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Charting to Avoid / Fertility Awareness - June

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 

flower.gif   June 2011  flower.gif

Click Here for Last Month's Thread


Welcome to the May 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 May, 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 June if you want to be on the July list!

To those who are new, welcome! Welcome.gif



    Who We Are

alyadri BFPChart2.gif


azgirl BFPChart2.gif



CarsonBookworm BFPChart2.gif


goinggreengirl BFPChart2.gif 

jodi5 BFPChart2.gif (STM/MM)


justKate BFPChart2.gif (STM)


librarygirl BFPChart2.gif

MillieJane BFPChart2.gif

mirpmama BFPChart2.gif

miss_honeyb BFPChart2.gif 

physics girl BFPChart2.gif

RknOHMum BFPChart2.gif


Stefibeth BFPChart2.gif
Toolip BFPChart2.gif


wilson (CrMS)



Pregnant! belly.gif

Jaimee (November 2011)

mommy2two babes (December 2011)

lactatinggirl (January 2012)


No Longer TTA


Good luck to those now TTC! fingersx.gif


 Summary of FAM Rules


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.






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

Natural Family Planning: A Complete Approach by John and Sheila Kippley (available for free download with registration)
Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley

The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding by Sheila Kippley

The Art of Natural Family Planning Student Guide by Couple to Couple League

The Art of Natural Family Planning Postpartum Student Guide by Couple to Couple League

The Art of Natural Family Planning Premenopause Student Guide by Couple to Couple League
Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon

Natural Family Planning User Manual Marquette Method Manual free download


TCOYF (Ovusoft) charting software, and brief fertility library
Fertility Friend charting software, and ttc charting guide
myfertilitycharts.com free software for ttc or tta

The Central London FertilityCare Center online charting for Creighton Model

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) Sympto-Thermal Method
Creighton Model

NaPro Technology Gynecological healthcare using the Creighton Model

NFP International John and Sheila Kippley's Website, Sympto-Thermal Method

Marquette Method


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 JMJ - 6/27/11 at 7:54pm
post #2 of 94
Thread Starter 

I updated the thread for this month.  Please check your information to make sure it is correct.  If you haven't posted in the past 2 months, I did actually delete you from the list, so let me know if you would like to be added back in or if I missed your posts and accidentally deleted you.


I also added a bunch of new links.  What's new?

-New NFP books from the Couple to Couple League and NFP International (The founders of CCL recently broke away and founded NFP International, and each organization has since developed their own materials.)

-A link for NaPro Technology, gynecological health care based on the Creighton Method

-Marquette Method information

-Link to new edition of "Fertility Cycles and Nutrition" by Marilyn Shannon


ETA: And I almost forgot... I also added Sheila Kippley's new book, "The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding" including the results from the Kippleys' 2 studies testing ecological breastfeeding in the USA and much more scientific research on the place of ecological breastfeeding in world family planning and how to use ecological breastfeeding in conjunction with systematic NFP (charting).  Her old book, "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing" remains a great support for the ecological breastfeeding parenting and lifestyle.  Both are a must for anyone wishing to do it.

Edited by JMJ - 6/4/11 at 7:08am
post #3 of 94
Thread Starter 

JustKate, whenever you get back, I'm not taking over permanently.  I'm actually TTC now, so you can take over as soon as you get back.  I just figured that you were busy with your move and could use a break for the month.  I hope everything is going well and you get back to MDC soon.

post #4 of 94
Thank you for starting the new thread JMJ!

I've been Oing later the last 2 cycles.... I don't know what's up with that. Normal I suppose.
post #5 of 94

notes2.gif  Thanks JMJ!

post #6 of 94
Thread Starter 

Toolip, it could be normal.  Our cycles do change throughout our lifetime.  Have you been under any more stress than normal?  What about diet/nutrition?

post #7 of 94

Hi! I will be joining you guys in taking my temperature tomorrow. I was charting for part of last year, but never really got into it enough for it to actually be useful- I'm going to do better this time! Part of the problem is that I'm a mouth breather, and was attempting to take temps orally. Do you guys have a specific brand of thermometer for taking temps vaginally? Or do you just use a normal mouth thermometer? Thanks!

post #8 of 94
Thread Starter 

Welcome, Ecologystudent!


