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Old Mar 20th, 2018, 06:44 AM   1
Charm23
Trying to conceive (TTC)
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Location: UK
Posts: 74

Trying to work out this ovulation thing...


My husband and I have recently decided to start TTC for #1 and so I've decided to take some ovulation tests this month to just make sure that I am actually ovulating. I've never paid any attention to CM or done any temping etc., for all I know I could have an issue so I'd like to rule it out if I can.

I've looked back over the past year to find an average for my cycle length...

April 2017 - 27 days
May 2017 - 26 days
June 2017 - 32 days
July 2017 - 28 days
August 2017 - 28 days
September 2017 - 31 days
October 2017 - 25 days
November 2017 - 28 days
December 2017 - 26 days
January 2018 - 33 days
February 2018 - 29 days
March 2018 - 34 days

...and although my average is 29 days, I've only had one month when that was my actual length. Most common length is 28.

As you can see they range from 25 to 34 days - is this normal? Or does this count as having an irregular period? I never miss a period.

I want to work out what day to test. According to the instructions with my OPKs it says CD 11 (for 28 days) or CD 12 (for 29 days)... Should I start testing on CD 11 or 12? I have 6 OPKs but could get more if needed. Do you ladies test once a day or more?

Any advice will be much appreciated Sorry for influx of information, I just like to be well prepared.



 
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Old Apr 3rd, 2018, 11:15 AM   2
WeebabyMama
Pregnant (Expecting)
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Location: New York
Posts: 68
Hi Charm23!
You're already ahead of the game with so many cycles tracked. When i first started TTC, I had no idea how long my cycles were! From looking at what you have here, your cycles don't look irregular to me. It's perfectly normal for your menstrual cycle to vary a little and I don't see any numbers here that look out of the ordinary. Irregular would be moreso if you regularly "missed" periods, meaning that you often have abnormally long or short cycles. I would take your most common cycle length (28 days) and use that as the marker for when to start taking OPKs. Some women take more than one OPK per day, but I never have and don't have a problem catching my ovulation day. The most important thing is that you don't test with first morning urine like you would do with a home pregnancy test. The hormone that an OPK tests for (lutenizing hormone or LH, for short) does not show up in urine until later in the morning, so using your first morning urine (FMU) is not advised. After emptying my bladder first thing in the AM, I limit water intake until about 11, then take the OPK. You can take the OPK until about 5pm, but I like to still take it as early as possible so I'm not dehydrating myself and can drink water regularly for the rest of the day.

The only way to confirm that you did ovulate at home is to take your basal body temperature (BBT) every day during your cycle and wait for a sustained rise (3 days) in your temp which indicates that you have ovulated. That being said, I know that a lot of people use BBT and a lot don't. BBT can be very finicky and is sometimes not all that reliable as a huge variety of factors can affect your BBT on any given day. If you are going to do temping, it's important that you take your temp at the same time each day (or as close to the same time as you possibly can) before you get out of bed after sleeping for at least 4 hours (or as close as you can get to those conditions). I used to do temping, but in the end, I found it to be stressful because it wasn't that reliable and i always ended up with more questions than answers. On the other hand, some women swear by it. To each their own!

As far as CM, I do track my CM and have found it to be a much more reliable way to predict my fertility along with OPKs. Plus, it's much easier to do since you can do it at any time during the day or multiple times a day if you're unsure.

Some people also check their cervical position (CP), but I found that to be really confusing. You have to check it at the same time every day and it takes several cycles before you can really know what each position feels like for you.

Hope this was all helpful


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charm23 View Post
My husband and I have recently decided to start TTC for #1 and so I've decided to take some ovulation tests this month to just make sure that I am actually ovulating. I've never paid any attention to CM or done any temping etc., for all I know I could have an issue so I'd like to rule it out if I can.

I've looked back over the past year to find an average for my cycle length...

April 2017 - 27 days
May 2017 - 26 days
June 2017 - 32 days
July 2017 - 28 days
August 2017 - 28 days
September 2017 - 31 days
October 2017 - 25 days
November 2017 - 28 days
December 2017 - 26 days
January 2018 - 33 days
February 2018 - 29 days
March 2018 - 34 days

...and although my average is 29 days, I've only had one month when that was my actual length. Most common length is 28.

As you can see they range from 25 to 34 days - is this normal? Or does this count as having an irregular period? I never miss a period.

I want to work out what day to test. According to the instructions with my OPKs it says CD 11 (for 28 days) or CD 12 (for 29 days)... Should I start testing on CD 11 or 12? I have 6 OPKs but could get more if needed. Do you ladies test once a day or more?

Any advice will be much appreciated Sorry for influx of information, I just like to be well prepared.



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Old Apr 5th, 2018, 08:56 AM   3
Charm23
Trying to conceive (TTC)
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 74
Weebaby, thanks for answering my post., I appreciate the information.

I've been tracking my cycle for years because I wanted to know when I was due so I'm glad I don't have to spend time getting used to my cycle! It's nice to know you think it's regular as irregularities would be a bit of a nightmare when ttc!

I started using OPKs on CD11, once a day but I used FMU because the cheapy brand I used said to test at any time of day just keep it the same time each day and it was easier to remember haha. I had very little luck with OPKs, I had a few days of nothing and then I got a very faint line and thought "oooh it's starting" and so started taking two per day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon but I kept getting negatives from then on apart from one more very faint line a few days later. I tested twice a day for about a week before it got too disheartening and I gave up with the OPKs. Maybe I should have persevered?

I only want to find out if I ovulate - someone else told me that seeing as I have a regular period every month that I should be ovulating and recommended tracking my BBT instead. I've been tracking my BBT for a week and a half now and well... I'm not overly sure what it all means - lower temp before ovulation, with a dip then a peak that stays high for ovulation? is that correct? My temp did rise and stay up for 3 days last week - I figured that was ovulation but to be perfectly honest with you I'm clueless and it feels like a guessing game!

I might just give up on tracking entirely because it's so hard to decipher it all! I don't fancy checking CP but might keep half an eye on CM without tracking it properly. Right now I'm not doing OPKs, still tracking BBT and days we BD'ed...

If I could just know I ovulate and there are no issues, I'd be a happy lady! I've got no real reason to suggest I might have issues but I'm worried we will waste time ttc if I don't just take the time to confirm that I ovulate from the start.

Thanks again for the reply, appreciate your help! I've attached my fertility chart from an app I use, feel free to decipher it if you can. The hearts are days we BD'ed, the gold line is what the app thinks is my fertile period and the dark pink is temp.




 
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Old Apr 5th, 2018, 11:22 AM   4
WeebabyMama
Pregnant (Expecting)
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: New York
Posts: 68
I'm afraid that I can't be super helpful with BBT. I was never able to get a clear pattern and I always ended up, like you, with more questions than I started with. Looking at your chart, I would put your ovulation day at CD 16, but I don't know why your temp would have dropped like it did. My understanding is that your temp shouldn't drop back down below your coverline (coverline = the average of your temps pre-o) until you start your next period.

With the OPK confusion, I think it's likely that you didn't get any clear lines because you were testing too early. I didn't know the part about waiting until later in the AM my first cycle and I never got a clear positive that cycle either. Once I did a little more research and found out what I told you about when your LH surges and the best time to test, I have been able to get really clear positives every cycle since.

As far as this cycle, your luteal phase should be the same number of days each cycle. The average luteal phase length is 14 days with +/-1 Day would be a normal length. So if your period shows up between CD 29-CD 31, it would be a pretty safe bet to say you ovulated this cycle.



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