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Charting to Avoid / Fertility Awareness - April

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

earth.gif   April 2011  earth.gif


Click Here for Last Month's Thread

 

Welcome to the April 2011 charting to avoid and fertility awareness thread. We are all at different stages in family planning and our own fertility. Some of us are very ardently Charting to Avoid (CTA); some are CTA but would be thrilled with a BFP; and we even have a few who are "whatevering" or pregnant and continue to hang out here.

 

If you did not post in March, you may have been deleted from the list. If you have joined recently, please double check I have your chart linked correctly. If you were mistakenly deleted, you would like to be added/removed, or you spot anything you would like me to change, please post or PM me to let me know. Remember, you must post in April if you want to be on the May list!

To those who are new, welcome! Welcome.gif


 

 

    Who We Are

 

badgerbaby

Barefoot Girl

BirthIsAwesome

Brighids Flame BFPChart2.gif

Carlyle

Devaya BFPChart2.gif

Eaglevoice

fnpmama BFPChart2.gif

goinggreengirl BFPChart2.gif  
HulaJenn BFPChart2.gif (CTA since May 2009)

jenmegc BFPChart2.gif

JMJ
justKate BFPChart2.gif (CTA since November 2010)
librarygirl BFPChart2.gif

mirpmama BFPChart2.gif

miss_honeyb BFPChart2.gif  (CTA 26 cycles)

phathui5

Pumpkin_Pie BFPChart2.gif

RavaAvis BFPChart2.gif

SamiPolizzi

Stefibeth BFPChart2.gif
theboysmama BFPChart2.gif
Toolip BFPChart2.gif

TrishWSU BFPChart2.gif (CTA 28 months)

 

 

Graduates

 

Pregnant! belly.gif

OSUvet (Feb. 2011)
echospiritwarrior (Feb. 2011)
lyterae (Feb. 2011)
dex_millie (Feb. 2011)
annie2186 (April 2011)
katiedidbug (May 2011)
BarefootScientist (June 2011)
Smokering (June 2011)

AnnieA (July 2011)

shells_n_cheese (July 2011)
Baby_Cakes

MovingMomma

capretta (October 2011)

mommy2two babes 


 

 

No Longer TTA

jeninejessica BFPChart2.gif

LionessMom BFPChart2.gif

Mummoth BFPChart2.gif

lactatinggirl

Good luck to those now TTC! fingersx.gif


 

 

 Summary of FAM Rules

(sympto-thermal)

 

Pre-ovulation rules:

1) First 5 Days Rule: You are safe the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle if you had an obvious temp shift 12-16 days before.

2) Dry Day Rule: You are safe to DTD after 6PM if you have been dry all day.


Post ovulation rules:

1) Peak Day Rule: The last day of fertile mucus is called the peak day (the day before your mucus begins to dry up). You are safe to DTD on the fourth consecutive day after the peak day. If another patch of more fertile mucus appears, start your count over.

2) Temperature Shift Rule: You are safe the evening of the third consecutive day your temp is above your coverline. If your temp falls at or below the coverline during the 3 day count, begin your count again.

BOTH rules must be satisfied to be considered in your infertile phase.


How to set a coverline:

When you see a temperature shift of at least 0.2° F above the highest of the previous 6 temps, draw a line 0.1° F above that highest temp.


 

 

 Resources

 

Books

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
Garden of Fertility
 by Katie Singer
Honoring Our Cycles (workbook) by Katie Singer
The Art of Natural Family Planning by John and Sheila Kippley
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley
Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon


Websites

TCOYF (Ovusoft) charting software, and brief fertility library
Fertility Friend charting software, and ttc charting guide
myfertilitycharts.com free software for ttc or tta
Garden of Fertility author Katie Singer's website
Mothering Magazine article by Katie Singer
Billings Ovulation Method info
Billings Ovulation Method Association, USA
Billings Centre, CA
Couple to Couple League (find an NFP instructor)
Creighton Model


