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  1. #1
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    Default Charting to Avoid Volume 4 -- No babies right now!

    If you're just curious about charting, looking for answers about your chart, or if you are interested in joining our ranks or joining our discussion, we welcome you. (We welcome lurkers, too!) Feel free to browse through the wonderful information our resident charting "gurus" have prepared on this page and don't be afraid to ask questions!

    What We Do
    We are a group of women who are using charting, whether on paper and/or through a software program (Fertility Friend, Ovusoft, Babymed, etc.) to PREVENT pregnancy. Many of us have been on some form of hormonal birth control and for whatever reason, decided to stop in favor of charting our cycles. Some women here are just charting for a bit before moving to TTC in the next few months while others are using charting to avoid pregnancy longer term.

    How We Learned
    Aside from this thread, most of us have read the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler to learn about our cycles and how to chart. Others of us have taken classes and read the book The Art of Natural Family Planning by John and Sheila Kippley. Many of us have also read Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon, to learn a little more how food and vitamins affect and can improve our cycles. We encourage you to read one or more of the books about charting to enhance your understanding of how you can use your body's signs for safe, effective, and relatively low cost birth control.

    TTA Masters: Members, past members, and grads from WC who have successfully charted to avoid for one year or more:

    akacharlotte ~ Amy_Awesome ~ ADSigMel ~ Ani ~ bijouparvin ~ Camdynlyn ~ chinadoll ~ christie1979 ~ Clattercote (2 years) ~ eagleswings ~ elizabeth&doug ~ EmilyBronte ~ flygirl ~ FSUSammy ~ Heather 8> (5 years) ~ Hammie ~ Ivansbabe ~ Jess12/09 ~ jobride ~ PugLover (JulAmber) ~ JulesHK ~ JulesWed1025 ~ kanga1622 (2 years) ~ kemaji (2 years) ~ kissmary ~ Leilynne ~ Lege ~ LeslieandPaul (2 years) ~ LIZNKEITH ~ Mamacita ~ meagle (3 years) ~ mistytsim ~ mmeblue ~ motray36 ~ MrsKinnison ~ myhoni ~ Mystikal ~ PalmBch2002 ~ quartercentury (2 years) ~ Rach_in_Oz (2 years) ~ Reenie ~ Sabriel748 ~ sensibility ~ Sevilla (2 years) ~ sfaugustbride ~ sheartm7 ~ southerner ~ tgr68 (4 years) ~ tippyanddennis ~ tlew12778 (2 years) ~ TStanek
    Last edited by kemaji; 03-05-2007 at 05:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Charting can seem overwhelming at first--so much information, confusing body signs, and worries about whether getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom will affect your temps.

    We've all been there--it's normal to feel concerned that you're not going to be able to interpret your body. We all felt the same way the first cycle or two. But as you go you will gain confidence in your ability to interpret your fertility signs, and you'll find yourself knowing the answer to people's questions on this thread.

    You may also be surprised at how excited you get about the project of charting because of how much you learn about your body. As I like to say, "It's so interesting isn't it? Like this science experiment you constantly have with you to monitor!"

    These next few posts are full of important information about charting. If the explanations seem confusing or overwhelming at first, don't let that scare you away from the thread. They are here for those of us in the thread to refer back to when we have questions or are explaining something.

    Just because there's a brief explanation of checking CM or how to find your cervix does not mean that you shouldn't post questions about it. Please feel free to ask us if you're trying to figure something out (like whether the CM you're having is considered 'fertile') and we'll be happy to help you. The ladies on this thread are super-friendly and love answering questions.

    This thread can seem intimidating once it gets to a few hundred posts. But please don't let that stop you from joining! You don't have to catch up on the whole thread, just read the first page and then post to introduce yourself, whether it be page 5 or page 35.

    Special thanks to Sevilla, Heather8^), meagle and myhoni for their assistance in developing these information posts.

