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How much of this is on me? How much is on my baby-to-be? - Page 2

post #21 of 31


 

Quote:

I was browsing fertility stuff on Amazon.com today and I found myself asking the question, "What am I trying to fix?"   ...why am I trying to fix something that doesn't appear to be broken?!

 

Exactly... At this point...I would not say "trying to fix...or broken".  At this point it's more of a "what is my body telling me, and what can I tell my body?"

 

If there's anything that I could think of, I sometimes have short luteal phases.

 

I do too, and I will go into that in a little further down.  

 

I have always wondered if I have enough progesterone.

 

Me too!  I will talk about this too.

 

Okay, I am going to go into a lot of information....a lot that you may not need or already know...but I'm gonna do the "give you everything I got" approach.  

 

 

 

A complete cycle is usually between 28-32 days.

 

Follicular Phase

  • The first day of Menstruation (AF) is the beginning of this phase and noted as Cycle Day 1 (CD1). The average AF is 3-7 days. 
  • From the day of CD1 till the day you Ovulate is called the Follicular Phase
  • This time frame can vary for many reasons (stress, whatever).  
  • You body temperature will generally be "stable" and your CM will probably be dry or wet but not stretchy.
  • 24-36 hours before you ovulate your body will produce a hormone.  This hormone can be detected by an ovulation test. (OPK)
  • Just before ovulation your CM will change to "egg white constancy".
  • Just before ovulation your temperature may have a slight drop.

 

Luteal Phase

  • From the day of ovulation till the day before your next AF is called the Luteal Phase.
  • This time frame generally stays the same, and is usually 12-16 days in length.  
  • When you ovulate your temperature may show a rise.
  • Your CM should still be egg white for ovulation
  • CM will later change to watery.

 

 

    

 

Generally the amount of days you are in your LP stays the same.  So if you normally have a 28 day cycle, and you had a stressful month, and your body ovulated 3 days later than normal, the expected day of your next menstruation is no longer CD28, it would be CD32.  This is important to understand, because if you don't know when you ovulated, and you hit CD29...you think I might be pregnant...when in fact CD31 would be the last expected day of your cycle and CD32 would now be the first day of your missed period.   So being able to tell when you ovulate is important not only for knowing how you want to time sex (or BD) but for knowing when the first day of your missed AF is.

 

A persons LP usually needs to be a minimum of 10 days in length.  This gives the the fertilized egg enough time to travel down the fallopian tube and attach itself to the uterine lining and start producing the HCG hormone.  A short LP phase may not allow enough time for the egg to attach to the uterine lining and may result in "chemical pregnancy" (where you might actually test pregnancy positive, but AF which results in not being pregnant) or no pregnancy at all. 

 

Some indicators for low progesterone:  Insomnia, Frequent / irregular menstruation, low sex drive, vaginal dryness...there is more but see what your chart says.  Then if you think this is a issue, request to have it tested.  I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning to request just this (irregular spotting for me).  I am hoping she will just test it.  I don't feel comfortable "self medicating" without being sure.

 

Okay..so...My first suggestion is to find out what your body is telling you by charting. If you don't have a charting system yet I will suggest Fertility Friend. You track (well everything) CM, AF, Ovulation, Spotting, Temperature, OPK test, Pregnancy Test...anything you want or nothing you don't.  And it all comes out on a pretty nice chart.  When you do this, you can see so much clearer what your body is doing.  (hopefully) You'll see your CM become fertile the same time frame your OPK test starts becoming positive, a small drop in your temperature, followed by a rise, maybe a very small tinge of pink/brown CM from the egg breaking though (rare), and then 12-16 days later AF.  Since you will hopefully be able to see exactly when you Ovulated, you can compare the O day to the next AF day and be sure that your LP is long enough.  If it is not...(which mine looks like it is only 9 or 10 days)...A idea is maybe B6 vitamins.  I just started taking them and I am hopeful it will lengthen mine.  

 

 

So, is there anything out there that would even help me without being a complete waste of $?