Abbreviations

AF: Aunt Flo, menses, your period
BBT: basal body temperature
BC: birth control
BIP: basic infertile pattern
CD: cycle day
CF: cervical fluid (same as CM)
CHs: crosshairs (intersection of coverline and ovulation)
CL: coverline
CM: cervical mucus (same as CF)
CO: cervical opening
CP: cervical position
CTA: charting to avoid
CTW: charting to "whatever" (not avoiding, not preventing)
DPO: days past ovulation
DTD: do the dead (sex)
EWCM: eggwhite cervical mucus/fluid
FAM: fertility awareness method
FF: Fertility Friend (website, see above)
HBC: hormonal birth control
HTL: high temp level (0.4°F above LTL, temp rise needed to indicate O)
LAM: lactational amenorrhea method (breastfeeding as birth control)
LP: luteal phase (between ovulation and menses, average 10-16 days)
LTL: low temp level (highest of the 6 temps immediately before temp rise)
NFP: natural family planning
O: ovulation
SHOW: soft, high, open, wet (characteristics of the cervix near ovulation)
SR: seminal residue
TCOYF: Taking Charge of Your Fertility (book and website, see above)
TTA: trying to avoid
TTW: trying to whatever
other common abbreviations


 

 Happy Charting Everyone! 


Edited by justKate - 4/21/11 at 8:50am
post #2 of 72

Thanks for starting the new thread, JustKate.  I'm glad your long, crazy cycle finally worked itself out.

post #3 of 72
Thank you!!
post #4 of 72

could you please add me, JustKate? We are CTA until ds is one :) 

post #5 of 72
After my marithon 11 day af I am so confused.
I thought that I oed on cd 20 like normal temps seemed to suggest it as did cm and cp. Then about a week later I had ewcm again and hso although this was after dtd. Sorry tmi
I have regularly had a 9 day for all 3 pp cycles.
Today if I count cd 20 as o I am 11 dpo
So frustrated not sure what to think. I didn't chart very well this month either. Ferret
post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by BirthIsAwesome View Post

could you please add me, JustKate? We are CTA until ds is one :) 


Gotcha!  If/when you have a chart you want to link, let me know. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mommy2two babes View Post

After my marithon 11 day af I am so confused.
I thought that I oed on cd 20 like normal temps seemed to suggest it as did cm and cp. Then about a week later I had ewcm again and hso although this was after dtd. Sorry tmi
I have regularly had a 9 day for all 3 pp cycles.
Today if I count cd 20 as o I am 11 dpo
So frustrated not sure what to think. I didn't chart very well this month either. Ferret


It's hard to say w/o seeing your chart, but I don't think it would be too weird to go from a 9 to 11 day LP (or longer) if this is your 4th pp cycle.  Might just be your body deciding what its LP is going to be.  Of course you could have O'ed later, but I wouldn't rely on your CM after DTD.  I sort of skip recording CM the day after we DTD because I'm not sure if it's reliable.  I don't want to be thinking seminal fluid is CM, you know?  And I don't trust myself to really know the difference 100% of the time.  Sorry that you're having a frustrating cycle.  I just got through with one that made me want to get back on hormonal BC and forget all of this.  Hopefully the next cycle is more straightforward for both of us!
 

 

post #7 of 72

Does anyone do CP? I don't do it super regularly, but just kind of every few days when I remember to or when I want to confirm other signs. I can definitely tell the difference between hard and soft, position is kind of hard to tell (I try to stay in the same position when I'm checking, but sometimes I have to lean different ways in order to feel it and I don't know if that's height or the fact that I'm somewhere else than the last time I checked), and I am entirely baffled by the size of the opening. I've given vaginal birth, so I know it won't ever really be "closed", but I honestly can't tell the difference between open, closed, and between. Can someone help me here?

