Not to sound like an idiot, but... Someone, Please help!

Discussion in 'Trying To Conceive' started by mrsmcnamara, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. mrsmcnamara

    mrsmcnamara TTC#1 - Praying for a BFP

    Sep 29, 2008
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    How do you check your CM? What do you do if you're not "wet"? Do you still have enough CM to stretch through your fingers or whatever? I see that everyone on here checks their's regularly and (by the way) I highly enjoy the stories about women running to the bathroom several times a day to check their CM. Cracks me up.:rofl:

    So do you just chart it everyday until you figure out your "pattern"? Also, do any of you know if your CM changes when you are pregnant? Can a difference be an early pregnancy symptom? I realize that I should probably know this stuff by now since we've been TTC for 4 months now.
    ****ALSO (SO sorry about going on and on with a million questions) how long should I wait before going to see my gyno about pregnancy problems?
    - Although it feels like we've been TTC FOREVER, it's only been 4 months and I feel like an ass for complaining about ttc for 4 months when there are SO many women who have been TTC for YEARS! I have heard that if you are under 35, in generally good health that you should go to the doc if you've been unable to conceive after 6 months. Others say 1 year. I am 24 years old, so I would HOPE that it would happen within 6 months but I realize that this is completely ridiculous to put a "time period" on such a thing as this, but I am also very scared that something may be wrong and I pray that it is just my own selfish fears.

    ***Please share any advice, experience you have. I want to hear it ALL****** LOTS OF LUV :hug: and:bfp: for Everyone!!!!
  2. applegirl

    applegirl mum of 1 and adopting

    Sep 21, 2008
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    hi! ok - this is going to be a long answer, cut and paste from the fertility friend lessons:
    I would recommend checking out their ebook - for everything you want to know about TTC. I think you can view it without being a member - not totally sure :hugs:

    Cervical Fluid

    Cervical fluid is produced by your cervix as you approach ovulation due to increased estrogen. It flows from the cervix into the vagina where it can easily be observed. Your cervical fluid changes throughout your cycle, increasing in quantity and becoming more clear and stretchy as you get closer to ovulation. Noticing and recording these changes will help you better time intercourse and recognize your own fertility pattern.

    In the most common pattern, cervical fluid starts out dry after your period and then gets sticky, then creamy, then wet and watery, becoming most like eggwhite as you get closer to ovulation. You may get different types of cervical fluid on the same day. Always record your most fertile cervical fluid to make sure that you do not miss a potentially fertile day.
    How to check for cervical fluid externally

    Avoid checking your cervical fluid just before or after intercourse as arousal and seminal fluids will skew your observations. The best way to check your cervical fluid is to make observations when you go to the bathroom. After you wipe, you can wipe outside your vagina a second time and note what, if anything, you find on the bathroom tissue. This will soon become second nature and you will find yourself noticing your cervical fluid every time you go to the bathroom.You can also use your clean fingers to check and you may also notice some cervical fluid in your underwear.
    Things to notice when checking your cervical fluid

    * Does the vagina feel wet or dry?
    * Is there any fluid on the tissue?
    * How does it look?
    * What color is it?
    * What consistency is it?
    * How much is there?
    * How does it feel when you touch it?
    * Can you stretch it between your thumb and index finger?

    If you are having trouble finding cervical fluid, doing kegel exercises (tensing and relaxing the muscles that control the flow of urine) helps to push cervical fluid to the vaginal opening and makes observation easier. (Avoid doing kegels immediately after intercourse though as this could push the semen and therefore the sperm away from the cervix, which is exactly where you want them to be). Exercise and bowel movements also push cervical fluid to the vaginal opening making observation easier. You may find that the best time to check your cervical fluid is after a bowel movement. If you are still having trouble finding cervical fluid, you may consider checking it internally. This can be helpful if you have decreased estrogen as caused by breastfeeding or perimenopause or if cervical fluid seems scant. If you are easily able to check your cervical fluid externally, it is best to do it that way consistently and not check internally at all. As with all aspects of charting, consistency is key.
    Checking your cervical fluid internally

    If you check your cervical fluid by internal observation, only the method for gathering the fluid is different. Otherwise, follow the same steps and observations as for external observation. To collect cervical fluid internally follow these steps:

    1. Insert two fingers in your vagina until you can feel your cervix.
    2. One finger should be on each side of the cervix.
    3. Press gently against your cervix.
    4. Collect the fluid by moving your fingers to the opening of the cervix.
    5. Remove your fingers and pull them apart slowly.
    6. Make your observations as outlined for external fluid observation.

