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Charting to Avoid/Fertiltiy Awareness December

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 

flower.gif   December 2011  flower.gif

 

Welcome to the December 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 November, 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 Decemberr if you want to be on the January list!

 

To those who are new, welcome! Welcome.gif


 

 

    Who We Are

 

BaileyB

Buterflymomma BFPChart2.gif

CarsonBookworm BFPChart2.gif

Cassiani

Clavicula BFPChart2.gif

Devaya BFPChart2.gif

Erigeron

.infojunkie BFPChart2.gif BFPChart2.gif

JenRN

jodi5 BFPChart2.gif (STM/MM)

Kat216 BFPChart2.gif

librarygirl BFPChart2.gif

Litchick

mlfc15

mtgooseberry

nattery BFPChart2.gif

Ovaova BFPChart2.gif

Pinkbunch

physics girl BFPChart2.gif

pregnova BFPChart2.gif

 

 

Graduates

 

 

Pregnant! belly.gif

Jaimee (November 2011)

mommy2two babes (December 2011)

lactatinggirl (January 2012)

.JMJ (March 2012)

alyadri BFPChart2.gif (March 2012)

justKate BFPChart2.gif (STM) (April 2012)

miss_honeyb BFPChart2.gif  (April 2012)

FaithHopeLove29 BFPChart2.gif

Lionessmom BFPChart2.gif
 

 

 

 Wiki Resources for Charting to Avoid

 

Reasons to Choose Natural Family Planning - Why would you want to use charting to plan your family, anyway?  Feel free to add your own reasons for charting!

 

Types of Natural Family Planning - It's not just the rhythm method.  They've got this down to a science with options galore!

 

NFP or FAM Methods While Breastfeeding - You have options in the postpartum period while your fertility is returning!

 

Resources For Learning About Fertility Cycles - Find books to read or websites to visit, find an instructor, post your chart online, and learn about how your diet affects your fertility.

 

Fertility Awareness Method - A quick-start guide to the Fertility Awareness, a version of the Sympto-Thermal Method taught by Toni Weschler in her book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

 

Commom Abbreviations for Charting to Avoid/Fertility Awareness - BBT, EWCM, TCOYF, and more!  Learn what all these crazy acronyms mean here.


 

 Happy Charting Everyone!


Edited by physics girl - 12/8/11 at 11:47am
post #2 of 65

Hi everyone - strange to be the first to post on here!
So according to FF I haven't ovulated, but I reckon I did either on day 16 or 18. What do you guys think? I'm back to just charting every day (was doing the 'shortcuts' before), as it is just such a habit now and is easier for me that way. But my temp times haven't always been consistent as my bladder or my child wake me up at unpredictable times. 

 

http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/33d5d5

post #3 of 65

Ok so I got my period today it seems, 5 days early - am usually bang on 28 days lately, but I guess if I didn't O then it could all be out of sync. I think its def a period and not spotting b/c I have period-like cramps - last time i spotted (2 cycles ago) i had no cramps. But time will tell I guess.

post #4 of 65

Hi Devaya - Glad you got things started for us! :)  I am no expert although I've been looking at a ton of charts lately.... to me it really looks anovulatory.  I'm sure others will give their opinion too, I could be wrong. I just don't see a thermal shift. That would explain your early period too.  I am currently on day 67 of an anovulatory cycle so I understand how it feels to look at  temps and CM with no rhyme or reason day after day. It can get a bit mundane and frustrating sometimes.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post

Hi everyone - strange to be the first to post on here!
So according to FF I haven't ovulated, but I reckon I did either on day 16 or 18. What do you guys think? I'm back to just charting every day (was doing the 'shortcuts' before), as it is just such a habit now and is easier for me that way. But my temp times haven't always been consistent as my bladder or my child wake me up at unpredictable times. 

 

http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/33d5d5



 

post #5 of 65

Thanks...that's my gut feel too. Hhhmm. I don't know enough about why that happens sometimes, need to dig out TCOYF again ;) Yeah it is a bit mystifying and mundane, and just as I thought I was getting the hang of this charting stuff and seeing patterns! Now does this mean I can't follow the rules for the next cycle...I seem to remember reading that you can only use temps correctly to assess ovulation if you had a clear rise and dip in temp in the previous cycle.. 

post #6 of 65

ah, the crazy not ovulating thing.  doing the same thing on my chart right now.  except i did have a cycle, and managed to chart 25 days of it.  Though my breastfeeding and history of wonky cycles continues to make this charting thing a nightmare.

 

Add to that my baby dropping my thermometer and it (after 6 years of dependability) breaking.

