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Is TCOYFT a load of bollocks?

(12 Posts)
AliceScarlett Thu 14-Jul-16 13:09:02

NHS choices says DTD every other day throughout your cycle. Some people get diffed without EWCM. Other people never see a positive opk. I felt like I've been sold a lie... Overall does it really have any significant evidence base?

bananafish81 Thu 14-Jul-16 13:37:48

Charting helped me work out if I had actually ovulated. If I hadn't charted I wouldn't have known when my period was due - I could have gone on positive OPK but that can give false positives if you're PCOS.

I didn't get any CM at all - but that plus my scanty periods plus never getting a high reading on the Clearblue dual hormone OPKs suggested to me there might be an oestrogen / lining issue. Which it turned out there was.

Which meant although I was ovulating, there wasn't any way I could get pregnant naturally because nothing could implant

If I hadn't been doing OPKs or charting I don't know how I'd have known if I was ovulating, when, or got any indication I might have a lining issue.

Waitingformiracles Thu 14-Jul-16 18:07:46

I charted to avoid pregnancy for over 3 years successfully and then got pregnant within 2 months when we decided to ttc. I have unfortunately had several mcs since then but I believe there is quite an evidence base for the symptothermal method that tcoyf teaches and there are many people and communities who use it to avoid pregnancy and I think the book is probably geered towards this.

Im not hughly keen on opk's as they cant tell you for sure that youve actually ovulated and you can get false positives. I much prefer charting my body basal temperature but that might just be me.

Cervical fluid is on a spectrum and you are looking for what the most fertile cervical fluid you have no matter if it's only a little bit. Also some people don't produce a whole lot so may check cervix instead.

There no reason why you couldn't dtd throughout the cycle if you've no male factors plus charting or doing opks just to check you've actually ovulated.

Most of the research seems to be around preventing pregnancy rather than achieving it but I did find this literature review which was possitive although it does say more research needs to be done. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4216977/ ( you might want to skip to the conclusion and sorry it's not got a very nice title)

BipBippadotta Thu 14-Jul-16 19:37:03

I have a simmering hatred of that book, and 'It Starts with the Egg'. And 'Get Pregnant Faster'. My view is that they are all pretty much full of shit to make you feel guilty & paranoid, and the basic helpful stuff is out there on the internet anyway, for free.

That said, charting was helpful for me, so I could spot patterns (e.g. turns out I ovulate 4 days after my first positive OPK, not within 12-36 hours like everyone tells you. So we'd been timing everything wrong). I also found planning some nice evenings during 'peak sex week' & making an occasion of it far more sexy & less stressful than having to ensure we shagged precisely every other day in perpetuity. My heart sank when I was told by a fertility consultant not to bother charting and just have sex 'when we felt like it', because after several years of TTC, we didn't 'feel like it' terribly often. So then we felt guilty for not being horny all the time, in between grieving our dead babies and submitting our genitalia and bodily fluids for humiliating and intrusive inspections.

Other fertility signs have been less helpful. I've never had EWCM, but have been pregnant 5 times - including once on Clomid which is meant to dry up your cervical fluid. Also, I had a consultant who was able to see I had a lot of CM via ultrasound, so perhaps it's up there and just never comes down. I have tried and tried check the position of my cervix and I can never find it, so that has never been useful.

SquedgieBeckenheim Thu 14-Jul-16 19:47:29

I charted to avoid pregnancy for a few years, then charted and conceived. There is an evidence base there, and it can teach you a lot about your cycle and how your body works. You can also tell if and when you ovulated, OPK's only tell you your body is gearing up to ovulate. Sometimes your body gears up for it then stalls. HOWEVER - sometimes focusing too much on your cycle and trying to time sex can lead to higher stress levels which doesn't help you to conceive, infact stress can reduce your chances of pregnancy. So actually "just have sex when you feel like it" can take the pressure off and it just happens. As with anything - there's positives and negatives.

BipBippadotta Thu 14-Jul-16 19:56:22

If stress prevented pregnancy, women who are raped in war zones / living in extreme poverty / trafficked for sex wouldn't get pregnant. Just sayin'. wink

craftyoldhen Thu 14-Jul-16 19:58:14

Yes there is an evidence base behind the book.

But it obviously it only works for women.

It couldn't tell me my DH was firing blanks.

So in that respect it was a waste of time.

SquedgieBeckenheim Thu 14-Jul-16 20:21:43

I didn't say stress prevented pregnancy, but it can affect fertility by delaying ovulation, and make it more difficult in many cases.

bananafish81 Thu 14-Jul-16 22:26:29

My consultant used the war zones analogy when I asked if negative thinking and stressing could impact on the IVF cycle

He said stress doesn't cause infertility, but infertility causes stress

It's true that a burst of stress can delay ovulation, although not over a prolonged period of time (if ovulation is getting later and later then something else is likely to be going on) but just relaxing isn't going to magically get anyone upduffed

The guidance of 'don't bother with ovulation sticks and temping and just do it 2-3 times a week throughout the month instead of worrying about your fertile period ' is all well and good except that:
- if one or both of you really don't want to have sex then forcing yourselves to shag all month long, when there's only a max of 4-5 days TOPS in any month you can possibly conceive, is equally stressful as timing sex around ovulation
- plenty of women only discover when they go and get tests after not conceiving for 12 months that they weren't in fact ovulating. See this on here all the time.

Bip I also wanted to stab the woman who wrote it, when she said 'if you're charting and aren't pregnant within 3 months then go to your dr' - as though timing intercourse was all that mattered, egg quality and getting a chromosomally normal egg doesn't even warrant any consideration

The other awful one was 'The impatient woman's guide to getting pregnant'

THE RAGE

BipBippadotta Fri 15-Jul-16 08:55:38

Hollow laugh at the idea a doctor in the UK would do anything but roll her eyes and send you home to wait another 2 years if you complained of not being pregnant yet after 3 months of charting.

AliceScarlett Fri 15-Jul-16 10:15:06

So many people don't seem to get on with bbt either, I've never tried so maybe I should before I pass judgement. I've always just looked for CM and will get 2 days of watery/non creamy around cd15... I just wouldn't be surprised if a fertility specialist told me that doesn't necessarily mean I'm ovulating then.

NotSpartacus Sat 23-Jul-16 20:18:01

I think it's pretty good. There is a scientific basis for what she says. Charting helped me to know my body, to the point that when doctors told me i wasn't pregnant, I knew I was and that something was very wrong. Turned out to be my first ectopic. For most women I think it is good as it allows you to confirm ovulation rather than just spotting signs that it might be coming.

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