Figuring out Ovulation

Following my miscarriage earlier this year, my cycle has been impossible to predict. This has been a huge spanner in our plans and we’ve tried a number of things that haven’t worked. You can usually predict ovulation a number of ways, such as charting your temp, tracking mucous changes, keeping a watch for ovulation pain, and using various prediction tests. Unfortunately my cycle length was now swinging from 28 – 39 days without warning, none of our prediction methods were working, and the tests were not helping either. I was not producing enough LH to trigger those tests, and in the combined Estrogen LH tests simply recorded 10+ days of ‘high fertility’ and no ‘peak fertility’. Especially when you’re using a donor, this is beyond frustrating to try and manage.

We did two things that seem to have helped, firstly I started taking 1,000mg vitex every morning, which may or may not have helped my cycle straighten out enough that the prediction kits worked this last cycle.

Secondly I started tracking everything by hand – apps are useless in a situation like this. I charted all my cycles since the miscarriage, and then figured out when ovulation must have happened by backtracking from the next period. Ovulation almost always occurs within a window of days 12-16 before a period. I also tracked my cycle lengths and found my longest and shortest current cycles. Based on that info I was able to predict a large window for our current cycle – my predicted ovulation time for if I had a very short cycle, and if I had a very long cycle. Given that we were using fresh donor sperm and it can live in the body for several days, we could then arrange our insems for every 3 days within that window of a couple of weeks. Frustrating for all involved, but far better than what had been happening where insem dates were sometimes a week away from ovulation dates due to the vast differences in cycle length from month to month.

If you ever find yourself in this situation – firstly, you have my massive sympathies! And secondly, try tracking just your new, post miscarriage cycle and give yourself big windows of possibility to work in.

In other news, we have our first blood test back and HCG levels are excellent meaning that I’m currently pregnant (sometimes a pregnancy test will read positive but you’ve already miscarried), and that I’m low risk for some of the crappy possibilities such as an ectopic or blighted ovum. Excellent news! Possibly challenging is that being around sick little kids is not a great idea, and I had just signed up for childcare training and placement. Something else to figure out. But all things are good so far with our little frog, and our GP is over the moon and being really helpful about how anxious Rose and I are to know things are okay. 🙂

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