TTC- new to this and so many questions!

posted 3 years ago in TTC
Post # 2
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You don’t have to chart, etc, but it does help you to get to know your cycles, since birth control can sometimes cause irregularities.

FertilityFriend has a great, free charting course if you’re interested in going that route. They also have a phone app that is quite helpful too.

A lot of people use charting or OPK’s, etc because they’ve been struggling to get pregnant. Plenty of people just DTD and get pregnant without issue.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  urchin.
Post # 3
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

SunC19:  I used Fertility Friend. I didn’t get to the temping part really becuase I got lucky and got pregnant, but at the very least it helps you track your periods, ovulation, and fertile days. They have a great course on their website to read through as well.

I wanted to at least track my periods in case I couldn’t get pregnant so I’d have something to show my doctor.

Post # 5
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

SunC19:  Ovulation test strips. Look like pregnancy tests, but help you to determine when you ovulate so you can figure out your best days for DTD 🙂

Post # 6
1926 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I second  Their free membership is great.  You can just use it for a period tracker if you want to start there.  

Not everyone has to chart.  If you & DH are young and have no suspected ferility issues, you can just have lots of unprotected sex and most likely you will get pregnant within a year!  But if you are in a rush due to age or suspect either of you has a fertility issue, you can chart to help increase your chances.  I chart because I’m in my mid 30s, and my DH is almost 40.  We want to have a baby as soon as possible!  

To start, you should track when you get your period and how long your average cycle is.

Everyone women ovulates at a different time, not just 14 days after your period starts.  You can get pregnant by having sex up to 5 days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate, and the day after you ovulate.  In order to get a sense of when you ovulate, you can use ovulation prediction kits (OPKs), test your cervical mucus (CM), or take your basal body temperatre (BBT).  Tracking these things is whats known as ‘charting’.

Ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) involve peeing on a stick or catching your urine in a cup. They test the chemicals in your pee and can predict when you might ovulate.  Temping works when you take your basal body temperature (BBT) at the same time every morning before you get out of bed.  After you ovulate, your temperature will be elevated.  This confirms ovulation.  And your cervical mucus (CM) becomes a different consistency around the time when you ovulate, which can be a sign that you are fertile.

Fertility friend has a great overview though, so I’d definitely start there if you want to chart!



Post # 8
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

SunC19:  My advice? DON’T chart. I would start out by documenting when you get your period after going off birth control and go from there. Google information about women’s cycles and you should be able to find basic information explaining the phases we all generally go through every month (i.e. menstruation, time leading up to ovulation including your LH surge, ovulation, and then luteal phase). Get an idea of when you might ovulate. A good general idea would be to look at how many days you go from one period to the next, and subtract 14 days from that. So if you start your period and then your next period shows up 30 days later, subtract 14 from 30 and you can guestimate that around the 16th day of your cycle you will ovulate. Everyone is different, but if you start with that basic understanding and just have fun with it you will be way better off. My doctor doesn’t recommend charting at all, but you could start with taking ovulation tests to help pinpoint ovulation, and if down the road you aren’t having any luck, it may be worth it to chart or talk to a doctor about confirming you ovulate through blood work. It’s just my opinion, but I think charting is too disruptive and can cause too much stress which can negatively impact TTC success. Again…as not to get flamed, this is just the opinion of me and my doctor. To each their own!

Post # 9
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I recommend looking for ovulation tests/pregnancy tests on sites like ebay — the test strips you get there are *just* as good over-the-counter (and sometimes, they’re easier to read too). I could usually buy a pack of 50 for around $6 – $7 on there, including S&H.

If you had irregular periods before you were on birth control, I think it would be a great idea to start using OPKs and consider taking temperatures too (the suggestion of using Fertility Friend is excellent — I think a 3-month membership for all of the perks and all is about $15. I don’t remember anymore how many services you could use on a free membership. I was there for a LONG time).

Generally — that is, if you did have a regular 26 or 27 day cycle — you can start testing with OPKs around calendar day 9. My ovulation date varied from CD 12 to CD 17, so I often started testing early, usually at least once a day. If you’re getting, say, 4 or more days of positive results in a row, that can be indicative of fertility problems (PCOS possibly being among them). But, once it’s positive, it means: get down to business. ^_~

Tracking BBTs is dead simple. Try to wake up at about the same time daily (I usually got up around 7:30, but I would take mine anytime between 7 and 8). Record the number. During the first half of your cycle, temps usually hover between 96 and 98 degrees. After you ovulate, 97 to 99 degrees is normal.

If you’re just starting out, OPKs alone can do the job. I found that when I threw in BBTs, it more or less matched up with my OPK results.

Start brushing up on your diet AND your spouse’s diet. I honestly believe that it took 10 cycles for my husband and I to conceive because he eats like crap. We took a nutrition course together, and after tracking a few days of his diet, we saw that he wasn’t getting many of the minerals needed for good sperm production. I started sending him off to work with a multivitamin and tons of healthy snacks every day. Within 6 weeks, I was pregnant. Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was enough to finally boost his count up enough.

If you aren’t pregnant after a few cycles, maybe consider doing it every-other-day (with, ahem, no “activity” for him in between). Given that we already feared he had a low count, we started doing that and…of course…”boom.”

Post # 10
113 posts
Blushing bee

All above advice is great and I hope you do get pregant quickly and that your cycles are regular.  If they aren’t, look into charting.  I went 5 cycles NOT charting and wish I had because we were having sex at all the wrong times. (Of course, my cycles are irregular after BC. Not everyone’s are.) Your body might take some time to get back into the swing of things.

Easiest way to track fertility in my opinion is to get some Amazon OPKs and pay attention to your Cervical Mucus. Sounds weird, but it’s the first and most reliable symptom I get of my upcoming ovulation. 

Good luck! 🙂

Post # 11
2002 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

SunC19:  I just finished my last pack of BCP. I plan on charting to avoid until we’re planning on starting ttc in December. Until then I will watch my cycle through charting to be sure it’s normal. I also really like to know what’s going on with my body after being on the pill for 8 years as well and am very curious/studious about this charting thing after hearing so many bees rave about it on the boards for 2 years. I never thought I’d do it, then I got curious. If you want to learn more in a sort of step by step guide, I would recommend reading Taking Charge of your Fertility. It’s all about charting and watching the signs in a woman’s body to spot ovulation and your peak fertile days. I’m also using Fertility Friend online to record my temperatures. Today was my very first day of taking my temp in the morning and charting it online. I’m just so excited to see how it goes! 🙂 Good luck ttc!

Post # 13
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Start taking prenatal vitamins now, especially folic acid.  I got pregnant with both my kids the month I went off the pill.  No charting required.  I am apparently a fertile myrtile.  You won’t know how easily you can get pregnant until you try.  Just in case you are super fertile, I’d start the prenatal vitamins.  Lack of folic acid can cause birth defects.  Also, make sure your rublella shot is up to date.  Rubella causes awful birth defects and with all the crazy people who don’t give their kids the MMR vaccine, I’d want to take every precaution.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  NavyBee.
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