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Charting To Avoid-FAM/NFP October 2012

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

flower.gif   October 2012 flower.gif

 

Welcome to the September 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 September if you want to be on the October list!

 

To those who are new, welcome! Welcome.gif

 

 

Who We Are

 

birdie.lee

*Baby_Cakes BFPChart2.gif

*blessedwith7 BFPChart2.gif

*House of Peace

*erigeron

*dreamingtree BFPChart2.gif

*inthemeadow

*JenRN

*jesusfollower

*JMJ

*lactatinggirl

*librarygirl BFPChart2.gif

*Lionessmom BFPChart2.gif

*motray36

*mtgooseberry

*OneWithTwoBFPChart2.gif

*organicviolin

*physics girl BFPChart2.gif

 

*sleepingbeautyBFPChart2.gif

*WifeofAnt BFPChart2.gif

 

 

 

 

Graduates

 

 

Pregnant! belly.gif

alyadri BFPChart2.gif (March 2012)

justKate BFPChart2.gif (STM) (April 2012)

miss_honeyb BFPChart2.gif (April 2012)

FaithHopeLove29 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!

post #2 of 33

So I've been reading "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" and in it she was talking about women's cycles, the moon cycles, etc.... which I knew about but never really paid attention to when the full moon was in relation to my cycle.  Just checked my charts and I'm ovulating on the full moons eyesroll.gif Haha. How cute and earth goddess-y, huh?

 

  Another benefit of letting your body cycle as it was meant to rather than altering it with artificial hormones.
 

post #3 of 33

Hello ladies! Sorry I've been off for a while (looks like a lot of people have!), but it's been difficult to find time to get on the computer with two kids! Anyway, DD2 is almost 9 months now and I got my first PPAF a week ago. :-/ Here we go charting again! 

post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I've been wondering where everyone is!  I myself am not doing much in the way of charting, because I still haven't started cycling, or even showing signs of starting.  But I'm still here for the rest of you!

post #5 of 33

Does a star by your name in the beginning post mean you haven't posted in a while? 

post #6 of 33

I'd like to "sign up" again so to speak.  I had a loss last January while on hormonal borth control and vowed never to do that again.  I've sucessfully avoided getting pregnant since then with FAM/NFP.  I have not been great about charting and temping so we've limited our activity.  But I'm hoping to start temping again with this upcoming cycle.  Of course nothing is stopping me from starting tomorrow.

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 

I don't know!  I have just copied and posted what was there since I took over the thread!  Maybe I should go through and update that stuff....

post #8 of 33

Hi! I'd love to join this thread :) I'm start starting to chart this cycle (AF started yesterday) to avoid pregnancy, but would be thrilled with a BFP as well :) I'm not really sure where to start with all the charting LOL. I did read Taking Charge of Your Fertility though and I'll be giving it a go this cycle :)

post #9 of 33

So I have a question for you all. 

 

For whatever reason, my children have suddenly decided to start waking me before the sun comes up (ugh!). This means that I'm not getting my temperature. Of course this all has to happen when I'm having fertile CM, so I could ovulate at any point. How do I decide we're safe again if I don't see my temp jump? I'm hoping that this was a fluke and they'll let me sleep until 7 again, but I need a plan for if they don't. If they continue with this pattern, I'll start doing my temp at 6 in the next cycle, but it's a really awkward time to try to move my temp time because it could definitely mess with seeing the spike of ovulation. I don't know if it matters, but for me (at least in the past, though I suppose it could be different now because this is my first cycle I'm charting post-second baby) it appears that time of temperature is the important part. Even if I've been woken 15 minutes before the time and go back to sleep, I still get reliable temps if I do it within 15 minutes either direction of my goal time and I haven't opened my mouth yet. 

post #10 of 33

i always take my temp when i wake up. if it has been 4 hours of straight sleep or more. anything within an hour of the same time every morning. i had to do it like that bc i hace a cosleeping kid and saturday mornings are always different. i can still see a temp shift. 

post #11 of 33

You can count me in - though I'm just starting out, having just had my first PPAF.  I'm still on the mini-pill that I got on after DS was born (we really aren't ready for another...maybe ever), but I know it only suppresses ovulation in half of women, and isn't the most reliable method.  I'm going to start charting while on it, to get the hang of it, and see if I can find any patterns in CM/temp shift (I realize this may not be possible on the pill).  It would be great to totally switch to NFP, but I'm not sure I'm reliable enough on the self-control aspect (barrier methods irk me). shy.gif  We will see!  Looking forward to learning more about my body though.

