Post # 1
Please explain why you chart? If you are doing it fairly regularly how does charting help? We are not TTC till next sprint (1st time, I’ll be 39 in July, DH 42 next month).
I’m wary of charting so I don’t become obsessive (if it happens it happens for us, if not we’ll just have more $$ to enjoy ourselves with – no extraordinary measures etc. other than prenatals).
I see so many references to ‘you should chart’ but I’m wondering what the true benefit is, does it lead to more disappointment than good news?
Post # 3
Personally, I chart because we’ve been TTC for over a year, and am waiting to get in with a fertility clinic. I know the first thing they’ll ask us to do is chart for a few months, so I’m just trying to get a jump on that, so I can be like, “BAM – let’s move on”. We do it every other day from day 7 until shark week, so exactly when I ovulate should really be irrelevant, but at this point determining IF I ovulate is somewhat important.
Post # 4
Thanks lady! What is it yu are charting exactly?
Post # 5
@Snow00774: I’m a huge fan of charting! I chart CM and BBT. I also use OPK’s. I tend to “obsess” like you say in your post, but it doesn’t stress me out. It stresses some people out to obsess like I do hahaha, so it’s definitely not for everyone. It helped me to realize that I needed medical help, and now here we are about to embark on our journey of fertility meds. If you don’t plan on doing that though, I mean, other than confirming that you are ovulating, I’m not sure what the benefit would be? Haha.
Post # 6
@ChuckNorris: okay, yes – for me it’s not going to be a huge benefit – we either will or wont.
I don’t understand the codes you used haha, but it sounds really helpful to you. I know I would obsess if I started charting now, so I might just wait and see what kind of obsessing occurs naturally when i eventually come off the pill, and not worry about being in control before then. Other than prenatals and healthy of course.
thanks ladies – keep the thoughts coming!
Post # 7
@Snow00774: Sorry, I always forget! Haha. I chart my basal body temperature and my cervical mucus changes. I also pee on ovulation predictor kits (OPK) =) If your cycles are regular, you could at least try those? You just pee on one 1-2 tmes per day in the middle of your cycle (if you’re regular) until you get a positive, then you have sex like crazy for a few days. That way you will at least know when you should BD? (baby dance haha)
Post # 8
I am charting my BBT (basal body temp) and when we BD (Baby Dance = sexy time).
I started with a regular OB/GYN and he is having me chart for 3 months and then come back (I go back next week). IF I were to conceive this month, I will be considered high risk as I have had 3 miscarriages (I also have a daughter, who is 12). Also I am 41. If I haven’t conceived by that visit, we will move to a backup plan and give that 2 months before he refers me to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist). I do have most of the tests from before, so we do have SOME knowledge. But since it’s been 10 years….we are kind of at square 1.
I have found some very interesting things by charting, that I might not have discovered as quickly (or at all).
My ovulation is W.O.N.K.Y. My first cycle of TTC was 30 days (only partially charting), then 28 then 41 then 30. I’m currently on CD 9.
- The 1st month it looks like I ovulated…. but I wasn’t charting the whole time, since I started charting after I was into my cycle when I went for my TTC visit.
- The 2nd month (28 day cycle length) it does clearly look like I ovulated on CD21, we had sex on CD 16, 18, 20, 22, & 24…. but then I started my period, so not sure why I didn’t concieve / implant. If I HAD conceived, I would have had a SUPER SHORT luteal phase (which is a good indicator of why I might have had previous miscarriages – that was a thought at the time).
- The last 2 months I didn’t see a spike in temp AT ALL, which would indicate that I didn’t ovulate.
So – this is going to spell prescription for chlomid and some progesterone…. I think. I’m not a Dr, but my understanding from my OB/GYN is that is what I can reasonably expect with my info.
Had I not been charting, I would have had to wait a year instead of just the 3-4 months. And being that I am 41….. I really don’t have that extra 9 months to be unproductive.
I can tell you I didn’t chart the 1st go ’round. When we decided to TTC we started about a week after my period ended and then just had sex every other / every third day (until I started my period or we got tired of that…lol). It took about only a couple months each time for me to conceive using that methodology.
