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I saw the invite on my PR so I thought I'd stop over here and ask this question.
Can you ovulate without fertile CM?
I had my son on November 6th and I attempted to chart but he doesn't sleep well enough, so I've been doing CM and OPKs. I haven't had fertile CM so I'm pretty confident I can't be pregnant. I thought I got my period yesterday but I bled for about an hour and nothing since (it's been almost 24 hours).
I can't figure out what is going on. We'd like to use charting to avoid but I'm not sure how to do that without any indication of where in my cycle I could be???
Yes you can, but you can't conceive because sperm need cervical mucus to survive. In a cycle when ovulation occurs without any CM, it's an infertile cycle.
However, I doubt that's what has occurred in your case. It's very normal to have episodes of bleeding which are not menstruation during the post partum return to fertility. It comes from rising and falling hormones. It can be related to ovulation (hormones shoot up) or to an attempt at ovulation which failed (hormones crash down).
If you are fully breastfeeding (no pumping or bottles) and this bleeding occurred before 56 days post partum, it actually isn't related to fertility at all. If you meet the conditions for breastfeeding infertility (see the sticky), the chance of pregnancy is only 2% and there's no need to worry about charting until you no longer meet the conditions for BFing infertility.
If not fully BFing or if this bleeding occurred after 56 days PP, then you can certainly chart to avoid. It really is easiest to learn to do this from a certified instructor or course because this kind of charting will be different than what you were used to before baby. Having someone walk you through it step by step keeps it really simple. There are methods of avoiding which rely on CM only, so you don't need to worry about temps. They are just as reliable as temping. The Billings Ovulation Method is the one I teach, there is also the Creighton Model and the Family of the Americas Ovulation Method.
Hope that helps answer your question! Don't hesitate to ask if you have more.
I'm not BFing at all. I got my first AF with DD at 4.5 weeks or so and it's been almost 6 weeks this time. So would you say there is zero chance I could be pregnant?? I'm 99% sure but of course, I'm starting to worry since it's been longer than with DD (I know, all pregnancies/postpartum periods are different, but I can't help but worry lol).
Should I count yesterday's bleeding as CD 1 or should I merge the two cycles?
Thank you for your detailed replies. I REALLY appreciate the input.
Ok, if you're not BFing then the possibility of pregnancy depends entirely on CM. If you've had absolutely no CM so far (none felt and none seen), then pregnancy is next to impossible. Even if you did ovulate, sperm can't survive without CM.
If you have felt or seen any CM and had sex while it was present or within the 3 days after it stopped, there's a chance. For women who are not BFing, the first ovulation can occur within the first 6-8 weeks post partum.
Do not start a new chart as this bleeding could be related to ovulation. Consider it a sign of potential fertility, just like CM. Any time you have spotting/bleeding or any kind of CM you are potentially fertile while it is present and for 3 days after it stops. You can consider yourself infertile any time you have 3 days in a row with no CM felt or seen. Alternating nights are safe for sex as long as you stay dry. A change to CM or spotting/bleeding indicates fertility.
Does that make sense? Here's an example of a chart that shows ovulation bleeding:
Green stamps = no mucus
White baby stamps = mucus of any kind
Yellow stamps = infertile discharge (it takes 2 weeks of charting to determine that a particular observation is infertile.) By default, any CM you feel or see is potentially fertile.
You can pretty much ignore all that, but just look how the bleeding stays in the same cycle and ovulation is confirmed with the little "X" right after on day 65. The reason it's not charted as menstruation is because you have to confirm ovulation first. If ovulation has not been confirmed first, then it's not a true menstruation since it could be related to ovulation itself!
Does the visual help or make it more confusing?
Last edited by ShawnaCAN; December 16th, 2009 at 02:56 PM.
Any CM at all is potentially fertile, not just the watery/EW kind. We've conceived twice due to BDing on days when all I had was a bit of sticky CM. I think you can take an OPK any time of day, as long as your urine is concentrated enough.
Some women have infertile discharge. To figure that out it's really best to work with a teacher. If you had infertile discharge before baby, it doesn't apply now. You have to re-chart it after each baby because pregnancy can change your fertility patterns.
Last edited by ShawnaCAN; December 16th, 2009 at 06:39 PM.