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Welcome, Miss Cee!

 

Lactatinggirl, I guess I don't really have any advice, since I use a mucus-only method...I guess you could look into learning a mucus-only method, but since you're actually trying to make things easier, learning a whole new system might not be the way to go, lol.  I have heard two things:  always take your temp at the time you wake up, and always take your temp at the same time every day.  So...?   IDK.

 

Pickle, I have never heard of someone being able to figure out heads or tails of their fertility while on any kind of hormonal contraceptive.  Learning NFP postpartum is hard enough without throwing artificial signs into the mix!  I'm not trying to discourage you, just being realistic.  I myself use abstinence as opposed to barriers during the fertile period, but I do so out of religious convictions.  I'm sure it would be harder if I wasn't coming at it from that viewpoint.  I have a pretty demanding libido, but we make it work.  Society has kind of brainwashed us into believing that some people just have no self-control when it comes to sex, or we shouldn't have self-control, or something.  But I would rather have barrier-free, hormone-free sex 20 out of 30 days than have sex every single day and have to use a condom just once or deal with hormones.  Studies have also shown that couples who abstain while using FAM/NFP actually end up having more sex than those who don't, because knowing "if you don't use a day, you lose that day" is a big motivator not to be complacent with the days you can use!  Keep in mind, also, that using a barrier instead of abstaining in your fertile time means that if it fails, it will fail precisely when you are most fertile...and condoms have an official fail rate of 15%, higher than almost all other contraceptive methods (including most forms of NFP)!  That said, there are actually several women on this forum who do use condoms during the fertile period, so it can certainly be a valid choice that works, but...I don't think abstinence is as hard as it is portrayed in our society.  In any case, I learned NFP while postpartum, so I will do my best to support your efforts!

 

I'm so glad the thread is waking up, I've missed being able to talk about mucus with everyone!  ;)

post #13 of 33

Thank you, mt_gooseberry!  I had read TCOYF and other things when thinking about this, and I do get the "condoms aren't reliable when you need it most" aspect.  You have given me alot to think about, certainly.

 

I started noticing lots of O-like symptoms once a month before PPAF (crazy hormones), and I've had months with lots of EWCM, so I guess I just want to keep tabs on it out of curiosity.  It could also be because I'm not stellar at taking the mini-pill, but it seems odd that that would be happening (more fertile CM) while on bc.  Also, if nothing else, it gets me in the habit of temping and paying attention to my body, so I can see if it's a method that I could realistically incorporate into my daily life (and thus kick the hormonal bc for good).  

 

Despite not coming at it from a strictly religious perspective, I definitely have my reservations about hormonal bc (healthwise and how it functions), really don't want to have another child right now, but I'm not sure we are ready to surgical methods...gah!  It's so confusing.  So, looking to explore NFP and become better acquainted with it. smile.gif

post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 

Last night I dreamt that I was pregnant.  It was sooo real.  I might have to go pee on a stick!

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post

You can count me in - though I'm just starting out, having just had my first PPAF.  I'm still on the mini-pill that I got on after DS was born (we really aren't ready for another...maybe ever), but I know it only suppresses ovulation in half of women, and isn't the most reliable method.  I'm going to start charting while on it, to get the hang of it, and see if I can find any patterns in CM/temp shift (I realize this may not be possible on the pill).  It would be great to totally switch to NFP, but I'm not sure I'm reliable enough on the self-control aspect (barrier methods irk me). shy.gif  We will see!  Looking forward to learning more about my body though.

 

I hate barrier methods too. We use the pull out method when I'm potentially fertile. It takes DH knowing himself really well and there are some rules to follow (e.g. don't have sex twice in a row without him going pee first to kill any sperm that may be left in his system). Then again, for us, pregnancy wouldn't be the worst thing in the world because we plan on having another (just not yet). So if you're 100 % not wanting to get pregnant right now or your DH is the kind that could get caught up in the moment, it might not be the method for you. 

 

 

So I am SO CONFUSED about my chart now! I never had stretchy CM like I used to, but it was slick and clear for 5 days. I thought I was having fertile CM. I didn't see a temperature jump, but as I said I've been having issues with being incredibly sleep deprived (please go away soon nine month sleep regression!) and my temperatures not being at the same time. My temps have been moving down, not up. Some of them are earlier in the morning though and while I've temped in the past after having "woken" in the past 4 hours (to nurse, but still staying in bed), I've temped now with having gotten completely awake and out of bed within the last 4 hours now, so I'm sure that's throwing it off. This morning though, I appear to have started my period! It's just light, but I'd say it's more than spotting. This is only day 21 of my cycle and I had what I thought was fertile mucus yesterday. Could my body just be all crazy because I'm sleep deprived and this is only my second cycle PP? 