  3. #3
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    To start charting you will need a basal body thermometer (available at your local drugstore and Drugstore.com BBT for $12.79)



    Internet Resources:

    Printable charts

    NFP and TCOYF charts are available online for on-demand printing. You need Adobe Reader to access them:
    NFP chart
    TCOYF

    Family Planning Abbreviations and Acronyms

    Charting Software:
    Discussion of various charting programs
    DISCLAIMER: These programs should not be relied upon to interpret your chart for you. Very often they miscalculate the day of ovulation and the coverline. You need to learn the method well enough to calculate your coverline and ovulation days because ultimately YOU are responsible for taking charge of your fertility.
    www.fertilityfriend.com
    www.tcoyf.com
    www.babymed.com

    Message boards, chart galleries, and other resources:
    TCOYF Message Boards
    www.fertilityfriend.com
    www.ccli.org NFP~Natural Family Planning. The Couple to Couple League website - includes links to charting classes in your area

    Search for Charting-Friendly Healthcare Providers
    TCOYF
    NFP

    Explanations of Charting
    Helping identify the Changes in CM
    Different CF/CM Types
    Charting 'cliff notes' site
    Garden of Fertility

  4. #4
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    You will want to purchase one (or both) of these books to help you learn the method of charting. If possible, you may find that taking classes from the Couple to Couple League or other organizations that teach charting (listed in the appendixes of TCOYF) is very helpful. Taking classes can help you to learn to chart more effectively, plus you have expert instructors to advise you about your charts and answer your questions.

    Reviews of NFP/TCOYF Books by Sevilla
    Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler



    Pro's:
    * Very comprehensive book that focuses not just on charting but on female health in general, including fertility problems, pregnancy, understanding the menstrual cycle, and overall gynecological health.
    * Written in layman's terms for good reader comprehension
    * The explanation of how to expel semen through Kegels was very helpful
    * Excellent list of resources and nutritional considerations to aid in cycle regularity and pregnancy
    * Chapter on medications that can interfere with fertility signs
    * How to adjust temps (+/-.1 degrees F per half hour) is very helpful
    * Color photos of different types of CM help to interpret it

    Cons:
    * The rules for determining pre-o safe days are too limited-Not every woman can use the Dry Day Rule unless she gets at least 5 days of fertile mucus. If you're one of the people who only get 1-2 days of fertile mucus, then you could potentially have sex just a day or two before ovulation--and get pregnant.
    * The explanation of the rules for determining post-o infertility is not specific enough and readers of the book could misunderstand it. I have had cycles in which I was at Peak Day +4/5 when I had a temp rise, and following her rules I could have gotten pregnant. It should more strongly emphasize that you need both the drying up and 3 days of temp rise to be safe (it does say this, but I thought it was a bit ambiguous).
    * Not enough explanation of method effectiveness depending on which rule is used


    The Art of Natural Family Planning by John & Sheila Kippley



    Pro's:
    * This is the more technical manual about charting, it's is very specifically focused on teaching the method with scientific language
    * It devotes 150 pages just to the basics of charting, not including the additional 200 pages on special situations, pregnancy, and cycle irregularity.
    * Very specific rules and methods: 4 different rules to determine your last safe day for unprotected sex pre-o, and 4 different rules to determine your post-o infertility (this lets you choose which rules work best with your body)
    * 24 "practice" charts (actual examples of women's charts) with complete explanations and interpretations that cover the whole range of situations encountered
    * Detailed explanation of the Last Dry Day Rule (see below for the entire explanation)
    * 20 page explanation of effectiveness rates for each individual rule (there's a higher pregnancy rate with using the Last Dry Day rule than using the 5 day rule)
    * Excellent list of resources and nutritional considerations to aid in cycle regularity and pregnancy
    * Chapter on medications that can interfere with fertility signs

    Cons:
    * Doesn't address disorders like Endometriosis or PCOS.
    * Very dogmatic in its discussion of the "immorality of contraception" and sexual morality from a Catholic perspective
    * Information presented in a very technical manner-may be daunting to someone just learning the method

    Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition



    This book examines the ways that nutrition and vitamins affect the fertility cycle. Many women on this thread have helped to regulate their hormones and cycles by following the suggestions in this book and it is very insightful into how our everyday decisions about what to eat affects our fertility and cycles.

  5. #5
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    Figuring out your Cervical Mucus/Fluid

    Dry:
    1. Stick a finger in your mouth. Now look at it--this is what it means to be "dry." Your vagina always produces fluid that keeps it clean, this is different from the cervical mucus described below.
    2. On dry days you will not have any CM in your undies.

    Less-fertile mucus (can be part of BIP-Basic Infertile Pattern or can indicate that you are fertile):
    1. Sticky/Tacky CM: Stretches 1/2" or less before breaking. The strands that stretch are very thin.
    2. Globby CM (this is my special name for it ): White globs that form little peaks when i stretch my fingers apart. Varies in quantity from almost none to a good amount. Always visible dried in my undies in rectangular/lines like described in TCOYF.

