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PostSubject: Helpful tips   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:16 am

OPKS (or OPT's)

OPKS- (ovulation predictor kits/tests) measure solely the LH (lutenizing hormone) that your body produces in great quantities just before ovulation. If you get a positive OPK that means your body is gearing up to ovulate. If you get two positive OPKs then it means you caught the beginning and end of the surge. From the FIRST positive OPK you will have approximately 12 to 36 hours until you ovulate. However an OPK doesn't tell you if you ovulated. Only charting (or a doctor doing blood tests and ultrasounds) can tell you that. Also, an important note, if you want your test to be as accurate as possible you should test at 2PM after holding your pee for a few hours. If you find that you never get a positive OPK try testing twice a day.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?
- buy a ovulation kit. If you know generally around the time when you ovulate, 7 will probably be enough for you. If you have no clue or your cycle is wonky, then I would buy the kit with 30 test strips and use the strips every day throughout your cycle until you get a positive. Many people have preferences as to brands. OPKs can get costly, so beware. you can buy the dollar store test, and if you can't tell if it's positive retest with a digital.

I NEVER GET A POSITIVE, HELP! There are many reasons why you're not getting a positive
(1) You're not ovulating
(2) You have a short surge and you're not catching it
(3) Your surge doesn't build up quite enough to trigger a positive on a test, but you do in fact ovulate (i've only read about this. I don't know first hand of this)

My suggestion: Chart. That way at least you KNOW you're ovulating. And also test more often. Perhaps at 10 AM, 2PM and 6 PM and see if that helps.

I KEEPT GETTING POSITIVES, A WEEK (10 days, 12 days, 20 days) AFTER THE FIRST SET----WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT??!?!- Remember that the OPKS only measure the hormone prior to ovulation right? Well, when people have this and they have corresponding charts, it usually shows that their body tried to ovulate, had the surge, but never released the eggie. Your body is pretty smart and will try to ovulate again, so that's most likely the reason for the multiple positive tests. It's not likely that you got a false positive unless (a) you're pregnant or (b) you have PCOS

IF I'M PREGNANT, WILL I GET A POSITIVE OPK? Yes, you will. The LH hormone and HCG hormone are almost identical but for one little variation. The OPK does not test for this variation wherein the HPT does. HOWEVER, the same rule applies for the OPKT, for the test to be positive the test line has to be darker than the control line. It's not preferred to use OPKs as HPTs b/c you will have to have more HCG in your system for this test than you would for an early test HPT.

CHARTING

I know a lot of women, myself included, get intimidated by charting. It's so hard; I'll never be able to wake up at the same time every day, I don't want to do it every day. Those are the excuses I made.

What you need:

a thermometer (it should be a basal body thermometer. Mine has four digits, like 98.09, some have three, 98.0. Taking Charge of Your Fertilty doesn't believe that you need a four digit thermometer, but I prefer it)
an alarm clock
a charting program or, with your bbt thermometer you get a chart which you can make photocopies of.

I prefer an online system like, www.fertilityfriend.com because they will set your cross hairs for you, so you can see your thermal shift from pre and post ovulation temps. Fertility Friend is free, but you get perks if you buy a VIP pass. There are many different internet site dedicated to charting, just find what you like the best. I use www.tcoyf.com

The reasons that I am pro charting are:

You can see a trend in your cycles, after enough charting you might actually be able to predict ovulation, say after 6 charted cycles.

You can confirm that you ovulated, or didn't. If you find that you haven't ovulated in 3 or more cycles, then go to the doctor. One or two annovulatory cycles is NOT abnormal and your doctor may not want to do anything. BUT if you're over 35, then you'd want to see the doctor immediately b/c they'd be more prone to intervention due to "advanced maternal age"

You can see if your luteal phase is short. A luteal phase is the time between ovulation and your period. If it's under 10 days, you will most likely not be able to sustain a pregnancy. Also your luteal phase is generally a set amount of days and doesn't vary. It can, but usually only by one day on either side.