 

  1. A good purchase is a Basal Thermometer with "memory" (local pharmacy store).  When you take your temperature you want your resting temperature.  So, you do this the same time every morning FIRST thing when you wake up.  Keep the thermometer by your bed, don't sit up, don't do anything.  Just reach over, grab your thermometer and don't move.  Stay awake.  The memory is good for when you set your alarm for this.  You can go back to sleep and record what it was later.  A basal thermometer is is different from a regular thermometer because of an "extra digit".  Instead of having a temp of 98.3...it will say 98.38.   When you are looking for a temp fall and rise for Ovulation, you need this extra digit.  If your temp is 98.30 Monday and 98.38 Tuesday, that is a pretty big variation, that you would not be able to detect will a regular thermometer.   External factors>>> You want to be sleeping for (I think) at least 3 hours.  So, a steady house temp...same amount of blankets...and same time every morning. ".
  2. Prenatal Vitamins with folic acid.  Very very good for our body, before, during, and after baby.  
  3. OPK test....can give some good information, but may not be needed as your chart progresses and your body tells you more accurately than these can.  But they can help possibly predict you ovulation
  4. pregnancy test...well, you know
  5. PH tester, optional, can provide some information about the PH thing you were worried about.
  6. charting system...free

 

 

So, OPK's:  

 

Do they work?  Yes and No.  Depends on the person. This is how they are suppose to work...They detect LH surge (Luteinizing hormone) which is your body's way of telling itself it is time to ovulate.  You usually start testing the day after your AF and if you see it starting to rise you can take the test twice a day...because for some women their surge only lasts 12 hours (mine lasts two days lol)  Some women don't surge enough to be a positive.  Some women surge and ovulate 36 hours later...so on... Now, an interesting tidbit on this is that LH is tested with a OPK.  HCG is tested by a pregnancy test.  These two hormones are practically the same at a basic level.  So, ....(I'm stealing this visual concept from an Internet site I once read)....Imagine twins...one named LH and one named HCG....HCG has a purple hat on.  When you take a OPK test...it is simply looking for the presence of a "person"  It will detect both LH or HCG, because they are the same "person".  However the presence of the person has to be stronger to be picked up on a OPK test than a pregnancy test.  A pregnancy test is looking for the "purple hat" so it will only detect the pregnancy, not the surge.  It is possible to get a positive OPK test late in your cycle because you may be pregnant...but a pregnancy test should be able to detect pregnancy faster than a OPK test.  

 

Or that can help boost DH? Do the general men's fertility boosters work? What have you tried and liked?

But I hadn't thought about the ph of DH's sperm being an issue before. Thoughts on that??

 

Since you have a child already, I personally would just assume he is okay for right now.  I wouldn't have him do anything / take anything unless he was tested.  If you get to know what your body is doing better, and everything seems right on...then maybe see if he is up for a test...then go from there.  This is the approach I am currently taking with my husband.  And since I have found some "flaws?" in my cycle I am going to see what I can do about those, when I get that straightened out, and if we are still having trouble...we can move on to him.  ;)

 

I saw some Fertilitea that looked like a good option (and I like tea) but some people in the reviews were saying that if your cycle is regular, beware because it can shake it up a bit. Hmmm, not sure about that. I read about PreSeed and I just don't think we need it. I have plenty of fertile CM and honestly, some of the parabens in PreSeed make me a little nervous since that's such a sensitive (and internal!) area that it's going into.

 


I would definitely suggest not doing any of this right now.  Chart first and figure out what you might need.   If you want to test what your PH might be...no biggie...I've done that (for a couple of reasons).  I have read up on a lot of this stuff for various reasons.  If you start taking these kind of....ummm....supplements?...., you may end up changing  your PH and hormones that are good now, and making it harder.  Changing your PH can cause possible infections, changing your hormones can stop ovulation, and mess with the "living environment" of his sperm.  When you start to piece together what might need some "help" then you can look into healthy ways to promote your cycle.

 

Hopefully this helps.  This is information as I have learned it.  There are many different theories on all of these things, so pls don't take my word "hands down".  But I hope there was at least some information in their you were looking for, and that helps!!!

 

biggrinbounce.gifblahblah.gifgeek.gifnut.gifinnocent.gif (I love these guys!)



 


Edited by Mom2010 - 1/31/12 at 7:49pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2010 View Post

Since you have a child already, I personally would just assume he is okay for right now.  I wouldn't have him do anything / take anything unless he was tested.

 

See, this is a piece of misinformation I wish could be stomped out. Having one child (especially one that took a long time to conceive) only proves that, once upon a time, her husband had ONE good sperm. Of course, the likelihood is that there were a few more than one, or it wouldn't have made it. And since men regenerate sperm all the time, there can be a LOT of variability over time in the quality of a man's sperm. Unfortunately, there is zero in the way of at-home assessment you can do for men's fertility, at least as far as I have ever seen. At least for us women, we can chart and get a basic idea about whether we're ovulating, how long our luteal phase is, and what our CM is like. I don't think there's any equivalent at-home observation for male fertility. But since the OP said that from what she's seen so far of her own body, things look good except for maybe her LP, I would lean even more toward there being possible male-factor issues.