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

 

I hate barrier methods too. We use the pull out method when I'm potentially fertile. It takes DH knowing himself really well and there are some rules to follow (e.g. don't have sex twice in a row without him going pee first to kill any sperm that may be left in his system). Then again, for us, pregnancy wouldn't be the worst thing in the world because we plan on having another (just not yet). So if you're 100 % not wanting to get pregnant right now or your DH is the kind that could get caught up in the moment, it might not be the method for you. 

 

We had been doing this for a while even before PPAF, just as an extra precaution - but he admitted it's not as great, and I started to feel like it wasn't fair to him (or me either, that last part is pretty fun!).  He is really great about doing it in spite of its disadvantages, though - I'm the one who throws caution to the wind (when I'm in a position to make the choice).  See?  Self-control issues - I want my cake and eat it too!  lol.gif

 

I think I could learn to be better about it - of course, like you and mt_gooseberry noted, it could be a big gamble if something happens...it seems like any way I slice it, I have to decide what's most important to me (fun vs. baby risk).

 

So I am SO CONFUSED about my chart now! I never had stretchy CM like I used to, but it was slick and clear for 5 days. I thought I was having fertile CM. I didn't see a temperature jump, but as I said I've been having issues with being incredibly sleep deprived (please go away soon nine month sleep regression!) and my temperatures not being at the same time. My temps have been moving down, not up. Some of them are earlier in the morning though and while I've temped in the past after having "woken" in the past 4 hours (to nurse, but still staying in bed), I've temped now with having gotten completely awake and out of bed within the last 4 hours now, so I'm sure that's throwing it off. This morning though, I appear to have started my period! It's just light, but I'd say it's more than spotting. This is only day 21 of my cycle and I had what I thought was fertile mucus yesterday. Could my body just be all crazy because I'm sleep deprived and this is only my second cycle PP? 

 

I'm just a newbie, so I'm not sure, but I can commiserate with crazy PP cycles! hug.gif  I just had my first PPAF, then 5 days after it ended, I started bleeding again (medium, mostly brown but some dark red, tapered off now to spotting...but with some watery cm).  So bizarre.  So far, I have noticed that earlier in the morning results in a lower temp for me - but with the activity of getting up, wouldn't that drive it up?  I have heard many people on here say they had super short luteal phases PP - maybe that could be happening?  Or ovulation bleeding?

post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

 

I hate barrier methods too. We use the pull out method when I'm potentially fertile. It takes DH knowing himself really well and there are some rules to follow (e.g. don't have sex twice in a row without him going pee first to kill any sperm that may be left in his system). Then again, for us, pregnancy wouldn't be the worst thing in the world because we plan on having another (just not yet). So if you're 100 % not wanting to get pregnant right now or your DH is the kind that could get caught up in the moment, it might not be the method for you. 

 

 

So I am SO CONFUSED about my chart now! I never had stretchy CM like I used to, but it was slick and clear for 5 days. I thought I was having fertile CM. I didn't see a temperature jump, but as I said I've been having issues with being incredibly sleep deprived (please go away soon nine month sleep regression!) and my temperatures not being at the same time. My temps have been moving down, not up. Some of them are earlier in the morning though and while I've temped in the past after having "woken" in the past 4 hours (to nurse, but still staying in bed), I've temped now with having gotten completely awake and out of bed within the last 4 hours now, so I'm sure that's throwing it off. This morning though, I appear to have started my period! It's just light, but I'd say it's more than spotting. This is only day 21 of my cycle and I had what I thought was fertile mucus yesterday. Could my body just be all crazy because I'm sleep deprived and this is only my second cycle PP? 

I don't know about the temps (where the heck is JMJ?!  we need her expertise here!) but my guess (big, fat guess) for the bleeding is that you've had a short luteal phase with breakthrough bleeding.  Very common PP.

post #18 of 33

Lactatinggirl, I would guess that it's breakthrough bleeding rather than a true period (which is preceded by ovulation). I would definitely consider yourself to be potentially fertile since it looks like you have not yet ovulated. Breakthrough bleeding is happens most often shortly before ovulation in a long cycle when estrogen alone (without the progesterone jump that comes after ovulation) cannot sustain the endometrium lining, so you experience some bleeding that can look like just a little spotting or can be as heavy as to appear to be a regular period. It is often accompanied by fertile mucus, and it is one of the reasons why the CM only methods require abstinence during any bleeding. (Pickle, another likely time to experience breakthrough bleeding is shortly after your period to have brown bleeding, which is a sign of your hormones being out of whack, which is common both postpartum and while using hormonal contraception.)