    How to record your cervical fluid

    No matter how you observe your cervical fluid (with your hands, toilet tissue, or in your underwear, or internally if necessary) the way to record it will be the same. Always record your most fertile type of cervical fluid, even if you noticed more than one type of cervical fluid in a given day or even if it is scant. This is so you will not miss a potentially fertile day and so that you have a consistent way of keeping track of your cervical fluid from cycle to cycle.

    Below are the types of cervical fluid to record in Fertility Friend. Not everyone experiences every type of cervical fluid. Just record the types you do get. You may also have some cervical fluid that does not seem to "fit" perfectly into any category. In this case, record it in the most fertile category that best seems to fit. For example, if you notice in a day that you have cervical fluid that seems to fit somewhere in between creamy and eggwhite, record it as eggwhite. Likewise, if you get both creamy and eggwhite fluid in the same day, record eggwhite on your chart.

    * Dry: Record your cervical fluid as "dry" if you have no cervical fluid present at all; if you notice no cervical fluid in your underwear; and if the outside of your vagina feels dry. You can expect to see dry days both before ovulation after your period and after ovulation. Record "dry" if you are not able to gather or see any cervical fluid, even if your vagina feels slightly moist inside.
    * Sticky: Record your cervical fluid as "sticky" if it is glue-like, gummy, stiff or crumbly and if it breaks easily and quickly and if it is not easily stretched. It will probably be yellowish or white, but could also be cloudy/clear. You may or may not see some sticky cervical fluid before and after ovulation.
    * Creamy: Record your cervical fluid as "creamy" if it is like hand lotion, white or yellow or cloudy/clear, like milk or cream, mayonnaise or like a flour/water solution. It may stretch slightly but not very much and break easily.
    * Watery: Enter "watery" if your cervical fluid is clear and most resembles water. It may be stretchy also. This cervical fluid is considered fertile and this may be your most fertile cervical fluid or you may get it before you get eggwhite cervical fluid or you may not get this type of fluid at all.
    * Eggwhite: This is your most fertile cervical fluid. Record "eggwhite" if your cervical fluid looks at all like real eggwhite, is stretchy and clear, or clear tinged with white, or even clear tinged with pink. It also resembles semen (and has a lot of the same physical properties to allow the sperm to travel and be nourished). You should be able to stretch it between your thumb and index finger.
    * Spotting: Record "spotting" when you have any pink or dark red/brown spots that leave a small mark on your underwear or pantyliner or that you only see when you wipe. If it does not require a pad or tampon, record it as spotting rather than menses. You may see spotting before or after your period, around the time of ovulation or around the time of implantation if you conceive. Do not start a new chart until you have red flow.
    * Menses: When you record "menses" you can choose light, normal and heavy. Always start a new chart on your first day of menses. That is the first day that you have red blood flow that requires a pad or tampon. This is cycle day one. Fertility Friend will automatically start a new chart for you when you enter menses.

    Note: To see the abbreviations that represent each cervical fluid entry in Fertility Friend, see the chart legend beside your chart graph.
    Factors that can influence your cervical fluid pattern

    Certain factors may influence the quality and quantity of cervical fluid that you produce and could thus impact the interpretation of your chart. Some factors may be a result of hormonal factors, while others may be related to lifestyle or medications. If any of these applies to your case, make sure to record it in the notes section of the data entry field in Fertility Friend so that you can recognize why a particular entry may seem unusual or different. You also have the option of displaying those days on your chart with a special square (rather than a circle) so that you can see with a quick glance those days where special circumstances may apply. (See the setting section).

    In most cases the effects are not great enough to seriously hamper your charting efforts or skew the analysis enough to dramatically alter your results. Nonetheless, the following factors may impact cervical fluid patterns and should be noted when possible:

    * medications such as antihistamines and diuretics
    * fertility medications, such as clomid (ask your doctor)
    * tranquilizers
    * antibiotics
    * expectorants (ask your doctor before using an expectorant to increase cervical fluid)
    * herbs (ask your doctor before taking herbs while trying to conceive)
    * vitamins
    * vaginal infection or sexually transmitted disease (ask your doctor if you think this is a possibility)
    * illness
    * delayed ovulation (can cause multiple cervical fluid patches)
    * douching (not recommended unless advised by your doctor)
    * being overweight (can cause increased cervical fluid)
    * arousal fluid (can be mistaken for eggwhite cervical fluid)
    * semen residue (can be mistaken for eggwhite cervical fluid)
    * lubricants (not recommended when trying to conceive as they can be hostile to sperm)
    * breastfeeding
    * decreased ovarian function
    * just stopping birth control pills

