FAQs - Answers to your most common TTC questions
We came up with some Frequently Asked Questions that newbies and old pro's alike might find helpful. If you have any questions or items you would like added to this topic, just let us know!Am I pregnant?
A question that many of us find ourselves asking but please keep in mind that the only person who can definitively tell if you if you’re pregnant is your doctor. A positive pregnancy test from a reliable brand (like First Response or Clear Blue Easy) is a pretty good indication, but we cannot tell you if you’re pregnant or not based on symptoms you may be experiencing. Keep in mind that nearly all early pregnancy signs can be experienced with PMS. Even if it’s not a normal PMS symptom for you, a new or different symptom is not enough to tell whether or not you’re pregnant. How Do I Know When I Ovulated?
You may hear us talking about DPO, or days past ovulation. Many of us keep track of our cycles and we know when we ovulated. If you aren’t keeping track of your cycle by temping, using Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK’s), tracking CM (cervical mucus), etc. you won’t know exactly when you ovulated. A calendar that you find online or via an app cannot tell you when you ovulated. Those calendars and apps use a basic formula: 14 days after you ovulate you will start your period (your luteal phase, or LP). You enter in how long your cycles are and the calendar estimates your next expected period then counts back 14 days and that’s the day or time frame it will tell you that you’ll ovulate. The odds of that formula being correct are not good. You may have a normal 14 day LP but you may not. If you really want to know when you ovulate you need try using OPK’s, temping, or keeping track of when you notice cervical mucus of an egg white or watery consistency.Ovulation Predictor Kits
An excellent tool when you’re TTC is an Ovulation Predictor Kit, or OPK’s. There are detailed instructions on how to take them in the box but there are some helpful hints to keep in mind. Try to take the tests at the same time every day. Do not take them with FMU (First Morning Urine), it is ideal to test between 11am and 8pm. Try to hold your pee as long as possible before taking a test, don’t drink a lot before testing. Remember the test line has to be DARKER or AS DARK as the control line. If you have difficulty interpreting the lines consider using a digital test, they take the guess work out of it.Temping and Basal Body Thermometers (BBT’s)
Your Basal Body Temperature is the temperature your body is when you first wake up in the morning after a restful night’s sleep. If you take your temperature every morning you will notice a pattern that coincides with ovulation. After you ovulate your temperature will have a sustained rise until you start your period. Or if you get pregnant your body will probably have a second sustained rise about the time you miss your period. Charting your BBT can tell you a lot about your body, you can tell if and when you ovulate, how long your LP is, and certain symptoms you might experience around ovulation and before your period. If you are interested in charting your BBT first buy a Basal Body Thermometer, it is different than a regular thermometer, it measures your temperature to a finer degree. Next we recommend signing up on Fertility Friend (http://www.fertilityfriend.com
). You can log on each morning and input your temperature and they will analyze your data and tell you if and when you ovulated. Fertility Friend also has an excellent online course (it’s short) to teach you how to temp. Their basic membership is free, they have a VIP version that they charge for but the basic membership works just fine. Temping isn’t very good at telling you when you’re about to ovulate, but it’s very good for looking back to see that you did ovulate and when it occurred. Some temping tips:
Make sure to take your temp at the same time every morning (within about an hour is fine). Take your temp before getting out of bed or doing anything. Some people find it helpful to set an alarm an hour or so before their normal wakeup time just to take their temperature.An excellent combination is to use OPK’s to tell you when you’re about to ovulate and take your temperature so that you can confirm when it happened.Choosing a Home Pregnancy Test (HPT)
There are many pregnancy tests on the market, some are better than others and some are definitely cheaper than others. It’s very tempting to buy the cheapest test out there, especially if you’ve been TTC for a long time and test often. But please keep in mind you get what you pay for. The cheap HPT’s you can find on the internet and the ones you buy in the dollar store (cheapies) can be fun, they make it easy to test every day once you’re 9DPO. But they are notoriously unreliable! Many people get a faint line on a cheapie but a negative on a more reliable test and end up getting their period. Alternatively many people can get a faint, faint line on a cheapie and a blaring positive on a more reliable test. They are cheap, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It’s fine to use those tests for fun, but if you ever get a faint line on a cheapie please don’t get excited yet. Use it as a guide to see if you should use a real test.
The tests we see good, reliable results from are First Response Early Results (FRER) and Clear Blue Easy Digital (digi). It’s fantastic to see the word ‘Pregnant’ on a digital test but sometimes they measure higher amounts of hormone than a FRER so it can take longer to get a positive. What most of us do if we suspect we’re pregnant is test with a cheapie, confirm with a FRER, and then a day or so later use a digi for further confirmation.When to Take an HPT
You may have heard of people claiming to get a BFP (positive pregnancy test) as early as 4-5DPO (days past ovulation) but those claims are difficult to support. Odds are those people actually ovulated earlier than they thought. We don’t recommend testing before 9DPO but keep in mind many people don’t get BFP’s until 14 or 15DPO or even later. The best advice to know when to take an HPT is to wait until you’ve missed your period.