Help with NFP--determining the beginning of Phase III

I’m looking for help determining the beginning of Phase III in my current cycle. I’ve read “The Art of Natural Family Planning” and have been charting my cycles since August. I got married in November. My first 3 cycles were 31-34 days and my mucus and temperature were fairly easy to track and interpret. I usually ovulated around day 18-20. Since then, I have had more trouble reading my CM, and the pattern isn’t always clear.

The following cycle, however, lasted 47 days (probably because I was stressed before my wedding). Thankfully, I entered Phase III a few days before our wedding!

I began my current cycle on November 17 (so it has lasted 45 days so far!!). I had very fertile mucus on days 16-20, but no temperature rise after that. So, I concluded I did not ovulate. I continued to have little mucus for the next several days. I had breakthrough bleeding on days 34-36. My temperatures ranged from 97.2-98.0 for the first 38 days of the cycle. But there were no 3 temperatures in a row that were higher than the six before them. However, I think I had a strong thermal shift last Thursday through Sat. Here are my temps from days 34 - 46

day 30 (Dec 16) - 97.6
day 31 (Dec 17) - 98.0
day 32 (Dec 18) - 97.9
day 33 (Dec 19) - I took it, but forgot to record it
day 34 (Dec 20) - 97.7
day 35 (Dec 21) - 97.8
day 36 (Dec 22) - 97.6
day 37 (Dec 23) - 97.7
day 38 (Dec 24) - I took it, but forgot to record it
day 39 (Dec 25) - 98.0
day 40 (Dec 26) - 97.9
day 41 (Dec 27) - 98.0
day 42 (Dec 28) - 98.2
day 43 (Dec 29) - 98.2
day 44 (Dec 30) - 98.1
day 45 (Dec 31) - 98.0

So, I think I have an overall temperature shift beginning on Day 39. But I drew my LTL at 97.8 (considering days 19-24–which includes 2 days I didn’t record my temp; unfortunately, my temp was at 97.9 and 98.0 the two days before that–do I need to use those temperatures?). I drew my HTL at 98.0. I think I have a strong thermal shift from days 41-43. Then the last two mornings went down 1/10 a degree.

I didn’t notice any mucus the past several days; except for a little bit of very tacky, white CM yesterday.

Can I go by temperature only and say I’ve entered Phase III?

My husband and I would really like to have sex tonight on New Year’s Eve. Do I need to wait for tomorrow’s temperature–if so, how high does it need to be?

Is it possible I ovulated back around day 20, when I had fertile mucus, but DIDN’T have a temperature rise and my breakthrough bleeding on day 34 was my period? (I usually have PMS and I didn’t then.) I like to rely on temperatures more because it seems to be a clearer sign for me.

I don’t have anyone I can ask about this; I haven’t gone through a class.

It’s really tough to interpret these temps without a chart.
For me it’s so much easier to see the HTL and the LTL and count back the days.

It honestly sounds like you’re “breakthrough bleeding” was your period. But I’m not an instructor. Just another Catholic who also uses CCL’s Art of Natural Family Planning.

What was your temperature the morning you had what you called break through bleeding? Was it lower? Was it lower the day before?

Can you upload your charts to the CCL website and get an interpretation from the instructors there?

Temp is only a secondary confirmation, NOT a main indicator.

I don’t have a scanner. I went to the CCL website, but I didn’t see a forum or a place to ask questions. My temperature was 97.7 the morning I had what I thought was breakthrough bleeding.

Looking at my chart, it definitely looks like I had a thermal shift beginning day 39. I just wasn’t sure if I could go by temperature only since I haven’t had any mucus since day 21.

I thought CM was more important for determining the end of Phase I/beginning of Phase II and temperature was more important for determining the end of Phase II/the beginning of Phase III. I thought a temperature rise ALWAYS proceeds ovulation.

As other posters have said, it is hard to interpret this for you. I don’t ask this to frighten you, but is it possible you are pregnant? You are at 45 days, which is certainly a long cycle. Your temp is in the upper range. You are experiencing some spotting, which is very normal with implantation. It might be worth looking into!

If you are, don’t fear. Rejoice. :hug3:

Thanks for the replies. I was really surprised by them, though. My cycle before this one was also long–it was 62 days. I am sure I’m not pregnant. My husband and I want hope to wait one year, but we would be happy if we got pregnant.

Does anyone think I can rely on this temperature shift?

I often didn’t write anything about CM when there was no CM. I know, I should write DRY and none. I checked it every day, but only noted it when there was some.

Anyways, here is my chart:
joshuasphotoblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/chart-2.html

CCL method does not rely solely on temps. It’s a combo of all three…cervix, CM and temps. Temperature shifts mean you have already ovulated and that is why you search for your peak day given the amount of CM produced and the position and quality of the cervix. You know you’ve ovulated when your mucus begins to dry up and you have at least three temps that are above or at your HTL.

I chart absolutely everything…even when I know I’ve ovulated and I when I’m menstruating.

I have been checking for CM a few times every day. The problem is that I have very little CM. This cycle, I only had a couple days of CM (they were 15 days before my temperature rise). How do I increase the quality/quantity of my CM? Are there certain foods/vitamins/minerals I need to eat more (or less) of? I just picked up the book “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition” so I am hoping to find an answer in there; but I would welcome your responses.

Since, I have very little CM, are we supposed to abstain from sex until I can improve the quality/quantity of my CM or can we go by the clear temperature rise I had a few days ago?

I also began checking my cervix. I tried in the past, but didn’t know what I was checking for or how to describe it. I think it feels closed and low, but I don’t know what open and high feels like. I did record how many inches in my cervix was.

I just had a look at your chart and to be honest it seems all over the place. There is a really good site called fertility friend and it will help you to chart and give free lessons on charting also it hosts a program with really good easy FREE charting system. Are you sure you are taking your bbt at the same time daily? Also have you been to a doctor about your long cycles? Don’t worry greatly though I had a couple of really long irregular cycles before conceiving my third child who is now 8 months. I did get it checked out though with a hormone blood test at the doctors which was a simple way to see if all was well with my hormones. The way I check my cervix is to put one foot on the bathtub: place in two closed fingers until I feel the top and entrance to my cervix. Slightly open the fingers and feel around the perimeter collecting some mucus from the centre opening of the entrance to my womb. It takes practice to feel the difference of cervical changes but you will in time. Are you collecting the mucus from there? if not it may be the reason why you dont observe much mucus. Please don’t worry. Perhaps the year wait is getting to you and you have natural worries about conceiving the first time. It’s all normaAl. I pray all will be well with you. For now enjoy your new husband sign up to fertility friend check you temp at the same time each day. I set my alarm for 6.20am and put a pen and notebook next to my bed with the thermometer. When the alarm goes just take temp write it down go back to sleep and chart later when you wake. God bless you :pray::wedding::angel::sparkling_heart::innocent::+1:

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