Post # 1
This isn’t exactly TTC, its like pre-TTC I guess. I got off the mini-pill in February and we’re getting married in September so the pill will be out of my system by then and we will have several months of charting to know that we have the hang of it by then. I’m 31.
We’re using CM charting as recommended by my OB. Every other month I have a incredibly short CM cycle. Like 3 or 4 days, and not always in a row. I assume that there is no way that I am ovulating in these months, especially when there is no Peak confidently identified. Then the opposite months I have so much quality CM that they gave me the yellow stickers. Am I only ovulating every other month? Is that a thing? Is it a sign that something is wrong and/or that I am running out of time? I do have an appointment, but its not for another three weeks and I am likely to drive myself crazy by then wondering if something is wrong with me.
Post # 2
The only way to know for sure is to temp. The second-best way to know is to use OPKs. I never really got CM so I never could have known when or if I was ovulating by CM alone!
I also don’t really get what you mean by “an incredibly short CM cycle, 3 or 4 days”…. most people only produce egg white CM (the stuff that indicates you’re about to ovulate / are ovulating) for a couple or few days. Do you mean ALL CM including sticky, dry, etc etc? Or…?
Have you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility? That’s the best way to understand your cycle and what your body is trying to tell you. The book also makes a really good case for temping. It’s super easy and you can figure out ahead of TTC whether your cycle looks normal and ready for baby-making! I temped for 3 months before TTC and then got pregnant the first cycle. Obviously that involved a lot of luck, but we were able to time the sex perfectly too, and I didn’t have to worry about not ovulating despite being 35.
PS it’s really normal for it to take 3-6 months for the pill to clear out of your system. If you’re not ovulating consistently right now, it’s not a sign that anything is wrong, just probably that you’re still a little out of whack from the artificial hormones.
Post # 3
Yes, ALL CM. Some months have *no* Peak CM. The instructor (I don’t know what her actual title is, my OB sent me to her) said that my CM cycle was short.
I’ll look into that. My OB said she doesn’t trust temping, but I feel like right now CM is telling me I’m broken, so I’m down for a second opinion.
Ok, that makes me feel better. So I’m still in the adjusting window. And definitely was when I started charting.
Post # 4
doesn’t.. trust… temping? Mk. I assume she’s had one too many patients who are really really bad at taking their temperatures first thing in the morning or something.
Well my RE does trust charting, fwiw. And keep in mind OB’s are not experts at getting you pregnant, they’re experts at helping the fetus inside of you develop in to a healthy baby and then deliverying said baby. RE’s are experts at getting you pregnant.
I’d chart a few cycles, if you are anovulatory every other I’d go see an RE as that’s worth fixing. They’ll probably throw you on femara or clomid to ensure you ovulate every cycle (that’s what mine did when he looked at my charts and said, from my charts, it was clear to him I wasn’t ovulating every cycle).
Post # 5
Lack of CM doesn’t mean you aren’t ovulating. As kitty said, the only way to tell is to temp – ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) are also helpful. A lot of doctors side-eye temping; in fact they side-eye any woman who claims to know when she ovulates. But for me it was extremely helpful, as were OPKs. Some months I barely had any fertile CM, while others it was abundant, but my temps confirmed that I ovulated every month regardless of the CM situation. Monitoring your CM is definitely useful for predicting when you’re most fertile, but it works best if you monitor it in conjunction with other fertility signs, like your basal body temperature and cervical position. Check out the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility if you want to learn more!
I really think bcause you’re already stressing about ovulation, temping is the best thing for you to do. Before we began TTC, I came off the pill and noticed my cycles were on the short side, sometimes as short as 24 days. I did some googling, learned this could mean I had a short luteal phase (the phase of the cycle after ovulation), which can hinder implantation, and panicked. I promptly started temping because I wanted to figure out wtf was going on, and through that learned that that my luteal phase was a healthy 13-14 days – I just ovulate early, around CD12 usually. Without temping I would have never known that. As I mentioned above, my CM pattern was somewhat inconsistent from one month to the next so going off that alone wouldn’t be too helpful for me.
ETA: Also not all CM is fertile CM and it’s weird your doctor didn’t go into that. The CM you want to be on the lookout for is watery or “egg-white” CM, which tends to appear a few days before ovulation. Having 3-4 days of fertile CM is completely normal – after all you’re only fertile for about 4 days a cycle as it is! Later in your cycle after ovulation, you may have loads of CM, but it will probably be creamy and therefore not fertile, so not an indication of ovulation at all. For me, it took a couple cycles of temping and monitoring my CM before I could confidently distinguish between fertile CM and regular CM.
Post # 6
You should definitely try temping. CM can be notoriously tricky to figure out. If you happen to notice it, great, but searching for it will drive you crazy.
Post # 7
Yeah I still think the CM thing is unreliable. I had to go full-on spelunking for CM and it was completely unhelpful. I’d just start temping regardless of what your OB thinks, or at least use OPKs. It doesn’t make sense to me that she thinks checking CM would be more reliable than temping…. because it’s not….
