31 October 2009

Charting Your BBT: Part III

Spotting a Problem on Your Chart

If your temperatures are consistently inconsistent you may not be ovulating. And if you aren't ovulating, you can't conceive.

Mother Nature can by tricky and you may be bleeding on schedule every month/cycle without actually ovulating. Look at it this way: if you weren't charting your temperatures and signs, you may have thought you were having normal, healthy cycles. You could go month after month of trying to conceive, not realizing it's been impossible this whole time. But if you are charting accurately (see "Charting Your BBT: Part I) for several cycles and see no discernable pattern, it's time to talk to a doctor.

Here are a few other things that may need to be looked into:

-If your temperatures are consistently much higher or lower than normal; this may indicate a thyroid issue.

-If the second half of your cycle (the luteal phase) is shorter than 10 days; it could mean this phase of your cycle is not long enough to sustain pregnancy.

-If you have bleeding or spotting anywhere during your cycle except when your period is due.

-If, while feeling for cervical firmness and location, you notice any bumps on your cervix.

When I was ready to start trying for my second child, I immediately started charting. My self-imposed goal was to chart for at least three solid cycles, to relearn my body's signs of pending ovulation, and then start actively trying again. But what I saw came as a surprise: my temperatures were up and down, all over the place, for the entire cycle. I was still bleeding every month, and I even thought I saw that egg-white discharge. But my temperatures were too out of whack. I took my completed charts to the doctor, who looked over them and scheduled me for testing right then and there. It took a few weeks, but I learned I was not ovulating, was put on fertility medication, and conceived the next month. The moral of the story here? Charting helped me find out I had a problem right away, and my doctor had some proof to look at. I could have wasted a lot of time, energy, and emotions continuing to try every month to no avail, but instead I was diagnosed with anovulatory cycles and conceived right away.

What's nice about charting is if you find an issue and bring your evidence to your OB-GYN, you won't have to wait the long, but standard, 6-12 months. They'll see the problem, test you, and take appropriate action, and you could get pregnant much more quickly than if you had sex every day for a year without charting.

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