Temperature tracking help please :-(

(24 Posts)
Sparkle9 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:38:05

Hello everyone.

I have been tracking my BBT since I came off the pill in Feb. I've had blood tests and an ultrasound which confirm ovulation at least happens.

My charts show temps of about 36.2 before ovulation then a rise after positive OPKs to about 36.6. I have 5 or 6 days of this then a sharp rise to about 37.2 for one day before it drops again to 36.6 and then AF arrives at 7-8 days past ovulation.

Does anyone experience similar or know of an explanation for this?

I have a referral to a fertility/infertility clinic this week. I was so hoping this cycle would be different but the same thing just happened. Temp spiked up to 36.2 yesterday and is 36.6 again today and I'm spotting or it's light AF. :-(

I am not sure what you are asking. I would expect temps to be higher post O than pre O (as you described) and the temps post O can spike or drop (still normal). Some people also get a gradual drop in temps towards the start of AF however some people's temps do not drop until a few days after AF has started
The only thing I would be concerned about from your post is a very short luteal phase that could be preventing implantation

blamber Mon 28-Oct-13 16:07:48

I have been charting since coming off the pill too. My cycles are irregular, but I have had short LPs like you. Twice my temp just dropped on the day AF came and once it stayed high on the day AF came but dropped the day after. I have had spotting too with high temps.

Are your cycles usually regular but is it just your LP that's worrying you? The clinic should be able to help. Depending on the cause, they can give you clomid and/or progesterone supplements. Please let us know what the clinic says, especially since I have similar problems but no referral sad!

Sparkle9 Mon 28-Oct-13 19:21:17

Thanks for replying.

Not without - I understand that my luteal phase is very short and that is a problem but I was asking if this sudden spike then immediate drop then AF could mean anything. For example is it some sudden extra surge of progesterone that then dies off quickly? What could cause this? Would Clomid and progesterone correct a short luteal phase?

Blamber - I had to push for a referral. I had a lovely GP who ordered the blood tests and ultrasound. They left the surgery and the new one was going to do nothing because the results suggest ovulation is happening. He just dismissed my concerns about short luteal phase and suggested I have more sex. Hmmm.... I nicely asked to see another GP who was suitably worried about my short luteal phases and referred me. I'm very lucky that I live in an area with short referral times. I will post back after my appointment.

sparkle the temp pattern you are seeing is normal, I get the same spike and drop pattern
Low progesterone can be related to a short luteal phase. Clomid can also extend a short luteal phase.
A word of warning... Some consultants refuse to believe the short luteal phase exists or is a problem so you may have to be prepared to fight your case

Info here about a study on clomid and short luteal phases

Sparkle9 Mon 28-Oct-13 23:34:48

Thanks for the link. I appreciate it!

Sparkle I'm sorry to post on this thread as well (I've only skim read) - please, please, please - if you are found to be ovulating normally then don't take clomiphene - it REDUCES the chances of conception in women who ovulate normally and should only be used in women who are anovulatory (usually with a primary diagnosis of POC or PCOS, although it can work on occasion in women with underlying pituitary problems). There was a study published only a few years ago (<4) - I've not got a link but it's' googleable

blamber Tue 29-Oct-13 09:26:24

That's interesting! I thought it was used in short LPs, to make ovulation stronger and thereby lengthen the LP. But if you don't need it, then it's always best not to take it. The fewer meds you need the better!

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 10:04:48

I'm hoping to try just progesterone in the first instance to lengthen my luteal phase. I have contacted a private clinic who are happy to prescribe this but I would rather be under the local hospital's care and I don't have money to burn so I've been waiting until I've had my NHS referral. I would rather avoid Clomid due to the side effects and possible links to increased risk of cancer. I definitely agree that the fewer drugs the better! I'm a bit of a medication wimp!

ohfour the problem is identifying whether you are ovulating normally or not. I have an 8 day LP, sometimes 9, although my consultant denied it was a problem. I was told at the fc that my blood tests indicated I was ovulating and I do not have pcos. I was given clomid because where I live you have to try it before you can get IVF, even though the consultant said it probably wouldn't work as I was already ovulating. I got a bfp on my first round (although sadly I then mc). Given the OP seems to be in a similar position to myself, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss clomid. I had been ttc for 22 cycles at that point, no bfp up until the clomid despite no reason it should have worked for me.

To barking's point, temps and day 21 tests may indicate you are ovulating when actually you are not
lufs which is why clomid can and does work in people who appear to be ovulating normally

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:28:04

I had an ultrasound show a dominant follicle and then a positive OPK and blood test. However I know that there is a condition that means the egg is never released even though those tests suggest it does. I believe it's quite rare and if the clinic suggest another ultrasound then I'll try to time it for just after a positive OPK to see if I actually ovulate or not. They are either going to check my tubes using an ultrasound or do the dye test under general anaesthetic. I would rather avoid the latter!

I suspect that even if I use Clomid then I'll need progesterone to try and sustain the luteal phase and then a pregnancy. What I've read suggests progesterone supplement have to be taken for some weeks until the placenta is functioning.

Yikes... Anyway I will see what the consultant says! Thanks for all of your posts. It's such a frustrating time but it's great to read responses.

Sparkle9 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:34:15

Well I had the appointment. It was with a nurse and basically a form filling exercise. Bloods and swabs were taken from me and a urine sample from DP. They want him to do a semen analysis next.

However we came away feeling quite down. The nurse was not at all interested in my cycles. She told me she "doesn't believe in OPKs because they are not accurate and not recommended." Fine... But she later went on to say that they use OPKs to time fertility treatments. Grrrr... So not that useless then!

