(Closed) NFP ladies—I need help!

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

First of all, you need to breathe, and relax. Stress CAN affect your cycle… and it sounds like you are stressed about a lot right now.  Perhaps seeing a councilor can help you relax about things you can’t control? Which will also probably help as a mother too one day πŸ™‚

We use NFP and have been (knock on wood πŸ™‚ successful. We use the STM approach and I never actually “took a class” on it. It was all self taught.

OK, It sounds to me, like you should get the book, “Taking Charge of your fertility.” It explains EVERYTHING (and sometimes gives way more info than needed.) I keep it handy at all times so if I have a question, I can look it up. This is the book that “taught” me NFP. It is invaluable.

Ideally, to involve your husband, HE should chart your temp/write it down, etc. My husband doesn’t do that, be he DOES ask me every day what it was. At this point he knows which levels of numbers and changes mean what.

As for sleep, If it’s “That crucial” of a time, err on the side of caution. However, the main thing is 3 consecutive hrs of sleep. If you wake up at 3 and not 4, take your temp at 3 first. If you oversleep, for every half hr you sleep in the temp tends to rise about 1/10th of a degree.

You MUST learn how to check your Cervical Fluid. Relying on Temps alone WILL result in an oops. 

  1. Begin the first day after your period has ended
  2. Focus on vaginal sensations during the day. (i.e., does the outside of the vagina feel dry, sticky, wet? Does it feel like your sitting in a puddle of egg whites?)
  3. Check the fluid every time you use the restroom doing kegals on the way (this will help get the fluid down). Doing Kegals during the day can help (especially if you’re a pretty dry person, naturally).
  4. Check at least 3 times a day, including morning and night
  5. Make sure you are not sexually aroused
  6. (this will be important for you) Learn the difference between semen and cervical fluid.) (See Pg. 85 of TCOYF)
  7. Check your Cervical Fluid and the lower opening closest to your perineum, either with tissue or your fingers (you may want to use your fingers if you are having issues with the tissue method.)
  8. Glance away before looking at the cervical fluid. Does it feel dry? Sticky? Creamy? Slippery/lubricative?
  9. Feel the fluid and then slowly open your fingers to see if it stretches, and if so, how long before it breaks (And an FYI, Semen will break easily while fertile CF is super stretchy.)
  10. After urinating focus on “wiping.” Dry? Smooth? Lubricative
  11. If you find it hard to differentiate between Cervical fluid and basic vaginal secretions remember that CF is insoluble. A trick to help you learn is a glass of water test. … page 87 of TCOYF
  12. If you have trouble detecting fluid at your vaginal opening, you can do it internally (but you need to be consistent.)

There’s a lot more detailed info (all taken above from TCOYF)

Based on the three peak temps you should not be pregnant (but without knowing your CF one can’t be sure of when ovulation was) But seriously, Stress can really affect your cycle, so you need to de-stress!

I think that you and your husband need to have a serious talk, it sounds like you are both super obsessed with details and he needs to be more involved, and not a stress to you. Did you take a class together? You need to get him involved and perhaps take a class at the couple to couple league or through catholic Charities. Many of them offer one on one, and you may need some help to help interpret. Also, perhaps a councilor for each of you and together to learn how to stop enslaving yourselves to details and control.

I chart online using FertilityFriend.com and it’s the best thing ever. Just by logging in I can see all my stats (shortest/longest/avg time frames) see my chart, it draws the baselines for you, keeps track of everything… etc.

Basically, you need to stop stressing, you need to relax, and you need to get “Taking Charge of your Fertility” to help you understand all this. You need to practice and focus on checking your CF. (Also, if you have relations at night, try and use the restroom and clean up what you can before bed.

Technically, after 6pm on the 2nd day after your thermal shift you should be safe (and that’s also to allow for any secondary ovulations) so evening of the 3rd known day should be completely safe.

Post # 5
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I second the book reccommendation. It will hopefully answer most of your questions and help ease your stress level.

I assume the website says that because they don’t want the liability of someone using the site to avoid and then get pregnant and blame it on them.

There are two things I would suggest, one is using your finger to check your CF. I always wash my hands and use my fingers to check. You will get a lot more information this way and I think this will help you to really see the different kinds of CF you have over the course of your cycle. You will eventually get the pattern. It just takes time.