 

Still having fun with egg-white fluids interspersed with dry days, and a cervix that just wants to stay mostly soft and high.  Waiting for temp to rise.  Please please please be soon.  Tired of trying to avoid intercourse, using condoms and still worrying, and just being frustrated with worrying!

 

according to mymonthly cycles, i should ovulate on Dec 9th and have my next cycle the 25.  that's based on my last 4 cycles being 49 days long.  starting to miss the ease of pregnancy.  that means my baby is 6 months old- about then i start having fond thoughts of being pregnant and just adore babies.  probably a good thing, because she crawls, keeps me up all night, eats food and smears it absolutely everywhere, and i'm just bonkers over her.  

post #7 of 65

Devaya, that is puzzling.  I have 3 theories, but I honestly couldn't tell you which one is most likely.

 

Theory 1: You ovulated and are having your period.  You didn't see a clear temperature rise because of inconsistent temping times.  Your irregular mucus pattern also makes it difficult to determine when you ovulated.  You will likely go on to have a normal next cycle and should be able to consider yourself to be infertile for the first 5-6 days of your cycle, but due to being unsure of this theory, it is better to not make this assumption.  (This seems strange that this would be true because I don't even see a pattern in your solid dot temps, and your CM dried up pretty well post-ovulation in previous cycles.)

 

Theory 2: This is an anovulatory cycle.  What you are experiencing is a bleed caused by a hormonal drop-off, similar to what women experience during (or after) the hormone-free week of their hormonal birth control cycles rather than a true period.  If this "period" turns to heavy flow, you can count it as a new cycle, but it's hard to know what your next cycle will be like.  It's possible that your body could ovulate much earlier than normal this cycle, so you would be wise not to assume that you are infertile during this bleeding, though you may choose to consider yourself infertile if the days following your period are dry with no CM.

 

Theory 3: You have not ovulated yet, but you are getting ready to ovulate.  The spotting you are experiencing is breakthrough bleeding, and the cramps you describe could be ovulation pain or related to something else (back pain, etc).  You have EWCM, and you need to assume that this could be possible, so you really need to assume that you are potentially fertile since you can't rule this theory out.  The good news is, you'll be able to confirm this as true in the coming days if it is.

post #8 of 65

Thanks JMJ.Having read your post now I'm inclined to think theory 3 may be correct, as there is still EWCM today and there has been only very tiny amounts of spotting - as in, just on toilet tissue, no actual blood - throughout the day. It wouldn't be unheard of for me to ovulate late as I have sometimes, before charting started, had like 30 day cycles (but then, I was BF, I've now weaned DS two months ago - actualy, maybe that is having an effect on my cycles altho I was only nursing twice a day very briefly), and i did have both stress and illness during this cycle so that could have delayed it. Will keep you posted, really appreciate the input!

post #9 of 65

I'm currently waiting on AF to show up (11dpo, the last two cycles LP has been 13dpo). Although this cycle I had a bit of spotting at 8dpo (brown bleeding, only once when I wiped). Then it started up again last night (10dpo), still brown but "heavier", as in it made it out to my panties. This is the first cycle, since getting them back PP, that I've had this random spotting in the LP (besides maybe the day before AF).

 

My DD weaned this cycle (around CD8). I did ovulate earlier than I had been (CD22 vs. 37 or 41). I've also been better about taking my vitamins this cycle: prenatal, krill oil, vitamin D. I'm assuming I might have low progesterone, since that was a problem when I was pregnant with DD.

 

Any idea what could be causing this spotting?

post #10 of 65

JenRN, if you're suspecting low progesterone, spotting in your LP can be an indication of that.  How was your temperature rise (or are you temping)?  If you have a weak or inconsistent temp rise, I would guess that this is what it is.  Dietary changes can help with that, but they take some time.  It seems like going from hardly nursing at all to fully weaning shouldn't have that much affect on your cycle, and if it had any effect, you would think that it would make your cycle better, not worse, but I have seen several women now who have had really strange cycles immediately after weaning.  I really don't understand why this is, but it sounds like you're not the only one.

 

I'm sure you also know that LP spotting can happen with implantation bleeding, which can take many forms, but in most cases, implantation bleeding is bright red for a day or two and then lightens to brown or nothing while low progesterone spotting generally increases or ebbs and flows off and on until your period comes.  Of course, to have implantation bleeding, you'd also have to be pregnant, and with charting, you probably have a pretty good idea if that's a possibility or not.

