Sunday, March 6, 2011
Tracking the big O
Mid February we started trying again. We began trying after two cycles post surgery, against doctors orders, because I couldn’t wait any longer, and to be honest I really didn’t think I’d get pregnant right away, which I didn’t.
Cycle 1 was February. I did ovulation predictor sticks to find out when I was going to ovulate, so we could be sure and have sex at the right time. If you unfamiliar these are like pregnancy tests, but for ovulation. They detect a surge in LH, or lutenizing hormone, which is the hormone that makes your ovaries pop out an egg. Theoretically you ovulate 12-48 hours after your “LH surge” so once you get a positive test, you need to have sex frequently to maximize your chance of conception. Easy enough right? HA.
I took one test a day, in the morning and never got a positive. I was convinced I was broken, and it really upset me. It wasn’t until I posted on a message board with some women I had met online though and ectopic support group that I found out you cannot use morning urine for an ovulation stick. Ovulation tests need to be taken with your afternoon or evening urine for best results. Good to know, jeez. It didn't say that on the box (I looked) how are women supposed to know these things? This is when I realized that a ton of women were gathering together on babycenter.com's community. I was not alone.
The online support groups I have been a part of and am a part of to this day are full of women who range from just started trying to have a baby yesterday, and those who have been trying for several years. Its a great support, and a wealth of information, so if you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are a mom I suggest you look into an online community for support, laughs, and advice.
Back to the OPK's (ovulation predictor kits). These damn sticks have become my best friend and worst enemy. Because all but one of them are completely open to interpretation.
Let me explain:
You start taking these tests on whatever cycle day is your last cycle length minus 17 days. So if you have a 31 day cycle you'd start testing on cycle day 14. Most companies state testing once a day is fine, you should catch your surge of LH, but women who are trying to conceive are obsessed, and most of us test twice a day. Again....USING YOUR AFTERNOON OR EVENING PEE....not morning!
Here are some results that you could get :
(not my photo)
(not my photo)
Ok, so everyones confused right? A positive OPK is when the two lines are either equal, or the test line (left) is darker than the control line (right). Look back, each picture has at least three tests that could be positive. And, the top picture has a positive test after the surge seems to of occured. See why its confusing? For months these damn tests made me nuts....until I discovered clearblue easy digital ovulation tests. Clear Blue People, I love you.
On these tests if you are not surging, the test window gives you a circle. If you are you get this:
The other complication of these tests, you have to held your pee and restricted your fluids for awhile to concentrate your urine. Personally, I don't hold my pee. I wish I could, but I cannot. So asking me to not drink anything all afternoon in hopes of getting a "good sample" is torture! But, we have to do what we have to do.
Many women do these sticks and keep track of some of their bodies signs to ensure plenty of sperm are around for the big O (ovulation not orgasm). Cervical mucous turns from creamy to watery when a woman is most fertile, then turns to an eggwhite consisentency when ovulation occurs. This is friendly cervical mucus....thats right, that crap coming out of you is keeping sperm alive, so they can swim and find the egg. Checking your cervix texture and position is also a way to track ovulation, but I will let you google that one :)
Also, many women chart their BBT (basal body temperature) to track ovulation. This means that each morning before you so much as exhale you have to reach your arm out and take your temperature at the same time every day. Every day, no exceptions. I did this for a couple months and it sucked cause I had to get up everyday at 5:15am to take my temperature, since this was the time I get up for work. My husband hated it, I hated it, so I forewent that effort, you gotta draw the line somewhere. Here is an example of a BBT chart:
(not my photo)
As you can see the temperature drops at ovulation, and then spikes after. So, if this is the only thing you are doing, you aren't going to get warning that you ovulation, you'll just know that you did. This is why women use all of the above to track ovulation. So they are warned when its coming, and when its over....and in husbands terms: when the frequent sex starts and ends.