Going on CD35, and 7 days of BLAZING POSITIVES with (First Response – 100m/IU according to consumer studies) The Dollar Tree Brand (New Choice – 25m/IU) I decided to get yet a 3rd Brand! Of course my DH (Darling Husband) went to the wonderful world of Walmart and bought their (Equate – 100m/IU according to consumer studies) Ovulation Midstream Tests. But Yeah, they were the HORRIBLE BLUE DYE TESTS! Eeeeeeek! (Another story for another day!) So I thought I would give them a try……….
Soooooooo I was going on (yet again) another day with another positive OPK. So far I’ve used First Response and The Dollar Tree Brand New Choice. Let’s see what happens this time around! Day #5!
This had OFFICIALLY been 10 days of POSITIVE OPK RESULTS!! I am still a bit baffled at this point as to WHY? I am continuing to finish out my 7 day supply of the Dollar Tree Brand New Choice OPK’s. So, is this going to be my 11th positive result?
So this was CD32 going on Day #3 using the Dollar Tree Brand of OPK’s wondering if it’ll be another positive result?
So I was on CD31 and going on Day #2 using the Dollar Tree Brand New Choice OPK – Waiting to see if this will yield another positive result?
I decided to show you guys a comparison between First Response and The Dollar Tree Brand New Choice!
If you read my post about (Why I Began Charting Again after So Many Years!) You’re familiar with that extremely long Menses and cycle that I had. I decided to try to pinpoint my Ovulation so that I could know exactly when to expect my next AF (Aunt Flo). After getting multiple Positives (The TEST Line being equal to or Darker than the CONTROL Line) I was a bit baffled and decided to see if I would yield the same results with the Dollar Trees Cheapie Brand New Choice!
The art of TTC (Trying to Conceive), TTA (Trying to Abstain) or even simply Trying To Track Your Cycle – (for other purposes) can be tricky, and have a lot to do with how you Chart your cycles each month. There is so much more to it nowadays than simply counting up 4 weeks from the first day of your Menstrual Period – (which is what I used to do before the Internet came out!) Ha Ha
Aside from The Charting Basics, one of the main things you’ll need to learn about is your CM (Cervical Mucus) and CP (Cervical Position). Whether you’re TTC or TTA from Pregnancy, you’ll need to know about this thing called Cervical Fluid! Much like CP, CM changes color, consistency, and texture throughout each part of our cycle. Those changes essentially can give us many clues and insight into where we are, and when we can expect our Fertile Window!
The first part of our cycle is known as, “The Follicular Phase,” which is the first day of our Menstrual Flo until Ovulation occurs. A Hormone called Estrogen is responsible for the things that change, and take place just up until that point. Estrogen more or less gears our bodies up in preparation for Conception. Your Cervical Fluid plays a very important role in achieving that! Here’s an illustration to depict the different stages your CM goes through, throughout this wonderful (or not so wonderful) thing we call a cycle!
As you can see, there are many different colors, consistencies, and textures. If you’re only tracking your Period, then you may miss out on a potential opportunity to successfully Conceive! (Same thing if you’re actively trying to PREVENT Pregnancy) fertile CM plays a huge role in that!
AFTER MENSTRUATION: Your CM may be a bit dry, or Scant. Immediately following, you may notice a slight moisture, but that in itself is considered to be infertile if there’s not a higher volume of it!
NEARING OVULATION: You may notice that you have a wet spot on your panties, wetter consistency, milky, clearer CM. Estrogen is responsible for making your Fluid thinner and more fertile.
TIME OF OVULATION: Cervical Fluid tends to be thinner, slippery, and can stretch 1-2 CM! It may also have the consistency of raw Egg whites! It can also be tinged with Pink or Blood. This would be considered your most highly fertile CM! Sperm can live up to 5 days in this type of Cervical Fluid. This type is very alkaline.
Post Ovulation: It can be a bit dry, if nothing at all. Sometimes your cervix may appear to be somewhat moisture BUT any Cervical Fluid once Ovulation has occurred should be considered Infertile.
