Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 41 and no ovulation?

I'm heading to the doctor tomorrow because something is not quite right. I've been feeling very tired for the past 6 weeks or so. I'm constantly cold. I've been feeling light headed from time to time. I'm on day 41 of my cycle, and haven't ovulated yet. Hoping it's something easy to fix (maybe I'm not getting enough iron?).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Preparing for Pregnancy: Folate

NaturalGuy and I plan on having kids in the next few years, and we'd like to be as ready as possible. In addition to the general requirements of good health, women planning on getting pregnant have a few extra things to think about, and folate is one of these.

What is folate and why should I take it?
Folate, also called folic acid, is a B vitamin that plays a role in creating new cells. In adults, it is linked to heart health and the prevention of cancer. In pregnancy, healthy levels of folate dramatically decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Spina bifida occurs when the unborn baby's spinal column does not close around the spinal cord correctly. Because the spinal cord is not properly protected, nerve damage often occurs, leading to lifelong disabilities. Anencephaly occurs when the most or all of the brain does not develop, and is almost always fatal. According to the Spina Bifida Association, supplementing with folic acid before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Charting Apps

I recently got my first smart phone, and I've ventured into the world of charting apps. I was surprised by how many choices there were. I wanted a free app that tracked temperature, mucus, and cervical position, and wasn't aimed at couples trying to conceive.
  • CycleProGo
    • Pros: Created by the Couple to Couple League, and it applies the rules taught in the Couple to Couple League courses.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I haven't been doing very much blogging (2 months and a LONG to-do list before the wedding!), but I have been reading when I have a chance. Recent favorites are "A Hard Pill To Swallow" and "Dear Newlywed, You're Probably Worried About the Wrong Thing".

I found a great website promoting NFP - https://naturalwomanhood.org/. I think it's exactly the type of promotion NFP needs - complete with great photos of young, modern women and couples. (Not a single '70's style hair-do!).

I've also been looking for a good NFP-friendly doctor. Having only moved recently, I don't have family or close friends to ask for recommendations. I'll be changing insurance plans when we get married, so there's that added complication. Googling hasn't been particularly helpful (why are all the lists from the early 2000's!?). I'm hoping that the local Catholic hospitals have recommendations? I'm not particularly picky - I just want a doctor who is willing to work with us and go along with the NFP details, although obviously it would be nice to work with a supportive expert!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Does previous use of hormonal contraception affect future fertility?

Hormonal contraception obviously effects a woman's fertility while she is taking it (otherwise it wouldn't be a contraceptive!). When women discontinue taking hormonal contraceptives, often after years of taking them, they notice differences in their menstrual cycles. But it's hard for an individual to know if those changes are a result of the medication, or of age and lifestyle changes that occurred during the years of contraceptive use.

After discontinuing hormonal contraceptives, a non-trivial number of women find that it takes many months to return to a normal cycle, delaying pregnancy achievement. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

What if I forget to take my temperature?

Between traveling for the holidays and staying up WAY too late for New Years, I've forgotten to take my temperature, or gotten wonky temperatures, a few times in the past two weeks. I suspect I'm not alone :)

How to deal with missing data? First, consider where you are in your cycle.

  • If you've already observed 3 high temperatures and no mucus, indicating that ovulation has occurred, and you haven't gotten your next period yet, a missing temperature doesn't matter.