She completely ignored my direct questions about short luteal phase and said the consultant might not recommend any treatment because my bloods suggest ovulation and the ultrasound was normal. Three times I asked her how long a luteal phase should be to allow implantation and three times she brushed it aside.

She mentioned stress affecting conception so I asked her for details about how stress affects the luteal phase rathe than ovulation (seeing as the former is what I am concerned about) and she did not answer. Just have sex every two to three days I was told..... Never mind the fact that is what we already do and it hasn't worked yet! Even if an egg was fertilised there wouldn't be enough time for it to implant before AF!!!

So we don't see any point in pursuing things at this clinic. Feeling very deflated. We are going to make a point of not doing anything else until after Christmas. Then it looks like it will have to be the private clinic.

I seem to be on the verge of tears today so please be gentle if you reply. However I am prepared to be told I am being somewhat unreasonable even though it's not in that topic!

Sparkle that's not unreasonable at all... Poor you, sounds as though you had a terrible experience. I'm not sure if it was private appointment or not but I would ask on the appropriate boards for clinic recommendations in your area as there seems to be a huge spectrum of the quality of care they provide. Sorry they weren't more helpful

Sparkle also I would recommend the elderberries thread in conception. A lovely group of ladies in similar situations who will offer good advice and sympathy x

DontCallMeDaughter Wed 30-Oct-13 20:52:56

I'm really sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Try not to feel too down, let them do the tests and then talk to them again when the results are in.

I donated eggs last year and they didn't use opks to time my cycle, they used internal scans which are a lot more reliable. My experience of opks and temping is that it IS unreliable. I got three days of positive opks and then it looked like I ovulated 2 days after the last positive. So a lot longer than 12-36 hrs after the first positive.

You have self-diagnosed your short luteal phase based on your temps. And temping can be unreliable too. I don't think the nurse should have dismissed your concerns but I'm guessing it's because they find all the home methods a bit hmm. We're all experts now we have the internet!!

When we struggled to conceive our 2nd, I called the fertility clinic where I donated eggs. They were really reassuring that all of the weird opks and temping I was getting was just because these things are unreliable. They knew my fertility was ok because I'd had all the tests and responded well during the donation so assured me it was just a matter of time. And they were right... But it took a year.

So I think you should give them a chance to look into your fertility using their methods and they'll come to their conclusions and then hear them out. You could be pleasantly surprised and they could really help you.

sparkle your experience sounds much like my first fc appointment.
No such thing as a problem with short luteal phase.
Opks and temping are a waste of time.
You know it can take up to 2 years to get pg as there's only a 25% chance each cycle?
All a paper ticking exercise so we could go off and have the tests. However, going all with the system eventually got us the clomid which got us a bfp (even if it didn't stick) so it might be worth it.
And when I went back this week to beg for Provera to bring on AF so I could take Clomid again it was a much friendlier experience.

Are you over 30 and ttc #1? If so come and join the elderberries!! smile

Missmidden Thu 31-Oct-13 21:08:53

Sparkle sadly it seems to be a total lottery as to whether you see someone who believes in luteal phase defects (short or full of spotting- both indicate a progesterone problem).

I have a history of secondary infertility which resulted in "unexplained " as a non diagnosis and a round of IVF this summer which lead to a chemical/ early miscarriage. I was not willing to go ahead with a frozen embryo transfer until a few more things were ruled out so ended up seeing a consultant gynacologist privately who will perform a hysteroscopy next cycle. However he took one look at my history of spotting for days before AF each month and said that if he had seen me first (instead of the local hospital who were utterly hopeless) he would have put me on clomid, monitored my cycle to time intercourse and then put me on progesterone supplementation. I am sure there was some degree of consultant arrogance, but with the rest of my history he was confident I would have got pregnant on this without IVF. I have told everyone else I have seen about the spotting and had it dismissed every time.

My only advice would be to do your homework and try to get to see a consultant who believes in luteal phase defects. I came to the conclusion a long ago that there is no consensus in the medical profession on lots of areas of infertility, so you have to do a lot of research and find the people who seem most likely to help you. Mumsnet and Fertility Friends are great places to start. The consultant I saw is based in Northampton (and sees NHS patients too) so if you want his details feel free to PM me.

Sparkle9 Fri 01-Nov-13 10:16:43

Thanks for the replies. I do appreciate it. You are all very kind.

I'm a few months off 30 and TTC #1. Can I still join the elderberries thread!?

The nurse vaguely mentioned Clomid in passing (not by name mind you!) but I'd be concerned about just taking this seeing as I've read about early miscarriages caused by lack of progesterone. Barking - are they giving you progesterone as well as Clomid?

DP is not keen to give a sample when we are unlikely to get anywhere with this clinic and I understand that. We will give it a few more months - and I will temp chart and use OPKs - and then seek out a private clinic in the new year. I have already emailed one nearby and, although they said luteal phase defect is controversial, they would be willing to prescribe progesterone. It seems madness to prescribe Clomid or take slices of my womb to test when it looks like I ovulate, my tubes are fine (apparently this showed on the previous ultrasound I had).... I'm definitely not a doctor but I do have a few brain cells and the ability to read and progesterone seems worth a shot before anything invasive or any toxic drugs.

Sparkle9 Fri 01-Nov-13 10:19:06

Missmidden - Northampton is quite far from me. How often did you have to go? I'm not sure how to PM on mumsnet but if you would PM me then that would be great. Even if this consultant is too far if I need to go often, he might be able to recommend someone nearby.

Yep Sparkle, the berries will make an exception for being a few months off 30!

No, not getting any progesterone, just the clomid.

meditrina Sun 03-Nov-13 04:42:10

When is the semen analysis booked for?

Even though you seem to be saying you want to park the whole issue until after Christmas, this is the one thing I recommend you get on to straight away.

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