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Fertility Awareness Method - temping etc

(22 Posts)
MrsPigeon Tue 08-Sep-09 18:08:18

So on a friend's recommendation I bought a massive tome, 'Taking Control of Your Fertility', which explains fertility awareness method and the three main ways of checking when you're ovulating, focusing on taking temps and cervical mucus.

I'd really like to hear from anyone who's done this or something similar, whether it was effective or not. I'm planning on starting TTC in a couple of months and my periods are irregular at the mo as I came off the pill recently. I really like the idea of being informed about my cycle and knowing exactly when I ov, but it all seems a bit of a faff. There is sooo much info to put on the form... Plus I can never remember to take my temp first thing, and the book says to do it before you get up for accuracy.

So, anyone had any luck with this? I'd be interested to hear of any experiences, esp tips on remembering the bloody thermometer!

ImmaterialGirl Tue 08-Sep-09 18:22:02

Can't tell you about having any luck with it yet, as I've only been doing it for a month.

I am however finding it rather fun, if a bit of an obsession. It's very interesting discovering what's going on in your body.

I'd recommend registering with FertilityFriend as they do most of the faff for you. You just have to type in your daily temperature and other signs (such as type of cervical mucus. A bit icky) and the website tells you what's going on most of the time.

As for the thermometer, I have it right next to where I sleep on the nighttable so I can just reach out for it without getting up. I also keep a little notepad for jotting down the temp. Alarm is set for 6am each morning, when it goes off I do the temp without getting up and then go back to sleep for an hour.

MrsPigeon Tue 08-Sep-09 18:27:14

Thanks ImmaterialGirl - good tip about using FF, I will have a look. I have a feeling people do get obsessed by it, my friend certainly is! Would be interested to hear how it goes.

TheHappyCamper Tue 08-Sep-09 19:22:52

I would second fertility friend. I know a few MNetters that have used it to good effect.

I keep my thermometer on my bedside table too and try to do it roughly at 7am. Mine stores the temp so I don't even turn on the light jusdt wait for the beep! I enter the temp and cervical mucus info on the computer later

It's good when ttc as it makes you feel like you're actively doing something (apart from the obvious wink!)

Good Luck on your ttc journey

MrsPigeon Wed 09-Sep-09 07:40:51

Thanks HappyCamper! I totally agree about needing to feel as though you're doing something - even though we're not TTC yet, or perhaps especially because of that.

So I now have an FF account, seems much easier doing it online than plotting on a paper graph (flashbacks to GCSE maths were not pleasant).

pepperonipizza Wed 09-Sep-09 08:06:14

I would second Immaterial and Happy, Fertility friend is excellent and so is TCOYF. I have almost finished my first month charting, and have found it very, very useful to have all of my 'fertility' information written down, and very reassuring to see that I am actually ovulating. Reading TCOYF has really helped me to understand what's going on and when is an especially good time to BD. There is other info about cervical mucus, but TCOYF is soooo much more detailed. The pictures and descriptions really helped me so much (sorry if that sounds yuk!).

So in summary (!) I would really recommend TCOYF, temping and using fertility friend. Some of my friends initially said they thought temping was a bad idea and it would make me more stressed about TTC, but I have actually found the opposite to be true - I feel like I am actively doing something positive to help TTC.

Good luck wth it all MrsPigeon!!

carikube8 Wed 09-Sep-09 08:10:32

I did the temperature method - kept the thermometer by my bed and would take my temp as soon as I woke up each morning. Being a bit of a geek I then set up a spreadsheet so each morning I just had to input the temp. As I'm rather sad, as the months went on I worked out an average daily temp and set up a graph in the spreadsheet so I was pretty sure of when I was ov etc.

It worked for me - now pg with DC#2 (first month of ttc) having got pg with DD during my 4th month of taking temp.

Bleatblurt Wed 09-Sep-09 08:17:53

I use Fertility Friend - in fact DS3 is a FF baby. grin

I have found FAM as a great way to help get pg and a great way to avoid pregnancy when not ttc.

I don't even bother temping anymore as I've learnt so much about my other fertile signs that I just use those. But temping was fun for those months I did it - I loved all those pretty graphs! blush

sorky Wed 09-Sep-09 08:34:46

It will help you to establish whether you have a regular cycle and give a good indication of whether you are likely to be ovulating.

I have used it 4 times, 3 to choose the sex of the baby based on timing of intercourse.

What it won't tell you is whether an egg has been released. If you chart for 6 months with no pg, go and see your doctor with the charts. It will provide some useful info for him or the OB/Gynae.

I used to set an alarm and take my temp vaginally before I got up (it's more reliable), got the thermometer online as I prefer a farhenhuit one (easier to see the chart pattern)

I wouldn't recommend FF tbh, it does lead to obsession and I felt it made the process more stressful, possibly hindering it due to the stress.

Just have fun every other day wink

MrsPigeon Wed 09-Sep-09 08:50:30

Thanks so much for all those replies, it's great to know there are others out there who take temps and check CM, stops me feeling like a total loon!

pepperonipizza - I absolutely know what you mean about the level of information in TCOYF, it's really helpful. Although I did have to stop reading it on the tube after I caught one fellow traveller examining a fairly graphic illustration over my shoulder...

sorky - that's a really good point about not knowing whether an egg has been released or not. If you don't mind me asking, did it work for sex selection?

carikube & Butterball - I love the graphs too! & it's inspiring to have some FAM good news stories, thank you.

sorky Wed 09-Sep-09 09:12:03

yes it did.

