(Closed) When to Chart / Whether to Chart ? What would you recommend?

posted 8 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
3028 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Nic01:  If you are on birth control it’s my understanding there is no point in charting.  I did for a few weeks just to get use to temping and such.  I didn’t want to write a whole bunch if you are on hormone BC….so are you? 

Post # 4
2467 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Nic01:  I am also an overplanner/worrier and can’t stand feeling out of control! If I had it to do over, I wish I had gone off BCPs and started charting sooner. I HATE not knowing what is happening, and charting helps me feel like I am in the know (I can confirm I’m ovulating, know when to expect AF, etc) and at least have some control over the process (making sure BDing is timed right). Getting off BCPs my cycles have been very irregular; I wish I started charting before TTC because I would have had a chance to get to know my cycle and know what to expect. Plus, charting has shown me that I have a luteal phase defect and I’ve started supplements to try to correct that. Without charting, I would have wasted months not knowing that I had a problem making it difficult for us conceive. Also, I LOVE the bees on the charters thread. So I’m glad I’m part of the “club”. 🙂

Post # 5
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m not TTC and use charting to avoid.  I LOVE it.  Be forewarned.  Charting gives you information, it does not make you in control.  Don’t chart with the mindset that you can use it to control things — it doesn’t work that way.  Just because you know what is going on (i.e. when you are more likely to get pregnant), doesn’t mean you can do a thing about what is going on (that you will get pregnant exactly when you want to).  Charting gives you information about some of the relevant variables when it comes to getting pregnant — when you are about to release an egg, whether your cervical fluids will allow sperm to pass through your cervix.  It gives you no information about some of the other relevant variables.   It doesn’t make your egg any different from what your egg is like that month (your dominant follicle might be one with a fatal chromosonal abnormality), it makes no difference to the quality of the sperm that meets that egg (it could be a dud).  It just increases your odds.   

If/when we TTC I don’t think that will ruin things for us.  There’s still a lot of chance involved — well, not chance, but things beyond our control.  I’ve learned that when I naturally just want sex (which my husband is usually down for) is when I’m most fertile. 

Post # 7
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Nic01:  Once you go off birth control pills, I would chart just the days of your cycle for 2-3 cycles (i.e. look at how many days long your cycle is.)  During this time just enjoy not being on birth control and BDing every other or every second day until you get your period.  After three months, start charting your temps and cervical mucus to determine when you O so you can time your BD and have extra sessions during your fertile window before you O.  Then if you aren’t pregnant within one year of starting to TTC, you can take your charts to a reproductive endocrinologist so they have something to look at when they advise you.

Post # 8
3376 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Honestly, I’d start charting as soon as possible.  I’m not yet (still on BC), but I plan to go off in the next few months and will start charting immediately.  I don’t think being aware of your cycles = obsessing.  And if you do have any issues, you’ll be in a much better position going in to your doctor being able to show your charts and say “I’m not ovulating” or “I’m not seeing fertile cervical fluid” or “I have a short luteal phase,” rather than just “I don’t know what’s wrong.”  Knowledge is power.

Post # 9
886 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I sort of eased into charting. At first I just tracked my periods because I’m irregular and I wanted to collect some data to get a better idea if there was any pattern. I went off BCP at the end of March of ’12 and then started then started tracking my periods in June or July. Then around October I started reading up on the TTC boards and downloaded the FF app. By December or January I started tracking my CM and really started paying attention to my body. Then in Feb, DH and I decided, what the heck, let’s give this a try… and I got my BFP!


I found charting the basics really useful, just so I could get to know my body, and I liked that I just eased myself into it. If I had not gotten the BFP so early, I would have probably just charted symptoms and then added OPKs 2-3 months later. 


I was never planning to temp, however, because the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to take a temp at the same time every day (rotating schedule). If I were you, I would just start with the basics whenever you feel like you want to do it and then get more intensive with it once you decide you are actively TTC. Many people say you need a few months worth of data to really see any trends. 

Post # 10
3028 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

View original reply
@Nic01:  Okay, I find charting really interesting.  I also would recommend the TCOYF book.  I had no idea if/when/how I ovulated until a few months ago- getting my period for 18 years and I feel like I know my body.  At first it put my mind at ease just to see a + OPK so I knew things were working.  It couldn’t hurt to start charting now, you could always take a break if it was too much.

I am a planner (more neurotic TBH) too and wish I started charting sooner pre-TTC so we could just BD around my O and I wouldn’t need to continue to pee on sticks in fast food restrooms. 

I sorta did above, but here’s the anwers:

Having your time over, would you not have started the charting process? Sooner the better.

Did it ‘ruin’ your bd / ttc experience? Fiance doesn’t care if I tell him “it’s go time,” as I see double lines on my OPK.  If he did, I think it would be weird to seduce him on a random Wed evening.  We also use pre-seed, so it’s pretty obvious when it’s BD time and just normal sexy-couple time.

Are you ‘obsessive’? Yes.

At what stage would you recommend charting? Now, pre-TTC and also taking prenatals, cutting back on booze and tobacco prior to TTC.

Are you happy that you’ve done it this way or do you wish you had charted? Wish I started much sooner, but was on BC and couldn’t.


Post # 11
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m really glad I started charting because it not only reassured me that I was ovulating regularly, but it was nice to know when to expect my period. I started pretty much as soon as I stopped the pill, which was three months before we began TTC.

I wouldn’t say I was obsessive about it. We weren’t even TTC very hard and still managed to get pregnant on our second cycle without protection.

Post # 12
3696 posts
Sugar bee

I’m very glad we’re charting and also wished I would have started even a couple of months sooner than we did. With us, it’s a team effort – DH records the temperature each morning, and although he was initially a little skeptical, I can tell that he kind of likes having data and being able to follow what’s going on.

Ditto to PPs who point out that “knowledge = power” and that charting is not by definition obsessive, that it gives you information and a degree of insight but not control. It’s a shame your doctor isn’t more supportive, but I can’t say I’m totally surprised – some doctors seem to get really apprehensive when a patient is more knowledgeable than they expect. It’s like if you know how to read your own chart and identify potential issues, their authority is somehow threatened …

Go for it, I say! Charting has been a really good experience, and if you can get your partner involved, it can become an avenue to a deeper bond, surprisingly enough!

Post # 13
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree with PP that easing in slowly and using a charting app like FF to track your periods is a good way to get started on things.  I too had irregular cycles off BC and really loved that I could at least now predict when AF would be coming versus a bloody mess!  I temped for about a month and got my BFP after the first O.  Note:  this is not a normal case!  But I do recommend charting to my friends/family since its a great way to know your body and not have to worry about BDing every night.   

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