I’m on the 3rd month of using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor (CBFM) to track my ovulation and fertile window. Almost a year ago, I started tracking ovulation via my basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus. I gave up with BBT due to fluctuations and waking up at different times/snoozing! I could not detect the variations at the time of ovulation or leading up to it accurately (only after it happened could I see the trend line). Therefore, knowing I would want to know before I was about to ovulate I stopped tracking my BBT. And sort a more reliable method tracking, the Clearblue fertility monitor.
I was happily going through my regular 32 day cycle, and this was the month we were going to try to conceive. We planned the days that we would try, taking in to account I had a business trip coming up. As it turned out, this fitted in fine with my expected ovulation and fertile window. I was expecting ovulation and a peak reading on my Clearblue monitor on day 18 or 19, with one or 2 high days on days 16 and 17. On day 13 I had a low reading, as expected. Then to my complete surprise on day 14, I got a peak ovulation result. I had not had a high reading at all and went straight from low to high. Day 14 was the day I was leaving for my business trip so a further attempt to conceive was out of the question!
For the best chance of conceiving and for trying to influence gender, timing is absolutely crucial and this sudden change in my cycle could have caused so many issues. We do have a preference but not to the extreme that I am mortified by what’s happened. But I wanted to share it with you in case others are potentially at risk of the same happening.
How to monitor ovulation and avoid problems with the timing method:
1. Start tracking early – Track your cycle for a good few months before trying to conceive (TTC). Even when pregnancy is a long way off in your plans (say a year ahead), start tracking your bodily changes now. It takes a bit of practice to recognize the signs of ovulation.
2. Track multiple signs – Use a variety of methods to track your ovulation. I have used different method each month and in the last month, wish I had been tracking 2 or 3 things at once!
3. Record your ovulation patterns – if your cycle is irregular, it can be harder to detect ovulation. See if there are any patterns in your cycle or after finishing a contraceptive, wait a few months for your regular cycle to start again.
4. Be cautious of other factors affecting ovulation – sometimes diet, stress and change in your regular lifestyle can affect your menstrual cycle. Be wary of this and ensure you are tracking different signs of ovulation to ensure you are spot on.
I can’t begin to express the panic that set in when I saw my peak test result. Going straight from low to peak on day 14 when my cycle is often 32 not 28 days was completely unexpected.
We did the baby dance (bd) on days 10, 11 and 13 – expecting ovulation on/around day 18. As I ovulated on day 14 or 15, there is a good chance sperm was in the environment at the right time to fertilize the eggs as soon as it was released. However, as we didn’t get the opportunity to bd again after I got the peak reading, we may have missed our chance for this month.