 

 

Infojunkie, I'm still chart-stalking you off and on.  It's looking likely that you evaded Murphy during your thermometer mishap.  So, you've had over 6 weeks now of chemical-free amenorrhea without ovulation, so I'm really guessing that this is breastfeeding amenorrhea.  Of course, if you are serious about avoiding pregnancy right now, you are much safer assuming that you are potentially fertile unless you have established a true BIP.  However, I'm noticing that you've only had 1 day in a row of watery or EWCM in a row, and hardly any EWCM at all.  How much of the time has it been clear and stretchy?  It it is tinted yellow or white or doesn't really stretch, it's not quite as fertile as if it's a slippery, glob that you can pick up and stretches at least an inch between your fingers.  Also, since you generally have to have a greater hormone threshhold for your first postpartum ovulation, it's likely that you'll have at least a few days of EWCM in a row at least some time before you actually ovulate the first time.  I did fine with ignoring everything (though we abstained on the few days that I had EWCM, but we definitely ignored creamy CM) until I noticed several days of lots of stretchy EWCM and slippery feelings in a row, and then it was a few more months before I actually ovulated.  Granted, we weren't really serious about preventing another pregnancy (it would have just meant having our second a little closer to our first than we originally planned), and I wouldn't recommend being loose with the rules if you have a more serious reason to avoid.

post #11 of 65

Thanks, JMJ! My temp rise was good, from the 97.4 range to 98.3ish. I was worried about implantation bleeding at 8dpo, but since it stopped and started again I figured it wasn't that. I just assumed progesterone because that was an issue for me in the past - I honestly have no idea what this is. 

 

I guess I just have to wait to figure out what this is. 

post #12 of 65

Hi there,

I'm just starting Charting again after I was 10 weeks pregnant and lost the baby on October 25th, Does anyone have any experiance with charting after a loss? I always have questions about temps and what is normal, etc... and I was wondering if I could join. I have a chart started at FF and I'm still gathering data... I've had 3 losses besides this one... I just want to know what's going on with my body.

post #13 of 65

Guess I didn't need to wait that long - AF showed up after only a 10 day LP.

post #14 of 65

Hello, I'm going to crash for a minute. I need to borrow your smart charting brains. I have been checking my cervical position for charting and I have been having cramps and spotting off and on. Does anyone know if checking your CP can cause minor cramps and spotting? Is there a specific right or wrong way to feel if the hole is open? I think I might be checking to thoroughly and making my cervix mad. Thanks!

post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

Hello, I'm going to crash for a minute. I need to borrow your smart charting brains. I have been checking my cervical position for charting and I have been having cramps and spotting off and on. Does anyone know if checking your CP can cause minor cramps and spotting? Is there a specific right or wrong way to feel if the hole is open? I think I might be checking to thoroughly and making my cervix mad. Thanks!



I'm a labor and delivery nurse, so I only deal with pregnant cervixes (and my own). One of the things we warn women about is that if they had a cervical exam, they can have minor cramping and spotting from that for up to 48 hours afterwards. A pregnant cervix is a lot more sensitive, but it makes sense that if you're checking "too thoroughly" you could cause the same thing to happen. Kind of like the spotting that sometimes happens after rough sex.

 

As far as a "right vs. wrong way", I'm not sure. I would suggest squatting to check, since that will naturally make the cervix come down lower, so it's easier to find. (But make sure you ALWAYS squat to check, you want to use the same position every time). And be careful of your nails - I definitely caused some bleeding and discomfort one time when I was growing my nails out for a friends wedding. There's a reason L&D nurses aren't supposed to have long fingernails.  :)

 

Hope this helps!

 

post #16 of 65


JMJ - Yes, apparently breastfeeding is a very effective child spacing mechanism for me.  I've seen only 1 tiny glob of anything that would be considered stretchy in this whole chart. And it was right after I had started drinking Green Tea again.  The glob was opaque and thick, but a little stretchy. Only about 1cm of stretch.  It didn't really look like egg white. I have had a few times where it was definitely watery (soaked the underwear) but that was only 2 or 3 times.    So really it's just been a general variation from dry.... to sticky/scant...to creamy to a little bit of watery then dry again.   The information below is very very helpful.  I appreciate you sharing your experience with fertility returning postpartum and absolutely appreciate being chart stalked! :)  I am going to talk about things again with DH and see what he thinks about it as far as risk we are comfortable with.  I had mentioned before that our "birth control" right now is w/d.... which is alright I suppose but not really something anybody wants to do forever, if you know what I mean :P 

 

It's good to know that I will likely get much more "warning" before I actually do ovulate and that the first postpartum ovulation threshold is higher.  I have had one procedure on my cervix in the past (leep) so I don't know if that has affected my cervical crypts and my ability to produce EWCM.  I was so ignorant of my fertility up until this year that had I gotten EWCM before I ever had that procedure, or even if I had gotten it after... I would not have noticed and certainly would not have noticed a difference.  I really wish I had learned all of this stuff when I was a teenager.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

