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Charting to Avoid/Fertility Awareness February

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 

flower.gif   February 2012  flower.gif

 

Welcome to the February 2012 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 last month, 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 February if you want to be on the February list!

 

To those who are new, welcome! Welcome.gif


 

 

    Who We Are

 

 

blessedwith7 BFPChart2.gif

Buterflymomma BFPChart2.gif

Cassiani

infojunkie BFPChart2.gif BFPChart2.gif

JenRN

Kat216 BFPChart2.gif

lactatinggirl

librarygirl BFPChart2.gif

mtgooseberry

OneWithTwo BFPChart2.gif

physics girl BFPChart2.gif

TTCChloeOrConner

vrclay

 

 

Graduates

 

 

Pregnant! belly.gif

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.

 

Common 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 - 2/24/12 at 9:36am
post #2 of 71

Well, no ovulation for me in January.  Still having spotting so I'm thinking that's breakthrough bleeding?  I just came down with a head cold.  Does sickness, other than fever, have any effect on charting?

 

physics girl, here's my chart link: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3a0ef0

 

Thanks!

post #3 of 71

Does anyone know if taking a sleep aid (i.e. Melatonin) will have an effect on charting (either temp or CM)? I know benadryl will dry up CM, but not sure about melatonin.

 

I'm just waiting on O, which is apparently coming late this month if at all, and temps have been a little low the last few days and lacking in CM. I've also had insomnia issues hence the melatonin. Just curious if it was related.

post #4 of 71

Blessedwith7, yep, that looks like breakthrough bleeding.  JenRN, I don't know about melatonin in particular, but the general rule for dealing with medications is to note it in your chart and be a little bit conservative until you know how it affects you.  I wouldn't guess that it would affect CM, but it may affect temperature since it relies on circadian rhythms.

post #5 of 71

Hello ladies! I had my baby! So now I guess I'm CTA again, though I don't plan on keeping a specific chart because I'm EBF. I need to review TCOYF for what signs I need to look out for that fertility is returning. I also plan on following ecological breastfeeding as much as possible to avoid getting my fertility back. 

post #6 of 71


Congratulations on having your baby! :)  Your first? I ask because I'm wondering when your fertility returned with any previous babies. Good luck to you, glad to have you here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

Hello ladies! I had my baby! So now I guess I'm CTA again, though I don't plan on keeping a specific chart because I'm EBF. I need to review TCOYF for what signs I need to look out for that fertility is returning. I also plan on following ecological breastfeeding as much as possible to avoid getting my fertility back. 



 

post #7 of 71

Hello Ladies -

 

I would like some advice.  I had been using the NuvaRing for about 14 months without a problem.  In early January, I conceived but had no idea.  During the course of what I thought was a normal period, I passed the fetal tissue.  I knew immediatly I had miscarried and my heart broke.  My husband and I are not on the same page regarding family size and he is clear that he doesn't want another baby right now.   We have 2 boys 4.5 YO and 2.5YO.  I'm not sure I am comfortable going back on hormonal BC and my husband is willing to try FAM in conjuction with barrier methods.  I've studied FAM in the past and it is something I think will work for us. 

 

Any tips from the veterans?  Are there any Aps I can use?  Do I need a special thermometer?  TIA.

 

-vrclay 

post #8 of 71

First, I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby :( That must have been such a difficult thing to go through!

 

As for tips on charting, I'm new to it this year. I was spurred by reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, which I really liked, although there are many other resources. Check out the "wiki's" at the beginning of this thread. I think there are some extra links there explaining all the different methods.  As for thermometers, it's best to use a basal, but you only need the one with the tenths place (ex. 97.8) rather than the hundredths (97.89) which just makes it more confusing.  Most women like the BD Basal Thermometer for a digital. You can also get a glass basal thermometer, I don't know a brand name to recommend for that though.

 

You can paper chart (depending on the charting method you use, the charts will be different, if you choose TCOYF they have paper charts on their website you can print off). Personally, I chart online on both Fertility Friend and Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I can't decide which one I prefer. I chart on both because I'm a bit nerdy and like to see if one or the other will give me different info or a different O date.

 

I'm sure other veterans on this page will have some better tips for you, but I wanted to at least share what I've learned so far :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrclay View Post

Hello Ladies -

 

I would like some advice.  I had been using the NuvaRing for about 14 months without a problem.  In early January, I conceived but had no idea.  During the course of what I thought was a normal period, I passed the fetal tissue.  I knew immediatly I had miscarried and my heart broke.  My husband and I are not on the same page regarding family size and he is clear that he doesn't want another baby right now.   We have 2 boys 4.5 YO and 2.5YO.  I'm not sure I am comfortable going back on hormonal BC and my husband is willing to try FAM in conjuction with barrier methods.  I've studied FAM in the past and it is something I think will work for us. 

