I am not a big advocate of charting and data collection. As you’ll see in my book in chapter about “The 7 Sacred Promises”, I’m a big believer in trust over tracking.
Sure, it’s important to know when you’re ovulating if you aren’t having intercourse on a regular basis. And, it’s not a bad idea to get a basic idea of how long your cycles are.
But I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen who obsessively track their cycle to the point of creating incredible amounts of anxiety for themselves. Every morning they wake up to take their temperature. They’re tracking every little thing they’re eating and doing — from the supplements they’re taking, to their mood, what time they went to the bathroom… you get the picture.
And, by the time I see them they’ve been tracking for 10, sometimes 12 months. And, they’re getting nowhere.
Tracking is about collecting data. You use the data to analyze trends and see if there’s something you can change based on those trends.
Yet, if you’re finding yourself nervous about every data point – like what’s your temp going to be today – then, in my opinion, it’s not worth it.
Martha had been tracking her temps for over a year by the time I first met her. She was eager to pull out her charts and show them to me in the binder she kept them in.
They were immaculate. I’d never seen so much data before, kept so perfectly, on fertility cycles.
The first thing that became apparent to me was that her charts were almost textbook. I had almost nothing to say about them. There was a slight delay in her temp rise after ovulation but other than that, I couldn’t find a single flaw.
I suggested she stop tracking as part of our work together. It immediately provoked anxiety in her. I could tell she wasn’t comfortable at all with my suggestion.
“Are you sure? I mean, I thought you would want me to keep tracking so we could figure out what’s wrong,” she said.
I understood how she felt because she’d worked so hard on the charts and here, I was basically telling her they were of no use going forward.
For a second, I thought she was going to walk out the door right on the spot.
I told her, “Look, you’ve kept such great records and those records show us that you have a pretty balanced cycle. You’ve done your part, now let me do mine.”
She heard me after that. And, she agreed to stop tracking.
Ultimately, she didn’t conceive until she finally decided to do an IVF cycle. And, when she did her IVF, she might as well have been the most fertile woman on Earth. I can’t remember her exact numbers right now, but I know that she got pregnant the first cycle and she had several highest-grade embryos frozen for later transfers.
What’s my point? My point is that all that immaculate tracking didn’t solve her problem at all. Because her problem wasn’t her fertility to begin with.
Does it mean nobody should ever track anything, ever? Of course not.
Just don’t confuse tracking with taking necessary action to move forward on your journey. It can feel like just by tracking you’re doing something. But, if you’re just collecting data for the sake of collecting data, that, in many cases, is meaningless.
There’s another reason I don’t recommend charting cycles anymore.
Because I’ve seen repeatedly how people with the most imperfect cycles end up producing the most perfect babies.