Please help me to understand my cycles before I have my referral appointment

(12 Posts)
Sparkle9 Mon 28-Oct-13 11:58:36

Hello everyone. I also posted this in conception.

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. :-(

Oh Sparkle (((((hugs)))))

OK, I'm going to be a bit controversial here.

You came of the pill in February. Do you have regular cycles? If so, were they regular from the start, or have they become increasingly regular?

I have to admit that I am not a believer in tracking BBT - for so many couples this actually achieves little more than increasing anxiety. And, to be completely, 110% honest, eight months isn't an excessive amount of time to try (although it probably feels like eight years rather than eight months) sad My personal opinion is that you should probably stop doing BBT for now, at least until you are seen by the Specialists, and use the time to try to relax.

What I would recommend is that you get an appointment booked as soon as you can (this will hopefully put your mind at rest a little bit - as in something has been "done") and carry on DTD every two days.

There are so, so many couples who TTC, and, as soon as an appointment is made at a clinic, it "happens". Admittedly this evidence is anecdotal but it happens surprisingly often!

Good luck, and please feel free to PM me if you want to x

Sparkle9 Mon 28-Oct-13 23:39:22

thanks for the reply. My appointment is in a few days and I'm having AF now just 8 days past ovulation. This has been a regular occurrence and makes conception extremely unlikely and even impossible. That's why I've been referred. 8 months or 8 years of trying would still make this a fertility problem. Short luteal phase seems to be my problem and that's what's being investigated. I posted my temps to try and understand if the sharp second rise 6-7 days post ovulation then immediate sharp decline and AF could suggest any particular issue but someone in the conception topic has suggested this is a normal pattern.

Sorry sparkle - I didn't mean to upset you. What I was suggesting, however, is that if you have been doing BBT since coming off the pill in February, you may wish to stop BBT and stop thinking about TTC in quite such a scientific way. I completely understand if this is something that you feel you must do (i.e. to feel that you're actively "doing" something) but, if AF arrives 8 days post ovulation then it suggests that you are in fact ovulating normally.

The evidence may be anecdotal, but there are a great many couples who I have met who conceive naturally once they stop "over thinking" when to DTD etc. Now, I'm not saying that this is the case for you, and it may be that planning and doing BBT is what will put your mind at rest, but I am merely offering a suggestion.

I really, really don't want to upset you (and please forgive me if I'm being over sensitive but I sense from your last post that I've probably pissed you off - I apologise for this, I don't mean to make things any harder for you) so I'm going to step away from the thread.

I wish you the very, very best of luck and truly hope that your wish for a family comes true quickly xx

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 09:09:36

Oh four - definitely not upset by your post! Your first reply did sound a bit like my dismissive GP who doesn't believe a short luteal phase is a problem (compared to the one I saw before him and then the one who I saw afterwards plus the sonographer who was surprised and concerned about the date I gave as my last period when he did the ultrasound and could see a dominant follicle). But that's okay. I've read enough about short luteal phase to know that lots of people think it doesn't exist or affect conception. It seems controversial.

I wouldn't say I'm stressed about TTC. I just quite like charting. I did have a month off in August but find it easier knowing when I should be anticipating AF. Me and DP BD even when it's not ovulation time so the fun hasn't disappeared yet! Charting gives some element of control when TTC so I think that's helpful for some people, including me. It has also helped me to speak to my doctors and get tests and referrals which is great. I'm under 30 and if I wasn't charting and this short luteal phase couldn't be seen then I probably wouldn't have been referred seeing as blood tests said I ovulate.

But, no, I appreciate you replying to my post. It's an open public forum so it is good to hear other people's thoughts.

MyMotherHadMeTested Tue 29-Oct-13 09:22:18

Hi Sparkle, I don't have any experience of your specific issue, but from what I remember of BBT isn't your chart what you'd expect? So temp rise after ovulation, followed by sharp drop just prior to AF? Sounds like your LP is shorter than ideal (although I think implantation can occur from 6dpo so not totally impossible), have you tried B vitamins/ EPO, etc, to see if it makes a difference? Nothing more helpful to suggest, I'm sorry - hope appointment goes well xx

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 10:00:22

I seem to have a rise straight after ovulation then that is stable for about 5-6 days before it shoots up even higher for 1 day and then falls dramatically. It just seemed odd.

