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Charting to Avoid / Fertility Awareness - June - Page 2

post #21 of 94

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

 

I would love some constructive feedback.

JMJ - I appreciate your thoughts here.  I think I've felt left out using Creighton - not because of anything you're doing here, but simply because I don't see anyone else using it!  I like that at the top you already have links to all of the various methods and I think that is pretty inclusive.  If you wanted to write basic rule summaries  - maybe you could link to it elsewhere (like in a sticky?) since the first post is already so long.  And maybe in the list of people's names for the thread, you could add in parentheses after their name which method they rely on?  That would let people quickly scan to see if anyone else is using their method.  Those wouldn't be very big changes, so you wouldn't have to worry about leaving for awhile.  :)
 

And since I'm new here - could you add me to the list? :)  Nice to meet all of you!

post #22 of 94

I'll go ahead and ask a couple of my Creighton system questions, if any of you want to toss in an opinion.

 

Just a little history on me: I used sympto thermal for a couple of years, after I had my second DD (two healthy pregnancies) I just felt like I couldn't consistently temp.  Then I tried using cycle beads because I was lazy and I thought I was regular enough - 6 months later I was pregnant.  I had a miscarriage in December, and started using Creighton in January, so I'm on my 6th cycle.  My cycles seem to be very much like they were before the last pregnancy, but since I was charting before I don't really know for sure.  My cycles fluctuate in length between 26-30 ish days, but I have very clear CM signs that make ovulation easy to identify (with Creighton you check your mucus every time you go to the bathroom, shower, and before bed, so you know exactly what you're body is doing every day).  We are CTA now, but will maybe TTC next year.

 

So my question:

My luteal phase has fluctuated between 10-15 (12, 10, 13, 15, 13) days, although there is a possibility I wasn't charting correctly in the early months. 

 

I had one month of light spotting before my period, which is a sign of low progesterone, too, but it was only one out of 5 months. 

 

And does anyone know exactly what the Mucus Cycle Score my Creighton teacher gives me indicates exactly?   She's given me the scale of what is normal before, but I've forgotten it.  mine is fluctuating between 6's one month (mid-low) and 15's the next (good). 

 

I may just be paranoid because of my miscarriage, but do these signs together indicate low progesterone, or any other condition that I may need to be concerned about, whether for general health or later when I TTC again?  At the very least it seems like my hormones are somewhat instable, fluctuating from normal to out of sync.  Thoughts?

post #23 of 94

JMJ, I LOVE the idea of making some changes to the thread.  Part of what I love about this thread is that it was such a great starting-off point for me when I started charting. I'd love to know more about relying more on CM, but I haven't been exposed to Creighton or Billings....so without the exposure, those methods seem really mystical to me.  If you would take the lead on the technical/teaching side, I can offer some suggestions for the formatting--

 

First, let's just keep a list of members, rather than dividing everyone into groups.  Maybe user name, method, since Month 20XX, any notes the person wants to include (like BFPs, no longer avoiding, etc.). As we state anyway, a lot of us are avoiding to different degrees or whatevering at times....

 

Second, lets find out if there's a way to host documents either on the thread, in a person's "account" or if Wikis are the only option.  I know nothing about Wikis, but I'm guessing it would be a way to host information and link to it in our thread without having copious amounts of info on the thread.  We don't want to make it more overwhelming than it is!

 

Third, I really like the links in the first post, so lets keep those for now unless there's a better way to do it.  That's all I can think of for now, but I'm really excited about making some changes.

 

 

wilson, welcome!  And welcome to all the other ladies I missed meeting during my move.  So glad that's over!  wilson, i'm not familiar with Creighton at all, but my LP has fluctuated a bit too, and the only things I can possibly attribute it to are nutrition and maybe stress.  My last 5 LPs have been 11, 10, 12, 12, and 10 days.  I know my last LP was affected by eating road food during my move and me being sort of stressed out about it.  Not sure if that means anything to you, but it seems to matter for me.  I also have more pre-AF spotting when my nutrition is poor(er).  For me, this means taking a mulit-vitamin to avoid spotting for 4 days pre-AF.  My "goal" at this point is to get a consistent 12-day LP and only one day of pre-AF spotting by paying more attention to my diet.

