Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Fertile days

13 December, 2005

Question:

Thank G-d for this website!!

My husband and I are trying to get pregnant (be-ezrat Hashem).
I would like to know how I can know when I'm most fertile.
My cycle is a 28-day cycle and is usually on time.
Can you please explain to me what I must look out for on my fertile day(s). I would like to use the BBT method. Will my temperature rise or fall in the ovulation period?
Do I need to take my temp. while menstruating?

Thank you


Answer:

The following is adapted from an article under Family Planning on our site entitled "Fertility Awareness Method."  For further information, contact Michal Schonbrun (author of the article) or see the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler.

A woman can decide whether to chart one, two, or three fertility signs. The more signs she checks, the more information and effectiveness she has, and the more confidence she will feel in interpreting her chart and applying the method rules. Charting initially requires 1-2 minutes every day. Within two learning sessions, most women are able to interpret their fertility signs independently. In order to be effective, FAM should be learned with a qualified teacher.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is the temperature of the body at rest. It is taken upon waking with a special digital thermometer for one minute. A woman's BBT rises approx. 0.5 C (half of one degree Celsius) after ovulation occurs, and the BBT stays relatively high for two weeks, until her menses begin. Once this rise is verified, a woman is no longer fertile for the rest of the cycle. In order to recognize these changes, it is best to chart the entire month. Furthermore, a daily habit is easier to remember than one that is done only part of the month. Therefore, a woman should take her temperature every day, including while she has her period.

Cervical Secretions or fluids appear naturally and normally throughout the cycle.  For most days of the cycle (regardless of length), secretions are dry, sticky, thick and acidic. In effect, these dry secretions act as natural spermicides. During the fertile days, at ovulation time, the secretions become milkier, wetter, and thinner, and resemble egg-white. These wet secretions are responsible for nourishing sperm and helping them reach the egg. Few women have been taught that these fluids are not only healthy and normal, but are essential for fertility and for conception. Learning one's unique secretion pattern is like learning a new (body) language. Once she has learned, a woman can feel ‘fluent' and confident within a few cycles. Furthermore, she can learn to differentiate between normal and abnormal secretions (e.g., those that indicate a yeast or bacterial infection).

Cervical Position changes occur only at the time of ovulation. When inserting a finger deep in the vagina, every woman can recognize the changes before, during and after ovulation. On infertile days, the cervix is lower, closed, and hard. At ovulation it move upwards towards the uterus, opens, and softens. The purpose of these changes is to allow easy access for sperm on their journey towards the egg. This is the only fertility sign which requires internal checking.


This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.


Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.