My DH and I have been TTC #1 since March 2011. I used to get my period like clockwork until I started on the Pill 5 years ago. Although I have stopped taking an BC pills since the last 3 years, my period has been quite erratic, aggravated by a lot of stress last year. I have started using OPK since March 2011 and detected a spike only last month on CD13. I am on CD40 now, and only got some spotting yesterday. I have used quite a few pregnancy tests (latest being today morning) and every test came out negative. :( Does this mean that I didn't O? My OBGYN is eager to put me on Clomid, but I am apprehensive of all the side-effects. I have also started acupuncture and that helped to get my period lighter. I used to have heavy clotting and bleeding. Also, how do I know if I have PCOS? My OBGYN doesn't do any tests...just guesses that I might fall in that category.
I know it hasn't been that long, and there are women who have been ttc longer, but its been a lonely and frustrating journey this far. I guess I just want to connect to all the other ladies who are along this journey, and get some baby dust :)
Welcome to MDC!! You have definitely come to the right place for support and advice! I'm sorry you've been having a frustrating time.
First here is a thread about diagnosing PCOS: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1313394/do-i-really-have-pcos. Take a look and see if you have any of factors mentioned. Just based on the bit of information you posted I would guess you do not, but it's definitely worth researching and asking questions!
Second, OPK's cannot confirm ovulation, they simply tell you when your body is gearing up to O. Only temping will confirm ovulation for you. So I highly, highly recommend you start charting your basal body temperature and cervical fluid to see what is actually happening with your cycles. To get started, pick up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and a basal body thermometer from your local drug store. The book is amazing and full of information I never knew about my body. Charting is such a powerful tool that will tell you when you're fertile, when you ovulated, how long your luteal phase is, when to expect AF, if you're pregnant, and if there is anything of concern happening with your cycle. You might be able to tweak your diet or exercise routine to help with issues you're having. You can log your data on a free site like www.fertilityfriend.com so that you can share your charts on this forum and we can give you tips, advice, and help deciphering anything that is confusing. It takes several months of charting to get a good feel for it and for what your typical cycle looks like. Charting will also arm you with information to give to your doctor if you decide to pursue any reproductive technology/medications, etc.
Personally, I would hold off on taking any medications before I knew what was happening with my cycle. But of course that is a very personal choice. TTC for 4-5 is really not that long when you take into consideration all the statistics and the fact that you're dealing with irregular cycles. Many women without any fertility issues take months to conceive as well. Usually crossing the one year mark is when you might consider yourself dealing with infertility issues. That being said I know how frustrating it can be waiting each month and hoping for that BFP. There are many women on this forum who can commiserate with you for sure! There are several different threads you can feel free to join based on where you think you fit in. Some are age based, some are for infertility issues, and some are based on where you are in your cycle (waiting to O, in the 2ww, etc.). Look around and jump in! Keep posting your questions and good luck!
Thank you so much for your response. I read the posts in the link you posted...thank you! My previous gyno (before I moved) did a couple of ultrasounds before and said that I might have borderline PCOS. However, the blood tests she did came out fine...for example, the LH/FSH ratio was normal. My current gyno doesn't run any tests, but guesses that I might be PCOS and wants to put me on Clomid. I have made an appointment with another gyno yesterday and hopefully she'll be able to help me sort this out.
I have been charting my temp for the last couple of months (missed few days) on fertilityfriend. I just bought a new thermometer yesterday, as the other CVS one seems too unreliable. I'll keep charting religiously from now on. Right now I am focussing on getting my period to be regular, on CD 30. I started spotting a couple of days ago (CD 40) but still no flow. I have made several lifestyle changes including diet and excercise, getting acupuncture treatments. Hope all this amounts to something good.
I am so glad to have found this forum...to find other women in similar journies. It gives me courage and strength.
I'm in exactly the same situation hun! Irregular periods...4 weeks here and 5 weeks there. I've had two scans done..the first showed no PCO the second showed PCO. My doctor says I do not seem like the average PCOS patient? The usual symptoms are excessive hair, weight..etc, none of which I have.
