Sensation isn't always as clear-cut as the visible and objective changes in your cervical fluid pattern that you see at each bathroom visit. It may take time for awareness to develop, but once familiar, many women find sensation to be a valuable part of accurately charting their fertility.
If you're not sure what a vaginal sensation is, ask yourself if you've ever stopped mid-day to wonder if you've started your period - you may feel that familiar slipperiness that is accompanied with the start of your period, so you go to the bathroom to check but nothing is there. And then you remember that it wasn't time for your period anyway. What you probably felt was the sensation of lubrication, which is often felt at your most fertile time of the cycle and is closely associated with ovulation. Observing sensation doesn't require any extra action - it is just a mental awareness throughout the day as you go about your normal routine. Similar to your mouth feeling dry, or your back feeling sweaty, you can perceive these changes in vaginal sensation without actually doing anything.
Sensation is distinct from the visible cervical fluid you record on your chart.
While cervical fluid and vaginal sensation both point to the same hormonal changes, we consider sensation to be a completely separate sign from observable cervical fluid, giving its own distinct information. Often times, you can sense much smaller amounts of mucus than it takes to visibly see the mucus, meaning a change in sensation may be the first sign of a change to the fertile time, or its final day may give valuable information when determining peak day. It can also prove especially helpful to women who have very scant mucus and rarely see anything when looking at the tissue at each bathroom visit. We consider sensation to be a separate biomarker that tells us its own distinct information. We do include this biomarker as part of the SymptoPro method when setting peak day. I’ll explain what that means next.
How to chart it:
SymptoPro teaches 3 distinct sensation signs, which align nicely with options that Kindara provides:
Dry - This is the easy one: a feeling of nothing throughout the day, or it could be described as positively dry, perhaps even slightly itchy or somewhat disagreeable. This is the cervical fluid charting equivalent to seeing “nothing” on the tissue paper and observing no visible mucus that day.
Moist - This is a feeling of "something." It could feel like secreting moisture, like bubble bursting, or something flowing down within the vagina. It is a more watery feeling (not oily). This is the cervical fluid charting equivalent to seeing “less fertile”, or “sticky” mucus that day.
Lubricative - This is a feeling at the lips of the vagina of slipperiness, or a very distinct runny-wet (oily) feeling inside the vagina. This is the cervical fluid charting equivalent to seeing, “wet”, or “egg-white” mucus that day. Or experiencing a very slippery sensation when wiping.
Remember that when tracking vaginal sensation try to be attentive to what your vaginal sensations are like throughout the day, then when determining what to input for the day select the most fertile kind of sensation you felt, even if you only noticed it once.
Be patient with yourself!
Sensation can take time for awareness to develop, and it may take several cycles for this awareness to increase to a point of confidently using it within your charting. So give it some time and don't give up on it right away if it seems fuzzy at first. As awareness increases, some women find that it becomes their strongest, most easily tracked sign. As a practical tip, many women find that wearing cotton underwear (not synthetic fabric) allows for better awareness of sensation due to the breathable nature of cotton.
Learn with an instructor’s guidance.
Lastly, if you have questions, consider taking a course and working with a certified instructor. Remember that purchasing our online course with the Kindara Bundle will pair you with one of our certified instructors who will be ready to give you months of detailed feedback and guidance on charting your cycle. Click here for more information.
Lauren Fuller has been a certified instructor with SymptoPro Fertility Education for the past 10 years and is currently a fertility instructor trainer. Today she shares with us about the newest addition to the Kindara app: Sensation.