WHEN EXPECTING MENSES: Your Cervical Fluid can go from dry/moist to a thicker, Creamier, Lotion-Like consistency that is extremely acidic unlike EWCM and will make it difficult for sperm to swim through.
POSSIBLE PREGNANCY: Your CM will generally get thicker, white, or even yellow. It gets extremely thick to form what is known as a Mucus plug.
The absolute, most fertile CM prior to Ovulation is EWCM! You may notice this specifically the few days before, and/or the day of. You may also know it to appear Blood tinged, or brown. Mid-cycle spotting is not uncommon. If you’re not familiar with this, crack open an Egg and look at it, feel it, stretch it. Your own is very much like this!
You may not always produce this type of CM, so even if you only see Watery CM, take advantage of it! There are always ways to increase and improve your CM. (Another story for another day!) But in the meantime drink plenty of water, take Evening Primrose Oil from the start of Menses until Ovulation, Mucinex and/or Robitussin Guafenesin can help aide in that!
Post Ovulation, you may notice abrupt dryness and your cervix may exhibit slight moisture. That is very common, and if your charting you may see a Temperature rise to confirm it! Progesterone is responsible for the Luteal Phase, which is the day after Ovulation until we either Test positive with a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test) or the dreaded AF (Aunt Flo) rears her ugly head if you’re TTC (Trying To Conceive). As we approach the latter part of our cycle – our CM tends to get a bit thick, Creamy, and Lotion-Like which is very acidic and considered non-fertile. If our Menses is due within a couple days, you may notice another dry spell. (Again, very common!)
So whether you’re actively TTC or actively TTA – Cervical Mucus, Cervical Position and charting your BBT (Basal Body Temperature) can play a major role in your success!
If you’re trying to abstain from Pregnancy, you’ll want to avoid intercourse on the days you notice any type of fertile-quality CM!
One of the hardest things you may come across in this wonderful journey of yours is this thing called CP (Cervical Position), which goes hand-in-hand with CM (Cervical Mucus). These are both considered to be secondary fertility signs that can help you figure out where you are in your cycle! Your CP changes throughout each part of your cycle which can give clues about when you may be nearing Ovulation, Menstruation, or even possibly Pregnancy. It may take you a while to get to know your body, (and it’s lovely functions), but with that being said it’ll be well worth the time and effort once you start to gain a bit of insight.
A great time to start practicing your personal exams, is right after you’ve gotten out of the shower, or after you have thoroughly washed your hands with antibacterial soap to help avoid infections!
It’s very important to make sure you have clean hands before checking your CP or CM. Another tip is to keep your fingernails trimmed to avoid internal scratches. The cervix is the area on the top of your Vaginal canal, and in-between your uterus. You can start by sitting on the toilet or even squatting, while gently inserting two fingers and reaching until you can feel it. Depending on how High or Low your cervix is at that time determines whether it’s fertile or Infertile. It’s highly recommended to check your CP only once a day, (sitting the same way) due to its variations throughout the day. When dealing with CM though it’s recommended to check several times a day while only recording the most fertile Fluid!
DURING MENSTRUATION: Your cervix usually will be low, firm and slightly open to allow your Menses to flow. It would feel firm more like the tip of your nose.
NEARING OVULATION: Your cervix will be a little higher to reach, a bit softer, moist and slightly open in preparation for the sperm to swim through. You may start to notice your CM appears to be a bit more fertile at this time.
TIME OF OVULATION: Your cervix should be at its highest since you’re at your peak fertility! You may not even be able to reach it, or you may just be able to touch it with the tips of your fingers. The cervix will be open with a good amount of fertile CM and feel very soft, more like your lips. The outer surface may also feel very wet or even slippery.
POST OVULATION: Your cervix will generally go back to a low, firm and closed Position. It will feel firm again, like the tip of your nose with a dry sensation.
NEARING MENSTRUATION: Your cervix will continue to feel firm like an unripe fruit perhaps with slight moisture. You may not observe much CM if any at all and it will protrude low.