I recently had a day 21 blood test done which showed ovulation...perhaps you should request one too. It detects the amount of progesterone in your blood to tell you if you have ovulated(?)
Hope this has been some sort of help...I'm in the same situation, as are 100's of others.
We can only but hope and pray sweety....it will happen.....tc
Can you post your charts so we can help you decipher if you're Oing or not and see if we agree with FF's assessment?
Thanks Dolly27! Its great to hear from other women who are having a similar experience. I am going to a new doctor next month and will request her to do some blood test that would chart my hormones. Good luck to you, and hopefully we'll have some good news to share :)
I have been logging my temps at fertility friend, but not sure how to share that here. I was looking at them today, and they seem a bit erratic except the one last month. I am getting a new therm and hopefully that would help the charting to be a bit more consistent. I started some light AF from yesterday after 3 days of spotting. I used to have very heavy flow before, which changed to this spotting and light flow after I started acupuncture treatments. I am guessing that's a good thing.
I had emailed my current gyno about this long LP even after I detected a LH surge, and a temp shift, and she claims I might not be having a "good" ovulation and might need to supplement it with some medication, and asked me to see her back after a couple of cycles. The reason she was guessing I might have PCOS is coz, I am overweight and its kind of hard for me to lose weight. Until I see her back, I am going to keep up my weight loss goals and think positively :)
Under the chart you'll see a "share" button. Just click that and copy and past the url. If you're new to FF you will also have VIP status and can post multiple charts and chart overlays.
As for the PCOS I was under the impression that your u/s would need to show polycystic ovaries. Weight and trouble losing weight is certainly not a good indicator of PCOS! I'm glad you're seeing a new doctor. Hopefully you'll get more conclusive results.
As for spotting... that's actually not a good thing prior to a full flow. It's often an indication of low progesterone and the days you spot you cannot put as part of your LP. So depending on how long your LP is, the spotting could indicate an issue that could affect your ability to sustain a pregnancy. Seeing your charts will help. To strengthen your LP you could try supplementing with B6 and B-rich foods. Also moderate exercise as being overweight can affect your progesterone since progesterone is stored in fat.
At any rate, keep us posted!
Just wanted to reach out and let you know that I'm in almost the exact same position. Have been TTC #1 all this year, and but have been non-ovulatory since March :P I'm heading to a specialist this Friday to see what's going on with my cycles -- I have had polycystic ovaries in the past, but the doctors don't think I have PCOS. I don't know if it's the case for you, but for me, not knowing why my body isn't cooperating is SO incredibly frustrating. We'll get through it though :-) Hang in there! I hope that your new gyno is able to get you some answers!
The PCOS question can be really frustrating. I had an OB/GYN when I was a teenager who suspected it, however every test I've had since has been normal and my current doc thinks it is unlikely. I did have an ultrasound that showed cysts, but it was when I had my Mirena IUD which can cause them (they later disappear). I haven't had any tests since I've been off, which hasn't been long, but in my experience it seems to be a diagnosis of exclusion. FWIW, I had a couple of friends in college who had similar profiles to mine (not overweight, but a little extra hair and acne and wacky cycles) and they both have had surprise babies in the past few years.
Tell me about it ;) Its quite a frustrating process. Since my wedding (2009), I was trying hard not to get pregnant, and assumed that it will just happen as soon as I start trying. Boy, was I wrong! I am going to see a new gyno this week. Hopefully, she'll be able to shed some light into this whole issue about ovulation. Also, does anyone have suggestions as to what time of day we should use OPK. A lot of forums say between 12 pm to 8 pm, but sometime without peeing for 4 hours during the day can be tough. The test however says any time during the day is fine. I just wanted to see what the majority thinks.
Waiting patiently is all we can do now...but as my therapist says, take this time to relax your mind and body, and prepare to receive the ultimate gift! Good luck to you...and keep updating.
This PCOS question doesn't seem to have a definite binary answer. It seems it is a combination of a bunch of symptoms and my current gyno was saying that ultrasound of ovaries showing polycystic ovary doesn't necessarily mean you have PCOS. Apparently, its a misnomer. Good luck to you, and hopefully we'll share good news :)
Does anyone know how I can share my chart at fertilityfriend? Do I need to become a VIP member?
