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How to know when to book for '21 day' test?

(29 Posts)
flyingplum Wed 01-May-19 11:38:43

Am currently undergoing blood tests for fertility issues, and need to book the second, '21 day' test. I have long cycles, so it won't actually be on day 21, but my cycles are also a little unpredictable/irregular in length, so working out exactly when my period will be is tricky. I can sometimes do it based on cervical mucus, but haven't had such obvious signs this month...last month I had a really long 47 day cycle, so perhaps this month is the same, but if it's back to my usual 35-39 days, then I should book for Friday.

What do I do if I go for the bloods on Friday, but then don't get my period? Do I book another appointment? I did ask the doctor this in my initial appointment, but he really wasn't very helpful...

RudyRoo Wed 01-May-19 11:42:33

@flyingplum I've just had them done too and was concerned about dates with irregular cycles. Last few months mine have been anything from 30 - 47. I just used OPK's and worked it out from when I had peak. I had bloods done 5dpo (closest day I could get appt) and my results came back all fine based on that. So you could maybe try and did a similar thing. Hope that helps.

VenusStarr Wed 01-May-19 13:45:24

Could you try tracking your temperature and use opks for this cycle @flyingplum? Do you know your luteal phase (time between ovulation and period)? You need to do the test 7 days before af arrives (not 7dpo, unless your LP is 14 days)

Hope you're OK, think we've spoken on here before smile

flyingplum Wed 01-May-19 22:17:05

I've never bothered with OPKs...I have PCOS so was told they weren't reliable and an exercise in frustration by a few people. An I labouring under a misapprehension?

Newbie21 Thu 02-May-19 00:01:35

@flyingplum I don't much about PCOS but for most women although cycle lengths can vary this is usually the pre-ovulation phase so the post ovulation phase (luteal phase) only usually varies by a day or two so if you were able to use OPKs and Work out your luteal phase which should be 10-15 days ish then the "21 day test" I think is meant to be done about a week before AF is due so you might be able to work it out or at least have a reasonable guesstimate

VenusStarr Thu 02-May-19 07:07:50

Hmm I think that you may get false surges of lh with pcos @flyingplum l. Measuring bbt might be the way to go

flyingplum Thu 02-May-19 08:35:42

I have a lot more CM today, and seem to be on a usual pattern now, just a week later. Think will call the docs and see what he thinks about bloods tomorrow as scheduled (for 37 day cycle) and then next week in case my interpretation of my body is right, and working out afterwards which results are the right ones...?!

RudyRoo Thu 02-May-19 08:42:51

@flyingplum yes I think that's a good idea. I have read on different threads cases of having to get them done 2 or 3 times in order to get the right time if they are irregular. So it might just be a case of getting them done and then again if it turns out the dates weren't what you thought. Good luck x

Newbie21 Thu 02-May-19 09:03:54

@flyingplum yes very good idea. Hope all goes well.

flyingplum Sat 11-May-19 13:21:18

Just to say, thank you for the advice all. I booked the test based on when I predicted my cycle would end, and spoke to the practice nurse, who basically said not to worry about getting it perfect, they would refer me anyway on the basis of my cycles. So we shall see what happens this week as to whether I got the day right based on avg cycle length, or if my guess on CM means i was a week too early...either way, got confirmation on thursday that they've made the referral, so guess i just have to sit out the list now.

VenusStarr Mon 13-May-19 13:24:08

Glad to hear they're being supportive @flyingplum. My referral wasn't too long a wait in the end. Was sent in February and had my first appointment last week. And I've already been booked in for some follow up tests with a review in September. Good luck 🤞

Explorers10 Mon 13-May-19 15:43:40

@flyingplum

my periods are usually regular, however done the day 21 progesterone twice and they both came back as low and it worked out my periods were both late both months I did it. So no idea if I actually ovulate or not. I’m putting it down to stress of tests and TTC. Did yours come back saying you ovulate?

flyingplum Mon 13-May-19 15:47:26

@Explorers10 - no idea. Text from GP just said they had the results back and in that basis has referred. I have such long cycles that if they are annovulatory I wouldn't be surprised.

Honestly, I thought I was ok with all of this, but have realised this week that it's getting to me a lot more than I thought. My and the OH have some talking to do, I think. Feel unsexy and a bit of a failure. Hadn't realised I felt that way, but all came tumbling out when was drunkenly talking to a friend and now can't stop turning it over on my brain.

Though...AF due soon...imagine those hormones aren't helping a whole heap.

Explorers10 Mon 13-May-19 15:57:41

@flyingplum

I know the feeling of letting it get to you, I’m exactly the same. I really need to let it go and relax and be positive but it’s really hard. I think the basis you are being referred is good news and seeing a specialist rather than a gp can tell you what is going on and what treatment you need. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long until you get seen. I’m hoping I can get referred too, seeing the gp on thurs

Newbie21 Mon 13-May-19 19:20:11

Totally understand and relate to how you are both feeling. I'm going for my follow up appointment tomorrow after my v low progesterone result but the timing of me testing was totally off and I'm pretty sure I didn't ovulate last last month but this cycle, so far, is a bit more normal so I plan to do another test for comparison. With a result of 4.2 I was told that the corpus luteum seen in my scan was not active - ie didn't ovulate. I'm just hoping that's not what's been happening every month. In the basis that I usually ovulate (or think I do based on OPKs) about day 14 but last month when he scanned it showed a corpus luteum already and then my AF showed up at day 20, the day after I had my progesterone test.... I'm pretty sure that test was not remotely accurate although maybe the off cycle indicates the problem.

