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How do I count the number of days of my luteal phase?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I thought it was just a matter of counting the number of days past ovulation, which would ultimately be starting with the temp rise and all the temps above the coverline, up to but not including the day that you start full flow.  My biggest question is, what if I have one day of spotting before full flow-- do I not include that day as part of my LP?  A second question would be in regards to a recent cycle I had where at 7dpo I had the most faint trace of spotting--it was the size of a pinhead (I was examining TP like a crazy woman each time) and then at 9 dpo I had a larger amount of spotting (like I often get just before AF)... AF came in full force the next day, as I would normally expect.  How long would you consider my LP to be in that particular case?

 

I'm on my 7th PPAF, and I'm still nursing my DS quite a bit, so I fully expect my LP to be shorter than normal (normal for me would be 14 days).  I'm trying to figure out my cycles and seeing if my LP is getting longer at some point, which to me would be a good indicator that my fertility is returning to a greater degree as time goes on... Also, I'm not an early tester (too scared to see that BFN) but I would like to have some idea of when it might be 'reasonable' to expect that I might be pregnant and then I'll know when to test (with DS I waited until I had 18 high temps). 

 

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

post #2 of 6

My understanding is that you do count every day from the temp rise until the first day of full flow.  Spotting days are counted in your LP when you are talking about the length, BUT when you're TTC you cannot count the spotting days when determining if your LP is a fertile length.  So when you're talking about a day of spotting prior to AF, then your LP would be one day shorter for TTC purposes (in other words, only 8 days last cycle).  The mid-LP spotting is most likely also due to hormonal fluctuations since you're still regulating postpartum.  You may have a very short LP with multiple days of spotting one cycle and the next could be a normal length with no spotting.  The trick will be to catch those more fertile cycles (though of course you can't know in advance if it's going to be!).  I'm sure that your LP is lengthening and strengething, but it can really take a lot of time.   My cycles took over a year to regulate after my first, waiting until dd STTN to really kick into gear. 

 

As far as testing goes,  how long your LP is doesn't affect when you can get accurate results.  It all depends on when implantation occurs.  But if your LP is not long enough to sustatin a pregnancy you might catch multiple chemical pregnancies by testing early.  Personally I would just wait each cycle out and if AF doesn't show by 14 DPO then I might test if I couldn't wait, but honestly, I like the double confirmation of 18 high temps and a BFP. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Jaimee, this makes sense to me, what you wrote.  And when we went to the fertility doc this morning, I asked her about the spotting and she said to disregard it, and I could still count in in my luteal phase length as you said.  Also, you mentioned how I might have spotting some cycles but not others while I'm trying to regulate PP, yes that would explain what I am noticing.  I do notice that my cycles each month that goes by are getting closer to my 'normal', so that is good. 

 

One thing that I found really encouraging is what you have written in this post, and others, how a woman can have cycles that are more fertile than others-- that it isn't a constant thing.  By keeping this in mind, I can always hope for a more fertile cycle the next time should a cycle not leave me with a bfp.  I never really thought of it changing, because my cycles before I had my DS have been very regular and I always O'd around the same time, etc.  and even now, PPAFs haven't been as wonky as they could be.

 

About testing, I've never been an early tester... I, too, prefer to wait for the 18 high temps post O.  That is how I know I conceived twice (first time ended in a miscarriage at 6 weeks, and second was my DS).  Unfortunately, I decided not to temp this month to give myself a break from 'obsessing' about ttc'ing... I've just done the OPK and monitored my CF and secondary fertility signs-- so I don't have the 18 day high temp count to go on.  I am already 'late' as far as my PPAF goes, and equal to (or close) my normal LP length (13 or 14 days)-- not having the temp spike after O is making it hard to know.  If AF doesn't show, I'm thinking of testing early next week.

 

If a woman was to experience implantation spotting (I know that it doesn't usually happen, but it can), does the spotting show itself soon after implantation occurs, or does it take awhile for the blood to make it's way out?  When I read TCOYF, it says that a woman can experience implantation spotting anytime about a week after O and up to the time when AF is expected... and if implantation typically occurs 6-12 dpo, then am I understanding this info to mean that, yes, it could take quite awhile for the blood to show up in undies or tp.  What info do you have on this?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinsMama View Post
One thing that I found really encouraging is what you have written in this post, and others, how a woman can have cycles that are more fertile than others-- that it isn't a constant thing.  ... I never really thought of it changing, because my cycles before I had my DS have been very regular and I always O'd around the same time, etc.  and even now, PPAFs haven't been as wonky as they could be.