    Fertile Mucus: Once you have any type in this category consider yourself fertile until your after your temperature rises--even if your fertile CM dries up for a few days. Stretchiness is very important in determining fertile CM. If in doubt, ask us and we'll help you with your chart!
    1. Stretchy Mucus: Stretches 1" or more.
    2. EWCM Mucus: Stretches a LOT (up to several inches) and is also very wide when I separate my fingers. Very similar to egg white.
    3. Watery: I only see this in my underwear when I’m fertile. It looks like I've "leaked" but I know it's CM. It makes wet circles just like TCOYF describes.
    4. Creamy: Looks like runny hand lotion. I get this in my underwear and it forms white spots or patches in my undies and they are sometimes in the middle of watery CM in my undies.

    Peak Day: Peak Day is what lets you use your mucus sign to figure out your infertile period after ovulating. Your peak day is your last day of more-fertile mucus before you start drying up. It is NOT necessarily the day with the greatest quantity or quality of mucus, just your last day before you start drying up (meaning you may still have mucus, it will just be tacky instead of EWCM). You only know your Peak Day in hindsight, for obvious reasons. The reason it's useful is that you crosscheck your thermal shift with your peak-day to make sure you're past your fertile stage so you can have unprotected sex.

    Figuring out your cervix
    Some women find it helpful to use their cervical position (CP) as a third sign in addition to CM and temperatures. If you do not find it helpful or your cervix does not seem to follow a pattern, don't worry about it. You don't have to use your CP and you will still be able to chart effectively.

    For those who are interested in charting their CP...here's some advice for common questions:

    1. I can't find my cervix!: Just like putting in a tampon for the first time, finding your cervix takes a few tries. Here are some tips:
    * Your cervix is the only thing "up there" so if your fingers are touching something, congratulate yourself on finding your cervix.
    * Angle is very important-Aim back at an angle for your tailbone instead of straight up and you will find it much more quickly. After charting for 7 months, I still sometimes I feel like I have to search around for it for a few seconds--but that's only when i put my fingers in at the wrong angle.
    * Check it during the afternoon or evening (it may be difficult to find in the morning because lying flat while sleeping makes it higher until gravity brings it back down)
    * During certain parts of your cycle it may be too high to reach so if you can't find it, try again in a few days.

    2. So I've found it, now what? It will take a few cycles to learn your cervix pattern. There are three different changes a cervix undergoes (find which changes are most obvious in your cervix and disregard those that don't seem to correspond):
    * Firm to Soft: A firm cervix feels like the tip of your nose, a soft cervix feels like your lips. When your cervix softens this may mean that you are fertile or soon to be fertile. Your cervix may also feel soft right after AF.
    * Low to High: Around the time of ovulation the cervix gets higher and after ovulation it drops down to a lower position.
    * Closed to Open: If you have not delivered a baby, then you might not be able to feel the difference between closed and open. The cervix opens slightly right around ovulation and closes very tight after ovulation.

  6. #6
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    TCOYF Rules for determining safe days for sex Pre-Ovulation

    Rule 1: You are safe the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle if you had a thermal shift 12-16 days before (this is so that you don't confuse menstruation with spotting or other non-menstrual bleeding)

    Rule 2: Before Ovulation you are safe the evening of every dry day.

    In order to use this rule, you need to have at least a 5-day patch of fertile cervical mucus (or if you have mucus all the time like me, at least a 5 day patch of more FERTILE mucus). It is better if you have a 6 or more day patch, but 5 is the bare minimum. (you need at least 6 charts to tell if you get this much fertile CM as a warning-many women only get 2 or 3 days, which is normal but not enough warning for this rule).

    The Last Dry Day rule says that you can consider yourself infertile as long as you don't have any mucus (or fertile mucus). Checking your mucus is very important, because the sperm lives less than 24 hours in a non-fertile environment but in fertile mucus they live for up to 5 days-some super-swimmers for even longer. This rule works best if you do your cervical mucus checks INTERNALLY.

    If you are going to use the Last Dry Day rule, there are some particular rules to follow so that you don't misread your signs:
    1. Don't have sex 2 days in a row-just every other day. This is so your CM sign isn't obscured by semen residue (SR). (Unless you expel the semen like Toni says in TCOYF and there's no residue the next day to obscure your CM sign)
    2. Don't have unprotected sex in the mornings. The reason for this is that your mucus flow may start that day, and you wouldn't have been able to tell it in the morning, and thus the sperm could still have a chance of surviving and catching the egg.