 

 

As for me, CD9 here. I rely heavily on temps because I don't feel very confident in my ability to interpret CM, and I rarely get EWCM.  Fortunately I got my three over six a day or two before our move, so I didn't have to deal with that on the road. My charts: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/320676

 

 

post #24 of 94


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post

wilson, i'm not familiar with Creighton at all, but my LP has fluctuated a bit too, and the only things I can possibly attribute it to are nutrition and maybe stress.  My last 5 LPs have been 11, 10, 12, 12, and 10 days.  I know my last LP was affected by eating road food during my move and me being sort of stressed out about it.  Not sure if that means anything to you, but it seems to matter for me.  I also have more pre-AF spotting when my nutrition is poor(er).  For me, this means taking a mulit-vitamin to avoid spotting for 4 days pre-AF.  My "goal" at this point is to get a consistent 12-day LP and only one day of pre-AF spotting by paying more attention to my diet.


Thanks, JustKate!  My Creighton class/book says that a fluctuation of 2-3 days is still normal, but 4 or more days could be a sign of instable progesterone.  I don't know what other methods say.  I can see how nutrition could affect those 2-3 days though.   I've been really trying to be consistent with my vitamins lately, and I should do better about my food too.  Maybe things will get less weird over the next couple of months.

 

post #25 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson View Post

I'll go ahead and ask a couple of my Creighton system questions, if any of you want to toss in an opinion.

 

Just a little history on me: I used sympto thermal for a couple of years, after I had my second DD (two healthy pregnancies) I just felt like I couldn't consistently temp.  Then I tried using cycle beads because I was lazy and I thought I was regular enough - 6 months later I was pregnant.  I had a miscarriage in December, and started using Creighton in January, so I'm on my 6th cycle.  My cycles seem to be very much like they were before the last pregnancy, but since I was charting before I don't really know for sure.  My cycles fluctuate in length between 26-30 ish days, but I have very clear CM signs that make ovulation easy to identify (with Creighton you check your mucus every time you go to the bathroom, shower, and before bed, so you know exactly what you're body is doing every day).  We are CTA now, but will maybe TTC next year.

 

So my question:

My luteal phase has fluctuated between 10-15 (12, 10, 13, 15, 13) days, although there is a possibility I wasn't charting correctly in the early months. 

 

I had one month of light spotting before my period, which is a sign of low progesterone, too, but it was only one out of 5 months. 

 

And does anyone know exactly what the Mucus Cycle Score my Creighton teacher gives me indicates exactly?   She's given me the scale of what is normal before, but I've forgotten it.  mine is fluctuating between 6's one month (mid-low) and 15's the next (good). 

 

I may just be paranoid because of my miscarriage, but do these signs together indicate low progesterone, or any other condition that I may need to be concerned about, whether for general health or later when I TTC again?  At the very least it seems like my hormones are somewhat instable, fluctuating from normal to out of sync.  Thoughts?



The Mucus Cycle Scoring System is a quantitative way of judging the quality of mucus during the days before, during, and after peak day.  A higher number indicates a mucus pattern that indicates proper hormone functioning and sufficient quantity and quality of mucus to nourish and aid sperm in fertilization.  A higher score (maximum is 16) has been correlated with a higher probability of conception given intercourse in the fertile period in couples without infertility issues.  To a certain extent, some variation is normal.  I don't know to what extent variation is normal or what would indicate a problem.  That would be a question for your instructor or physician.  That is one of the great things about Creighton is that you are in a good position to be connected to the best in women's reproductive healthcare with your charts.  Your instructor would be in the best position to recommend to you if and when you should seek medical care and would know which physicians are trained in NaPro Technology in your area.

 

I'm sorry for your loss.  I would be paranoid too.  Maybe it would be helpful for you to have a preconception appointment with a NaPro trained physician just to set your heart at ease.  That also gets you connected in case you show signs of needing medical support for progesterone or anything else in early pregnancy to prevent another miscarriage.  You won't have to waste time trying to convince a physician that you need help.

 

That said, there is a lot you can do with diet that can aid in helping out your cycles.  For me, I specifically notice that when I eat much sugar, I have terrible mucus patterns and very irregular cycles.  Within my first year of marriage, I had cycles ranging from 27-65 days with LP's ranging from 9-14 days.  I cut out sugar and processed foods, and things got much better so that I was able to conceive.  Before conception, I don't know what my MCSS scores were, but I know they weren't great.  Still, we managed to conceive on our first time trying and had a healthy pregnancy.  More nutrient-rich foods and less sugar can make a huge difference.

post #26 of 94

It is great to have someone so knowledgeable here JMJ and I think this is a good discussion.  Personally for me, I am doing a mix of Marquette and symptho-thermal, especially as I learn better my cm patterns.  In my cycle postpartum, I did not get a peak reading on the monitor  (high only) but my temperature did shift so having had both indicators was helpful.  I think as I become more comfortable I will pick but for now, I'm waiting until I am safe under both methods which may make my fertile window longer but help me to relax through this process. 