 

Secondly, are the 3 different things you check for with CP supposed to line up perfectly (e.g. low, closed, hard)? And what if CP doesn't line up with CM or BBT? And how important is it for me to check CP at the same time of day every day I check it? 

post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post

Quote:


Gotcha!  If/when you have a chart you want to link, let me know. 

 



Thanks! This is my first month charting since before I got pregnant, so there is nothing to see yet :D I will link at the end of the month once I have one chart completed. I have charted for fertility awareness since I was 16 and then we CTA for a year before getting pregnant (on purpose). However, this is my first time with digital charts, I've always used paper and pen :) So we'll see how it goes!

post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

Does anyone do CP? I don't do it super regularly, but just kind of every few days when I remember to or when I want to confirm other signs. I can definitely tell the difference between hard and soft, position is kind of hard to tell (I try to stay in the same position when I'm checking, but sometimes I have to lean different ways in order to feel it and I don't know if that's height or the fact that I'm somewhere else than the last time I checked), and I am entirely baffled by the size of the opening. I've given vaginal birth, so I know it won't ever really be "closed", but I honestly can't tell the difference between open, closed, and between. Can someone help me here?

 

Secondly, are the 3 different things you check for with CP supposed to line up perfectly (e.g. low, closed, hard)? And what if CP doesn't line up with CM or BBT? And how important is it for me to check CP at the same time of day every day I check it? 


When we were CTA in 2009 I did check. Usually just around ovulation...I'd check a few days before I expected O, and then check daily until I confirmed O signs. Usually I was just looking for soft and open, position was always hard for me to nail. Now that I've given birth, my cervix is rather different, so we'll see how it goes.

 

post #10 of 72

Hi all,

 

My cycle is just beginning to start up again after night-weaning my nearly 20-month-old. I would like to CTA. I have experience with charting my BBT, but I'm looking for a simple chart that I can have on the computer to fill in my temps and that will give me a nice graph. When I used to do it I just had an Excel spreadsheet set up, but it was not particularly "neat", if that makes sense. I've had a look at some of the programs available online and they seem quite complicated. I don't mean complicated to use, but they have so much information on them that I don't need. I just want date, cycle day, temperature, ovulation and a graph to go with it. I also want to avoid anything that is too geared towards women wanting to conceive, as I don't trust myself not to be swayed into wanting another baby when I know in my heart and mind that I really can't do it all again. But you just can't trust those mother instincts not to mess with your mind, can you. :)

 

Anyway, I was wondering whether anyone has any suggestions for a nice simple chart template, or even has made one that they wouldn't mind sharing.

 

Thanks

post #11 of 72
After 3 vaginal births my cervix is never really closed but I do notice changes throughout my cycle. For me open is fingertip dialated. As for the height I gauge it by how far my finger is in before I reach my cervix while in the same position.
Hth
post #12 of 72

lactatinggirl, I've always had a hard time telling, so I gave up.  I hear some women have an easier time telling after they have a baby, but I haven't tried since.  From what I've read, "firm" is like a nose and "soft" is like a lip.

 

JuliMummy, it is illegal in the USA to market charting software for CTA.  It has to be for TTC, so all the software are for TTC.  Do you CTA with temp only?  Do you use post-ovulation plus the first 5 days of your cycle, or do you use some previous experience rules?  If you use previous experience rules, note that you'll have to regain your experience after having a baby.

post #13 of 72

Quote:

Originally Posted by BirthIsAwesome View Post


When we were CTA in 2009 I did check. Usually just around ovulation...I'd check a few days before I expected O, and then check daily until I confirmed O signs. Usually I was just looking for soft and open, position was always hard for me to nail. Now that I've given birth, my cervix is rather different, so we'll see how it goes.

 


So do the signs stay together then? Like you wouldn't have open, but hard? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2two babes View Post

After 3 vaginal births my cervix is never really closed but I do notice changes throughout my cycle. For me open is fingertip dialated. As for the height I gauge it by how far my finger is in before I reach my cervix while in the same position.
Hth


That makes sense. That makes a lot of sense with the dilation. I'll see if I can tell a difference next month. Since I'm past O, I don't plan on checking my CP again until then. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

lactatinggirl, I've always had a hard time telling, so I gave up.  I hear some women have an easier time telling after they have a baby, but I haven't tried since.  From what I've read, "firm" is like a nose and "soft" is like a lip.