You need a Basal Body Thermometer, specifically designed for charting, not just a fever thermometer.  Fever thermometers are not accurate enough for charting.  There are several brands that work fine.  Many people prefer the BD brand, and the Walgreens thermometers get bad reviews.  Any BBT would work fine for oral, vaginal, or anal temping.  Happy charting!

post #9 of 94

I loved my old Walgreens basal body thermometer- I bought it back in 2005.  I've replaced the battery several times, but it finally rusted during my second pregnancy (it's humid in Austin, TX!).  LOL!  So I went to get another one and it's totally different!  It's faster and I feel less accurate AND less precise.  As annoying as it can be to wait the couple minutes for the longer kind, I feel the 30 second thermometers are just not as good. 


JMJ, where do you get the BD one you referred to?

post #10 of 94
Thread Starter 

BD Thermometer

My personal thermometer is a store brand Good Neighbor Pharmacy one.  I've also heard good things about the store brand CVS ones.  I believe both go to the 100ths but take some extra time.  10ths is all that is needed for charting fertility, and sometimes it is more complicated to have the extra digit.


If you want accuracy and don't mind waiting 5 minutes, consider a glass thermometer.  You can't retake your temp if you think you messed up on a digital because it won't be accurate.  You can on a glass thermometer.

post #11 of 94
DS knocked my thermometer off the bed and now i can't find it anywhere! I am going to have to move the whole bed to find it! At least I confirmed ovulation before it was lost.

I also realized that I've been fertile for 10 months... which means if DH and I hadn't been careful, I could have a newborn right now! That is a very scary thought.
post #12 of 94
I am a mouth breather and so far, it is working fine.  I do take my temperature orally.  I have a ladycomp but I don't think you need to do that.  I have also used a BD basal thermometer and found I got a similar result so I think a good basal thermometer should be fine.  View Post



Originally Posted by Ecologystudent View Post

Hi! I will be joining you guys in taking my temperature tomorrow. I was charting for part of last year, but never really got into it enough for it to actually be useful- I'm going to do better this time! Part of the problem is that I'm a mouth breather, and was attempting to take temps orally. Do you guys have a specific brand of thermometer for taking temps vaginally? Or do you just use a normal mouth thermometer? Thanks!


post #13 of 94
I'm not generally a mouth breather but I take my temp vaginally and I HIGHLY recommend it! I'm usually tired when I take my temp, so it is challenging for me to hold it in my mouth well, lol. But one problem is that I can't hear the beep when it's under the blankets, between my legs... so here's what I do: Insert the thermometer vaginally when my alarm first goes off and hit snooze, and then I usually fall back asleep. When the alarm goes off (8 minutes later) I take the thermometer out and either get up, or go back to sleep. It's been working great for me for getting consistent temps at a regular time every day. For me, it's much more relaxing then trying to keep it in my mouth. It would probably work well for a glass thermometer too.
post #14 of 94

bag.gif  Sorry I've been MIA.  This move has been seriously chaotic, and we just got internet again today.  So much to catch up on!  I'm hoping to get started reading when DD goes down for a nap today.


JMJ, thanks so much for starting the June thread.  I'm really excited for you--wish I was in your shoes!  Be sure to lurk and keep us posted when you get that BFP!  I've learned lots from you and I know everyone will miss your insight.

post #15 of 94

Hi JMJ, it is a Basal Body Thermometer, just one intended for mouths! Thanks for the info.


I'm glad it works for you Jodi5, but I was getting really wild jumps from 98 to 96 back up to 97 the next day with oral, so I thought I'd give vaginal a try. Probably the reason for the mouth breathing and the temp irregularities is that I'm highly congested, and sometimes I can't breathe through my nose in the morning- thus contributing to varied temps, I'm sure.

post #16 of 94

I was sick with what I think is food poisoning....temp went sky high today.....grrrrrr.

Otherwise all is good in CTTA land.

post #17 of 94
Thread Starter 

Welcome back, JustKate.  I'm glad to hear you made it, and best wishes for settling in.