 

Any tips from the veterans?  Are there any Aps I can use?  Do I need a special thermometer?  TIA.

 

-vrclay 



 

post #9 of 71

vrclay-  sympathies and blessings to you on the loss.  

 

So, had my first Creighton follow-up, and this seems like it will work for us.

 

But then, had a strange surprise today- after my last cycle started Jan 7th, only had vaguely fertile mucus 27-29 of Jan.  then the last 2 days have had some more mucus, but then today (after 3 days of chocolate cravings, of a sincere nature) started bleeding.  This means day 31 or 32 of my cycle.  but it seems too close to the one chance of ovulation?  i always have had my period 14 days after ovulation.

 

One major change, after reading Marilyn Shannon's book, i started taking 230 mcg of iodine a day, and a magnesium/calcium supplement as well.  this had a huge effect on my PMS symptoms- almost no bloating (2 days, very minor), no breast pain, and no weight gain.  I'm just confused as to how this works with bleeding 8 or 9 days after possible ovulation.

 

just checking to see if anyone has any feedback.  I'll be charting and seeing a specialist after a few cycles (and this is the most cycles i've had between children, so i'm very glad you've all been here to support and encourage and educate me!) but wanted to touch base and also see how everyone is doing this lovely February!

 

Blessings and peace-

Cassi

 

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 71

Quote:

Originally Posted by infojunkie View Post


Congratulations on having your baby! :)  Your first? I ask because I'm wondering when your fertility returned with any previous babies. Good luck to you, glad to have you here!


No, this is my second. With my first, I got a Mirena IUD at 7 weeks PP, so I have no idea how long I would have been amenorrhea without it. As it was, I started having irregular periods pretty much immediately after the IUD was inserted.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrclay View Post

Hello Ladies -

 

I would like some advice.  I had been using the NuvaRing for about 14 months without a problem.  In early January, I conceived but had no idea.  During the course of what I thought was a normal period, I passed the fetal tissue.  I knew immediatly I had miscarried and my heart broke.  My husband and I are not on the same page regarding family size and he is clear that he doesn't want another baby right now.   We have 2 boys 4.5 YO and 2.5YO.  I'm not sure I am comfortable going back on hormonal BC and my husband is willing to try FAM in conjuction with barrier methods.  I've studied FAM in the past and it is something I think will work for us. 

 

Any tips from the veterans?  Are there any Aps I can use?  Do I need a special thermometer?  TIA.

 

-vrclay 


So sorry for your loss. I second both the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and the BD Basal thermometer. I got mine for less than $10 on Amazon after getting an AWFUL one from Walgreens that gave me the same temperature over and over and over (which it turns out is pretty common from reading reviews on their website). TCOYF has some good info on withdrawal method, which is surprisingly effective if you use it right. That's what we did during my fertile periods when we weren't TTC. Also, I like paper charts because then I get to determine my date of ovulation and everything like that without the influence of the computer (which doesn't always see the whole picture clearly).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cassiani View Post

vrclay-  sympathies and blessings to you on the loss.  

 

So, had my first Creighton follow-up, and this seems like it will work for us.

 

But then, had a strange surprise today- after my last cycle started Jan 7th, only had vaguely fertile mucus 27-29 of Jan.  then the last 2 days have had some more mucus, but then today (after 3 days of chocolate cravings, of a sincere nature) started bleeding.  This means day 31 or 32 of my cycle.  but it seems too close to the one chance of ovulation?  i always have had my period 14 days after ovulation.

 

One major change, after reading Marilyn Shannon's book, i started taking 230 mcg of iodine a day, and a magnesium/calcium supplement as well.  this had a huge effect on my PMS symptoms- almost no bloating (2 days, very minor), no breast pain, and no weight gain.  I'm just confused as to how this works with bleeding 8 or 9 days after possible ovulation.

 

just checking to see if anyone has any feedback.  I'll be charting and seeing a specialist after a few cycles (and this is the most cycles i've had between children, so i'm very glad you've all been here to support and encourage and educate me!) but wanted to touch base and also see how everyone is doing this lovely February!

 

Blessings and peace-

Cassi


Sorry I haven't been around in the past while so I'm not entirely sure of your situation, but are you recently starting to cycle again? If so, you could have a short luneal phase. It seems like lots of moms who are breastfeeding start ovulating before they're able to hold onto the baby, if that makes sense.

post #11 of 71

Oh yay! I'm still on the list. Hello everyone!

 

I just had the wonkiest, longest cycle ever, since starting FAM over a year ago. Fiance even asked me if I was sure I wasn't pregnant (took several tests just to make sure) because I never had clear signs of fertility/ovulation. And towards the end, I just stopped temping because it was so weird. Anyways. CD2 now. So, I'm looking forward to a fresh start and hopefully a prettier chart this month.