 

It is common to have longer periods of "potentially fertile" during the early postpartum. Be patient for now. It will become more clear soon enough.

 

Have you been temping this whole cycle? Another possibility could be that you ovulated very early, and the drop in temp that you're seeing is the end of your luteal phase and the beginning of your period. Looking at the rest of your chart, do you think that could be the case? Keep it in your mind as a possibility, but if you don't have enough information to indicate that you did certainly ovulate, I would not consider yourself infertile.

 

If the bleeding increases enough that it looks heavy enough to be a period and is not followed shortly by ovulation, you may choose to call it the start of a new cycle on your chart and call this an "anovulatory cycle," (or a possibly ovulatory cycle as the case may be) though it is equally valid to just keep charting and calling it all one cycle too if you're pretty sure it did not involve ovulation. Either way, you could choose to consider yourself infertile on the evening of the 4th day of drying up if you do dry up. I would be careful about that, though, if your temps are indicating that you have not ovulated.

 

On the temping, I would consider walking your temperature back slowly if you can. Take your temperature 15-20 minutes earlier every day until you reach your desired time. It can be tricky when you get woken up significantly earlier, but just mark those days as "disturbed," and handle them accordingly. The other temps should show a pattern if there is one to show. Some books recommend handling daylight savings time this way (using 7AM during Spring as an example): Friday: 7AM, Saturday: 6:40AM, Sunday: 7:20 AM (new time, used to be 6:20), Monday: 7AM (new time, used to be 6AM).

 

Side note: Are you doing kombucha? Are you using green tea or black tea? Green tea can make you have more CM. GT Daves brand uses green tea.

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

Lactatinggirl, I would guess that it's breakthrough bleeding rather than a true period (which is preceded by ovulation). I would definitely consider yourself to be potentially fertile since it looks like you have not yet ovulated. Breakthrough bleeding is happens most often shortly before ovulation in a long cycle when estrogen alone (without the progesterone jump that comes after ovulation) cannot sustain the endometrium lining, so you experience some bleeding that can look like just a little spotting or can be as heavy as to appear to be a regular period. It is often accompanied by fertile mucus, and it is one of the reasons why the CM only methods require abstinence during any bleeding. (Pickle, another likely time to experience breakthrough bleeding is shortly after your period to have brown bleeding, which is a sign of your hormones being out of whack, which is common both postpartum and while using hormonal contraception.)

 

Thank you, JMJ!!  There is definitely something wacko going on (whether from PP or the pill or both).  Now that the bleeding subsided, I had a small amount of watery cm, but otherwise dry as a desert - super uncomfortable and worse than postpartum (sign of low estrogen from bf?). *sigh*

 

I would love to drop the mini-pill safety net if it would help achieve normalcy (after all, I'm only just learning how it really affects me, now that PPAF is back - aside from a few previous side effects), just a lil terrified...

post #20 of 33
As mt_gooseberry said, it's hard to chart while on hormonal contraception. I have come across a couple women who have charted on mirena or the mini pill (hormonal contraception that has only a low dose of the exact same thing every day), but it's tricky. Charting works best when you have healthy cycles, and hormonal contraception works by preventing healthy cycles, so you're kinda working against yourself. During the postpartum period, being on hormonal contraception, and coming off of hormonal contraception will all make charting pretty difficult. If you are trying to determine when you are fertile, there will be significant periods of time at first when you will need to consider yourself potentially fertile. If you switch to NFP, the craziness won't be over until your hormones return to normal postpartum AND your system has cleared the artificial hormones (which both can take a few months or longer). It might be helpful to examine how you and your husband feel about that, how you can nurture your relationship during those times, and how to foster self-control. As far as effectiveness is concerned, you might look into if there are any classes nearby. There are classes most places because NFP is the only birth control allowed by the Catholic Church, and so Catholics have to have access to the ability to learn NFP, though most classes available come from a Catholic perspective for this reason. If there are not classes nearby, you can also look into taking an online course. Actually taking a class will help increase the effectiveness and help you feel more confident about what you are doing. You're always welcome to ask questions here too.
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