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.
- 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.
- 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 $?
- 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. ".
- Prenatal Vitamins with folic acid. Very very good for our body, before, during, and after baby.
- 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
- pregnancy test...well, you know
- PH tester, optional, can provide some information about the PH thing you were worried about.
- charting system...free
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!!!
(I love these guys!)
Edited by Mom2010 - 1/31/12 at 7:49pm