Category Archives: Charting

Boring Post, Pretty Graph

This is a very boring post because I’m supposed to be working right now, but I just wanted to give you a quick update. My Progesterone was 29.2 – excellent.

And here’s a pretty picture for you to look at:

I can tell already that this 2WW is going to kill me. But I’m feeling pretty good right now, so let’s hope it continues!

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Filed under 2WW, Charting, Infertility

Ovulate This!

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Filed under Charting, Infertility, Non-IF Stuff

Oh for goodness sake….

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Well this is getting ridiculous…

What. The. Hell.

 

I could not be any more confused.

I still have fertile CM, but it is definitely less fertile than a few days ago. (So I guess it’s fertile-ish CM). I still have this weird pain which I attribute to my right ovary – if anything this is worse than yesterday. And my OPKs have changed… but not in a way that makes much sense. Yesterday afternoon and at lunch time today I got equivocal OPK results – with the test line being just about, so-close-it’s-hard-to-tell, almost, nearly as dark as the control. They look just like they did in my anovulatary cycles, but noticeably different to both my OPKs earlier this cycle and my brilliantly positive OPK last cycle. And my temps… they are just a frickin’ disaster.

So I repeat.. what the hell?

I can’t make sense of this. I entered the OPKs as positive on FF because lines of equal darkness are technically a sign of a LH surge, but truthfully I’m not convinced. Obviously I am just going to have to wait and see. I read somewhere today that OPKs aren’t very reliable for women with PCOS. Have any of you well-read and well-informed ladies heard of this phenomenon?

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Filed under Charting, Infertility, Ovulation

Confused, Still…

I have no idea what is going on. My CM is getting less fertile, and when I look at my temps during the last few days I can almost see an ovulation dip followed by an increase in temps – but still no change on the OPKs! Obviously I need a few days’ more data to really know what is happening… and I really hope that it isn’t an ovulation dip I see because that was right in the middle of our ‘dry patch’ due to H’s trip. Today my lower tummy is feeling even more uncomfortable than yesterday – not enough to really bother me, but it is very noticeable – which means that it is very difficult to put all this stuff out of my head.

Fingers crossed for a positive OPK tomorrow so I can stop worrying!

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I choose to call it Focus rather than Obsession

Today on my OPK I saw that second faint line and was greatly relieved. Thank you for your comments which reassured me that it isn’t all that unusual to only get one line.

Now that this small issue has been resolved, I have started focussing on another, also small, issue (and yes, I think of it as dedicated focus rather than obsessing!). I have to do something to keep myself occupied, after all.

Now that I am a “charter” I was reading some of the information on Fertility Friend about temperature changes at ovulation. My temps seem to be pretty erratic, and I was wondering how FF would be able to identify a true temperature shift in the midst of such a mess. FF kindly informed me that after ovulation my temps should rise by about 0.2 degress celsius. And herein lies the rub. My temp has been varying by more than 0.5 degrees since I started temping, so any temp rise will be obscured by the background changes.

 

So…. am I doing it wrong? No, I don’t think so. I’m waking at at the same time every day, I take my temp before even turning on the light, and all other conditions are consistent. And that leaves me wondering… do I need to buy a new thermometer?

I haven’t been looking at other charts to see what the usual spread of temps is, because, well that seems to cross the line between focus and obsession.

After thinking about it a little today, I have decided that I will continue doing what I’m doing for the remainder of this cycle. If my CD23 bloods confirm that I ovulated but my temps were too erratic to pinpoint ovulation on my chart (and assuming I get a BFN) I will buy a new thermometer for next time. Any excuse for a shopping trip, right?

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Big News and a Tale of Two Countries

I have an announcement. It’s a big one. In fact, it’s HUGE. So prepare yourselves, sit securely in your seat, this is going to Blow. You. Away.

I have started charting.

Um, so maybe it’s not that big an announcement. And my chart doesn’t look like much yet. But I’ve never done it before, and to be honest I didn’t think I ever would. It’s just not that big a deal in the Land Down Under and in my experience it’s not common for TTCers to take temperatures, chart cervical mucus and analyse graphs. In the end I made the decision to chart because the inactivity of my last 2WW almost drove me crazy, and I hope that the small daily act of charting might give me a sanity-saving – although totally false – sense of control. 

This difference between Australia and the US made me think. One of the things that I have noticed from all my blog reading is the difference in fertility treatments between Australia and the US.  The drugs are much the same, and some of the protocols are similar, but the process itself is totally different.

To start with, unless they have specific gynaecological issues, most childless young women here do not have an Obs/Gynae. They see their GP for pap smears and the like. So right from the start of the IF process we are referred to a Fertility Specialist.

And that’s another thing. In the Land Down Under our IF docs are trained O&Gs who have sub-specialised in fertility. In theory it is possible to be a fertility specialist by training as a physician, specialising in Endocrinology, and then sub-specialising in reproductive endocrinology, but I don’t personally know any doctors who have done that.

Then there is the amount of monitoring throughout a cycle. I’m doing 4 cycles of Clomid, with no monitoring except for one blood test on CD23 (LH, β-hCG, Progesterone). This suits me, although sometimes I do wish there was more monitoring just to give me a sense of purpose! I’m sure I would get more monitoring if I was doing injectables, but even so… you gals in the US sure do have to undergo a lot of blood tests and ultrasounds!

In terms of IVF, the level of monitoring seems more similar. But the big difference is that in Australia and New Zealand it is uncommon for a FS to transfer more than one embryo. They will only do it if, after lots of discussion, the couple absolutely insists. While it is common for REs in the US to routinely transfer two or even three or four embryos, any FS who routinely transferred two embryos would be considered a renegade, and to be honest would probably find it difficult to get a job in any major clinic. They are absolutely prohibited from transferring more than two embryos. Fertility clinics consider multiple births a blight on their reputation, and the aim is always one healthy baby and one healthy mother. Which system is best is a matter of opinion. Based on some (admittedly haphazard) research our rates of pregnancy per IVF cycle are lower (around 30% per egg retrieval), but so are the rates of complications. There are two main IVF clinics in Melbourne, and they differ slightly. The pregnancy rates and hyperstimulation stats are roughly equivalent, but the clinic my FS is linked to base their model of care on day 2 transfers and do less monitoring than the other clinic.

To be honest, despite the fact that I like to feel proactive, the relatively non-invasive treatment plan suits me. I work at a job that is almost totally inflexible and getting time off for appointments can be tricky. Doctor’s appointments play havoc with my psyche because although I usually feel reassured after one, I feel uniformly anxious beforehand. If we need to move on to injectables or IVF I’ll do what it takes to make it work, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the sense of normality that the system here provides. That’s one of the reasons that I chose to see a FS linked to my particular clinic – the less disruption to my life the better!

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Filed under Charting, Doctors, Infertility