A word of advice though....not matter how fascinating you find it, DH's do NOT like being called to the toilet to examine EWCM of the toilet paper!

Though why they don't is beyond me because it is amazingly interesting I thought grin, ....odd folk men aren't they?

MrsPigeon Wed 09-Sep-09 09:59:41

Indeed! I had conversation with DH about it -
him: why's it called egg white CM then? [rewarding himself on saying mucus without making a face]
me: because it looks like egg white.
him: oh. [thinks: that's gross but I am not going to say so or she will become stroppy. End of conversation.]
I think we are a way off examining it together! I read in TCOYF of a DH who takes his wife's temp in the morning and examines her CM with her and thought, can't see that happening in our house...

VeryAngryGusset Wed 09-Sep-09 17:08:26

So is there a preferred manufacturer for thermometers? - Boots had one at £12.99 and another one at £39.99 (which stores data). Should I shop around for different makes etc?

(Am already getting obsessed with the first step of buying the thermometer - this does not bode well...)

ImmaterialGirl Wed 09-Sep-09 17:15:37

VeryAngry I got mine off Amazon for £2.99

It works just fine and also stores the temperature. It's apparently the one is supplied to the NHS so can't be that bad...

sorky Thu 10-Sep-09 09:04:36

mine was the same one.

Just a little bit of good news...I lent my book and thermometer (cleaned obviously) to a colleague at work, she read the book, temped for one month and was pg the next!

I was on M/L by this point grin, so she asked if she could give it to another girl who was going to start TTC.
She was pg 2 months later.

Boss not happy grin

ShowOfHands Thu 10-Sep-09 09:11:08

Places like pound shops do the thermometers. You don't need an expensive one, just a basic digital one. Took me 14 months and a miscarriage before I bought TCOYF. Pregnant within 2 cycles.

I found the good thing with it was that I now know my cycle upside down and backwards so don't need to chart. Not ttc now as I don't want anymore babies but now use it as a contraceptive measure. No pill, no condoms, nowt. It pays to know your body.

ElusiveMoose Thu 10-Sep-09 21:57:40

Another big fan of temping and FF here. One thing that I'm not sure anyone else has mentioned is that if you do end up having any difficulties conceiving (as I am a bit, the second time round), it's really helpful to have a load of printable data to show your GP or whoever (obviously the chances are you'll be fine smile, but you know what I mean).

I disagree a bit about thermometers. I went for the Boots fertility one (it comes in a pink box with a little book as well, which I never used - about 13 quid I think). What I like about it is that a) it stores the data (so you can temp in the dark and go straight back to sleep), and b) it measures temps to two decimal points, not one.

As you're just starting out, I'd personally recommend using ovulation predictor kits as well for a couple of months. They told me exactly when I was ovulating, so that I could become really familiar with my cycle. Now, I'm confident that I can just rely on BBT and CM, because I feel like I've used the OPKs to double-check I'm reading the signs right. They're not cheap, though - about £20 for each month you use them. (They're also helpful if you have a DH like mine who would NOT be impressed at being asked to 'perform' every other day for weeks on end grin.) They don't work for everyone, though, as sometimes your 'surge' is too quick to pick up on the test - mine seems to last for two days, though!

MrsHappy Fri 11-Sep-09 07:37:11

I love FAM, and have used it both for conception and for contraception over 4 or 5 years. I am convinced that it once -literally- saved my life, when I otherwise would have had no way of knowing I was pregnant and the pregnancy was ectopic. Anyway it is a great way of understanding what is going on with your body.

I relied most heavily on temps and CM, and rarely checked CP. Toni Weschler does suggest putting a lot of info on the forms but that's because she is promoting FAM as a way of understanding your health more generally. If you are just using it for conception less info is fine. Also after a few months you may find you only need to do it in the week up until ovulation and then afterwards to confirm ov. So I ended up charting for about 2 weeks in 5 very often.

Good luck, I hope you find it helpful.

MrsPigeon Fri 11-Sep-09 09:54:07

thanks everyone for your replies - it's really helpful to know that other people does this and it works! You have inspired me to persevere.

sorky - maybe you have a lucky thermometer? grin

ShowOfHands Sat 12-Sep-09 18:01:38

ElusiveMoose, my thermometer tested to two decimal places and stored the reading. Cost a pound. grin

ElusiveMoose Sat 12-Sep-09 19:49:22

Ah well. That's twelve quid down the drain. (Twice, in fact, because I somehow managed to lose the first one I had, and I'm now TTC2, so I bought another one. Curses!)

FanjolinaJolie Wed 16-Sep-09 21:25:14

Same as butterball.

Both DD1 and DD2 are FF babies. I've been using Fertility Awareness for six years both for TTC and in between for contraception. I love Fertility Friend and can't believe it's still free.

FAM is the best thing I have ever learnt!

I no longer need to temp as I can recognise the signs of imminent ovulation. We are currently TTC no3 so hope it works for us this time too.

Good luck with TTC

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