Like Amanda said, OBs are good once there’s a baby, but they’re not great at getting you pregnant. Mine told me to be sure to have sex around day 14. Well i have 31-32 day cycles and ovulate on day 17, so that wouldn’t have helped much.
Post # 8
Are you using the Creighton method of charting? It sounds like it based on your description. I’m guessing your OB is also Creighton based seeing that she sent you to an instructor. That would probably also be why she doesn’t recommend temping, because it’s not part of that method. However, plenty of people temp alongside CM charting so I’d recommend trying that.
I use Creighton and the CM monitiring is much more intense than normal CM monitoring, so it really can tell you a lot about your cycle. Lack of CM can mean anovulation but it doesn’t have to. Try temping through your next cycle and see if you have a shift. If you do but your CM is still scant, you might want to ask for supplements to increase your peak CM. Also, tons of peak type CM can indicate hormonal imbalance, so your doctor might recommend P+7 testing as a basic assessment. Good luck and try not to stress! You could definitely still be ovulating even with less than optimal CM 🙂
Post # 9
amanda1988 : This is true. They are usually dealing with a baby already there situation.
tiffanybruiser : They did. Basically non-peak CM isn’t to be relied on either way. If you are TTC you shouldn’t rely on it for fertility, but they do tell you that if you are using charting as bc that you should treat that as a fertile day. But I have a cycle with NO Peak/fertile CM. And I thought I needed some CM after ovulation so that the embryo will implant? So a short phase would still be a problem. I’ll read the book though.
catmom17 : Yes. I don’t know if the OB is Creighton or not. She did present it as a lesser form of bc and said she usually recomends just having sex every other day when TTC. She said she hasn’t used charting with a patient “since med school.” Thank You!
I am going to check out the book and start charting.
Post # 10
impatient1 : No, you need fertile CM before ovulation – that’s because you are fertile a few days before and on the day of ovulation, so the fertile CM is there to help the sperm travel up to your fallopian tube to meet the egg. Immediately following ovulation, your CM dries up and the egg will be reabsorbed by your body if it’s not fertilized within those first few hours after it’s released. That’s why you need to time intercourse in the couple of days before ovulation; once ovulation occurs it’s too late because the lifespan of the egg is so short – just a few hours – while sperm can live in the female body for 3-5 days!
Not all women who ovulate even have detectable CM – that’s why we’re telliing you not to panic right now. Like KittyYogi mentioned, she barely had any CM to speak of (had to go “spelunking” for it lol), yet got pregnant quickly and easily. I had cycles like that too where I would only find CM if I went digging for it – it certainly didn’t come out in my panties or look anything like the graphic photos you see onlinee if you google “egg white CM”…yet I still ovulated every cycle and had no problem getting pregnant (getting the pregnancies to stick was a bit trickier for me, but that has nothing to do with CM).
Post # 11
You should temp, it’s the only way to confirm ovulation on your own. What is peak/non peak in terms of the typical dry, sticky, creamy, watery, egg white? What are you having?
I got pregnant super easy 2x and I usually had 1-4 days of watery cervical fluid and maybe one creamy. With some dry days mixed in there. Some months I only had 1 or 2 days of the watery kind. I very rarely got any egg white cervical fluid. I don’t think you can rely on cervical fluid to know if you are ovulating.
Post # 12
Honestly temp!! I found out I only ovulated 1 in every 4 cycles! But the only way I knew that was through temping, I’m 22 so not old by any means. You need to temp, get a proper bbt thermometer and temp religiously, set an alarm and temp (vaginally if you can, it’s the most accurate) it really helped me understand how bad my fertility was! And why we are having kids young so that we don’t miss our opportunity
Post # 13
kes18 : They define peak as anything that’s clear or stretches an inch or more (or that feels lubracative when you wipe and they said everyone over-diagnoses this).
This past month I had pasty for a few days and all the other days were dry. Last month I had no dry days whatsoever though with a good amount of Peak CM.
Post # 15
impatient1 : it could be that you’re ovulating but aren’t producing good cm sometimes, maybe preseed lube would help, but just temp, some people have perfect cycles and are not ovulating and some people have crappy ones and are. You just need to temp so you know!
in terms of temping, there are good guides online, but basically you keep a special bbt type thermometer by the side of your bed, and every morning at say 6am when you first wake up (don’t move) you temp, either by putting it in your mouth or vagina or some people use it anally but I’m (and a lot of others) aren’t comfortable with that, so vaginally is the next best, then orally. And then you chart your temperature by 2 decimal places onto a special chart (fertility friend is a good app for that) and you will get a spike in your chart and once that temperature stays raised for 3+ days that means you have ovulated. If you get pregnant it will stay up, if you haven’t conceived it will drop back down the day of/before your period arrives. Hope this helps!