You will know if your period is actually "late" as opposed to having just ovulated late. For instance, Lets say my cycle is normally 26 days, and I'm on day 28 of my cycle. I might be excited because my "period is late" HOWEVER, I know that my luteal phase is 17 days and because I charted, I know that I ovulated on day 15, Therefore, my period isn't actually late until I hit cycle day 33 and no period shows up. Make sense? Also, if you dont' chart, for the love of GOD do not ask us, "what's going on, could I be pregnant" we don't live inside of your uterus and we can't predict the future.

Many times your chart will tell you you're pregnant before a pregnancy test will. If you've found that your temps stay up throughout your set luteal phase and several days past your luteal phase, you could be pregnant, even though a pregnancy test may give you a negative.

Also, a tip from me to you: if you know that you never really get up at a specific time, just PICK a time, set your alarm clock, take your temp (write it down) and go back to bed. For instance, now that I'm unemployed, I wake up when I want. I set my alarm to 5:30AM, take my temp, then go back to bed. It is IMPERATIVE that you chart at the same time every day. If you don't, your chart could very well be useless.

TIMING

If you are using OPKs you should be BD'ing from the first positive OPK and every day thereafter for at least four days. Fertility Friend states to have the best odds you should BD three days prior to O, the day of O and the day after O. (the odds of getting pregnant on the day after O is slim, but they throw it in there to be safe)

If you are NOT using OPKs then you should use your other bodily clues, such as fertile cervical mucus and cervix position. If you have egg white cervical mucus or watery cervical mucus you are most likely fertile. If your cervix is high (hard to reach while you're finger banging yourself) you are most likely fertile.

If you chart, charting generally doesn't warn you when you're about to ovulate. It confirms that you did. However, many women can figure out when they're about to ovulate because they will see a temperature dip. But, if you're like me and have three or four dips pre-o, that doesn't help. I don't suggesting using a chart to predict O.

If you're not doing ANY of the above, then what the hell are you doing? No, I kid. timing is important, however if --- for the sake of your sanity-- you don't want to do any of the above you should BD every other day from the end of AF until you get either a positive pregnancy test or AF starts.

PREGNACY TESTS AND QUESTIONS:

Here are percents on BFP when going by dpo with the most sensitive "at home" test sticks:


35% at 10dpo
51% at 11dpo
62% at 12dpo
68% at 13dpo
74% at 14dpo
80% at 15dpo
88% at 16dpo
92% at 17dpo

This is why testing early can be frustrating and disappointing. 65% of pregnant women will get a negative at 10DPO! If you test any earlier than 10DPO, then you've pretty much wasted your pee stick. I've never met anyone --other than when googling-- that ever got a positive test earlier than that. (I think, if they did get a positive at 9DPO or earlier, they probably ovulated earlier than they thought)

Most pee sticks at the store will measure 25 units of the HCG hormone, which is pretty sensitive. Sometimes more sensitive then the ones your doctor has. If you prefer to go to your doctor, say for a blood test, then ask how sensitive the test is. If it measure 100 units of the HCG hormone, you might want to save your co-pay until you're at least 18DPO ish. the dollar store tests are good and they are sensitive, so use them first. if you get a negative, it's only $1.

The Package Says it can detect the HCG Hormone "5 days before missed period" is that true? Yes and No. It's kind of a TTC urban legend that the "average" cycle is 28 days with a 14 day LP. I don't know who started that myth, but it just won't DIE! So, when a test tells you you can test 5 days before your missed period, that's not exactly true. They wrongly assume that you have this average cycle. That you have a 28 day cycle and ovulate on day 14. Let's do a little math, yes? So, based on the fallacy I just stated about, subtract 5 from 14, which means that the earliest you should even bother testing (and I still think it's too early, but hey, it's your pee stick) is 9 DPO. SO, if you have an 11 day day LP, you can only test 2 days before your missed period, if you have an 10 day LP, you can only test ONE day before your missed period. Just keep this in mind when you freak out over a BFN b/c you tested early.


Last edited by Gina on Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Amy
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PostSubject: Re: Helpful tips   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:17 am

Gina, you are a rock star Smile
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Sarah
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PostSubject: Re: Helpful tips   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:19 am

I second the rock star comment!
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PostSubject: Re: Helpful tips   Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:15 pm

Such fantastic info! Smile
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