    NFP Rules for determining safe days for sex Pre-Ovulation
    1. 6 Day Rule: Almost all women can use this unless you have cycles 25 days or shorter (in which case you go to only CD5). It says that you can have unprotected sex the first 6 days of the cycle (CD1 starts with the 1st day of AF).
    ***You can use the 6-day rule right away. However, you should not go beyond it until you have a few charts to reference. Be especially careful not to take chances your first cycle off of BCP, as many women are extra-fertile in that cycle.***

    2. 20 Day rule (requires at least 6-12 charts for accuracy): Take your shortest cycle and subtract 20, the answer is your last "safe day." Example: If my cycles range from 30-36 days. 30-20=10. Thus, CD10 is my last day to have unprotected sex.

    3. The Doering Rule = earliest day of thermal shift -7. (Requires 6 regular(!) charts, ideally 12 charts) Using your chart history, locate the earliest day of thermal shift. Subtract 7 from the day and that is your last fertile day.
    Example: If you have 32-36 day cycles and your thermal shift has been between cycle days 20-24, CD20 is your earliest day of thermal shift. 20-7 is 13. Thus, CD13 would be considered your last infertile day (Last day of Phase I in NFP book).

    All the rules for determining "safe sex" times pre-O are subordinate to the Last Dry Day rule. You are still supposed to start checking CM by CD6 (according to the NFP book) while you rely on the other rules. If you get fertile CM super-early it takes precedence over everything else because sometimes our bodies do randomly ovulate earlier than normal.

    4. Last Dry Day Rule (most popular rule b/c it makes the fertile window a lot shorter. BUT it also has a higher pregnancy rate than the other rules).

    In order to use this rule, you need to have at least a 5-day mucus patch (or if you have mucus all the time like me, at least a 5 day patch of more FERTILE mucus). It is better if you have a 6 or more day patch, but 5 is the bare minimum. (you need at least 6 charts to tell if you get this much fertile CM as a warning-many women only get 2 or 3 days, which is normal but not enough warning for this rule).

    The Last Dry Day rule says that you can consider yourself infertile as long as you don't have any mucus (or fertile mucus). Checking your mucus is very important, because the sperm lives less than 24 hours in a non-fertile environment but in fertile mucus they live for up to 5 days. This rule works best if you do your cervical mucus checks INTERNALLY.

    If you are going to use the Last Dry Day rule, there are some particular rules to follow so that you don't misread your signs:
    1. Don't have sex 2 days in a row-just every other day. This is so your CM sign isn't obscured by semen residue (SR). (Unless you expel the semen like Toni says in TCOYF and there's no residue the next day to obscure your CM sign)
    2. Don't have unprotected sex in the mornings. The reason for this is that your mucus flow may start that day, and you wouldn't have been able to tell it in the morning, and thus the sperm could still have a chance of surviving and catching the egg.

    TCOYF Rules for Post-Ovulation

    Rule 3: You are safe the evening of the third day your temperature is above the coverline.

    Rule 4: You are safe the evening of the 4th consecutive day after your Peak day.

    **Both rules have to be met to be considered 'safe,' if you're going to go by temps alone you should have 4-5 days of thermal shift (according to the NFP book)**

    NFP rules for Post-Ovulation (Phase III)

    Each rule involves a combination of temp rises and CM dry up. Also, these rules presuppose determining your coverline by NFP rules instead of TCOYF rules.

    These rules (except the most conservative Rule C) are based on the principle that the stronger the thermal shift, the fewer days of drying up required. Conversely, the weaker the thermal shift, the more days of drying up required.

    Because each woman has a different CM and temp pattern, these rules allow you to choose the one that fits YOUR pattern. (For me, I use Rule B because I dry up 2-4 days before my thermal shift and have a gradual rise)

    Rule C (most conservative): The 3rd day or more of Full Thermal Shift cross-checked by 4 or more days of drying-up, whichever comes later.

    Rule K (more emphasis on full thermal shift): The 3rd day of Full Thermal Shift cross-checked by 2-3 days of drying up past Peak Day.

    Rule R: The 3rd day of drying up past Peak Day cross-checked by 3 consecutive days of strong thermal shift past Peak Day.

