Charting

DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
Can someone give me a crash course or point me to an abridged version on charting? As soon as my period returns, I would like to give this a shot. I have Taking Charge of Your Fertility but am finding it overwhelming right now.
image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel

Comments

  • goldencurlygoldencurly Registered Users Posts: 2,385
    I took my temp every morning before getting out of bed. I had a thermometer that would give you the last temp it took when you turned it on, so I could take my temp and go back to sleep, go to work, whatever and that evening, turn it on and voila! There was my temp to mark on the chart.

    I also monitored my cervical fluid.

    Keep in mind I was charting to GET pregnant, not to prevent it, so CF was much more important than temp. My temps just confirmed when I had ovulated and when the egg implanted.
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    Well, here are the basics:

    Get a digital thermometer and a blank chart.

    Keep therm, chart and pen by your bedside.

    As soon as you wake up each am, take your temp before doing anything else - no talking, moving, running to the bathroom etc. You need to do it at about the same time every day and get at least 3 straight hours of sleep beforehand without having got up at all. Mark temp on your chart.

    Temps should be low following your period and then rise a few decimal points after ovulation and remain high until your next period, possibly dropping a bit a day or two before. If your goal is to get pregnant, then they should remain high. (There is often a dip 7 or 8 days after ovulation with or without pregnancy. Also often a dip before ovulation.) However, different people have different patterns which TCOYF explains.

    Also, keep track of your cervical fluid by checking for it with a finger every time you use the bathroom. Right after your period, you should be dry or have thick sticky fluid as you are infertile. When you begin to be fertile, it gets wetter and thinner and you are at your most fertile when it looks like eggwhite and is stretchy. It will dry up either right before or right after ovulation and then be sticky or dry again, meaning you are infertile again.

    Fluid tells you when you actually are fertile (when you start seeing it, you should abstain if you don't want to conceive and get busy if you do) and temps just confirm that ovulation has happened (or has not yet happened.)
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    www.fertilityfriend.com is a free charting site that I use.

    The 3 things to watch for are (1) your basal body temp (at first waking), (2) your cervical fluid and (3) your cervical position.

    Since having DS, I'm only monitoring my cervical fluid, so that's all I chart. Now that he's sleeping a little better, I might start temping again. I've never figured out the cervix thing.

    If you use the online site, which I really like, it will determine your "coverline" (baseline temperature range) and pick up when you most likely ovulated. Ovulation day can vary from month to month but usually the time from ovulation until your period is constant.

    If you pay a membership fee you can get other fancier analyses of your chart.


  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Thanks so much, ladies! That helps tons and wasn't wasn't too much to take in all at once.

    Should I start trying to temp and check cervical fluid now or should I wait until my period returns? It's been gone for two years two months and nine days now.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    DarkAngel wrote:
    Thanks so much, ladies! That helps tons and wasn't wasn't too much to take in all at once.

    Should I start trying to temp and check cervical fluid now or should I wait until my period returns? It's been gone for two years two months and nine days now.

    It might help predict when your period is going to return... if you get patches of wet cervical fluid, that could mean that your body is gearing up to ovulate... if temps don't rise, then it hasn't quite made it yet. If they rise, then you can expect your period within the next couple of weeks.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    I think you probably want to wait until your period comes back. In and of themselves the measurements aren't meaningful (every woman's temps will be in a different range and cervical fluid will look different). These factors need to be considered within the context of a cycle or even a few cycles to get a real idea of what's going on.

    I suspect right now your body is probably going to throw out a bunch of random temps and cervical fluid types.

    As for predicting when your period might come back, most women I know knew when that first post-partum period was coming because of worse than normal cramps and PMS.

    DA - have you talked to your doc/midwife about your period not yet resuming? Its been 6 months or so since you've weaned, hasn't it? A few women I know who waited a long time for their period were either quite underweight or else anemic. It might be worth having a check-up especially if you are considering trying to pregnant again soon.


  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    MadScientist, I don't have a midwife anymore because I broke that relationship off after the disappearing IUD and the things leading up to my preemie. I haven't found a Gyn since then. I love my family doctor and he follows up with specialists about my issues. We have talked a few times. He ran some bloodwork in October that came back normal. I don't know what he was looking for though.

    I weaned in July. I -am- underweight but not drastically so. I have had normal periods at this weight before. I don't believe I am anemic either. My doctor thinks that my lack of a period might be caused by the mini-pill. I was on it from about 6 weeks postpartum (after the IUD disappeared) until about two weeks ago. If I don't get a period in another 4 or so weeks, I am going to ask for more testing. I have some rather strange female things that might need to be evaluated together to get a clear picture of what's going on with me.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Does temping work if you don't sleep deeply? I wake muliple times through the night.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    DarkAngel wrote:
    Does temping work if you don't sleep deeply? I wake muliple times through the night.

    You're supposed to get a full nights' sleep and at least sleep 3 straight hours before temping and temp after your longest, most restful sleep. However, different bodies react differently to sleep disturbance. I know for me I was lucky and my temp did not change much with different waking times or a restless night, but I only found that out through trial and error. The general rule is for every hour of sleep, temp goes up by two tenths of a degree Faherenheit, (or two tenths less for an hour less of sleep.) So one tenth of a degree for a half hour. I think the most important thing is consistency. If you're awake multiple times EVERY night, then that temp will be normal for you, as opposed to if you almost always sleep deeply and then have a restless night when it will be a disturbed temp.

