Handerson: Desert has some really good guidance and suggestions for you. You should chart through the 30 days (or however long her cycle is) and understand it as much as you can. BTW, stress does not delay a period but ovulation can be delayed by stress. So if her period is late and she doesn't have the chance of being pregnant, than her ovulation was probably later than you thought. It's a myth that stress can cause your period to be late. Being pregnant can cause your period to be late! :-) You may already know all that is below so if you do, ignore and maybe it will help someone else who is just starting out.
- Take your (her) temp every morning at the same time, upon waking, before you do anything else. Use a printed out chart or online software to help track. The first day of full bleeding is considered Day 1 of the cycle.
- After her period ends, she'll start heading towards ovulation. As Desert mentioned, starting to do OPKs on Day 9 is recommended. Test once in the morning around 10am and once about 12 hours later. The LH surge can happen in just 12 hours so you don't want to miss it! I always recommend using Clear Blue Easy Digital, especially if you're having a hard time figuring out from cheaper brands if you're ovulating. They are more expensive but worth it. You can get them on eBay from women like us who had them but aren't using them for less.
- Have her check her cervical mucous (CM) and cervical position (if she knows how) for other signs of impending ovulation. Track these on your spreadsheet or through your software. Remember, three signs lining up at the same time are the best indication that you're ovulating (if you're not using other methods such as ultrasounds).
- When you get the smiley face, you're 12-24 hours from ovulating. Get ready to get your sperm shipped!
- Keep tracking the temp, so you can see the rise that indicates ovulation. This isn't something that will help you to predict ovulation but rather help you to determine she did ovulate, after the fact.
- The day after ovluation is considered DPO1 (days past ovulation) and this is when your two week wait (TWW) begins! Keep tracking temp if you want. Some people do see patterns in their temp that indicates they are pregnant. Some people choose not to temp because it just stresses them out.
- Once done, take a look at your chart and note patterns. What day did she ovulate? (average is day 14 but EVERYONE is different so this is something you really need to know. All doctors will just assume day 14 and need to know if you're different). How many days are there between ovulation and her period starting? (this is considered the luteal phase, anything between 11 and 14 days is considered normal and there are some arguments as to what determines a short luteal phase. Some docs say 11 days or less, others say 10 days or less. If you're at the 11 or 10 days or less mark, it could indicate a luteal phase defect (LPD) and you may want to check in with an RE about it).
Best of luck!! Let us know where you guys are at in the cycle.