EcologyStudent, BBT's tend to be be marketed only for mouths.  A lot of people don't like the idea of taking their temperature other ways, so the packaging materials don't talk about it, but it works just the same.


CarsonBookworm, I hope you are feeling better soon.  Food poisoning is no fun.  Ick.

post #18 of 94

Just an update, I got a high on the fertility monitor today.  It was strange since the strip didn't look like a high to me, but I have had some CM the last couple of days that was a bit more so I think it is probably right.  They say not to judge the strips by looking but I clearly could see it last cycle before I even put it in the monitor, lol.  I'm guessing I will see it more the next day or so. 


EcologyStudent - I do get some up and downs as well, but have been able to see the shift so far.  I will see how it goes and you never know, may try vaginal at some point but for now it is working okay. 


JMJ - interesting, the BBT's I have purchased here, describe oral and vaginal on the packaging.  Interesting these little tidbits, that perhaps vary from place to place. 


post #19 of 94
Thread Starter 

I have been pondering, Ladies, and I could use some opinions.  I have recently run into a number of women in this forum (some on this thread, some on other threads) who are relying on or would like to rely on mucus-only or temperature-only and even calendar only methods of CTA.  In my opinion and experience on this thread, we are here to help women understand their fertility through any fertility signs they wish to chart and to support them in their choice to plan their families through awareness of their own fertility.  However, having basic rules above for FAM from TCOYF only (despite having resources for many FAM/NFP methods and organizations) seems to be giving some people the impression that this is a Sympto-Thermal Method only thread, when the intent is to be more inclusive.


The idea that I have been kicking around is to add a summary of the basic rules for several different methods in simple terms above similarly to how FAM has been described above.  (Options could include calendar, mucus-only, temperature-only, ClearBlue Fertility Monitor..... if we want to make it even more complicated, pre-PPAF breastfeeding rules.)  I am conflicted about this for a number of reasons and would love to hear your opinions.  Here are my thoughts:


-I am no longer CTA (though I likely will be again sometime... in a couple years), and I do not want to change the nature of the thread substantially and leave you all to deal with the fall-out.  If I make changes to the opening post, I want it to be because the general consensus among active participants is that those changes would be welcome.


-I have been a tutor for many years, and I am confident in my ability to present the information in clear, simple terms, though I tend to be wordy.


-I love the simplicity of one set of basic rules.  I don't want people to feel like they have to choose their method from a long, complicated list before they get started. They can branch out to what works best for them later.


-Some people have already chosen a method other than STM, and having some basic information on their chosen method would make them feel welcome and free to discuss their own method.


-Some people feel like they could never get accurate temperatures or have all-the-time mucus or hardly any at all, and if they perceive that STM is all that is offered to them, they may feel that FAM/NFP can't be for them if they can't or don't want to keep track of it all.


-While the STM can be effectively learned from a book, some methods (specifically Creighton) rely on face-to-face, one on one charting lessons to maintain a high level of effectiveness.  This obviously cannot be replicated to any degree in this thread.  I can list the basic mucus-only rules above that are used in Creighton and Billings, but I don't want to give the impression that without taking proper instruction in Creighton, you can assume that you will get the 99% accuracy advertised by the method.


-I want to give enough information to give people a taste of different methods and to get started charting, but I do not think it wise to attempt to (or give the impression that I am attempting to) teach all of the NFP/FAM methods in one thread.


I would love some constructive feedback.

Edited by JMJ - 6/6/11 at 8:28am
post #20 of 94

JMJ... I love how thoughtful you are about this subject.  I know from my own experience that I certainly could have used some more information presented to me in simple terms that went beyond what I had read in TCOYF.  I for one, would greatly appreciate this type of info in the opening post OR a sticky (if that is possible).  I think you could easily add disclaimers about the need for further one-on-one instruction to RELY on certain techniques (the CM, for example). 


I also think you could add a single sentence at the beginning stating that the thread is for all types of CTA techniques including STM, CM, MM, etc.... and that it's open to anyone interested in information even they are not actively CTA.  I think that would accomplish the inclusive part you're hoping for.  Once that is stated, it's up to people to jump in if they want to be included.

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