I hope for good news for us too.
To post a link to your chart, click the share button right underneath it. You'll get the url on the page that pops up.
Also, does anyone have suggestions as to what time of day we should use OPK. A lot of forums say between 12 pm to 8 pm, but sometime without peeing for 4 hours during the day can be tough. The test however says any time during the day is fine. I just wanted to see what the majority thinks.
LH surges tend to happen later in the day, which is why they suggest testing in the afternoon/evening instead of with FMU. But you can always tests twice a day to better try and catch that surge. Just remember that OPK's do not confirm ovulation, just that you're gearing up to O, and with long, irregular cycles, OPK's are often more frustrating and expensive than they are worth. Can you share your chart? Just copy and past the url you get after clicking the share button beneath your chart.
Here is my chart: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/34fbf2
I have been a bit inconsistent, and the previous thermometer didn't work well either....there was a lot of fluctuations. This month I got a new one and trying to be more rigorous about it.
Your chart doesn't look too bad- even with the fluctuations, you will hopefully see a biphasic pattern, spiking into the 98's. I see that you're still in the dry/sticky CF phase, so I wouldn't worry about OPK's for a bit. Wait until you get creamy and then start testing to see if they will line up with a temp spike that would follow a patch of creamy/EW CF. Keep us updated!
Thanks so much, Jaimee!! I am not very good at charting CM. It hasn't been that conspicuous for me to mark a definite EWCM or sticky. But, I'm definitely keeping an eye for it, and I have seen one of your posts about it. This month, I want to get this temp charting thing on track so that it gives me some definite biphasic pattern. I have a new gyn appt tomorrow. Hopefully, she'll be able to run some tests regarding PCOS. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the responses and encouragement! :)
Yeah, I know what you mean about CF... for me, paying attention to the changes in CF as they lined up with the temp spike really helped me to pinpoint what was what. If it's really hard for you to tell, I would mark creamy as anything wetter than the sticky you have already noticed. EW should be obvious- copious, stretchy, practically falling out of you. You might not have it every cycle- not every cycle has the same level of fertility. Some cycles creamy might be as fertile as you get. I had a few cycles like that before conceiving my dd and the cycle I conceived this one, I had no fertile CF around the time of O and somehow managed to get pg anyway.
Jaimee, thanks for suggesting checking with OPK in the evenings...I got a smiley face yesterday when I checked around 6. I tried to check again after 4 hours, but didn't get a smiley face the second time. I am going to check again today. It might be that I was just able to pick up the surge only one time. However, it might also be a false positive, as I got a surge last month as well, around CD13 but didn't get AF till CD40. It just doesn't add up...hopefully the new gyn today will be able to shed some light into it.
Well, fingers crossed for a temp spike in the next 24-36 hours, but like I've mentioned before, OPK's are not always the most reliable things...
I hadn't thought of doing an OPK while having creamy CM. I only have one cycle of experience to draw from and since it's post-IUD, I am not sure whether the others will follow the same pattern. Since I O'd CD25-26ish then, I had planned to wait as long as possible to use OPKs, especially since I got one positive last time from gearing up and failing. I thought maybe I would test early if I had watery/EW, but it didn't occur to me that I might not have any and still be ready to O. I'm on CD11 now and ambivalent. I know OPKs are flawed, but I like having as much data as possible (especially when I decide to spend my energy reserves BDing as much as possible ).
WBD - Here's hoping you get your temp spike. Now that you are temping, you will at least know it if the surge doesn't result in O and you can keep your eye out for it. I felt like my chart was bananas for a long time, but now that it is complete, the pattern is totally obvious! Knowing what's going on in your body can be reassuring even if a cycle doesn't result in pg.
Here is the gist of my frustrating appt with a new gyno yesterday. So, apparently there is no definite way of detecting PCOS. Apparently if you have irregular periods (even a few days of fluctuations count) and either have hair on your chin / weight issues, you fall in the category; whether or not you have polycystic ovaries! This was reiteration of what my previous gyno said. She also asks me to forgo the digital OPK and opt for the ones where we are able to see two lines. I had used those before but never got a dark line...the lines starting showing up but never getting to dark/darker to the test line. So, I opted for a easier-to-tell digital OPK. Sigh...I guess I'll buy a new pack of the regular ones.