    Rule B (more emphasis on the drying up): The 4th day (or more) of drying up past Peak Day cross-checked by 3 (or more) days of Overall (or Strong) Thermal Shift past Peak Day.

    Definitions:
    1. Full Thermal Shift: Three or more consecutive days of temps which are at least .4 degrees above your lower temp level (pre-O temps)
    2. Strong Thermal Shift: Temperatures on three consecutive days are at least .2 degrees above your lower temp level and the last temp is at or above .4 degrees over your lower temp level
    3. Overall Thermal Shift (Gradual): Three or more temps are at least .1 degrees above the lower temp level, they are in a rising or elevated pattern, and at least one of them reaches at or above .4 degrees over your lower temp level.

    Temperature Only Rule ("Coming off the Pill" rule): You can safely have sex on the evening of the 5th day of thermal shift when the last three temperatures are on consecutive days and are at least .3 degrees above your pre-O temperature level.

    Coverlines

    How to draw a coverline according to NFP:

    1. Look at the six temps that you had before your temp rise, take the highest of those temps and draw a line across your chart - this is your low temperature level (LTL). (For me, my low temp level is always 98.0. My pre-shift 6 could be 98.0, 97.7, 97.8, 98.0, 97.9, and 97.7 and then i would draw the line at 98.0). Your pre-o temps should mostly fall at or below this low temp level, though there are exceptions like high temps during AF and a pre-shift spike
    2. To determine your high temp level (HTL), and thus your thermal shift, draw a line .4 degree above your low temp level (For me, my low temp level of 98.0 gives me a high temp level of 98.4)
    **A gradual thermal rise is one that doesn't reach to the high temp level right away, but the temps are above your low temp level

    This is how I calculate my coverline, though my NFP book refers only to low temp level and high temp level. I have no idea how FF calculates my coverline but it doesn't make sense to me because it's always really low, like this month it says its 97.7, although my low temp level is 98.0 using the method described above.

    How to draw a coverline according to TCOYF

    1. Identify the first day your temp rises at least two-tenths of a degree higher than it had been the previous six days.
    2. Highlight the last six temps before the rise.
    3. Locate the highest of those six highlighted temps.
    4. Draw the coverline one-tenth of a degree above the highest of that cluster of six days preceding the rise.

  7. #7
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    What to expect when charting after taking the pill

    Your body may hold on to some of the hormones from the pill, so it is generally accepted that the first three cycles post-pill may be slightly wacky because of these remaining hormones. After the 3-month mark, it is assumed that these hormones are gone, and any chart wackiness that remains is au natural.

    Seriously speaking, some of the things that you may see include inconsistent CM observations or observations that don't make much sense (e.g., continuous creamy CM, patches of EWCM at different parts of your cycle, mid-cycle spotting, etc.). Also, you may ovulate right on schedule; however, several women also experience short, long, or anovulatory cycles right off the pill.

    If you see these things happen in your first few charts, pay them no attention. Don't think that the pill has permanently damaged you (in 99% of cases of anovulatory cycles post-pill, the pill is NOT to blame), and don't worry that you may be observing your signs incorrectly. You could be 100% correct, but your body may be giving you a pretty hard exam! If these symptoms continue after charting for a while, then you may want to talk to us, do your own research, and talk to your doctor if they concern you because they may be symptoms of other things such as PCOS, etc.

    There are other things that you may notice once you're off the pill that are relatively common. Many women experience some random spotting, weight loss, heavier or longer-lasting periods; more painful cramps; increased severity of other PMS symptoms such as bloating, irritability, sore breasts; changed skin characteristics (more/less acne or natural oils), etc. However, you'll also learn more about your body and your fertility and have a much clearer idea of what is going on at every step than you ever knew before!

    Also, realize that the pill really has not permanently changed your body, and the cycle characteristics that you had BEFORE the pill are most likely going to return. That's why many women experience the aforementioned symptoms (because the hormones in the pill lessened the symptoms you had before). Also, if you had irregular cycles before, they will probably come back; but this time, through charting, you will know what is going on!

    If there's one thing you will learn in this thread, it is that everybody and every body is different. Try not to compare your charts too much to others, especially in the first months after the pill because those charts are not entirely reliable. Use this time as an opportunity to practice checking the fertility signs and to learn as much as you can, and then use charts 4-6 to get a strong handle on your individual signs, what they mean, and how to use them to avoid pregnancy.