Hi Sparkle , sorry for the delay in responding - I've been doing battle with a certain bastard of a journalist today!! wink

I'm so sorry if you found me to be dismissive, that certainly wasn't my intention blush It just worries me deeply in case people put themselves under any more stress than they are under already.

Anyhoo, moving forward - I'm really glad that you've got (what sounds like) a supportive GP and I'm really glad that you've got a specialist's appointment coming up. Have you had LH and FSH levels done yet? (These should be between day 2 and day 5) It would also be really helpful, if you haven't already, to also have a testosterone and oestradiol at the same time. By the sounds of it you may well benefit from "cycle monitoring" in the first instance to pin-point everything throughout your cycle. This involves blood tests (usually 2 - day 2-5 and approx. day 21) and usually 3 ultrasound throughout your cycle to see exactly what happens when.

Being completely honest, and it's obviously completely up to you and DH/DP, but you might want to hold off on the private side, just for a little while, until you've had your investigations. The reason for this is because different areas have different levels of entitlement, and if it is found that you need a particular type of treatment, you may find that the NHS in your local area refuses to fund it.

If you want to PM me roughly where you live then I'm more than happy to help you to find the fertility policy for that area.

I really do wish you the very best of luck Sparkle - the not knowing, trying to second guess everything and accompanying worry is an absolute shit to go through. I hope that you get the answers you need.

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 21:28:44

Thank you for that reply. I appreciate the time people take to reply. :-)

I had bloods taken on CD 16, 24 and 30. It was just the progesterone that concerned my GP with only the CD30 one showing high enough for ovulation. I had a positive OPK on CD 23 so this made sense to me if not the doctor! However AF came after CD30. :-(. I'm not totally sure about the other bloods you mentioned but I'm hoping the consultant will take a closer look at the results.

I know someone who had fertility treatment recently within the same PCT as me so I have a good idea of what is allowed. I think I'm in a 'generous' area thankfully. Referrals have been pretty quick. I only first went to the GP in August I think. Bloods that month, ultrasound the next, clinic referral the next. The only reason we looked into private was because one GP had been dismissive and that did make me cross! However DP talked me into asking for a second opinion and that GP was brilliant so I got the NHS referral. I'll exhaust all options with that before pursuing anything else. I'm mainly hoping to avoid the extreme of IVF etc and want to try to stabilise and support my own hormones first - especially if I am actually ovulating.

Sparkle9 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:32:01

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!

MyMotherHadMeTested Wed 30-Oct-13 20:42:57

Sorry to hear it didn't go how you hoped - a friend of mine was similarly disappointed by her initial appointment, as she had obviously done a lot of research and felt really dismissed by the Dr she saw. However, when the sperm analysis was done it showed that her husband had extremely low motility, and therefore her cycle wasn't the main issue. Apologies as I don't know much about the process of fertility support, but if you did need some assistance (either NHS or private) would things like progesterone injections/ medication help prolong your LP? I'm sure I've heard of this as something that is done post-IVF transfer.
Anyway, you've had a tough day today, I think anything like this where you have to wait/ build up hopes is often an anti-climax. Be kind to yourself and have some treats flowers

HoopHopes Wed 30-Oct-13 23:21:12

Hi. The NHS fertility system is not always as smooth and as quick as we would hope for. You had amazingly good and quick referral times as the policy is 12 months of trying before NHS generally accepts and tests people under the age of 35 and for your gp to do the bloods, scan and referral so quickly and only 8 months from ceasing contraception is amazing. So when you hit the first wall of NHS systems it might feel depressing. The NHS will not refer you for fertility treatments until they have done all the tests. My story was a 3 month wait between every NHS appointment after. 4 month wait for initial consultation with a junior dr and we saw a different one each time.

There are basic tests that need to be done. A semen analysis is key as are more bloods, tests to check for STI's etc and all of which is needed before NHS fertility treatment. You could continue with this clinic and get the basic tests and diagnosis from them then decide to pay for the treatment privately? Or you could look for a private clinic and find one that specialises in your problem? Private clinics will still need all the basic tests that the NHS are doing, so having them done now can save time if you choose the private option.

My 7 year journey for my precious child was long, but worth every second of it now.

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