First off, my chart: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/2acefb/
DH and I are TTC...and this is our first cycle back in the game after a m/c on Jan 7. I tend to have longer cycles, and I think I typically O's around CD20. Tomorrow is CD22, and I don't think I've O'd yet. I started OPKs (for the first time) on CD13 and didn't get a positive until CD18. (CD17 was *this close* to positive, but still not quite there) Then I got another +OPK on CD 19, 20, and 21. Yes, FOUR (make that) FIVE straight days of +OPKs.
I'm using the Target/Up and Up brand of strips, and happened to find that FMU is what has captured my surge best. (I assume because I wake up later than most people and/or my body is just weird in pretty much every category.)
My temps are iffy, and FF wants to put crosshairs on CD17 (before I had any positives) or CD20 (another slight dip in temp), but I don't think I've O'd yet--my boobs don't hurt, which pretty much happens within a day or two. Yet my temps are high-ish (I don't feel unwell, but my 6yo has a cold all of a sudden...?).
WHAT is going on??
Is it that my estrogen is too low, so my body keeps pumping LH to try to achieve ovulation? Is that even how it works? All I've ever seen was maybe 2 days of +OPKs...that it means ovulation will happen within 36 hours.
after some more thoughtful search terms, I found another thread that said up to a week is possible, and the string of +opks is more common among women with PCOS. I don't have it, but have noticed some of the same hormonal issues that can accompany it (low estrogen, some metabolic stuff like weight gain around my middle). Can anyone tell me the reason for the pcos-long+opk link? It also seems that peeonastick.com has said that the body will keep trying for an LH surge if O doesn't happen right away.
Can anyone tell me what might be going on?
If the body gears up to O and does not succeed, it often gears up again within just a few days. So it is possible that you'll catch a couple OPK+'s, no ovulation happens, and the LH surges again directly after the first surge. This theoretically could happen several times in a row. Women with PCOS often have long patches of fertile CF and many days in a row with high LH as their bodies attempt to O over and over again, so that is why they might experience many days in a row of OPK+'s.
Also, OPK's are not the most reliable things for a lot of women. Some never get positives, some get the aforementioned many positives in a row, and some get random positives (like well after confirmed O). Plus there is the issue of interpretation (is it truly darker than the control or not?) and possibly missing your peak day (a lot of women test twice a day when they have fertile CF to try and catch it).
Basically, I personally wouldn't worry about your OPK's and just focus on your temps and CF. So, looking at your chart there is a biphasic pattern, but comparing it to your previous chart I see that your LP temps are typically in the mid 98's, not the high 97's, so this does point to no O not to mention that you also had continuing EW after that spike on CD18. CD20 is another possibility, but either way we really need to see more data. If your temp dips back down tomorrow than I'd say no O. If it continues to go higher, I'd lean toward CD20. Or, of course, if you get another patch of EW and a much clearer spike into the 98's then O was still on the way. To be safe, I'd continue to DTD every other day throughout this time just in case O has not yet happened. Good luck!
Thanks, Jaimee. I seem to be having some crazy mid-cycle weight gain and inability to lose it, so I think I may need to look further into the possibility of PCOS. (Then the thought of clomid multiples terrifies me...) :P
Fertile CM seems to have disappeared, and I even feel like I have the beginnings of a yeast issue again (typical for me post-O....yeah, I know I need to do a yeast cleanse). I stopped even trying the ferning scope because it seemed like I had less and less ferning every day.
The lack of ferning and days of LH make me think the issue is low estrogen (though I had some monster breakouts this month, so I feel like I had a good amount). Does inadequate estrogen cause delayed/impeded ovulation despite strong LH? ...off to google, but wondering out loud here, too...hm, now I see PCOS will make *too much* estrogen. ugh, why won't my body just follow the rules?!
As far as I know, yes. Sufficient estrogen is necessary to ovulate. Women with PCOS have high levels of LH almost all the time and yet often do not regularly O. Though in the case of PCOS cysts are involved.
Hm, I think I may start some maca powder capsules...at this point, I doubt it will mess up my cycle any more than it already is. :/
Do you have more past cycles you can share? I wouldn't say your cycle is messed up simply from delayed O. But you LP in your previous cycle was only 8 days long. That is more of an issue than when you O. A short LP is a sign of low progesterone. For this I would recommend starting a vitamin B6 supplement of 50-100mg.
I'm sorry for your loss back in January. Was it a chemical pregnancy or later loss? You could still be regulating from that- causing your short LP and delayed O.
later loss...development stopped around 8w, but I finally passed everything at about 13w. I *know* I ovulated last cycle, though--just didn't support LP because I wasn't TTC and wanted to see what my body did on its own (which wasn't impressive, lol!).
I already have a progesterone supplement for the short LP...and take boatloads of B6 and vitC (and will start vitex next cycle if I have a next cycle). :/
My previous cycles from before this last pregnancy all *look* great, but no one had told me to wait for a temp rise to confirm ovulation before beginning the progesterone...so I have a temp rise and everything, but I honestly don't think I O'd at all during those cycles, so have no idea how long they would have been and what O would have actually looked like/when it would have occurred. So they're completely useless for comparison and calculating cycle averages. (hence, I've no included them in my FF stats)
I see. So you've taken progesterone supplements with each pregnancy? Well, I wouldn't say that things are too bad... you did O last cycle, progesterone supplements work to sustain your LP, and your m/c was caused by some chromosomal issue most likely and not a hormone issue. So it's really just a matter of catching O when it happens with plenty of BDing and then supplementing after confirming O with three high temps. So I see your need to figure out more exactly when O happened/happens. It may take a few more cycles under your belt with confirmed O to get a feel for how your body operates. I know it's frustrating, but I think you'll just have to wait and see what happens during the next couple of weeks. Hopefully you'll see a clear spike in just a matter of days, though! FX!
I only started progesterone supplements about a year or year and a half ago--didn't have any problems with my previous pregnancies with my kids (almost 7 and almost 4). I had some weird, nondescript autoimmune issues that seem to have (mostly?) resolved after removing a boatload of offending foods from my diet and adding some supplements...and that was when the hormonal craziness became much more evident. With DS2, I did have to work to extend my LP, but vitex was sufficient for it at that time.
(and yes, chromosomal abnormalities were the cause of the loss, I believe...though there's a chance it was folic acid malabsorption, as the malformation I noted was neural-tube related. I have a methylfolate supplement to take the second I get a BFP just in case that was the cause.)
Thank you, Jaimee, for taking a look and answering all of these crazy questions. I really appreciate it! :)
Finally got a -OPK this morning! My temp even dropped a bit (was the same temp from which I O'd last cycle). My cervix was soft and open, but it seemed low to me instead of high (though I admittedly don't have much experience figuring out position). Fertile CM has been scant, and was creamy this morning. Hopefully that plus the Preseed will make for a decent medium for dh's swimmers.
Last month was the first time I *knew* I felt ovulation pain, and I didn't feel that yet this month, though I'm getting some strange achey twinges from where my left ovary is.
FX... just be sure to keep DTD until you get three high temps!