 

Even when you're really regular with your O day pretty much the same each cycle, you will likely notice the quality of CF varying cycle to cycle, making some more fertile than others.  You'll might notice that some cycles have only creamy CF, some have one day of EW, and some have several days of EW that is super stretchy and profuse.  I found that postpartum this was particularly true along with varying LP lengths and spotting.  I'm glad that this idea encourages you while your cycles regulate.  smile.gif

 

Quote:
If a woman was to experience implantation spotting (I know that it doesn't usually happen, but it can), does the spotting show itself soon after implantation occurs, or does it take awhile for the blood to make it's way out?  When I read TCOYF, it says that a woman can experience implantation spotting anytime about a week after O and up to the time when AF is expected... and if implantation typically occurs 6-12 dpo, then am I understanding this info to mean that, yes, it could take quite awhile for the blood to show up in undies or tp.  What info do you have on this?

 

I think that this question is difficult to answer b/c what is spotting caused by implantation and what is not is widely in dispute.  Really, a woman would have to undergo frequent testing during the implantation period to determine when implantation occurred and if it lined up with spotting.  But I will say this, which is my personal opinion and is not based on hard scientific research...  I believe that implantation spotting would be very minimal, like a few pin pricks of blood. The embryo is very tiny and even though it "violently burrows" into the endrometrium, it cannot do much damage.  If there is enough blood to soak through a few liners or necessitate a pad, and especially if it's occurring after 12 DPO then I would say this type of bleeding is hormonal and not from a burrowing embryo.  As for color, if the blood comes down right away on it's own then it would be red drops on your panties.  If the blood came down with some CF then you might notice it as streaky pink.  If it comes out when wiping, yellow urine plus red blood might also appear pink or even orange in color on the toilet paper.  If it took a few days to come down then it would be brown and brown plus urine could appear rosey in color.  Since implantation can occur anywhere from 6-12 DPO, as you mentioned (though most likely between 8 and 10 DPO), then it stands to reason you would most likely see blood on or after 8 DPO and less likely to see it prior to that or after 12 DPO.  Again this is just my opinion based on what I've read in various resources and what makes sense physiologically to me.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yes, it makes sense to me what you wrote; as well, when I combine what I have read about implantation spotting on various sites, and what physiologically seems likely to happen from putting it all together.  It would be really hard to know anything specific about how it works, i.e. difficult to pinpoint exactly what is happening inside us, when it comes to conception.  There is a lot known, but so many unknowns, isn't there!  Actually, even our fertility doctor admits how they can't explain things sometimes; for example, she told us that she has a patient undergoing IVF who had two fresh transfers, and nothing implanted (several embryos were done).  But then on a third attempt, with only two frozen embies, they implanted-- and the one even split, making identical twins... so she is carrying triplets. 

 

So, do you think when women who have spotting that isn't likely to be from implantation, as likely indicated because of the duration/amount/timing, and they still end up being pregnant, that itcould be just a hormonal thing occuring... and yet because there is so much talk about implantation spotting, it becomes commonplace to call it that when in fact it might be just spotting plain and simple?  Because I've come across quite a few women, on here and a couple other places, where they have this happening.  And of course, there are those shows out there based on the story of the women having babies and not knowing they are even pregnant, because for one thing they often have some bleeding around the time AF is due and that's what they think it is (we don't have cable, but I have seen it when we have stayed in hotels that had it on their channels... I've watched it a couple times, it sucked me right in!) 

 

I hope you don't mind me asking you for your opinion on all of this..

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinsMama View Post
So, do you think when women who have spotting that isn't likely to be from implantation, as likely indicated because of the duration/amount/timing, and they still end up being pregnant, that itcould be just a hormonal thing occuring... and yet because there is so much talk about implantation spotting, it becomes commonplace to call it that when in fact it might be just spotting plain and simple? 


Okay... again, just MY personal opinion...  Yes, I believe that fluctuating hormones are the most likely cause of LP spotting pregnant or not.  A variety of things can cause progesterone to fluctuate in an otherwise healthy, non-pregnant woman.  Pregnancy can also cause the hormones to fluctuate as the embryo attempts to signal the corpus luteum to remain intact instead of disintegrating as usual toward the end of the LP.  What's causing the fluctuating often cannot easily be known, even in retrospect.  And it is not uncommon at all to bleed enough to appear to be a light period around the time of expected AF.  Some women even bleed around the time of expected AF each month for months while pregnant.  While of course this is not common, it does indicate that this is completely possible.  To get enough blood to seem like a period, especially occurring more than once during a pregnancy this would have to be caused by hormones flushing a bit of the uterine lining and obviously not the embryo/fetus burrowing in the lining.  Of course other things can also cause bleeding like an irritated cervix (which is more sensitive and engorged with blood while pregnant) or issues with the placenta.

 

Ultimately I think what's important to remember is exactly what you said: there are so many unknowns regarding conception and pregnancy.  Those of us on boards like this tend to be more aware and more interested in information, so it's natural to guess and wonder.  But you can bleed or not bleed, be pregnant or not pregnant, often we simply cannot always know the cause or know the outcome until it happens!

 

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