I didn't ever try before having DD, so I have no idea if it's easier now. I would agree that firm feels like a nose and soft is like a lip. That part is pretty obvious to me. I'm just thinking if the other signs are supposed to follow, it'll be able to tell them from firmness. If that made any sense. 

 

post #14 of 72
Quote:

 

JuliMummy, it is illegal in the USA to market charting software for CTA.  It has to be for TTC, so all the software are for TTC.  Do you CTA with temp only?  Do you use post-ovulation plus the first 5 days of your cycle, or do you use some previous experience rules?  If you use previous experience rules, note that you'll have to regain your experience after having a baby.

 

Really?! That's interesting. I didn't know that. 

 

Yes, I'm planning to CTA with temp only. In the past it has been very reliable - obvious difference between pre and post ovulation temps and a very regular cycle. But I'm going to take it slowly and be extra cautious until my cycle is properly established again. I'm still breastfeeding and there's no end in sight just yet. So for a while we'll use protection for the first half of the cycle and only go protection-free after 5 days post-ovulation when ovulation has been very clear. Hopefully it will sort itself out soon. I've also got a saliva microscope, so once my cycles are regular again I might add that into the mix as well. I'll have to see how much warning of impending ovulation it gives me to see if it might be useful in extending the safe period before ovulation.
 

 

post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

Quote:


So do the signs stay together then? Like you wouldn't have open, but hard? 

 


yes, IME, it is always soft when open :)

 

post #16 of 72

Quote:

Originally Posted by BirthIsAwesome View Post


yes, IME, it is always soft when open :)

 


Thanks! That's what I was thinking, but I wanted to confirm. I should be able to tell at least one of the signs on any given day and that will hopefully help me learn the others. 

 

post #17 of 72
Hey everyone! My chart finally showed that I ovulated last month so I've stopped temping until my period shows up. DS has had horrible sleeping habits these past few weeks so I think his schedule messed with my chart a little. Hope next month isn't so crazy!
post #18 of 72
Thread Starter 

Yep, cervix issues, me too!  Mine is always sort of like a slit, maybe a fingertip wide, and lower on one side than the other when its "low."  I've never had a vaginal birth, but I'm guessing that it's the dilating that makes it stay slightly open, and I did fully dilate with DD.  Not sure about the lopsidedness--it's that way no matter how I check it.  Hmm.  Probably doesn't matter.  When I record it, I either record "low, firm" or "high" if I can't reach it.  If I'm not sure I leave it blank.

 

 

post #19 of 72

Well I am kicking myself for not charting good this month. I was figuring another normal cycle though I oed on the 20th. Not relying on charting to avoid but just more for my sanity and knowledge.

I have a copper iud at the moment. I have been having a 9 day LF for the last 3 cycle and this one has me confused.

If anyone would care to take a look here is the link ( hope it works)

Thanks

post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2two babes View Post

Well I am kicking myself for not charting good this month. I was figuring another normal cycle though I oed on the 20th. Not relying on charting to avoid but just more for my sanity and knowledge.

I have a copper iud at the moment. I have been having a 9 day LF for the last 3 cycle and this one has me confused.

If anyone would care to take a look here is the link ( hope it works)

Thanks


I'd guess around day 26.  It looks like you had a double peak, like your body tried to ovulate around day 20, but you don't really have a temperature rise, just a spike and then back down.  It looks like day 26 is a more clear peak day, and then you dry up and your cervix closes, and both of those signs pretty much stay that way.  If you had more temperature info, we could get more info to confirm ovulation there.  You might consider taking your temp just to confirm that your temps are higher, though if AF is on her way, your temps may be on their way back down already.

 

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