 

Anyway, the other info you provided is really good, I would just add that although a 10 day LP is theoretically sufficient for pregnancy, 12+ days is probably a safer range to rule out a short LP interfering with TTC.

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 

OMG Mom2010 - love.giflove.giflove.gif

 

Thank you for taking the time to spell all of that out for me! Seriously, that must've taken some work and I so appreciate it. 

 

I knew some of the cycle stuff and appreciated the reminder and I knew nothing about OPK's, so that was awesome.

 

Some thoughts:

- When you were describing the follicular phase and ovulation and talked about having EWCM when ovulating - I get EWCM for like four days! It almost feels like too much. Is that possible? That's what makes it hard for me to really know when I ovulate. I have an excessive amount and think I must be ovulating and then it lasts for four days or so. And, I know that you can still have some EWCM after ovulating so I just try to BD in that window of EWCM and hope I'm good.

 

- Okay, so if there is something to boost, it's definitely my luteal phase. I had a chemical pregnancy when TTC DS before and I swear this time around I've conceived and it hasn't taken. I have some B6 that I was going to take before I got all ambivalent about it redface.gif I also have been drinking this tea from Whole Foods by Allegro that's called Queen Bee and it's a hormone regulator and I swear when I started drinking that, my luteal phase lasted three or four days longer! Having a cup now... (and going to be more regular about it)

 

- I did chart for about three months with this TTC. Getting a really accurate temp was tough because sometimes my DS would wake up and come in bed with us at like 5am and then I wouldn't have been asleep for 3 hours when I took my temp. It seemed like sometimes I was up, sometimes not. And then I think I started to worry about it and so I wasn't sleeping as well. When I stopped temping, I started sleeping a lot better (and so did my DS, funny enough). Tips to make this better?! I feel pretty confident about what my chart was showing me and again, the only thing I could see what perhaps a short-ish luteal phase. 

 

- About the OPKs - so, if it shows the surge, but some people's last for 36 hours (like yours), then how do you really know when you ovulate?? Isn't that like me and the 4 days of EWCM? I am sort of interested to see what it would say though because maybe I would have a more clear surge. What brand or kind is the most trustworthy (and/or affordable)?

 

So, there's a woman I used to go to who does Maya Abdominal Massage and I booked an appointment with her for Friday. I am excited for it! 

 

I also randomly came across this website http://www.circlebloom.com that has meditations for fertility. I read about them and listened to one and I really liked what I heard/read. There is a different meditation for every cycle day that focuses on wherever you are in the cycle. I REALLY liked that it was specific. And apparently the meditations for later in the cycle talk about accepting the results. When I read the testimonials, I wasn't as excited about the people who had gotten pregnant while using it as I was the people who said it made them feel more at ease with the roller coaster each month. That sounds like just what I could use - some emotional support that's specific to what that part of the cycle feels like. So yeah, I ended up buying it!

 

I'm feeling really good about where I'm at. It feels really balanced.

 

Thanks for much for all of your help!

post #24 of 31



Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post
 

innocent.gif   I agree with what you are saying and I definitely didn't mean rule out the DH. duh.gif

 

 

I think I might have given the wrong impression, trying to condense some wording. This is what I meant by that ....

  • I am going to assume (for right now) he is not completely infertile because you do have a child.  (However, this may be completely incorrect and may be that he had a lucky moment)
  • And I wouldn't go buying on-line male fertility supplements and other things that might change his chemistry (for lack of better words), without the basis a doctors test to go off of.

 

So, I was just suggesting the approach of starting a chart first. See if there might be a easier/cheaper/obvious sign of what might be making it a little more difficult.  Or simply charting to find the date of ovulation may solve the whole thing.  Then, I would either consider a fertility test for you or/and a fertility test for DH.  And only after a fertility test, or some formal testing, would I suggest supplementation that effects hormones or ph or things of the like. And I also don't mean to say that if you do find something obvious the chart, that it rules out the DH. 

 

However, you if have the money, and no objections to testing, both of you getting tested to to find out might be a faster and better option.

 

 

 

Anyway, the other info you provided is really good, I would just add that although a 10 day LP is theoretically sufficient for pregnancy, 12+ days is probably a safer range to rule out a short LP interfering with TTC.