  8. #8
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    What to do with irregular sleeping schedules

    Do you always get up at 4:00am to go to the bathroom? Does your DH wake up before you and interrupt your sleep? Is the dog full of energy and very LOUD for 1/2 hour before the alarm goes off?

    Worry not! The general consensus around here is that these things are bound to happen. Yes, TCOYF recommends that you take your temperature at the exact same time every morning, before getting out of bed, after at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and under the same sleeping conditions every night. This helps you get the most accurate temperatures, and can make your chart much easier to read.

    Here in the real world, we realize this isn't always possible. So, our advice is as follows:

    Whatever you do, try your hardest to be consistent. Do make a big effort to temp at the same time every day, and mark your chart if you temp early or later than usual. If the goodbye kiss from your DH wakes you up 1/2 hour before your alarm does (and you temp after the alarm), just make sure he kisses you every day!

    Also, do temp before getting out of bed. Most of us have noticed that our temps do NOT change that much by an emergency potty break, but it's best to get it done before you get out of bed to eliminate the risk of noise and of accidentally forgetting!

    Do use a basal body thermometer, and use the same thermometer every time, even when traveling. This reduces any "noise" that you may get from thermometers with slightly different calibrations.

    Mark your chart with anything out of the norm. If it was extra cold out and you used an additional blanket, note that on your chart. If your pajamas were in the wash and you slept nude, note that on your chart. Did you go out to party and went to bed super late last night? Write it down. Did you have any drinks yesterday at that party? Definitely write that down! Some of these things make a BIG difference on your chart, and you'll rest easier and we'll be better able to interpret that chart knowing what was going on.

    Lastly, don't worry if you forget one temp or sleep in late once or twice. It happens, and it rarely makes your chart totally useless. But remember that the most and best info that you can get really helps avoid stress later. (And if we're talking about the different between a BFN and a BFP, the LAST thing we need is more stress!)

  9. #9
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    Software analysis
    based on meagle's use of each for several months

    Fertility Friend
    Pros
    *Basic service is free and you can access it from any computer
    *In recording the cervix sign, there are separate options for high/medium/low and soft/medium/firm (this can be more accurate and also help beginners who can only ascertain one of the two parts of the cervix sign)
    *It is easy to override
    *There are more options for other factors/symptoms – you can record alcohol use, exercise, headaches, cramps, etc.
    *There is a choice for “watery” CM, which is a fertile type that is kind of creamy, kind of EW

    Cons
    *It is designed for women seeking pregnancy
    *Only two charts can be posted at one time for those choosing the free service
    *VIP service is more expensive than Ovusoft (but VIP is not necessary or recommended for TTAers)

    Ovusoft
    Pros
    *It is for women who are avoiding or seeking pregnancy – you can set it to show when your fertile time starts (based on last dry day rule, first five day rule, your typical CM pattern, etc. – however, remember not to totally trust the software for post-O fertility/infertility!)
    *You can show whether intercourse was protected or unprotected
    *There are features to calculate future fertility (cycle forecasting) and best time to conceive based upon a preferred due date (delivery planner)
    *The graphics are cool
    *The rules the software follows are more closely linked to TCOYF, since the software was developed for this purpose
    *There are reports you can print for your doctor, etc.
    *All of your charts can be posted at once
    *There is a pop-up box each day that details what is happening (hormonally) in your body depending upon where you are in your cycle
    *There is a pop-up reminder to do a monthly breast self-exam
    *You record your CM and your vaginal sensation (dry, moist, wet, lubricative)

    Cons
    *It costs about $40
    *You have to find it on the internet on CD-ROM or download it
    *The program runs from your hard drive and you “publish” your charts – if you are away from home and don’t have a laptop, there is no way to update your charts until you get back to YOUR computer with YOUR database
    *The cervix sign combines both aspects, that is low=firm, medium=medium, high=soft
    *It is not compatible with Macintosh/Apple
    *It is more difficult to override calculations
    *Your database could be wiped out (like any document on your HD) so you need to back it up frequently
    *There are fewer choices for other factors affecting one’s chart – no choice for headache, cramps, etc.
    *You must have Java scripts enabled to view others' web-based charts

    Summary reviewWhat finally made me switch was the recent update in Ovusoft’s software which made it possible to publish protected intercourse versus unprotected intercourse, some pressure I got from ladies on the Ovusoft boards (they’re a different bunch than the WC crowd), and the fact that I’m in this charting thing for the long haul – I will be TTA for at least two more years and then I will use charting to TTC. It seemed like a worthwhile investment, especially since it was only a bit less than two months of BCP copays. Fertility Friend is a good service for sharing one’s charts with others on the thread, but it you’re enticed by cool graphics, reports, features, etc. – then you’ll get tired of it pretty quickly.
    04.2004


    If you choose not to chart online, here are a couple links to places where you can download printable charts:

    http://www.fertilitynetwork.com/ovul...-calendars.htm
    http://www.babycentre.co.uk/general/7069.html
    http://www.babycenter.com/general/pr...nant/7069.html

  10. #10
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    The manager for this thread is kemaji.