 

Infojunkie, I'm still chart-stalking you off and on.  It's looking likely that you evaded Murphy during your thermometer mishap.  So, you've had over 6 weeks now of chemical-free amenorrhea without ovulation, so I'm really guessing that this is breastfeeding amenorrhea.  Of course, if you are serious about avoiding pregnancy right now, you are much safer assuming that you are potentially fertile unless you have established a true BIP.  However, I'm noticing that you've only had 1 day in a row of watery or EWCM in a row, and hardly any EWCM at all.  How much of the time has it been clear and stretchy?  It it is tinted yellow or white or doesn't really stretch, it's not quite as fertile as if it's a slippery, glob that you can pick up and stretches at least an inch between your fingers.  Also, since you generally have to have a greater hormone threshhold for your first postpartum ovulation, it's likely that you'll have at least a few days of EWCM in a row at least some time before you actually ovulate the first time.  I did fine with ignoring everything (though we abstained on the few days that I had EWCM, but we definitely ignored creamy CM) until I noticed several days of lots of stretchy EWCM and slippery feelings in a row, and then it was a few more months before I actually ovulated.  Granted, we weren't really serious about preventing another pregnancy (it would have just meant having our second a little closer to our first than we originally planned), and I wouldn't recommend being loose with the rules if you have a more serious reason to avoid.



 

post #17 of 65

Welcome, AGreenMum10!  I'm so sorry for your losses.  I do not have personal experience with charting after a loss, but there are a couple mamas on here who are recovering from recent losses as well.  Check out last month's thread for a whole lot of discussion on charting and losses.  I hope that through charting, you'll get some more information on what might be causing your losses.

 

BaileyB, to second what JenRN said, I would be very careful about your fingernails.  Checking your cervix is not mandatory for charting and is even discouraged by the CM-only methods.  If you believe that it is causing a problem even if you are very gentle and keep your nails short, I would stop checking it for a while to see if things get better.

 

Infojunkie, I don't worry too much about soaking my underwear.  I can soak my underwear quite well with creamy CM unless I'm going to the bathroom enough and wiping it away thoroughly enough and often enough to keep it from dripping down.  If I feel it dripping and go to investigate it immediately, it looks creamy, like mush.  If I wait a little longer, it appears to just be wetness, and if I wait until it dries, I can scrape off white flakes from my underwear.  I rarely get truly watery CM, and I pretty much always (can't think of any exceptions) get EWCM in the same day for some of my observations.  EWCM has so much lubrication that the CM can be picked up and stretched.  Watery CM is the same thing with even more lubrication such that it won't even stick together to stretch, but it would feel quite slippery at the vulva, and you would see clear EW-looking CM on the when you wipe, though it would be hard to pick up because of the lubrication, really, much like you would observe if you came in from the cold with a dripping nose, and you blew your nose.  You'd see it on the tissue, but it would be difficult to pick up or stretch because it's so watery.  Try it one of these cold mornings.  If that's not what you're seeing, you might just be dealing with creamy CM.

 

As far as the effects of a LEEP procedure on CM is concerned, that is not something that I know.  I would very seriously consider contacting the Pope Paul VI Institute (Creighton Model and NaPro Technology) with this question.  They are the experts on both CM and medical issues in respect to NFP.  [As a side note, you don't have to be Catholic to contact them.  They follow Catholic teaching but their work is secular, an attempt to provide womens health care in a way that meshes with Catholicism, not an attempt to convince people to convert.  Historically, Pope Paul VI was the author of Humane Vitae (On Human Life), a document that (among other things) condemned artificial contraception and called for the development of more modern NFP methods to work with rather than against our fertility.  The PPVI is an attempt to answer this call to develop modern methods of NFP.]

post #18 of 65


I suspected I was perhaps "overestimating" my CM and attributing a higher level of fertility to it than it really was.  Some days maybe even what I called creamy should have been considered "sticky" and some days I thought were sticky might really have been dry.  So watery is higher up on the scale than EWCM? if so, then I don't think I've had any. I might go back on my chart and change the days I marked "watery' to creamy,although at this point it probably doesn't matter.   Thanks for the tip on contacting the Pope Paul VI Institute. I will do that. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