The benefit of charting is that if you are regular… you will get a good idea of WHEN you ovulate so you can *plan* when to BD to have the best chance of conception. It gives you a greater sense of control over what your body is doing. The 2 months that I ovulated I could tell you from my BBT the day before I got my period…. you can look at the numbers. they don’t lie.
Good luck on your journey!!!!
Post # 9
I charted CM, CP, and OPK results but not temps (don’t have a BBT thermometer). I charted mainly to keep track of when my O day was and what day I would be able to POAS. I wanted to get preggo ASAP. 🙂
Post # 10
Wow – lots of info for me to dive into there – thank you so much!!!
This helps a lot, and lots of food for thought about the charting. Dumb question but I would only chart after I come off the pill right? because I don’t really have a natural cycle till then.
Thanks again and for sharing your personal stories.
Post # 11
@Snow00774: Exactly =) It is used to monitor the changes (drops and increases) in estrogen and progesterone associated with ovulation, and on the pill, those changes don’t happen and you don’t ovulate. No such thing as stupid questions! 😉
Post # 12
I really suggest you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and while long, is a very comphrensive, easy to read explanation of charting. What it does and does not do. Basically, there are a million reasons why someone might want to chart. If you do it correctly and regularly, it might give you the chance to do any of the following:
- Get off a hormonal birth control that might have side effects
- Know when to expect your period
- See when you ovulate to ensure that you time intercourse correctly whether TTC or TTA (A lot of people don’t ovulate anywhere near Day 14, but without charting, it would be hard for them to know that)
- See if you’re not getting pregnant or if you might be having multiple early on miscarriages
- Figure out the best time of the month for certain medical interventions
There are more, but these are a lot of the major ones.
Post # 13
Along with the when to expect your period part, charting also helps me not obsessively pregnancy test. Since stopping the pill, I have ovulated at day 24 once, and 31-32 the other two times. If I hadn’t seen when ovulation happened, I would’ve probably been taking lots of pregnancy tests and been very confused/frustrated when I got around day 36 or so with no period. With charting it’s easy to look and say ok, month 1 looks like the hormones from the pill took a while to get out of my system so I ovulated later, and month 3 I was sick with a fever around days 15-20 and that’s highly likely why I ovulated later. It is so helpful to have that level of understanding!
Post # 14
I really like charting. It’s amazing to get a peek under the hood and see the things your body is doing. I was feeling really anxious that something might be wrong with me (no real reason but age (34) and short cycles (24 days)). So it was actually a relief to me to chart and see that my body at least ovulates regularly. I’m the type that is more upset by lack of control and more stressed out by ignorance than knowledge, so I feel more comforted doing what I can to increase my knowledge about this process and time sex, etc.
This is my 3rd cycle charting (well, 4th, but the first was a total bust) and our first TTC. But as mentioned, the charts are also helpful for TTA (trying to avoid), which we were until the wedding.
Post # 15
Charting got me pregnant on the first try. Well, my husband definitely helped with that haha but it pinpoints your ovulation (or helps to) so that your timing for baby making is optimal.
The real reason is, I got off birth control a few months before my wedding and I didn’t really want to get pregnant until we were married so I used it to avoid my fertile time. I learned tons about my body by charting, and was able to get it into good fertility health before conceiving. It’s also good to identify problems if you find yourself 6 months, 1 year, 2 years etc… down the road and still no pregnancy.
There isn’t much of a cost to it. I bought a $10 thermometer and used a free online program to track it. That’s it. (Well, I did eventually buy the VIP tracking program but turns out I was already pregnant when I bought it and didn’t know it yet).
It’s not as much of a hassle as you’d think and it’s definitely possible to take it in a casual light and not get too absorbed in it.
Post # 16
I’m sold!! I think I will pick up that book mentioned and do some reading so I’m prepared with tools and some ideas of what to look out for.
For those who said it helped them get in better shape/health fertility wise, how did you do that based on the results of you charting?
Any recommendations for tracking programs/thermometers?
Thanks again bees, it sound like something I can do but not become obsesses about as I want the TTC process to just be…what it is. I don’t want me stressing out or getting too caught up in it, but some level of control also makes sense – even if it means I identify that we will have issues and to let go of the plans for children.