 

Hope things are going well for everyone. Hope to be more regular here again. Things are settling down (only to get crazier as the wedding approaches, I'm sure!).

 

 

post #12 of 71

Wow!  Lots of activity in the past couple days.

 

Welcome vrclay!  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I've known a lot of people who have wondered, even though they can't prove it, if hormonal birth control somehow played a role in their miscarriage and have turned to Fertility Awareness methods for that very reason.  There are lots of different methods with varying effectiveness, so check out the "Types of Natural Family Planning" wiki link in the top post.  There's links in that wiki for some resources for each method, and for most of the commonly-used methods, there's more links in the resources page as well, including links to charting websites that would allow you to share your chart.  Most of the people here start out by using some kind of Sympto-thermal method (either through TCOYF, CCL, or NFPI - they all use slightly different rules), though some people find that as they learn about their cycles, try keeping track of their symptoms, or their situation changes (eg breastfeeding), they find that another method would work better for them.  For example, we seem to have a growing number of Creighton or Marquette users.

 

Cassi, it's hard to tell what actually happened from that information only.  It could very well be that you experienced a short LP (most likely the case), or it could be that you ovulated earlier without any fertile-ish CM to speak of.  Also, since you're pretty new to the method, it's possible that you're still getting used to seeing the subtle signs that your body is giving you, or it could have been an anovulatory cycle (not likely if you had PMS symptoms, though, since those are usually only in the presence of Progesterone).  Or it could be another reason altogether, such as breakthrough bleeding before ovulation, irregular shedding before your period, or implantation bleeding from a pregnancy.  When you were charting temps as well, were you able to see your CM pattern more clearly?  If you know you were getting good results from temps previously, you may choose to take your temps as well until you are more comfortable with your CM signs.  The Billings Method (which Creighton descended from) started out using temperatures as well, but they found that most women felt that they did not need the temperature sign in order to know what is going on, and this started a branch between the sympto-thermal methods and the CM only methods.  You could still use all the Creighton rules, but if things remain really confusing, adding the temp line can be very helpful for determining if and when you're actually ovulating.  (I have heard of Creighton instructors recommending that select clients temp for a cycle or 2 to get a better idea of what's going on, though this is usually only after several very confusing cycles, and most Creighton instructors I have run into do not have a good handle on temping, but you might talk to your instructor about it.)  Or it may not be necessary as you get more adept at the method and work out some of your health issues that are making your cycles so confusing.

 

Lactatinggirl, I wish you many months of amenorrhea.

 

Welcome back, librarygirl!  I hope this next cycle is less confusing.

post #13 of 71


JMJ-

 

I never could get temping to work- not with my breastfeeding wake-ups.  3 hours of sleep at a stretch never happened/happens, and then my thermometer broke, and the new one i got never was consistent either... i used TCOYF with cervical mucus and position only.  which i was trying to NOT do w/ the creighton at the same time, so i could learn the new method.  though i did stop and cheat after my 'fertile' phase, and my cervix had dropped low and firm after that, confirming that at some point i had ovulated, though the when was still vague.  my instructor doesn't know much about temps or TCOYF or any other method- still learning from what i can tell.  I am planning on getting my thermometer replaced b/c I want to see if my BBT has risen since starting the iodine, and also as backup like you suggested.

 

It's definitely a period- started light in the morning, but got heavier by night, and felt all the right tenderness and that full/heavy/crampy sensation, even mild PMS and bloating for 2 days before.  This is my 3rd cycle postpartum.  Nov 6th, Jan 7th, and now Feb 7th.  day two w/ heavy bleeding, but much more reasonable than my last 2.  Baby is 9 months old, nursing 1-3x at night, and 4-5x a day, but eating like a fiend.  Is a shorter luteal phase of 9 days normal at this time?  or if i count back to the first day of fertile mucus, if i actually ovulated earlier, that would mean 11 day luteal phase.  but can't tell for sure where ovulation was.  

 

all the other reasons for bleeding don't usually cause a full-on period, do they?  

 

Wow, this is all so complicated it seems!  but here's hoping it gets simpler, and soon....

Cassi, it's hard to tell what actually happened from that information only.  It could very well be that you experienced a short LP (most likely the case), or it could be that you ovulated earlier without any fertile-ish CM to speak of.  Also, since you're pretty new to the method, it's possible that you're still getting used to seeing the subtle signs that your body is giving you, or it could have been an anovulatory cycle (not likely if you had PMS symptoms, though, since those are usually only in the presence of Progesterone).  Or it could be another reason altogether, such as breakthrough bleeding before ovulation, irregular shedding before your period, or implantation bleeding from a pregnancy.  When you were charting temps as well, were you able to see your CM pattern more clearly?  If you know you were getting good results from temps previously, you may choose to take your temps as well until you are more comfortable with your CM signs.  The Billings Method (which Creighton descended from) started out using temperatures as well, but they found that most women felt that they did not need the temperature sign in order to know what is going on, and this started a branch between the sympto-thermal methods and the CM only methods.  You could still use all the Creighton rules, but if things remain really confusing, adding the temp line can be very helpful for determining if and when you're actually ovulating.  (I have heard of Creighton instructors recommending that select clients temp for a cycle or 2 to get a better idea of what's going on, though this is usually only after several very confusing cycles, and most Creighton instructors I have run into do not have a good handle on temping, but you might talk to your instructor about it.)  Or it may not be necessary as you get more adept at the method and work out some of your health issues that are making your cycles so confusing.