I was hoping to be able to learn more about what is going on with my body...like running some tests to see if the follicles are forming, etc. I was utterly disappointed. The step that both the doctors suggested was trying either Metformin (since, I am overweight) or Clomid. But, I am going to wait for a couple of cycles before I go either of the routes. I am going to keep up my efforts of losing weight.
I think I am going to go back to my old doctor, since she seemed to be more understanding and sympathetic!
Thanks RKB. Yeah, I got a new therm and its getting pretty stable temps. I used to get a lot of fluctuations before with a cheap CVS one. I am hoping the chart this month will be able to show some distinct pattern. However, I did chart last month and although OPK and chart pointed towards ovulation, most probably I didn't ovulate coz I didn't get AF till CD40 even though OPK indicated towards CD14-16 :( This month I got a positive OPK on CD14, but haven't had the temp spike yet.
Did I miss the link to your chart?
Sorry that your appointment was frustrating! That has always been my experience as well. It's hard to find that one doctor that is willing to listen and really take the time to figure things out. Everyone is so quick to give you meds and call it unexplained infertility or frankly, PCOS. I think it's great that you want to work on your weight for a few more months before trying meds. If not just to try for a baby naturally, but also to have your body in the best shape it can be for pregnancy, labor, and beyond.
Jaimee, I have the link to my chart in my signature and in my profile. Please let me know if you can't view it. Yeah, you're right about the docs...somehow I was hoping to find someone who would be willing to work with me to figure out what is going on...I would feel much relieved just knowing that. I am going keep doing things I know that is going to help...charting, exercizing, and leave the rest to fate
I didn't see the url in your siggy before, just the chart icon. A while back I tried to put a hyperlink in my siggy with the chart icon and realized that it doesn't work. Apparently siggy hyperlinks are only available to advertisers that pay a fee.
Anyway, I took a peek and noticed that your last two temps were disturbed... were they earlier or later than usual?
The dips in the temps were expected as I got a smiley OPK on CD 14, but I still didn't get a temp spike... don't know what is going on... Hope its not like last cycle, where I got a +OPK but probably failed to ovulate.
Again the temp on CD 17 is disturbed... was it earlier than usual? Or later? Or did you mark youself as "sleep deprived?" A dip prior to a spike certainly can happen, but it also doesn't always happen. You may very well have ovulated on CD 17, more temps and CF data are necessary to see if a slow rise pattern emerges. I'm sure it's really frustrating for you to not get clear biphasic patterns, though. Because of this, I would recommend adding in cervical position to your charting. That extra piece of information could help figure things out. I might also switch to using the OPK strips instead of the smiley kind. Being able to see the surge building and falling is often more useful than just straight +/- especially to see if you're getting flukey positives instead of an actual surge.
I am new to this forum. I have been reading different threads etc and thought this one might be good to join if you all don't mind. I am currently trying to conceive with no luck. Just as a brief history, I am 29 years old, in good health (have mild endometriosis), but do no ovulate on my own. I was on BC for years but prior to that I would only get maybe 2-3 periods a year. With that said, my OB/GYN started me on prometrium to bring on a period followed by 5 days of clomid, then 5 days of estrogen and finally progesterone therapy. I have had 2 successful cyles with clomid. First cylce day 21 progesterone was low at 3.4 but MD said it still indicated ovulation, which was true because on day 36 I got a period. This month I decided to purchase OPK and showed an LH surge on day 13. I went in for my day 21 progesterone yesterday and results came back even lower than last month at 3.1. My MD again said that it was OK, should be higher but the clomid is causing ovulation. He doesn't seem to be worried but I can't help feeling defeated. I know it has only been a few months but it is such an emotional roller coaster. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same problem with low progesterone but still ovulating? Or if anyone has had a successful pregnancy even with low progesterone early on. Any advice/encouragement would be greatly appreciated!!