Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fertility boot-camp

Wendy here.
Oh! The Joys of Ovulation!

Part of this interesting journey has been learning all about ovulation. This is the nuts-and-bolts of it.

About 10 days after your period starts, you will probably ovulate. So around 5-10 days after your period starts, you start using ovulation testing strips (affectionately known as "pee strips"). These tests check for a surge in your Lh hormone which shows up as a light-blue to dark-blue line on the strip. When the line turns dark blue, you go to your doctor for insemination.

Now you are also checking your temperature every day of the month using a basal thermometer (which measures your temperature in hundredths of degrees). When your temperature soars up, ovulation has already occurred. If you haven't been inseminated, you've missed your opportunity for the current month.

Also, your body temperature will decrease dramatically right before you start your period. If you are pregnant, your temperature stays up. So often, you will know if you aren't pregnant because your temperature drops a day or two before you start your period. Once inseminated, you are praying that your temperature stays up, up, up!

Taking your basal temperature every day is just a way of gathering data on how your body performs over a 28-30 day period. The more data you have, the better you should get at estimating your ovulation time.

So my mornings begin by taking my temperature first thing (before I get up or take a sip of water). I mark the temperature on the chart by the bed, draw some connecting lines, and try to get on with my day without obsessing about my fertility!

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