Thank you.  I am still learning.  I appreciate you reading through it all.  I did a little refresher research to try to make sure I had it right, but I was still a little worried. geek.gif

 

post #25 of 31


 

Quote:

 

Some thoughts:

- When you were describing the follicular phase and ovulation and talked about having EWCM when ovulating - I get EWCM for like four days! It almost feels like too much. Is that possible?

 

Nope. No such thing as too much in my book.  lol...young adult females can have something like 7 days of it.  As we get older the number of days decrease.  

 

That's what makes it hard for me to really know when I ovulate. I have an excessive amount and think I must be ovulating and then it lasts for four days or so. And, I know that you can still have some EWCM after ovulating so I just try to BD in that window of EWCM and hope I'm good.

 


For these days try to note the day that you have the largest quantity of it.  That is an indicator the day of ovulation.   Also, keep in mind that your husbands sperm can live up to five days...so one option is having sex on the first day that you have EWCM and on the third day.   That way your DH sperm are lying in wait for the egg.  .   

 

- Okay, so if there is something to boost, it's definitely my luteal phase. I had a chemical pregnancy when TTC DS before and I swear this time around I've conceived and it hasn't taken. I have some B6 that I was going to take before I got all ambivalent about it redface.gif 

 

I am sorry to hear that.  hug2.gif  I just went through that myself.  I am curious, if you don't know the day of your Ovulation, how are you determining the length of your luteal phase?  That aside, if the luteal phase seems short to you, because your saying even if you ovulate the first day of your EWCM it is still not long enough, then I would take some B6.  I really don't think that would hurt either way, and I have started taking it for the same reason.

 

I also have been drinking this tea from Whole Foods by Allegro that's called Queen Bee and it's a hormone regulator and I swear when I started drinking that, my luteal phase lasted three or four days longer! Having a cup now... (and going to be more regular about it)

 


I think that the spearmint and red raspberry in that tea are the kickers that help regulate your cycle.  I have heard of a lot of people doing this. (I forgot about this and might go get some lol)  I would only suggest to switch to a different kind of tea when you pop positive.  The red raspberry can sometimes cause uterine contractions, which is no big deal until then.   

 

 

- I did chart for about three months with this TTC. Getting a really accurate temp was tough because sometimes my DS would wake up and come in bed with us at like 5am and then I wouldn't have been asleep for 3 hours when I took my temp. It seemed like sometimes I was up, sometimes not. And then I think I started to worry about it and so I wasn't sleeping as well. When I stopped temping, I started sleeping a lot better (and so did my DS, funny enough). Tips to make this better?! I feel pretty confident about what my chart was showing me and again, the only thing I could see what perhaps a short-ish luteal phase. 

 


Wow, very nice.  This does change a bit of what I was suggesting earlier.  Ummm maybe temp the week that you are expecting your EWCM...see if you can see a drop and rise in the middle of those four days that line up with the day you have the largest amount of EWCM?   If you can tell which one of those days that usually happens, you could just time sex for the day before.  I believe that your two most fertile days are the two just before your ovulation.  So, as long as the temperature change indicates that you are indeed ovulating...then having sex on those days would be a good set up.  I would be looking towards the temperature more to confirm your ovulation at this point.  

 

- About the OPKs - so, if it shows the surge, but some people's last for 36 hours (like yours), then how do you really know when you ovulate?? Isn't that like me and the 4 days of EWCM? I am sort of interested to see what it would say though because maybe I would have a more clear surge. What brand or kind is the most trustworthy (and/or affordable)?

 

And that's the kicker for these tests, there is no way to tell exactly when you ovulate from these test.  However, given that a positive OPK indicates that you will have an ovulation within 12 to 36 hours.  And the DH's sperm lives up to 5 days...A positive OPK in combination with EWCM can tell you when you are probably "most fertile", and that you want to have sex at that point.  Your temp could confirm ovulation and preferably you have had sex a little before then, but your egg can live around 12 to 24 hours after ovulation for fertilization as well. 

 

 

 With the tracking that you are already doing and some of the good indicators that you are getting, I hope it works! 



 

post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 

Good to know that there's no such there as too much fertile CM! Ironically enough, I'm on day 9 of my cycle and there is NONE in sight. There's nothing. It's like a void. Come back fertile CM!! Of course, there's this tiny voice in the back of my head saying, "Maybe you're pregnant even though you had a period!"

