Oh my gosh, I’m ovulating early!
I have been monitoring my cycle very carefully for a while now and I’m now also using the Clearblue fertility monitor (CBFM) to track my ovulation. This way we will know the best time to try to make babies in my fertile window. There are also some timing strategies that can influence the gender of your baby. Essentially though, you want to track ovulation so that you can be sure to have sex on the your most fertile days.
The Clearblue fertility monitor tracks the level of 2 hormones in your urine. It is a digital test unit which analyses the test strip and displays a reading in the results window. The results are Low, High or Peak. These correspond to your fertile window. Low means you are not close to ovulation and have a very low chance of conceiving. High means that your body is getting ready to ovulate and you have a chance of becoming pregnant. Peak means you have a surge in the hormone that triggers ovulation and is the best time to try to conceive (ovulation follows 24-36 hours after this surge).
My cycle is normally 32 days – give or take a day. This month we were ready to start trying to conceive and planned our baby making sessions for a few days up to ovulation, expecting this on day 18 or 19 of my cycle. Sperm can survive for up to a week so having sex every other day up to ovulation can keep a steady flow of sperm in the cervix ready to fertilize the egg (ovum) as soon as it’s released.
We did the baby dance (bd) on Sunday (day 10), Monday (day 11), not Tuesday, then Wednesday (day 13). In month 1 of CBFM tracking my peak days were on days 19 and 20. Month 2 I had peak days on days 17 and 18. Month 3 – the month we starting trying to conceive (TTC) I peaked on days 14 and 15! Considerably earlier, meaning this time it was reduced to a 28-day cycle. After doing the bd on the night of day 13, I was still expecting that to be too early but low and behold, I took the fertility test on Thursday morning and it was right on peak (it had been low up until this point so I had no high days to warn me). The issue with it happening early was that I was going away on a business trip for 2 days, which meant we had no other opportunity to bd on the days I had my peak readings.
I have also been monitoring cervical mucus (CM) and got a small amount of watery CM on day 13 (Weds), which is a clear sign of fertility. However, I was looking out for the stringy egg-white cervical mucus, which I knew to be peak fertility and happens in conjunction with ovulation. I should have paid more attention to the watery CM as that is a sign you are approaching ovulation. It had been cloudy-white and sticky before that for 2 days and nothing afterwards (dry). On Thursday there was still no egg-white cervical mucus (EWCM), but on Friday I found a small amount of EWCM. Friday also showed as peak on the fertility monitor so I either ovulated on Thursday or Friday (the Clearblue monitor will always give you 2 peak days once the surge has been detected as ovulation happens 24-36 hours after the surge, it then always gives you 1 high day after the peak day).
Thank goodness I was using the fertility monitor! If I wasn’t, or even if I was relying on one of the other methods, I would likely have missed ovulation completely.
To peak on day 14 or 15 – OMG! There are now a couple of scenarios going around my head, because I ovulated early affecting my gender preference and my chances of even getting pregnant:
1) Doing the bd on day 10 and 11 was around 4 days before ovulation. If I hit the peak on day 14, hopefully there was plenty of gynaesperm (X chromosome, female) in the fallopian tubes ready to fertilise the egg as soon as it released. Potentially conceiving on day 13 – I’m yet to find out if peak on CBFM means ovulation could have happened the night before the test. In which case, the timing should have worked fine as we didn’t bd on day 12. Update: I don’t think this is the case as ovulation happens after the surge.
2) If I ovulated on day 14, we did bd on the evening of day 13, in which case, I could have been very close to ovulation. I would still have had gynaesperm in place ready but now also have plenty of fast androsperm (Y chromosome, male) sperm there too. We have been doing other things to sway, which could still help with the success of our preference.
3) We didn’t bd on peak days, in which case, chances of conceiving are lower full stop.
4) As I’m 34, the chances of conceiving are only 20%. Particularly as this is our first month trying, chances are slim. Therefore, despite any efforts, I could not be pregnant at all.
I was really surprised at my cycle changing like this. Only once before in the last year had I ovulated this early. I couldn’t believe it happened the month we tried to conceive and that we had planned and timed it so well up until that point. I did a bit of reading on early ovulation and found some really interesting research.
In a study by Greg Adams at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, it was found that sperm can actually induce ovulation in some animals (read the article http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/semen-ovulation-fertility/). Therefore, as we have been using condoms for the last year almost since stopping my oral contraceptive, this month as we were trying I obviously had no barrier and sperm was fully left to roam! Interestingly, when I looked back at my tracker to a previous 28 day cycle I had, we also had unprotected sex that month on day 7-ish (which was far to early to conceive on my normal 32 day cycle, or so I thought). I only have these 2 instances to go on but these 2 months out of the last year are the only times we have had unprotected sex, without a barrier. Do I think my early ovulation could have been induced by sperm? Yes, I think it could be linked. I will read up on this more and also check if it’s been mentioned on any gender sway forums.
On a final note, fingers crossed I am pregnant!