Q&A Index

Glossary

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Anovulatory pattern: Fertility chart that does not have an ovulation (biphasic) pattern.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT): Your body temperature at rest as measured with a special Basal Body Temperature thermometer. A rise in BBT occurs after ovulation making BBT the only fertility sign that is useful for pinpointing the actual day of ovulation.

Biphasic Pattern: Chart pattern that shows ovulation by showing two levels of temperatures on a graph. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) rises after ovulation. The pre-ovulation temperatures are slightly lower than those after ovulation.

Cervical Fluid (CF, CM): Also sometimes called cervical mucous, cervical fluid is produced by your cervix as you approach ovulation due to increased estrogen.

Corpus Luteum: Literally meaning "yellow body" because of its color, the corpus luteum is what remains of the dominant ovarian follicle that released an egg at ovulation. The corpus luteum is responsible for producing progesterone after ovulation.

Coverline: A coverline is a visual tool used to differentiate your pre- and post-ovulation phases on your fertility chart. It is drawn horizontally across your chart once ovulation has been detected. The way it is calculated depends on the ovulation pattern of your chart.

Dominant Follicle: The ovarian follicle that will release an egg at ovulation. The dominant follicle is responsible for estrogen production before ovulation.

Egg White Cervical Fluid: This is the most fertile kind of cervical fluid. It is stretchy and usually clear and resembles raw egg white. It is sometimes called cervical mucous, ewcm, or spinnbarkheit.

Estrogen: One of the principal female sex hormones. Produced in the ovaries, estrogen dominates the first part of your menstrual cycle, before ovulation and stimulates follicular growth. It strengthens tissues and helps to build up the lining of the uterus and is responsible for many of your fertility signs, including cervical fluid and cervical position.

Fallback rise: A normal ovulation pattern when your temperature rises then drops slightly immediately after ovulation and then rises again.

Fertile phase: The period when you are most fertile (most likely to conceive) before ovulation.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): The hormone produced by the pituitary gland that causes the growth of follicles in the ovary early in the menstrual cycle, before ovulation.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): The hormone GnRH pulses through your bloodstream from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland in spurts every 60-90 minutes from menstruation until ovulation. The GnRH signals the anterior pituitary gland to secrete FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and later LH (Luteinizing Hormone).

Hormones: Hormones are biochemical substances that are produced in one area of your body and carried in your bloodstream to send signals that trigger responses in another part of your body.

Implantation: When the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.

Implantation spotting: Some women experience spotting when implantation occurs.

LH Surge: A sudden and large increase in Luteinizing Hormone in response to increased levels of estrogen in the blood. The LH surge is detected by ovulation prediction kits. Ovulation follows within about 24 hours of an LH surge.

Luteal Phase: The second part of your menstrual cycle, after ovulation. The time between ovulation and menstruation. It is called luteal phase because the corpus luteum governs hormone production at this time.

Luteal Phase Defect: When the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation) is too short (less than 10 days) it may indicate that the corpus luteum is not functioning properly and may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg or may lead to early pregnancy loss.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH): The hormone produced in the pituitaty gland that triggers ovulation. Luteinizing hormone is the last hormone to peak before ovulation. LH is measured by ovulation prediction kits.

Mittelschmertz: see Ovulation pain

Ovary: Female sexual gland, produces eggs (ova) and female hormones.

Ovulation: When the ovary releases an egg.

Ovulation Pain: Slight cramping or twinges in your abdomen before, during or slightly after ovulation. This is a secondary fertility sign and because it can happen before, during, or after ovulation and can be misidentified, it is not reliable for pipointing ovulation. Also called mittelschmertz, or middle pain.

Ovulation Pattern: A pattern on your fertility chart that shows that you have ovulated.

Primary fertility signs: These are the fertility signs that you need to include on your chart to get an accurate assessment of your fertility status and to make the most of fertility charting. Your primary fertility signs are your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and your cervical fluid.

Progesterone: Progesterone is one of the major female sex hormones. Progesterone dominates the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation) of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is released from the corpus luteum after ovulation, and causes your basal body temperature to increase slightly. Progesterone helps build the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg can implant.

Saliva microscope: A saliva microscope is a device that measures the level of the hormone estrogen. When there is increased estrogen in your bloodstream (indicating increased fertility) you are able to see ferning patterns when your saliva is observed through a microscope.

Secondary fertility signs: Fertility signs other than cervical fluid or basal body temperature (BBT) that are useful for cross-checking your primary fertility signs and giving added insight into your cycles

Slow Rise: Normal ovulation pattern where the temperature rises slowly after ovulation.

Spinnbarkheit: See egg white cervical fluid

Triphasic pattern: A triphasic chart shows three levels of temperatures: pre-ovulation, post-ovulation, and then a second rise after ovulation. Triphasic charts are occasionally an indication of pregnancy when the second rise occurs when you would expect implantation. Triphasic charts often do not end up showing pregnancy. You can be pregnant without a triphasic pattern and you can have a triphasic pattern without being pregnant.

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