    If you have stat changes or want to add to your stats, please use this format to the extent you wish to disclose your info:

    screen name/chart link (if applicable/wanting link) Post both WC & LJ names if different
    Real name: ___ (age)
    DH's/FH's/BF's name: ___ (age)
    Occupation: ___
    Married (date of or date planned): ___
    Started charting (date, if known): ___
    TTC: _date_ if known

    Please post updates in red so they are visible to the thread managers.


    If you have previously been a member and you do not see your stats on this list just repost them in the current thread and you’ll be added again.

    How to share your TTA chart with the rest of us

    That is, if you don’t mind potential chart stalkers

    How To Link Ovusoft Charts
    From the software, go to File --> Publish Charts to Web --> WebCharts Publishing Wizard

    Follow instructions to set up online account (username and password), then when complete, you will see a screen that gives the location of your web charts (for if you want to put it in your signature, etc.).

    Every time you update your chart (or once a day or once a week) from now on, just go to File --> Publish Charts to Web --> Quickie! and it will update your web chart with the new information.

    You may link your chart in your siggy, and/or ask to have it linked through your name on the roll call on page 1 of this thread.

    How to upload Fertility Friend
    Login to FF, you should be in "My Chart". Click on the "Sharing” button (4th button on the top). From there, click on the "Home Page/Ticker Setup" button. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, there will be a box on the right hand side that says "Available Charts". Double click on your current chart, then hit the button that says "Add Chart". Page should refresh automatically, and your chart should now be in a box on the left side (on the bottom of the page). At the top of the page, you'll see a red URL. That's the link to your home page, with your pretty chart on it. It's yours for the copying. Make sure that you click "Save Settings" if you make any changes to the settings.

    Also in the home page, you can change any settings, like to publish DTD or not. If you want to let everyone see when you've made a note in your chart (where a circle becomes a square) click on the “My Settings" tab.


    What do all those letters mean?

    Most commonly used abbreviations in here:

    Anti-grad: Is a person who was TTA and became pregnant. In the history of this group (started Fall 2002) we have never had someone become pregnant when following the rules. Every one of our antigrads can point to the rule(s) they broke when they conceived their bundles of joy and they're the first to say that charting does work!
    AF: Aunt Flow, your period. Lovely monthly (or nearly monthly) visitor, at least if you are TTA.
    BC: Birth Control
    BD: Baby-Dancing (sex). You'll see this term in the older threads... now we use DTD since we don't wanna be making no babies in the TTA thread!!
    CM: Cervical Mucus or fluid, also used for Creamy cervical mucus
    CP: Cervical Position
    DPO: Days Past Ovulation, or days into the luteal phase.
    DTD: Doing The Deed! (sex for fun, not baby-making)
    EWCM: Egg-White Cervical Mucus, the most fertile type
    HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
    FAM: Fertility Awareness Method, charting and using BC during the fertile period
    FF: Fertility Friend (www.fertilityfriend.com), which is a free on-line charting service. You can also have VIP privileges for a fee.**
    Graduate: A person who successfully TTAs and then moves on to TTC.
    LP: luteal phase, or the time after ovulation. This is usually determined by the time between the beginning of your thermal shift through the arrival of your period.
    NFP: Natural Family Planning, same as FAM but involves abstaining during the fertile period
    O: Ovulation
    pg: Pregnant
    POAS: Pee On A Stick (that is, take an HPT)
    TCOYF: Taking Charge of Your Fertility
    TTA: Trying To Avoid (makin' babies or getting pregnant)
    TTC: Trying To Conceive
    UDD: Unprotected Deed-Doing. That is, sex with no other form of birth control other than FAM. A true sign of a confident TTAer! ONLY DURING THE INFERTILE TIME (unless you want to be an antigrad)

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