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Recording Your Fertility Signs: Primary Fertility Signs: Revision #1

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Recording Your Fertility Signs

Before TCOYF can make any determination regarding your fertility, you must record fertility signs for it to interpret.

When you start TCOYF, the Calendar window is presented. Click on today's date to enter fertility signs. 

Temperature
Take your temperature with a basal thermometer upon waking.  Many women keep a pad of paper and pen by the bed for this purpose (indeed, TCOYF provides a Bedside Log in the Reports menu item explicitly for this purpose). Remember to record your temperature in TCOYF at some point during the day.  You may type it in or select a temperature by clicking the arrows next to the Temp box until the proper temperature is displayed.  If your temperature has been disturbed by sickness, physical exertion, hangover, etc., check the Disturbance box.

Events
The start of your period and any day where you have menstrual flow is recorded as "menses" in the window.  If you haven't specified the start of your cycle when you created the new cycle database, check the Menses box to indicate menstruation.
If you are not beginning your use of TCOYF on a menstruation day, you may optionally record the start of the current cycle on the appropriate day in the past (even if this start date is approximate).  However, depending upon how many days it has been since the start of the cycle, TCOYF may not be able to accurately calculate fertility until the next cycle, as it must use day-counting estimates instead of actual fertility signs in its analysis.

If you engage in sexual relations on this day, check the Intercourse box, if you used birth control during intercourse, then check the Birth Control box.  You may also record Spotting on this screen. 

Observing and Recording Your Cervical Fluid & Vaginal Sensations
If you are familiar with observing your cervical fluid and/or vaginal sensations, select the option that best describes these fertility signs. 

To observe your cervical fluid, you should begin checking it either the first day menstruation has ended or the day that TCOYF recommends via the Fertility Advisor (under the "Signs to Record" section).

Focus on the vaginal sensations you experience throughout the day.  These sensations are very useful and are easily distinguished by most women when they are understood.  Does the area outside the vagina feel dry, sticky, wet/moist, or slippery/lubricative?

Check your cervical fluid each time you use the bathroom during the day.   When you urinate, wipe clean toilet paper, folded instead of crumpled, across your labia.  Note the sensation as you wipe: does it feel dry, sticky, wet, or lubricative? 
After urination, separate your labia and check the quality of your cervical fluid at the lower opening with either clean toilet paper or your fingers.  Again, does it feel dry, sticky, wet or lubricative?

If using toilet paper, touch the paper to feel your cervical fluid.  Lift your finger off of the toilet paper to see if the fluid stretches, and if so, how far.  If using your fingers, touch them together.  Lift a finger off of the other to check the stretchiness of the fluid.

Observe the color of the cervical fluid.  Is it opaque, cloudy, or clear?

Throughout the day, check your underwear when you use the bathroom.  The most fertile quality cervical fluid (wet and stretchy) frequently leaves a symmetrical circle in your underwear, the less fertile sticky-quality fluid leaves a rectangular or linear mark.
During a bowel movement, pay close attention to your cervical fluid as the process may cause the eggwhite-quality fluid to flow out quickly.

After making these observations throughout the day, record the most fertile quality cervical fluid observed.   Most cervical fluid can be described as follows, from the least fertile to the most fertile:

* Dry: No fluid is present or there is just a slight dampness that dissipates quickly on exposure to air.
* Sticky:  Not truly wet, feels sticky or tacky to the touch, perhaps similar to rubber cement.  May be opaque white or yellow in color, although it is also clear sometimes.
* Creamy:  Has a smooth feel similar to hand lotion, typically cloudy in appearance, either white or yellow.  Is sometimes wet and watery, although it is very thin and doesn't stretch much.
* Eggwhite:  Typically clear, but may have brown, bloody or cloudy streaks.  Similar to raw eggwhite in appearance and feel, very slippery.  May stretch from 1 to 10 inches.