Secondly regarding your temperature, relax. One thing that really helped me get more consistent temperatures was to make sure I put the thermometer on the same side and in the same place in my mouth. Also what kind of thermometer are you using? I have this one that beeps every few seconds so I know it’s working, it saves the most recent temp so I can write it down later in the day, also it is backlit so when it beeps that it is done if I press the button it lights up and I can see the temperature.

Even after having a year of practice charting I still got nervous the first few cycles after we got married.But now I feel like we both have a handle on it.

I actually use the tcoyf.com website to track my charting. The important thing to remember is that the computer only knows what you tell it and I make my own interpretations. They also have forums with lots off women who have been charting far longer then I have.

Good luck!


Post # 6
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I want to chime in too to say, don’t panic! πŸ™‚ You are going to be fine and you will get the hang of this. I have seen my ovulation delayed by a few days because of stress, which makes the whole cycle longer. It’s not anything to panic about, just something to be aware of.  

For sharing the duties of NFP between husband and wife, what my husband and I do is that he sets and turns off the alarm for me to wake up to take my temperature, he keeps the thermometer on his side of the bed, and he records the temperatures on the chart (we used paper charts for awhile so we could keep right there, but now I use Fertility Friend and do the recording part myself). He gives me a poke to wake me up and puts the thermometer in my mouth. Just remember to keep your mouth closed and put the thermometer in the same spot every day.

For temperatures, if you wake up early and can’t get back to sleep, take your temperature when you wake up and make a note on your chart about the time difference. Sometimes doing the temperatures at a slightly different time has an effect, but sometimes not. The important thing is to write down the circumstances so you can take them into account when you interpret your chart.

Finally, you sound like you are really worried you are going to lose your sex life because of this. First, you’re not, but it’ll take some time to learn. Regardless, talk with your husband about other ways you can be intimate than having sex. Even during times you are abstaining you can find ways to meaningfully and satisfyingly connect. Don’t lose hope and good luck!

Post # 8
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

What was your temp today? You could take one, at least it would tell you yes or no πŸ™‚ No matter what it says though, you’ll be fine. While one answer may be more ideal it isn’t the end of the world if it’s the less than ideal answer…

Post # 9
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Take the test if it’ll help you feel better hon.  But you shouldn’t worry.  Sounds like you’re ok!

Post # 11
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

yes, before it was supposed to start. At day 33 with a normally 28-30 day cycle you could have taken it on day 23-25 is what they mean.

It may be best to test in the morning though, just read the instructions, as you don’t want your pee too watered down, if that makes any sense. lol

Post # 13
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Told you that you’re fine. Now, seriously, stop stressing so flo can come! πŸ™‚

I do want to re-reccomend that you possibly talk with someone about control. You really shouldn’t feel like you have to plan to the month (because even with charting that’s not necessarily realistic) because of your job. You should be able to be pregnant and focus at work (really, that would not be a bad mom to focus at work!), and you should be able to still be pregnant, work properly, and not get depressed. 

I’m happy you are relaxed now, so you and your husband drink some wine tonight, relax, talk about your charting and expectations and perhaps about the possibility of talking with someone to help you (and your husband) learn how to relax as you honestly can’t control everything. When you are indeed a parent one day, you will be able to control even less… so now is a great time to learn how to relax a bit πŸ™‚

My Darling Husband s an euber planner though, so I can relate πŸ™‚

Post # 15
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@marjojo: As a teacher, I feel you on the maternity leave issue.  One of the reasons for our July wedding is that if a honeymoon baby happens, the maternity leave should flow into the summer.  πŸ™‚  If no honeymoon baby, then we go back to avoiding.  Really, though, if it happens at a less-than-ideal time, we’ll make it work.

Post # 16
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m going to say something that’s going to sound really preachy and mean, but please don’t take it that way. I’m just trying to give you a different “window” to look through – not trying to shame you or anything, I promise. We’re in the Catholic section, so I feel all right forging ahead…

NFP isn’t meant to prevent pregnancy except for “dire” reasons, like real financial ruin, serious health issues, or a drastic number of children already in the family, etc. This is from the Theology of the Body and the Catechism, not just my own musings. The point of not practicing artificial birth control is to give up control of your family and turn them over to God, to be open to life. I know you might be rolling your eyes at this point and thinking I’m “one of those Catholics,” but I definitely have just come around to this point of view lately. When we create ideal times for ourselves to have babies, even if our intentions are good, we aren’t really trusting God. 

My advice is this: do NFP to the best of your ability, without stressing over a slipped detail here or there. Have lots of sex without stressing! And let life unfold as God wills it, however that might be. 



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