 

Anyways, great to see everyone's thoughts here!

post #27 of 94
Thread Starter 

OK, I added you, wilson, and I noted what method those of you who have stated your method are using.  If there is any information (method, how long charting, link to chart, etc) you would like me to add next to your name.  For now, I have left those who are pregnant or TTC separate.

post #28 of 94
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking that a wiki might be the way to go. Anybody can update it, so it's not tied to the presence of one person, and as new research/methods come out, people can update it to meet their own needs.

 

In looking around, I found this wiki already, basically what the top of this thread looked like before I made some edits this month. The thing is that it is very specific to the Sympto-Thermal Fertility Awareness Method taught in Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It contains resources for other methods, but it does not go into any details on any other methods... not that it should. It has served us well as an introduction to CTA for a long time. I'm just trying to figure out how to go about this given that there is already a wiki out there with this information. I see three options if we want to go with a wiki/wikis. Feel free to add your own ideas.

 

1. Since this is a wiki, anybody can edit anything except the title. We could attempt to edit this wiki to include all the information we would like to have to introduce all the methods. The only difficulty I see with this is that the title, the only thing that cannot be changed, very clearly states that it is FAM and goes on to explain how FAM is different than NFP. Most of the other methods are NFP and would not fit well under this title.

 

2. Have a separate wiki for each method of FAM/NFP. This would allow us to speak in the terms that are used by that particular method, but it could be more difficult for a reader to compare and combine methods.

 

3. Leave that wiki alone for the most part (besides updating sources or perhaps deleting sources that are specific to another method), and make a separate wiki as an introduction to charting and the rules used by different methods.  There would be some redundancy, as the second thread would include basic information on FAM as taught in TCOYF, but it would leave the first wiki with the purpose of being an introduction to FAM and create a second with the purpose of being an overview of the rules of different methods, using common terms to make it easier to compare and combine methods.

post #29 of 94
Hi! Since I've been pregnant I haven't been checking this thread much, but I'm the one who created the FAM wiki page and I would love to see others get in on editing it. I'm pretty sure I invited the CTA thread to do just that when I first put it up.

For what it is worth, here are my 2 cents:

On your suggestion #1: If I recall, I called it FAM only because I thought FAM/NFP would be a mouthful and FAM was more recognizable than CTA. That said, I wouldn't be at all offended if you wanted to create a more general wiki. Then we could edit the FAM article to be just a description of FAM and link to the more general article (maybe titled Charting to Avoid Pregnancy?) for further information.

On your suggestion #2: Again, if you linked each article to the main article and the main article to each individual article, I could see that being very useful. That, of course, would be more work though, and I'm not volunteering! wink1.gif

On your suggestion #3: That would also be fine, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and did you see there is also a Types of Natural Family Planning wiki? If you are getting ambitious about the wiki stuff, it would be nice to incorporate that into whatever you come up with.
post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

The Mucus Cycle Scoring System is a quantitative way of judging the quality of mucus during the days before, during, and after peak day.  A higher number indicates a mucus pattern that indicates proper hormone functioning and sufficient quantity and quality of mucus to nourish and aid sperm in fertilization.  A higher score (maximum is 16) has been correlated with a higher probability of conception given intercourse in the fertile period in couples without infertility issues.  To a certain extent, some variation is normal.  I don't know to what extent variation is normal or what would indicate a problem.  That would be a question for your instructor or physician.  That is one of the great things about Creighton is that you are in a good position to be connected to the best in women's reproductive healthcare with your charts.  Your instructor would be in the best position to recommend to you if and when you should seek medical care and would know which physicians are trained in NaPro Technology in your area.

 

I'm sorry for your loss.  I would be paranoid too.  Maybe it would be helpful for you to have a preconception appointment with a NaPro trained physician just to set your heart at ease.  That also gets you connected in case you show signs of needing medical support for progesterone or anything else in early pregnancy to prevent another miscarriage.  You won't have to waste time trying to convince a physician that you need help.

 

That said, there is a lot you can do with diet that can aid in helping out your cycles.  For me, I specifically notice that when I eat much sugar, I have terrible mucus patterns and very irregular cycles.  Within my first year of marriage, I had cycles ranging from 27-65 days with LP's ranging from 9-14 days.  I cut out sugar and processed foods, and things got much better so that I was able to conceive.  Before conception, I don't know what my MCSS scores were, but I know they weren't great.  Still, we managed to conceive on our first time trying and had a healthy pregnancy.  More nutrient-rich foods and less sugar can make a huge difference.


