What is your NFP/FAM routine? (TCOYF Software vs. Charting By Hand) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-22-2004, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to start NFP/FAM (I know there is a difference but I don't know what that is) as a means of TTA (after two girls).

I am looking at the OvuSoft website
for Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

The software is for PCs. I use a Mac, so my husband would have to enter the data. I am wondering how to keep track of the data. If I write it down every morning consistently in a journal that we designate, then he could enter the data into the software and analyze and interpret it.

But if I have to write it down, I am thinking that I might as well just buy a pack of charts, photocopy them, and keep track myself. Analysis and interpretation is not so hard, is it?

What are your routines? When do you check? Do you share responsibilities with your partner?

-- Cait
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#2 of 13 Old 04-22-2004, 05:15 PM
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Several things: First, the way I understand it, FAM is a form of NFP, as is Creighton, Billings, Ovulation, etc. So to say that it's not NFP is untrue, but not all forms of NFP are FAM. Make sense?

Next, I firmly believe that any form of NFP is the COUPLES responsibility. So if that means you temp and chart, and he enters it into the computer, then so be it.

But, if you wanted ease of use, I'd suggest just getting the charts and doing it yourself. It seems sort of redundant otherwise.

Lastly, have you read TCOYF? There are paper charts in the back of that book. You could just copy a blank one, then you wouldn't have to buy the charts.

Or, you could use www.fertilityfriend.com. Their charting is web based, so you can do it on any computer you have interent access to. Plus, they're free. I use them, but I'm planning on either switching to Ovusoft or becoming a paying (VIP) member at FF when we start TTC.

My routine is to wake up, temp, and when I'm surfing first thing in the morning, to add it to my chart then. Throughout the day, I check my CM, and then I chart the most fertile CM I've had that day on my chart. My df doesn't help at all, because we live two hours away from one another.

Hope that helps!
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#3 of 13 Old 04-22-2004, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Persephone, that was very helpful!

Others: what are your routines? -- Cait
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#4 of 13 Old 04-26-2004, 09:05 PM
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I've done it by hand but I am fixing to go to a charting method online or on the PC because next year I want to strart TTC again. While right now my cycles are normal, next year I could be whacky again. Also we will be doing natural sex selection.
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#5 of 13 Old 04-27-2004, 10:34 PM
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What does TTA mean? Trying To Avoid?

I take my temp as soon as I wake up (even if I'm not getting up for a while), then write it on the chart when I finally get up. I keep both themometer and chart by my bed (with a pen). That's it, other than checking my mucus.

FWIW, I was right about the sex of our last 2 babies b/c I knew what I was doing ovulation-wise. You really can naturally pick the sex of your babies! It's fun!
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#6 of 13 Old 05-15-2004, 06:58 AM
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I use the sympto-thermal method of NFP (no BC during fertile times, creative abstinence only), and chart my temps and signs toa computer program. I used paper charts only for about 2 years, and then have used the computer and the paper simultaneously since. For me, the paper charts have been more accurate, but I do like the way you can run analysis reports on the e-data. The computer analyis is quicker than my hand calculations.

I will add that the TCOYF program I use does have as many scenario-specific interpretations as I can apply to the paper charts, hence, it has told me I as pregnant when I knew I wasn't, b/c my temps did not follow the textbook full thermal shift. Don't forget to use your common sense/intutiton!
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#7 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 05:02 AM
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Hey Palmetto 210! I am also in Columbia, SC... email or PM me---I wonder if we know each other???

Cwaddick, when I was charting to TTC for with dd#1 I used plain paper and a basal thermometer. For this pregnancy I started off using plain paper charts and a thermometer, but then decided to get fancy, :LOL and used the fertilityfriend software. Previously though, I did not chart to TTA, I was too lazy and we just used a condom (sorry TMI!).

I did use the TCOYF software for TTC, the trial version, for 1 month but then switched to Fertilityfriend.com 's software after that. I liked both equally well. Being on the computer all of the time I wanted to see my chart and compare it to everrone else's when I was obsessing about getting pregnant, but every morning I used a paper chart, then transferred the data over to the computer. Since you are TTA, I don't think you will be obessing over other charts and comparing yours to theirs...who knows though right?!

I think its all about personal preference. The software is easy to use and gives you a lot of bells and whistles and you can include your charts amongst the many on each of the two websites for others to view.

I did employ my dh's help on some mornings... if it was the weekend and I was going to sleep in, I would ask him to stick the thermometer in my mouth at the regular scheduled time and then record the info on the paper.

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#8 of 13 Old 05-22-2004, 07:20 PM
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I used charts I made for 12 years (to avoid conception) and conceived on the first cycle we wanted to. I had to laugh at the doctor we interviewed when I firts knew I was pregnant (considering the possibility that I might have to go into the hospital). I brought my charts in to show him thinking they might tell him a little bit about who I am. He looked at them and asked "What are those?" Then he told me that it doesn't work as a method to avoid conception.