Infojunkie, I don't worry too much about soaking my underwear.  I can soak my underwear quite well with creamy CM unless I'm going to the bathroom enough and wiping it away thoroughly enough and often enough to keep it from dripping down.  If I feel it dripping and go to investigate it immediately, it looks creamy, like mush.  If I wait a little longer, it appears to just be wetness, and if I wait until it dries, I can scrape off white flakes from my underwear.  I rarely get truly watery CM, and I pretty much always (can't think of any exceptions) get EWCM in the same day for some of my observations.  EWCM has so much lubrication that the CM can be picked up and stretched.  Watery CM is the same thing with even more lubrication such that it won't even stick together to stretch, but it would feel quite slippery at the vulva, and you would see clear EW-looking CM on the when you wipe, though it would be hard to pick up because of the lubrication, really, much like you would observe if you came in from the cold with a dripping nose, and you blew your nose.  You'd see it on the tissue, but it would be difficult to pick up or stretch because it's so watery.  Try it one of these cold mornings.  If that's not what you're seeing, you might just be dealing with creamy CM.

 

As far as the effects of a LEEP procedure on CM is concerned, that is not something that I know.  I would very seriously consider contacting the Pope Paul VI Institute (Creighton Model and NaPro Technology) with this question.  They are the experts on both CM and medical issues in respect to NFP.  [As a side note, you don't have to be Catholic to contact them.  They follow Catholic teaching but their work is secular, an attempt to provide womens health care in a way that meshes with Catholicism, not an attempt to convince people to convert.  Historically, Pope Paul VI was the author of Humane Vitae (On Human Life), a document that (among other things) condemned artificial contraception and called for the development of more modern NFP methods to work with rather than against our fertility.  The PPVI is an attempt to answer this call to develop modern methods of NFP.]



 

post #19 of 65

Yes, watery is even more fertile than EWCM, but I wouldn't change your chart because it would be hard to make it accurate when you're trying to remember observations that you had weeks ago.  I would just make a note on your chart that based on new information, you are using new criteria for determining those designations.  The day that you described that was opaque and 1cm of stretch would be considered to be "tacky" by most methods of CM descriptions, a designation that is more fertile than creamy but less fertile than EWCM.  It can be quite a trick to figure out CM.  This is the reason Creighton only has that kind of effectiveness if you take their class.  It took me quite a while of bouncing ideas off of different people to figure out what to call my CM.

 

While in breastfeeding amenorrhea, DD was almost 19 months old by the time I got anything that made me really think that my body might be getting ready to ovulate and got me to start charting, so by then, we weren't really trying to avoid, so I didn't ever establish a BIP in the 2 months between then and when I actually ovulated, and looking at my chart, it would have been difficult to do the 14 day rule for a BIP, but the best I could have done was to note the fact that I regularly had clear (or slightly cloudy), stretchy, and distinctly yellow CM, and whenever I had enough to see, that's what it was up until 10 days before I ovulated.  If I had considered that to be my BIP and counted those days, days of small amounts of creamy CM, and dry days as all infertile, I could have considered myself infertile for about a month of that charting time.  It's not a totally recommended method if you're really serious about avoiding, but if you go weeks and weeks and notice that your CM level is topping out at "x" level that has some distinctly less fertile characteristics (opaque, yellow, not stretchy, etc), it's likely that you'll have "something different" before you ovulate, and if you keep an eye out for that "something different," it is quite likely that you would get a good warning that you were going to ovulate.  Add this to the fact that only about 2/3 of women ovulate before their first PPAF (not a true period if you don't ovulate first), and half of those have inadequate LP's, and that could be the effectiveness that some women need, though you need to do this with full understanding that this is a somewhat less effective method and be ready for the result if it fails.  In some cases, I think the ability to make love to your husband au naturale makes it worth the reduced effectiveness.  In other cases, it's more important to be sure to avoid pregnancy.  Still, I've seen a lot more surprise babies in the first few cycles (due to drastic changes from one cycle to the next) after a woman's first PPAF than before it.

 

I do think that it is a good idea to talk to the people at the PPVI, though, just in case they know something that I don't about what the procedure could have done to your CM.

post #20 of 65

I have been having a lot of trouble differentiating my CM. The other day I believe it was eggwhite as it stretched a good 1-2 inches, it also felt slippery. Yesterday it seemed kinda, slippery, but didn't stretch as much. To me it seems that all my CM is of fertile quality lately, but no O so far.  I have been using my TCOYF book, but am still having some issues. I wondering if somebody can explain a bit better to me?

 

I am still waiting to O, but have had some blood streaked CM and some pain/cramping. I am wondering if I should call my OB or if this a normal thing to happen after a miscarriage? I have also been feeling very rundown lately. I really just want things to get back to normal. I am on CD34 with no signs of O.

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