What Do I Record as Cycle Day 1? (The Difference Between SPOTTING and Your PERIOD)


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When you’re new to (Charting) it can be a bit confusing sometimes to know exactly WHEN or WHAT to Record on your Fertility Chart as CD (Cycle Day) 1. We used to assume that anytime you had any kind of bleeding, “Well that MUST be the start of our Period!” Yeah, ummmm, no matter how Light, Heavy or even when it happened!

I’m sure you’ve heard this from a friend or family member, “You must just be starting Early,” OR,  “It must be a LATE Period.” Better yet, no matter how Light it was, maybe they also told you – (or maybe you just assumed as so many of us do) that it was just an EXTREMELY LIGHT Period! Well, as time goes on more and more research is done to help expand our minds and give us some clarity!

There are two phases to our Cycle – The Follicular Phase (The time from the first day of our Menstrual Period until Ovulation takes place) and that’s controlled by a Hormone called, “Estrogen.” The next Phase of our cycle is known as The Luteal Phase (The time from Ovulation until either our Period starts or we achieve Pregnancy) and that’s controlled by a Hormone called, “Progesterone,” which is a heat inducing Hormone.

If you happen to take your BBT’s (Basal Body Temperatures) throughout your cycle, Estrogen keeps your temps low during the first Phase prior to Ovulation and Progesterone elevates and sustains our higher temps post Ovulation. Most of the time, (either one or two things will happen) – we will notice that our BBT’s have remained High past 13-16 DPO (Days Past Ovulation) and have possibly achieved Pregnancy! Or, our temps will drop back down which is a good indication that we can expect our Period sometime soon.

Sometimes though we can experience what is known as, “Mid-Cycle Spotting,” on or around Ovulation. That is not uncommon! Usually (if you’re also keeping track of your Cervical Fluid or Cervical Mucus) you may notice a bit of Fluid that resembles raw Egg Whites. If you happen to see a bit of Pink, Red, or even Brown tinged EWCM (Egg White Cervical Mucus) that is considered to be amongst the most fertile, and is caused Sometimes by a bit of spotting due to the Mature Egg breaking through the Egg Follicle.

At other times, (although it is considered RARE) you may notice a bit of spotting between 7-10 DPO and if you’ve achieved Pregnancy than that can also be known as, “Implantation Spotting,” which OFTEN gets mistaken for a Period! (Now, not ALL spotting is associated with Ovulation and Pregnancy) BUT – it can be considered as a clue, and can therefore give you a bit of insight. To actually peak into your Fertile Window – you may wanna consider taking a OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit), also to confirm Early Pregnancy I would highly suggest taking a High Sensitivity HPT (Home Pregnancy Test!)

So, how do you differentiate between Spotting and actual Flo? Well, (as some licensed Doctors have put it) if you wipe and only see a bit of Pink, or a few drops of Blood – then that would be considered, “Spotting.”

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Any amount of RED Blood that requires a pad or a tampon would be considered, “Menses or actual Flo.”

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So essentially, if you need a pad or a tampon than you can officially record that as, “Cycle Day 1.”

Cycle Day 1 (again) is defined as your first day of actual Bright RED or Dark RED Flo that requires a Pad or a Tampon!

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If you’re actively TTC (Trying To Conceive) and you have a higher Temperature above your coverline – (and you notice a bit of spotting) Don’t lose hope just yet! There may be a possibility that it’s simply Implantation Spotting.

If you’re new to Charting, (or tracking your Period) even if you’re NOT actively TTC – Charting is still a great way to pinpoint your Period each cycle and can also indicate whether or not you should possibly Test for Pregnancy.

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Can the CONCENTRATION of Urine effect the opacity of a Test Line on a OPK?!

I’ve had a few inquiries (Yes my fellow TTC’ers please keep the experiment ideas coming!) about whether or not the actual CONCENTRATION of urine, can effect the lightness or darkness of a Test Line? So, (seeing as how I’m not currently Pregnant) I thought, WHY NOT TEST WITH AN OPK? (Ovulation Predictor Kit) – For some odd reason during my last cycle I had an extremely higher level of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and had tested positive the night before!

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The Difference Between CONCENTRATED Urine and DILUTED Urine

Positive OPK’s CD35 using a New Brand!

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……….

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Positive OPK’s CD32 using Day 3 New Choice OPK

First Response OPK vs New Choice OPK!

Basal Body Thermometer

 

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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.

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