 

So, I know how long my luteal phase is (give or take one day) because I basically know when I ovulate (give or take one day) because of the fertile CM. I know that I ovulated either on the last day of fertile CM or the last day of TONS of fertile CM. And that's what we have been trying to do - take advantage of the fertile CM days and especially the last or later one(s). Haven't put my full effort into it, but we always cover it at least once.

 

I like your idea of just temping around ovulation to see the drop and rise - thanks! I now remember that in my chart, the rise is very stair-steppy. It's not this huge rocket shift, but it goes up slowly. Indicator of anything?

 

 

post #27 of 31

mom2010 - I really hope I didn't/don't come across as being rude - I know sometimes things sound harsher in writing than in conversation. So if I have, I apologize!!

 

About the chart - not everyone actually gets a dip before their temps go up. In fact, Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF) says that's actually pretty rare. As far as the stair-step rise, that is a pattern that can be considered "normal" (again, according to TCOYF), though there are different rules for figuring out, retrospectively, when you ovulated if that's your normal pattern. I don't know of any problems that would indicate, but maybe someone else does?

post #28 of 31

Okay, randomly got this on my recommendations at Amazon today:

 

SpermCheck Fertility

 

It's supposed to be an at-home test to see if there's a certain amount of sperm (more than 20 million) in a semen sample. Not really sure if it works, but thought it was interesting, as it's the first at-home male fertility test I've seen. There can be other things wrong with sperm besides low count, but I thought it was worth mentioning. And, as fertility tests go, it's fairly cheap.

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

mom2010 - I really hope I didn't/don't come across as being rude -


horrors.gif                                                           thumb.gif

Hehe....just kidding.....Not at all.  I was glad you said something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

Okay, randomly got this on my recommendations at Amazon today:

 

SpermCheck Fertility

 

It's supposed to be an at-home test to see if there's a certain amount of sperm (more than 20 million) in a semen sample. Not really sure if it works, but thought it was interesting, as it's the first at-home male fertility test I've seen. There can be other things wrong with sperm besides low count, but I thought it was worth mentioning. And, as fertility tests go, it's fairly cheap.



                     yeahthat.gif

              Nice Find!!!!!

post #30 of 31

Some things that I have DH do, that I was also going to suggest, is having him drink some coffee/soda (caffeine) teapot2.GIF drink about 30minutes before BDing and having him ummmm "let his count build up" for a couple of days before BDing bag.gif, wear loose clothing, and not take really hot showers/baths/hot tubs.   With the information you were giving, if your progesterone isn't low and your taking some B6 and BDing when you are, then I'm inclined to agree more with what Monkeyscience was saying about 18 months indicating there may be more to it, and this might help "boost" his side.  Also...the position I take after BDing is somewhat amusing to see but I put on one of my TV shows and kind of invert myself Bolt.gif

 

 

And I also agree with Monkeyscience about the temp thing.  From what I read, when your temp starts to rise, it is an indicator of O and it should stay somewhat elevated for the luteal phase.  Everyone temps different, and I am just figuring mine out, but the only thing I know about it so far, is to look for the rise.   (i didn't know that the dip was rare, so the info I gave on that part just ignore)

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

As far as the stair-step rise, that is a pattern that can be considered "normal" (again, according to TCOYF), though there are different rules for figuring out, retrospectively, when you ovulated if that's your normal pattern. I don't know of any problems that would indicate, but maybe someone else does?

 

Yeah, I think this can be normal. Again, what am I trying to fix?! If it's not broken, don't fix it!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2010 View Post

Some things that I have DH do, that I was also going to suggest, is having him drink some coffee/soda (caffeine) teapot2.GIF drink about 30minutes before BDing and having him ummmm "let his count build up" for a couple of days before BDing bag.gif, wear loose clothing, and not take really hot showers/baths/hot tubs.   With the information you were giving, if your progesterone isn't low and your taking some B6 and BDing when you are, then I'm inclined to agree more with what Monkeyscience was saying about 18 months indicating there may be more to it, and this might help "boost" his side.  Also...the position I take after BDing is somewhat amusing to see but I put on one of my TV shows and kind of invert myself Bolt.gif

DH and I just talked about letting his count build-up, so I'm with ya on that! It was a pretty funny conversation, like, "So, how often are you doing that? Okay, stop!"

 

About the after BD position - I've read that that can actually block your cervix. It really makes no sense - don't you want it blocked with sperm?? But I've heard that it's not good to have the semen pooled there. Has anyone else heard this?

 

I also wanted to say, those meditation downloads I got are awesome. I feel so good after doing them. The real test will be to see if they make the last week of the 2WW more manageable. 
 

 

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