Thanks, JMJ!  My OB who recommended Creighton to me is NaPro trained, and I feel really lucky to have stumbled upon him.  I know he will be a big help we we do TTC, but that's still far off, and I don't have another yearly check up until November.  I guess I'm just curious and eager to know.  But I think it will be helpful to have several more months of charts before I go see him and ask all my questions.  So I should probably just be patient.

 

Also, i emailed my instructor for more specific details about the MCScore.  In the past she's told me about what you did, and I guess I was just hoping for more explicit info.  Maybe there is a reason they don't give us the equation to do it ourselves. 

 

 

I don't really have an opinion about all the wiki stuff, but I'll try to support whatever you decide!

 

post #31 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson View Post


Thanks, JMJ!  My OB who recommended Creighton to me is NaPro trained, and I feel really lucky to have stumbled upon him.  I know he will be a big help we we do TTC, but that's still far off, and I don't have another yearly check up until November.  I guess I'm just curious and eager to know.  But I think it will be helpful to have several more months of charts before I go see him and ask all my questions.  So I should probably just be patient.

 

Also, i emailed my instructor for more specific details about the MCScore.  In the past she's told me about what you did, and I guess I was just hoping for more explicit info.  Maybe there is a reason they don't give us the equation to do it ourselves. 

 

 

I don't really have an opinion about all the wiki stuff, but I'll try to support whatever you decide!

 


I'm glad you're connected to help.  The score is out of 4 points each for color, consistency, change, and sensation.  A score is given for each day and I believe this is averaged over the time from 5 days before peak day till 5 days afterward.  Beyond that, like how they actually rate those things, I can't help you.  Creighton and Billings are very similar, but I believe this is part of what makes Creighton get better effectiveness results.  If your mucus patch is only 1 or 2 days, with Billings, you're at a higher risk of getting accidentally pregnant if you DTD on the last dry day.  With Creighton, they'll try to do something about it so that you have an adequate mucus patch both for the ability to get pregnant and the ability to have enough warning with your mucus patch to avoid getting pregnant if you need.

 

post #32 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by capretta View Post

Hi! Since I've been pregnant I haven't been checking this thread much, but I'm the one who created the FAM wiki page and I would love to see others get in on editing it. I'm pretty sure I invited the CTA thread to do just that when I first put it up.

For what it is worth, here are my 2 cents:

On your suggestion #1: If I recall, I called it FAM only because I thought FAM/NFP would be a mouthful and FAM was more recognizable than CTA. That said, I wouldn't be at all offended if you wanted to create a more general wiki. Then we could edit the FAM article to be just a description of FAM and link to the more general article (maybe titled Charting to Avoid Pregnancy?) for further information.

On your suggestion #2: Again, if you linked each article to the main article and the main article to each individual article, I could see that being very useful. That, of course, would be more work though, and I'm not volunteering! wink1.gif

On your suggestion #3: That would also be fine, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and did you see there is also a Types of Natural Family Planning wiki? If you are getting ambitious about the wiki stuff, it would be nice to incorporate that into whatever you come up with.


Thanks so much.  I hadn't seen the Types of NFP wiki yet, so definitely, that could be incorporated.  I am liking the idea of having links to a bunch of wikis at the top of the thread so that people have access to the information without making a huge post.  Perhaps each wiki should be a pretty narrow topic so that people can get the information that they need easily, and wikis can be added as necessary.  Here's my brainstorm of topics for now.  Let me know what you think:

-Edit the Types of Natural Family Planning wiki to include MM; mucus-only through Creighton and Billings; Sympto-thermal through CCL, NFPI, and TCOYF, and LAM

-Edit the FAM thread to narrow it down to FAM a la TCOF and to differentiate it from NFP (abstinence during the fertile period)

-Make FAM/NFP resources its own wiki

-Make the fertility-related abbreviations its own wiki

-Make a "rules of NFP/FAM" wiki for any rules for any method by any organization so that people can see all the rules side by side and choose what works for them.  Make this easily usable for CTA or TTC (one of the wonderful things about charting).

-Consider developing pages for other individual methods.... maybe someday.

 

Of course, all of these ideas are in flux.  Please feel free to add your input to make this idea better.

post #33 of 94
Thread Starter 

Hmmm... in thinking about it more, I wonder if the Types of NFP wiki would be a good place for the NFP resources, or if it would be better to just put them on their own?    Does anybody else see a good way to combine other topics.  The resources and abbreviations could be placed redundantly on several wikis.  Is it better to have fewer wikis so that people can easily find them more easily, or is it better to have shorter and more to the point wikis and reference them all at the top of the thread?  I'm kinda leaning toward the latter, and that way, some wikis can be non-specific in reference to CTA and TTC, so we could be developing some wikis to be used for both purposes.  Thanks for letting me bounce ideas off of you ladies!  It helps me to be able to think out loud.... er... on the page.

