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This is currently my 12th cycle off BCP and of charting. My cycles, were 'regular' right from the start, and within a few months I had a pattern of producing creamy CM 2/3 days before I ovulated on day 14/15, then a 11/12 day LP before AF showed up (so cycles around 26 - 28 days long).
This month, however my body is doing something really weird...
Got to day 11 in cycle and started seeing/feeling CM. Day 13 got cramps which generally lines up ovulation/temp rise so I expected to see temp increase on day 14 to indicate I had actually o'ed, but it never happened.
I am now on day 20 - for the past 10 days I've seen sticky, creamy and egg-white (first time I've seen that since going off the BCP!!) CM, had very wet sensations and have had cramping every day. Today has been the worst for cramping, mostly on my left side but on right side as well.
My temps have stayed low this whole time.
I feel like my body is trying to ovulate but isn't actually doing so.
We did move into our new house on the first day of this cycle and although I'm not feeling that stressed any more, I'm wondering if that has something to do with it (packing, sorting our mortgage etc - not that fun)?
I'm just finding this really frustrating as I normally have such regular cycles - this isn't normal for me!! And producing this much CM isn't normal for me either...
What do you think? I don't chart online so can't link to anything...
First of all, it's very very normal for it to take anywhere from 3-18 months for the cervix to heal completely from the effects of the BCP and start producing good quality CM again. So the fact that you're noticing an increase in the quantity and quality of the CM is normal.
Secondly, stress can definitely delay ovulation - even after the stress has passed. Sometimes the effect of a big stress (like moving!) can last a few weeks after it's over. Hang in there! Stick to the pre-ovulatory rules of your method and see what happens. Your body might keep trying until you do ovulate, or you might have a bleed. And remember, if you have bleeding without ovulation first...consider it potentially fertile! It's not menstruation!
Question though: if I did start bleeding without ovulating, would I consider that day 1 of a new cycle? Or would I'd continue charting as though it wasn't menstruation?
No, you don't count it as day 1 and it's not a new cycle. You would chart it the same way as a mucus interruption...potentially fertile as long as there is bleeding and until you have 3 days of Basic Infertile Pattern (or whatever you method calls this) before considering yourself infertile. The reason for that is because bleeding can accompany ovulation. We know menstruation is menstruation because of ovulation first. But when there is no ovulation first, since it's not menstruation - it could be ovulation bleeding. So that's why it's considered potentially fertile.
Without a dry up, you can't confirm ovulation with the mucus pattern. If you're still getting wet feelings, I would be very suspect of your thermal shift. Do you have 3 temps which are 0.4 degrees higher than the previous 6 temps? Do you have an online chart we could see?
No, I don't chart online, only paper. I found FF really confusing so just stick to paper!
My temp shifts have never been huge since starting charting 12 cycles ago. My pre-ovulation temps are generally 36.3 - 36.5 and my temps after ovulating are 36.7 - 36.9. I did question that with my instructor but she said all my other 'signs' where indicating I was ovulating.
Looking back at my chart, I 'think' I ovulated on day 21, and it's now day 30. All temps have been high since day 21... And are 'obviously' higher then the previous 6 temps (from days 15 - 20).
It's really hard to evaluate the CM pattern or the thermal shift without actually seeing the data from each day. A weak shift isn't a big deal if your CM pattern is obvious, but if the CM pattern doesn't confirm ovulation - you can't use a weak shift to trump that and assume ovulation has occurred. I think this might be a good chart to go over with your teacher.
Hmmm... AF 'should' be showing up today or tomorrow if I 'did' ovulate on day 21 as I though. Think I'll see how this next month pans out, and if it does something weird as well, then I'll send my chart to my instructor.
If you are apprehensive about how the rules work in irregular cycles, that's a good thing to discuss with your teacher too. Sometimes when things are very regular, it's good to have a little reminder about how it all works when things are irregular too.