POSSIBLE PREGNANCY: Your cervix usually begins to move higher, with a soft, sponge-like feel to it that remains closed to protect the uterus. CM will then start to get thicker, creating what is known as a Mucus Plug. With that being said, the time varies from woman to woman as to when this all takes place. For some it can happen as soon as Conception occurs and for others it may be well into their first trimester.
Here is something I’ve put together from photos taken of a woman who was 25, had never given Birth, had a tilted uterus, and allowed this amazing website to document her CP and CM each day throughout her whole cycle! This may be helpful since most of us cannot see inside, we can only feel!
If you go through, you’ll see just how unique our CP really can be! Being a woman, and truly understanding our own anatomy can be quiet empowering.
Something else that sort of helped me further understand this magical, mystical thing we call a cervix – is knowing the best way to actually describe and further illustrate what we are technically “feeling” for?! The specialists who write these amazing articles pertaining to our fertility describe our cervix as being, “Low, Medium, or High,” when going through the different stages in our cycle. I of course, thought that meant my cervix was like a ball that literally lifted itself up, or buried itself down into my Vaginal canal! (Oh silly me) – It took me forever to fully understand what that meant. Take a look at this next illustration here:
As you can see while looking at everything from a frontal point of view, I found that the best way to describe the CP itself wasn’t so much “High,” or “Low,” – but really like, “Coming towards you,” or, “Moving away from you.” If that makes more sense? When you insert your fingers and can very easily reach your cervix, (like it’s coming towards you at a close proximity) – then that would be considered, “Low.” When it’s really hard to reach (like it’s going away from you) – and maybe not even within reach at all, that would be considered, “High.”
If you think about it, the cervix needs to be as far back from the opening of your Vaginal canal so that the sperm will have a shorter journey! Shorter swim means a higher chance for Conception which helps create the perfect (Fertile Window) of opportunity! Makes more sense now, huh? Here’s also another visual aide that can help:
So as you can see, you can only have highly fertile Cervical Fluid such as EWCM (Egg White Cervical Mucus) and get a high volume of it if you have a highly fertile cervix that’s open! That not only allows fertile quality CM to protrude the canal but it also acts as a passageway to keep the sperm nourished and alive until possible Conception can occur!
There are so many benefits you can experience from charting your fertility! One of the main, key ingredients in order to gain insight into your most fertile window is the ability to track your daily BBT (Basal Body Temperature) throughout the duration of your cycle. Your BBT is your lowest body Temperature at rest, following a solid block of at least 3 hours of sleep or more.
Now, before you go reaching for a typical (Fever Thermometer) you may be surprised to know that fertility experts of the like have come up with this amazing invention known as a Basil Body Thermometer! That’s what you’ll typically want to use. It’s a special kind of Thermometer that is very inexpensive, you can find it at most drugstores and it measures at 1/100 of a degree. So for example, with a normal (Fever Thermometer) that only measures at 1/10 degree – your temp would read at 98.6° whereas a BBT will measure your temp detecting slight body fluctuations reading at 98.67°. It’s very ideal just for the fact that you may detect Ovulation with only a slight Temperature increase over the course of several cycles, which may give you better insight inside your future fertile window.
During your FP (Follicular Phase) Estrogen is responsible for lower BBT’s. Once Ovulation occurs, you’ll notice a rise in BBT’s due to Progesterone, which is a heat inducing Hormone responsible for gearing your body up for possible Conception. Many women commonly opt to use OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) to detect their LH Surge (Luteinizing Hormone) that’s highly concentrated just a day or two prior to Ovulation – but only a rise in temperatures for at least 3 days or more will confirm it!
It’s important when temping, to do so at the same time everyday and in the same manner. Some may opt to do it vaginal rather than orally. Whichever method you prefer consistency is key! Another important factor is making sure you get plenty of rest beforehand. Otherwise you may start to notice erratic temperatures on your chart that can make it difficult when trying to interpret it. It’s not uncommon though to occasionally experience a slightly higher or lower temp when charting. The most important thing is maintaining a pattern with several temps throughout each part of your cycle so you can know when to accurately pinpoint Ovulation, as well as knowing when to expect a reliable result on a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test). If you’re charting for other reasons, pinpointing Ovulation will also aid in knowing when to expect your next Period.