 

Speaking of finding more wikis... I found this one that we may want to add to the mix as well.

post #34 of 94

Hey ladies, I hate to be a party pooper, but DH just agreed that we can TTC beginning next cycle (mid-July)!   So I don't mind keeping the thread for July (or maybe JMJ for July since we're making some changes?), but we'll need someone new for August forward....   

 

 

ETA: JMJ, i really like all of your ideas.  I think organizationally speaking, you're on the right track.  And I think differentiating between FAM a la TCOYF vs NFP is a great idea.

post #35 of 94
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post

Hey ladies, I hate to be a party pooper, but DH just agreed that we can TTC beginning next cycle (mid-July)!   So I don't mind keeping the thread for July (or maybe JMJ for July since we're making some changes?), but we'll need someone new for August forward....   

 

 

ETA: JMJ, i really like all of your ideas.  I think organizationally speaking, you're on the right track.  And I think differentiating between FAM a la TCOYF vs NFP is a great idea.


Yay!  I'm so happy for you.  I know you've been leaning that way for a while.  Best wishes for a baby soon!

 

I think for the most part, the materials should be about charting.  I don't want to pit FAM against NFP.  It's just that NFP is developed out of an anti-contraception mentality, and FAM is not.  Additionally, while we talk about using the Sympto-Thermal Method, we're actually talking about 3 sets of rules right now.  TCOYF, NFPI, and CCL all have different sets of rules, though NFPI and CCL are very similar since they were founded by the same people.  TCOYF has you establish a cover line while CCL/NFPI have you establish low and high temperature levels, and for NFPI especially, your temperature rise in relation to the low and high temperature levels makes a big difference in when you can declare that you are infertile.  It's the same research, but it is conceptualized very differently with a big emphasis on an inverse relationship between the strength of a temperature rise and the number of days of thermal shift and dry up needed.  The differences are at least as much as the differences between Billings and Creighton in the mucus-only camp.

post #36 of 94

I wanted to update that I had my first ever peak on the CBE fertility monitor this morning.  For the moment I am using it along with symptho thermal especially as I don't think my cervical mucus observations are that great although I can tell when I'm in the fertile range, I just cannot identify a peak.  I tend to get cm that is creamy but it doesn't get that real egg white stretchy quality I read of.  Perhaps that is due to breastfeeding.  Anyways, it is nice to have 2 indicators to be able to collaborate what I'm seeing.  Now I get to quit testing with the monitor until next cycle.  I expect my temperatures will rise soon.  

 

As for method, I find I do tend to use a mix of methods.  I do use NFP vs FAM but I check the rule in both TCOYF and CCL rules to see if I get the same result.  Again a lot of this is due to being new to assessing my chart and wanting to make sure I understand it.  In this way though it is nice to have materials on the different methods so over time one can learn about the different methods and can try out the different ones to see what is a good fit.   

post #37 of 94

Just another update that I have started my shift this morning.  It is not enough of a rise yet to say but I noticed last cycle, the first day of the rise, I had a temp of 97.5 and then it continued to rise the next day.  Since I had the peak on the monitor 2 days ago, I think this is what will happen again.  We will see what happens the next couple of days. 

post #38 of 94

So, dh and I had a little miscommunication last night and now I'm going to have to be on a pregnancy watch blush.gif.   I'm CD 14 today, and just got EWCM this morning.  Ever since my cycles returned, I've had looooong EWCM periods before ovulation.  Last cycle it was a full 7 days of it before O.  So I'm not really concerned, but there's still the possibility.  If I do conceive this cycle my plans for school are going to have to change drastically, also our plans for moving.  But, I would still be excited to be pregnant again. 

post #39 of 94
Thread Starter 

Jodi, thanks for the updates.  It helps us all to get a feel for how it is working for you.

 

Angelorum, I hope things turn out for you.  Are you sure the EWCM was not seminal residue?  Keep us posted.

 

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon updating this wiki.  I still need to add links and fertility monitor/marquette method information, maybe a few other details here and there.  Please give me any feedback... I warned you I was wordy, right?

post #40 of 94

Isn't seminal fluid cloudy?  I've had some of that, but also copious amounts of clear stretchy stuff all day.  More than I would expect for just semen.

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