(image as seen on topleftpixel)
i’m a runner. it’s the one thing that gets my day going and it’s something i’ve done for over 20 years. i train once a week with the track club i joined last year and i was doing a couple of other speed workouts per week with my husband who is also a runner. after 4 months of not conceiving, we decided that i should cut down on speedwork training to once a week. afterall, the doctor said that running should not affect my fertility. but following ovulation days, intense workouts were causing me to have cramps later on in evening and it just didn’t feel right so now i’ve cut that out too.
my husband and i were reading this book called Six Steps to Increased Fertility and the first chapter was all about women and exercise. in this chapter, they suggest that women who exercise vigorously should try stopping all exercise for three months. man, that’s a long time for someone who is used to running every day. other articles like this one here, from Georgia Reproductive Specialists, suggest that there are different stages to exercise induced menstrual dysfunction and that you don’t necessarily need to stop having your periods to have a dysfunction. stage one is a shortened luteal phase (LP). that’s the phase in your cycle after you ovulate and your progesterone levels go up. most docs will say that you need to have at least an 11 day LP to allow enough time for the fertilized egg to implant into your uterus. mine is an average of 10 days (i’ve had an 8 day LP recently as well) so i’m thinking that i could be in stage 1.
it may be time to stop running completely. ugh.
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if you’ve just started trying to have kids and you want more detailed info on exactly how your body works and how you can monitor the changes it goes through during your cycle, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH is the best book to get you on the road to empowerment. if you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned in biology, you’ll get a good review and the best part is, you’ll learn more because now you actually give a shit! most importantly, you will learn how to take your basal body temperature. for those of you who don’t know, your hormones can actually make your body temperature fluctuate, and this is most easily seen at your waking temperature. progesterone is a heat producing hormone, so once you’ve ovulated and your progesterone levels go up, this will be reflected in your waking temps. right when you wake up (before you even lift an arm), shove a basal thermometer in your mouth (or your hoo-ha whatever you prefer) and take your temp. download a chart online and print it and you are on your way to BBT charting. websites like fertilityfriend.com allow you to keep a record of it online where you can share it with others in the online community and ooh and aah over your temperatures rising and falling as you go through your cycle.
but be warned! BBT charting can be extremely addicting and bad for your mental health! when you get to know your body, you’ll be able to tell when you’re about to ovulate, when you’ve ovulated and then when you are about to get your period. following this obsessively can lead to severe mental anguish and craziness. knowing your cycle too well causes you to live every day by what cycle day (CD) you are on and every day can start becoming a number.
don’t let your days become just a CD. make sure you have fun even while you are struggling to conceive.
by the way, i’m currently on CD8.
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I decided to start this blog, as a way to document the ups and downs of trying to start a family because:
1) i need an outlet for my emotions
2) this might be useful to someone who is going through the same thing
3) i might just send a link to my friends if i get to a point where i can’t even talk about it without becoming a debbie downer
The story starts here.
Me and the husband got married in December of 2007. We started trying to have kids in January 2008 – yep we didn’t waste any time. That was mainly because when my OB/GYN saw how old I was on my chart (I was 33 at the time), she said, “Oh wow, listen, I don’t think you should wait. You need to start right away”. That really freaked me out and so we really did start right away (now I have a new OB/GYN but anyway). But never in a million years did I think I would make it this far without ever getting one positive pregnancy test. You try so hard all your teenage years to not get pregnant and then when you actually want to get pregnant, you get nuthin! All your friends and everyone you know doesn’t seem to have a problem getting pregnant. It’s just you.
We started just like any newlywed couple does. You enjoy the freedom of unprotected sex. No planning, no specific expectations. You just enjoy. Then 4 months pass and you’ve still got nothing. So you buy some ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and you start charting your basal body temperature (BBT). To your joy you see that yes you are ovulating (check!), your temperatures do go up after you ovulate (check!) and all seems to be normal. So you start timing sex to optimize conception. But month after month, your period rears its ugly head and you are left feeling like a complete failure. This is where I am at today and this is how I feel every time I get my period. Welcome to my blog.
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