    Did you get the software with TCOYF? I find that it was really helpful to do my charts on the computer as it makes those adjustments for you if you need them.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Registered Users Posts: 5,297 Curl Neophyte
    Huh, I never took my temperature. I just based it on my cycle - which granted, can be different based on the person, but it's not going to go anymore than a couple of days in either direction. There's only like 2 days where you can actually get pregnant, so we would be extra careful that whole week.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • SweetPicklesSweetPickles Registered Users Posts: 850
    I keep a paper chart by the bed (I love this free online one - I make copies of it). I also have another sheet I use with the chart that I created; it's a table with a bunch of columns where I can enter and track more specific information. In the past, I've also then gone online to Fertility Friend every week or so and entered the information. I often am *pretty sure* when the exact date of ovulation is, but getting it into the computer confirms it for me.

    Madscientist, when I went back online to Fertility Friend after a long hiatus, I couldn't find anyplace where they still had the free services. Am I looking in the wrong spot? It looked to me like everything there had gone to paid-membership only.
    Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
    Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    babywavy wrote:
    Huh, I never took my temperature. I just based it on my cycle - which granted, can be different based on the person, but it's not going to go anymore than a couple of days in either direction. There's only like 2 days where you can actually get pregnant, so we would be extra careful that whole week.

    Not me! My cycle can REALLY vary in length - I've had 26 days and I've had 41 days, and I sometimes have 5 or more days of fertile cervical fluid (not to mention the days leading up to that) when I can get pregnant. I need my temps to make sure I have ovulated and am safe. But everyone is different...
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    babywavy wrote:
    Huh, I never took my temperature. I just based it on my cycle - which granted, can be different based on the person, but it's not going to go anymore than a couple of days in either direction. There's only like 2 days where you can actually get pregnant, so we would be extra careful that whole week.

    That's just not true. The length of time between when you ovulate and when you get your period will generally not vary more than a few days for any person. The amount of time before ovulation can vary hugely, by even a week or two and can be affected by stress and illness.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • Jenny CJenny C Registered Users Posts: 1,195
    babywavy wrote:
    Huh, I never took my temperature. I just based it on my cycle - which granted, can be different based on the person, but it's not going to go anymore than a couple of days in either direction. There's only like 2 days where you can actually get pregnant, so we would be extra careful that whole week.

    So then were your technically charting? If so what were you charting? Or were you just paying attention to your cervical fluid? I know alot of people do that.

    For me, I was glad I was charting my temp because when I got pg with Lucy I had all the signs that I was going to ovulate around my usual time, which was cd 17 or 18, but I didn't.

    Luckily I knew that because my temp never went up. I was confused as to what was going on at first, but I kept checking my cervical fluid and about a week later I had eggwhite again, and that time I did ovulate finally - on cd 22.

    Even if I thought I ovulated, I probably would have had sex when I saw the eggwhite again, but if I was trying to avoid pregnancy I would have screwed because I would have thought I was safe after the first time I saw the eggwhite.
    If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    babywavy wrote:
    Huh, I never took my temperature. I just based it on my cycle - which granted, can be different based on the person, but it's not going to go anymore than a couple of days in either direction. There's only like 2 days where you can actually get pregnant, so we would be extra careful that whole week.

    This is not true.

    Sperm can live in your body for 5 days, so while there is a short window that the egg is viable to be fertilized, if you have left over sperm in there, you can get pregnant.

    My ONLY sure sign was temping. I know what my pre-ovulation temperatures are, as well as what my post-O temps are. Cervical fluid wasn't really ever relilable for me, as the months that I got pregnant, I didn't have any outward signs of fertile fluid.

    You have to find which part of charting works best for you, IMO. I only temped. I didn't check cervical position, I only paid attention to fluid if I happened to see it.

    After you temp for about 3 months, you will have a better idea of what your patterns are, etc. OH! I also charted my emotional behaviors during the month, THAT was very helpful in understanding what was going on with me as well - irritability, tiredness, etc.

    SweetPickles, I don't think that FF is free anymore. I used to belong there, but I don't anymore.

    I personally would purchase the Ovusoft software. I enjoyed temping on my computer because it does some really great calculations for you, tells you that if you want to have a baby between XX dates, that the best time to get pregnant would be XX dates, and when you'd have to have sex and all of that. It will also take your cycle history and base calculations on that as well. I really liked my software when I was using it.

    I don't temp anymore, but I thought it was a great thing when I was doing it.

    GL!!!
    :rambo:
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    I have a free trial of the Ovusoft software but haven't loaded it yet. Sounds like I should based on your recommendations.
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    DarkAngel wrote:
    I have a free trial of the Ovusoft software but haven't loaded it yet. Sounds like I should based on your recommendations.

    Personally, I enjoyed it. I didn't do the paper chart like others, though. I would just take my temp and remember it and punch it in later on when I was on the computer. However, like I said, I know what my tempts are pre and post ovulation.

    If you don't know yours yet, it might be a good idea to put it on paper and on the computer, just to see if you can figure out your own pattern, etc.
    :rambo:
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    I personally prefer paper. I like having the chart right there by the bed, going to the computer would be an extra hassle for me. But all the extra bells and whistles sound nice.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    M2LR & Co. wrote:
    DarkAngel wrote:
    I have a free trial of the Ovusoft software but haven't loaded it yet. Sounds like I should based on your recommendations.

    Personally, I enjoyed it. I didn't do the paper chart like others, though. I would just take my temp and remember it and punch it in later on when I was on the computer. However, like I said, I know what my tempts are pre and post ovulation.

    If you don't know yours yet, it might be a good idea to put it on paper and on the computer, just to see if you can figure out your own pattern, etc.

    Yes, that's how I started - paper and software for a few months, then mostly software.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • Jenny CJenny C Registered Users Posts: 1,195
    geeky wrote:
    I personally prefer paper. I like having the chart right there by the bed, going to the computer would be an extra hassle for me. But all the extra bells and whistles sound nice.

    Me too. I'm an old fashioned gal. I have a paper chart and a pencil right next to my bed.
    If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.

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