 

post #14 of 71

The evidence we have indicates that ovulation happens within 3 days of Peak day, the last day of fertile CM, hence the rule to wait for P+4.  Do you know how long your LP's were in your previous postpartum cycles?  It is quite normal to have some short LP's for a while as your fertility is returning while breastfeeding.  It would be less common to have a couple 14 day LP's and then have it jump down to an 8 day LP (though it is possible, especially if your nursling had an increase in nursing), but an 8-9 day LP is certainly not abnormal on your third postpartum cycle.  When you said you've always had your period 14 days after ovulation, it sounded like you had been cycling for a while with 14 day LP's, but with nursing a 9 month old, it's quite likely that it's just your fertility slowly returning, and you probably did ovulate around the end of your CM patch.  Sorry to confuse you.  The longer you chart, the more sense it will make since you'll have an idea of what is normal for you.

post #15 of 71

Just wanted to pop in and say hi!.

 

I am noticing a pattern to my cycle, finally. I O'd on CD17 this month yay! So that means my LP is hopefully lengthening. I also noticed that on 4DPO I have a dip in my temp back down or close to my coverline. This has been a pretty clear pattern since I started charting 5 cycles ago. Do you think that means anything or is it just the way my body does stuff?

 

I hope this finds you all well.

post #16 of 71

Just wanted to add that my chart is going to Cycle #4. I am on cycle #5 now.  This should hopefully be the correct link.   http://www.tcoyf.com/forum/chart.asp?id=buterflymomma Thanks!

post #17 of 71

JMJ- one 14 day LP on my first cycle i charted postpartum.  second, it seemed a LOT shorter, about a week, and this one about 9 days.  

 

 

 

post #18 of 71

Butterflymomma, I'm not sure what's causing your temp dip, but I'm glad to see you're getting the hang of charting.

 

Cassi, that sounds like it's within the range of normal postpartum while breastfeeding.  The progression from infertility to fertility is not a linear progression, and it's often not all movement in the same direction.

post #19 of 71

Buterflymomma- I was just looking in TCOYF last night for the answer to the question I'm about to ask, but I remember reading about temp dips after O. It was mentioned that some women notice a pattern of temp drop on Day 2, which is followed by a normal rise in temp until their period. It doesn't mention WHY this happens, just that it can be some women's pattern and to be conservative for birth control you should wait 4 days after the second temp rise before unprotected sex. It was also mentioned that there is a second smaller estrogen surge after ovulation that can cause a temporary drop in temp and often happens with a day or two of wet CM. The example chart in the book showed it happening on 7dpo, but it didn't mention a specific "time" this can happen.

 

Anyway, I hope that maybe helps.

 

Now to my random question:

 

I currently charting on cycle 5 (cycle 7 since PP AF returned, but I didn't temp the first two). I am 10dpo, but ovulation this cycle was delayed about 5 days from my "normal" so far. My temp tends to jump up pretty high immediately after O, but this cycle the temp shift was incredibly slow, with temps hovering near the coverline.

 

What could cause this? All I could really find in a quick search of TCOYF book was that some women have a slow temp rise, but since it's not my "normal" I didn't know if that meant anything.

 

I realize that one wonky month isn't an indication of anything necessarily. I'm just trying to get my health back under control, and started taking my metformin again (for insulin resistance/PCOS). In the past, I found that charting was a great way to know if my health was getting better (when all was well I would actually cycle on my own, and they'd tend to look pretty textbook, just longer than average) or worse (annovulatory, or extremely "messed up" - once I was charting and still had no idea I was pregnant, no temp shift or anything. That pregnancy ended in miscarriage not surprisingly).

 

Thanks ladies for your knowledge!

post #20 of 71

Butterflymomma, oh yes, I forgot to mention how to treat your temp drop with the rules.  TCOYF takes a more conservative approach and has you restart your temp count after your temp goes back up.  According to CCL, if your temp drops for just one day, you would assume that you could potentially be fertile on that one day, but as soon as your temp jumps back up, and you have 3 (non-consecutive) days of temp rise cross-checked with P+4, you're good to go.

 

JenRN, a slow temp rise can indicate low progesterone, but the fact that it happens once really doesn't mean anything unless it becomes a pattern.

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