions

Ok folks…here was the biggest shocker to myself when I started charting.  There are very FEW women who meet the textbook cycle of 28 days.  This “ideal” cycle places ovulation at CD 14 (the middle of the cycle) with a standard 14 day lutal phase.

Let me put out some definitions that might help:

Follicular Phase– this is the time in a womans cycle that is dominated by Oestradiol– which is what helps the females egg to develop in the ovaries.  In relation to BBT (basal body temptures), this hormone is more of a supressant (for lack of a better word) which is the reason why the temps during this phase are lower. During a natural cycle (not taking any medications or herbal suppliments to influence ovulation) there are many eggs which begin to develop and most often only one will release (ovulation day) with the surge of…

The luteinizing hormone (LH).  In ovulation predictor kits-OPK’s- and monitors this is what is measured to help determine ovulation BEFORE the temperature spikes and goes up for at least the next three days.  One could almost say that instead of lookin in the rear-view mirrior (BBT) with this detection of LH (OPK’s, Monitors, watches, etc) one is literally sitting on the hood of the car. 

 Corpus Lutem – is the follicle which produced the ovulated egg (it will “live”a from 12-16 days when there is no fertilization- if there is fertilization it will continue to produce its hormone until the placenta is in place to sustain pregnancy). Its purpose in the cycle is to produce…

Progesterone— which preps the lining in the uterus for implantation of the embryo, is the cause of the post-ovulation rise in temps when BBT charting and sustains a pregnancy-is the star of the…

 Luteal Phase–  This phase is “lovingly” known as the infamous two week wait (seen as: 2WW or TWW).  This is the time after ovulation where you wait and see if you are pregnant.  During this time is when many women notice “symptoms” and are tempted (and often succumb) to test earlier than 12DPO.   An important thing to remember when analysis of these symptoms is that it is physically impossible to have symptoms before the egg has implanted–usually no earlier than 5DPO.   Anything before this can be attributed to the effects of the rapid rise of progestrone and fall of estrogen.  Also a good side note here is that there is often a “dip” which may or may not occur around 2-4DPO–this can be attributed to a second-brief estrogen surge which will lower your BBT for that day.

To find more info in general about female fertility:

Sexual Health Centre

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