    If you notice anything that concerns you about your cervical fluid (like if it is smelly or is causing you discomfort or itchiness or if you are bleeding or spotting when you do not expect to), call your doctor.
    More about Cervical Fluid

    Intercourse Timing and Cervical Fluid:

    Your cervical fluid is probably your best sign to indicate when to start having baby making intercourse since it offers a sign that ovulation is approaching. Your chances of conception are best when you have intercourse just before ovulation. You should begin to have intercourse every other day or every 36 hours from the time you first observe fertile cervical fluid or even before if you do not get fertile cervical fluid for at least a few days before ovulation. If you know or suspect you know the day you will ovulate based on past BBT charts, Fertility Friend's analysis or from an ovulation predictor kit, change your intercourse pattern to every day from the day before ovulation until ovulation is confirmed by a few sustained elevated temperatures. Ideally, you want to have healthy sperm waiting in fertile cervical fluid when your egg is released. The best thing to do is to look at the Fertility Analyzer in Fertility Friend which will take into account all of your fertility signs from both your current and past cycles if applicable.

    Multiple Eggwhite Cervical Fluid Patches:

    Several patches of eggwhite fluid with no clear thermal shift probably means that you are having an anovulatory cycle. You can have fertile-like cervical fluid and still not ovulate. If you have several cycles that show this pattern, you should ask your doctor to look at why you might not be ovulating. If you have several patches of eggwhite cervical fluid and a temperature rise, then your ovulation was probably delayed due to some external reason. One of the factors that can affect cervical fluid (mentioned above) may apply. In any case, you should still have intercourse every other day when you see eggwhite cervical fluid to make sure not to miss an opportunity.

    No Eggwhite Cervical Fluid:

    If you do not see any fertile looking cervical fluid, the first thing to do is to make sure about how you are checking your cervical fluid, especially if you are new to charting. See the guidelines above. If you are sure you are checking your cervical fluid properly, the next thing you want to do is check if you are ovulating by seeing if your temperatures show a clear thermal shift. A lack of cervical fluid along with no temperature rise, or with erratic temperatures may indicate that you are not ovulating. If you are not ovulating for a few cycles, you need to talk to your doctor. If you are ovulating, then cervical fluid production may be affected by one of the factors mentioned above. You may want to check your cervical fluid internally at your cervix. You will also want to find out what your own most fertile cervical fluid looks like and treat this as eggwhite fluid. It is important that you have intercourse as close to ovulation as possible as your partner's sperm may not be able to thrive while waiting for the egg to be released.

    Fertile Cervical Fluid after Ovulation:

    Some cervical fluid after ovulation is possible because the corpus luteum, though its main function is to produce progesterone, produces estrogen in small amounts and this may cause you to see some cervical fluid. If your chart does not show clearly that you already ovulated, do not stop having intercourse. If your temperatures show clearly that you ovulated, then you are likely no longer fertile. It is also not uncommon to confuse semen and eggwhite or watery cervical fluid.

    Cervical Fluid and Semen:

    If you find that you have more watery or eggwhite days than you would expect and that these often follow days or nights that you had intercourse, then you may be mistaking seminal and cervical fluid. They are quite similar but you will find that fertile cervical fluid (eggwhite) is clear and stretchy and shiny. It will stretch a couple of inches without breaking. Semen may be more whitish and will break when pulled. If you are in doubt and it is near your fertile time, always record eggwhite cervical fluid, even if it may be obscured by seminal fluid so that you do not miss a potentially fertile time and so that Fertility Friend will give you its most accurate analysis.
  3. mrsmcnamara

    mrsmcnamara TTC#1 - Praying for a BFP

    Sep 29, 2008
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    THANK YOU SOOOO much!!!! You have helped me SO VERY much and I greatly appreciate it. I am going to join that cite now because there is a lt of useful information. Baby Dust for you!
  4. tansey

    tansey Finally a Mummy!

    Feb 23, 2008
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    I think applegirl answered in full! Lol!
    If you are 24 and have been ttc 4 months and have no other complications/history, in the UK you would have to wait upto 18months for any kind of specialist. I don't know about the USA. You can always go the doc for a chat.
    Good luck!
  5. mrsmcnamara

    mrsmcnamara TTC#1 - Praying for a BFP

    Sep 29, 2008
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    18months???!!!!! Wow. I couldn't stand that. Yes, here in the US just about EVERY book I have read has said 1 year without success is time for a doc tor exam or specialist. Yeah I think you are right - I may go to the doc for a chat but not for another two months - in December (because my next checkup is already scheduled for then anyway ;-)
    because then I will be at the 6 month mark anyways. Thanks!!!!! Sending baby dust your way

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