Anyway, I found charting myself really easy. And I was content playing it ultra-safe (i.e. no unprotected hanky-panky until in the clear after ovulating).

And I think computor stuff is fun; so who knows if I'll do it that way. Even if I do, I think I would chart my own, it's so easy when done first thing in the morning.

I must add that I do not have experience charting post partum or even when nursing. DH and I have not been active in that way (sad but true). My CM still seems to be a clear indicator so if things change I think I could chart with success.

Good Luck

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#9 of 13 Old 05-22-2004, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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When I wake up (co-sleeping) to nurse, I figure it is between 5 and 8 a.m.. I latch the baby on (almost 5 months), and I reach on the pillow for the thermometer. It's digital, when it beeps a bunch of times, I know it is done. I try to read it with what little light is coming through the curtain, but I usually cannot. Then, I replace the thermometer under the pillow (where my two year old won't play with it) and go back to sleep until DD1 wakes up.

The thermometer stores the temperature until it is read once.

So... during the day, I try to remember to get the thermometer and my day planner and write down the temperature. If I lookto see what the temperature was without already having my planner and pen ready, then I often forget.

I want to be checking my cervical characteristics... before I had children, my cervical fluid would have been easy to read... but now, while BFing, I just feel various versions of dry... so I stopped check CF and CP etc.

I also have not read all the way through TCOYF.... I start feeling impatient with it.

I wonder if I have a psycological obstacle? Maybe I want to get pregnant again.... or maybe I want to avoid having to use birth control.

I think I will try taping a chart to the wall by the bedroom door... and I'll tape a make-shift pencil holder beside it and keep a pencil in it. Then, at least I will have all the materials together, and I'll be more likely to record temps at least.

My thinking is that once I have 3 months of data... I can sit down with it and put it on a chart (by hand or in software).

-- Caitlin
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#10 of 13 Old 05-25-2004, 02:48 PM
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I use Billings with paper charts but I really think I need to find some better sized charts. I agree with the post above (at least I think it was above, but it might have even been on another thread, now that I think of it) that it really is great when the husband does the charting.
Problem is that I am on the road for work most of the time. I tried it where I would call our house and leave my, uh, information on the answering machine. Then I would spend the next couple of hours freaking out that my in-laws came over and heard it! Now I'm thinking that I need some sort of pocket sized chart that I do myself. Something that would fit into my purse...
Anyone know where I could get one? I suppose I could make it myself, but I'd really like something with a durable cover. Perhaps I could use a checkbook cover....hmmmm....

Mom to Owen (03/05), Mary (07/07) and Joseph (06/10).
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#11 of 13 Old 05-25-2004, 03:20 PM
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I've charted to avoid with the sympto-thermal method (FAM) for 1 1/2 years now. I paper chart each morning, and then upload my temps and CM into fertility friend so that the women i chart with online can see it. Taking my temperature is part of my wake-up routine so i rarely forget.

It is VERY VERY important do the chart analysis yourself. The software programs should not be relied upon to interpret your chart for you. Very often they miscalculate the day of ovulation and the coverline. You need to learn the method well enough to calculate your coverline and ovulation days because ultimately YOU are responsible for taking charge of your fertility.

I've belonged to a group of women who chart in another web community for as long as i've been charting--i cannot tell you how many times i have seen the software (both ovusoft and fertility friend, though fertility friend is a lot worse) misread someone's chart and give them an ovulation date WAY off from what their signs say, and if the person charting followed their interpretation they could end up pregnant. You really need to double and triple check the software's interpretations to chart accurately.

Here are links to printable versions of both the NFP charts (by couple to couple league) and TCOYF charts (from Toni's book)

Printable charts
NFP and TCOYF charts are available online for printing:

NFP chart

You need Adobe Reader to access them.

The difference between NFP and FAM is that with FAM you can use barrier methods when you're fertile, but with NFP you 'creatively abstain' like the above poster said.

For a decent summary of charting here is a whole link about it (i've found it to be a very helpful reference): http://boards.weddingchannel.com/sho...=&pagenumber=1
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#12 of 13 Old 06-14-2004, 01:00 PM
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I used both paper charts and fertilityfriend, but I travel a lot for work so I found the paper charts easier. Also, as someone else has said, I found that computer programs were sometimes a bit goofy at interpreting my cycles (and I have pretty straightforward cycles). I'd suggest charting it yourself. I think you learn your own body much better that way.
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#13 of 13 Old 06-28-2004, 03:56 PM
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I love TCOYF software. it was worth the on time $

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