I flipping hate all this. I'm going to try and be more positive about the whole thing. It's is really positive that we are looking into any issues and it may take time but in the meantime I'm going to try and enjoy my DH and family and plan fun things to do to take my mind of it for a bit.

MrsBookworm Mon 13-May-19 19:40:06

I'm in a similar situation with my blood test. I've been told my GP that I need to go on the 2nd day of my cycle- but it's at the hospital and only open Mon-Fri and my 2nd day is currently a Sat!

Explorers10 Mon 13-May-19 20:11:43

@newbie21 really sorry to hear you are going through the same thing. It’s really hard when you know that something about the test is not quite accurate and want to know if you ovulate or not. Where did you get the scan done? At the fertility clinic? My progesterone result was 1.7 first time and now 1.6 second time and I’m sure that I ovulated after the tests as my period was late both times. Good luck with your follow up appointment tomorrow. Let us know how you get on. It is positive that you are being seen to & I know it’s hard as if you are anything like me you wish things were more straightforward.

@mrsbookworm I can relate, I did one of my tests on day 20 which was a Friday as the surgery was closed over the weekend! I also wasn’t told 7 days before expected period, just it had to be done on day 21

MrsBookworm Mon 13-May-19 20:15:09

@explorers10 Do you do a day 2 blood test and then a 21 day test next?

Explorers10 Mon 13-May-19 20:20:53

@mrsbookworm yes that’s correct. I was told to do a blood test between day 2 and day 4 of my cycle which tests all these hormones: FSH, LH, estrogen and testesterone. I was also told to do a day 21 progesterone test to check if I ovulate. The result has to be over 30 if you ovulate. You might be ok to do day 4 of your cycle. Ask your GP if it has to be definitely day 2 of your cycle

flyingplum Mon 13-May-19 20:32:13

Honestly...the whole thing is messing with my head. Find myself now and then even wondering if I still want children and that our relationship is falling apart. But I know that's in part just stress and overthinking (and probably also hormones...)

Newbie21 Wed 15-May-19 08:56:48

Hi ladies, @Explorers10 the appointment went well. I see Dr Iskaros at the Portland. He is fantastic - explains everything so clearly and makes me feel so comfortable about it all. He said that my cycles beginning to vary meant more factors were being left to chance - time of ovulation, if I ovulate, egg being sufficient, sperm being sufficient, some reaching egg, implantation etc so he said what they can do is reduce the amount of chance in the process although obviously they can't eliminate it. So next cycle I start Clomid to regulate ovulation, I then have a 12 day scan to check Clomid is working. If so, I get progesterone injection and some other stuff which I can't quite recall (related to progesterone I think). Then if that doesn't all work then we consider checking Fallopian tubes and the IUI. Last step would be IVF if we think worth it.

My age is the main factor - 38. He said that we could definitely keep trying naturally and it may well happen but it could take a lot of time and as time passes there may be more issues with my cycle since it is showing signs of issues as I used to be clockwork.

Feeling much better. Hubby gives his sample today so hopefully that's all ok - results next week. That is through NHS. My next progesterone test is also NHS so i will do that anyway and pass on the info to Dr Iskaros.

Explorers10 Wed 15-May-19 13:25:44

@newbie21 thanks for letting me know how your appointment went. That’s really good news that your consultant and clinic are really good and helping you through this. So much nicer you can feel more at ease and relax a bit more. It’s horrible trying to relax when you don’t know what’s going on and not falling pregnant. It’s remarkable what they can do to help. I’m glad you are feeling much better, it’s a good positive step in the right direction and I’m glad it’s being addressed. Really praying the clomid and progesterone injection works and you get your BFP. I wonder if the same will be for me whether I ovulate as my blood results suggest I dont but i had unusual long cycles both times I did the tests. but it be good to get a specialist check as you say I didn’t expect the long cycles and then ovulation is hard to track as it varies between cycles.

Newbie21 Thu 16-May-19 09:02:01

@Explorers10 it definitely sounds like clomid May help you as it will encourage ovulation. It would be also be good for you to get a scan so they can take a look to see if things are looking as they should. I hope you get the information and advice you need. It's so hard not knowing what's going on down there and worrying that you miss your hormone surge etc it can be very confusing and frustrating.

physicskate Thu 16-May-19 09:27:45

@flyingplum - I definitely had all those thoughts about did I actually want a child that badly etc... even during my ivf cycle. It was the worst two and a half years of my life while ttc (and I've had some pretty dark times in my life) and it made me question everything!!

I think it's only or all in long term ttc to think that because your life (and you change) through the years of ttc. When you started ttc, it seemed like the 'right'(ish) time. And then it didn't happen. And situations change and you keep evaluating all of that time.

People who fall pregnant easily when ttc don't go through all those life changes while having all the heartache of ttc cycle after cycle.

I highly recommend counselling. But you definitely aren't alone!

And chances are that yes, you do really want a child if you're willing to put your relationship through all this turmoil, as well as yourself.

Good luck! And try to be kind to yourself. Do things you enjoy.

flyingplum Thu 16-May-19 09:40:28

Thanks @physicskate - you're right, that is exactly what's going on. I've thought about counselling...I started thinking about that recently. But am a bit scared to tell OH just yet before I really work out how I feel. It's not easy to have these conversations with him. He thinks I'm too intense and over analyse everything.

A colleague recommended a counsellor to me though, so I might think about it. I do need to speak to someone. I've been sort of just 'going along with it', I think. I don't know. I had a chem pregnancy in January, and I just haven't been quite the same since, but it's taken me a little while and a couple of other things to make me realise it.

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