How to Start a Fertility Journal
Keeping a fertility journal could help you conceive
Helping Your Doctor
Dr. Marcus Jurema is a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University Women and Infants’ Hospital. He believes that keeping a fertility journal can be very helpful for the fertility specialists involved, though not all women need to keep one.
“In general, a healthy woman up to her early 30s (less than 35 years old) has a reasonable chance to conceive spontaneously within one year of trying, as long as there is no obvious concerns about her fertility,” Dr. Jurema says. “Most couples (80 percent) will conceive within six months of trying. For those who do not conceive within six months of trying, keeping a journal may be helpful to time intercourse more precisely and to further investigate any subtle abnormalities that could be present.”
What Should Go in the Journal?
According to Dr. Jurema, a fertility journal should keep track of as many details as possible. However, human reproduction is not an exact science, and there are many variables (known and unknown) that differentiate a fertile from an infertile couple. He suggests that women track the following in their journal:
- length of menstrual cycles (number of days between day one of one cycle to day
one of the next)
- the amount and length of menstrual bleeding days for each cycle
- any pain or discomfort, such as cramps, associated with menstrual flow or intercourse
- type of medications you may use to alleviate symptoms and when they were taken
- symptoms that may be associated with ovulation (start of cervical mucous discharge, midcycle pelvic discomfort/cramping that may be unilateral or any premenstrual symptoms like breast tenderness, bloating, etc.)
- if you wish, a basal body temperature chart may help to pinpoint the time of ovulation more precisely
- days and frequency of unprotected intercourse during the cycle (note if any lubricating gels are used)
- note any unusual things such as flu-like illnesses (including partner’s), days of unexpected bleeding or spotting, etc.
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