Let’s Talk Charting

I don’t know why this topic popped into my head tonight, but it has. And I promise, I won’t make it a long one. Mainly cause I’m kinda feeling the munchies coming on. lol Ok, so really it’s only because there’s only a couple things that I’ve seen pop up a few times here lately…that I have first hand experience with that could save someone heart break. 

Over the course of our journey, I’ve learned that it’s best not to ever speak in absolutes. And what I see happen in a lot of groups is women so wanting to be supportive that they tend to give false hope by speaking in absolutes. It’s not done in malice, by any means. It’s done with only the best of intentions possible. But I think it happens because sometimes all we want to do is be encouraging. No one wants to be the one who is like…I think you need to be cautious, when everyone else is jumping up and down in excitement. 

Ok, so here goes…

1. Once you decide to chart, it’s going to take you a while to get the hang of it. It’s going to take a while to get use to waking up at the same time each morning. And your first few charts may not be very reliable while you get your groove down. So don’t worry about waiting for a new cycle to start! Just get a BBT thermometer and start temping, even if it’s mid-cycle. Just gives you more practice. 

2. A BBT thermometer really is a must. They read to the .00 instead of the .0 that a regular thermometer reads to. That matters when you’re looking for subtle changes in your body temperature. BBT thermometers are not that expensive. Seriously, you can get one for less than $5 at Walmart. (Ok, so mine is a $25 one from Amazon. But I started out with a $3 one from Wally World and just graduated from there.) So yes, while you can technically use a regular thermometer…you’re not going to get the full effect of charting using it and isn’t the point of charting to KNOW you ovulated?!

3. You can not, CAN NOT, rely on BBT charting to predict ovulation. You may or may not get a temp dip prior to ovulation. And even if you chart for 15 months straight with a temp dip the day of or before ovulation…your 16th month-you may not have one. Not to mention, a good night’s sleep, the air conditioner working really well, cooler outside temperatures, your foot falling out from under the covers could all cause your temp to drop. Here is my chart this cycle. As you can see, I’ve already had two drops…the first one I think was a good night’s sleep and the second one was the dog just not being piled up on me. lol I am still a few days away from a positive OPK and no fertile CM. So you can not rely on temp drops. Remember that charting is to confirm ovulation, not to predict it. It is used to show a thermal temp shift in order to confirm ovulation only.  

So if someone asks about a temp drop on their chart, make sure to ask about any other signs…OPKs, CM, CP, are they in their usual fertile window-that kind of thing. It may not be time to start BD’ing every other day just because they have a temp drop. 

4. What is commonly called an “implantation dip”, is actually a luteal phase dip. It is found in both pregnancy and non-pregnancy charts. It typically happens between 6dpo and 10dpo. During the luteal phase, after ovulation and before AF, the dominating hormone is progesterone. (That’s what causes the thermal shift you’re looking for in your chart.) So around 6dpo, you’ll get an estrogen surge which can cause your temp to dip. It got labeled “implantation dip” because it happens around the same time that implantation typically occurs-6-12dpo, and it does tend to happen in more pregnancy charts than non-pregnancy charts. I actually get a luteal phase dip probably 3 out of 5 cycles. And the first time it happened…everyone just knew that I could test in a couple days and get a positive cause that was an implantation dip. Just stay cautiously optimistic when you see your chart do it. Because it could just be a natural part of your cycle. This was not the first chart to do it, but it was a really good example of one, the higher rebound and all. 

5. Last, but not least…when a chart goes triphasic we want so badly to just congratulate right there and then. Because we all know that a triphasic chart can happen in both pregnancy and non-pregnancy charts…but I mean, come on. It’s a triphasic chart!!! It has to mean baby bump pictures will soon be a weekly thing, right?! Oh if only! Only one time did I ever respond to my progesterone supplement through my temps like this. Every other cycle that I took it, I had a normal biphasic chart. Fertility Friend let me know that I went triphasic at 8dpo. I tried so hard not to let my chart get my hopes up. But each morning, the higher that temp went, the surer I was. And then the bottom fell out-literally. I was crushed. And I think my chart actually got a lot of other people excited too. I think too many of us forgot that a really pretty chart doesn’t really count for much until there’s a second line on a test. 

So please, just keep in mind that when you’re speaking about anything TTC & fertility related-absolutes can be very heartbreaking. What’s the line from “Men In Black II”?! “The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie” Who knew a quote from a movie about aliens would apply…but it does! As much as we want to be nothing but excited and hopeful, we don’t want to give false hope. Take it from someone whose journey has taken them more years than there are days in the week…knowing when to stay cautiously optimistic is always a good thing. 

Before I turn in for the night, I would just like to give my deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to my fellow Texans. While we pray for Houston, please do not forget that Harvey demolished Rockport when it came ashore. Please remember that Aransas Bay, Corpano Bay, Galveston, and Padre Islamd were all devastated. East Texas, where I live, is expecting 10-15 inches of rain between Wednesday and Friday as Harvey moves up, finally giving the coast a break. Please keep Texas in your prayers. It is going to be a long, hard recovery process. We have a very long rebuild ahead of us. 

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