NFP: fertile during menses?

I’m getting married next May. FI and I will use NFP sympto-thermal method (STM) if we decide we have serious/grave reason to avoid pregnancy. I have read quite a lot of CCL’s material (an old book with a daffodil on the front as well as some instructor manuals), but we’re holding out for a class we can attend together since we’re a four hour drive apart. No one seems to offer weekend classes!

I left my thermometer in the hot car on one of my visits, and I’ve been too lazy to get another one (actually I did get another, but it turned out to be defective). So until I motivate myself to get a new thermometer, I’m just relying on mucus and cervical observations. (Truthfully, the temperatures were kind of all over the place anyway. I set my alarm for the same time each morning, laid in bed for an 8 min snooze, switched sides and got out of bed after 8 minutes, and read the thermometer after a total of 16min. My temperatures would still go up and down by .3-.5 degrees and I never could identify a strong thermal shift. Granted, I only got 2.5 cycles of data before I broke the thing.)

So anyway, now that I’ve been paying closer attention to the other observations, it seems like my peak mucus day is day 6 or so. Interestingly enough, my libido is highest before and during menses :rolleyes: .
The thing is, my cycle is not that short- usually 30 days. Can anyone with more experience give me some insight?
Thanks!

IMHO, ya gotta figure out when that egg is dropping!! LOL. Have you tried combining all your info with an actual LH surge detector (ovulation predictor kit sort of thingie?) – that might give you another look-see into what’s going on, but yes, I know plenty of people who are fertile (by cm and cp) in their first week or so…

Yes, you can be fertile during your menses. You cannot detect the mucus during that time so you assume that it is fertile. When you get to the light days where you can detect mucus you can observe on the merits.

It is common for women to have early ovulation once in a while, but I find it odd that it is every cycle for you.

I’d suggest looking in to a Creighton class-- www.creightonmodel.com and www.fertilitycare.org

Also, you should take your temp immediately upon waking, don’t hit snooze and take it later. It can impact the temp.

[quote=1ke]Yes, you can be fertile during your menses. You cannot detect the mucus during that time so you assume that it is fertile. When you get to the light days where you can detect mucus you can observe on the merits.

It is common for women to have early ovulation once in a while, but I find it odd that it is every cycle for you.

I’d suggest looking in to a Creighton class-- www.creightonmodel.com and www.fertilitycare.org

Also, you should take your temp immediately upon waking, don’t hit snooze and take it later. It can impact the temp.
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Agreed on the snooze thing – once your mind wakes up, it cues the rest of your body to ready for waking, even if you go back to sleep for 8min…the heat starts to rise, your heartrate increases, your breathing increases, and your body begins to ready itself for another day in the trenches…before you even roll over to hit the button, shove the thing in your mouth…LOL

I put the thermometer in my mouth to warm it and lay in bed awake the first time the alarm goes off.
I put the thermometer under the other side of my tongue the second time the alarm goes off and start getting ready for work.
I take the thermometer out and read it the third time the alarm goes off.

[quote=vluvski]I put the thermometer in my mouth to warm it and lay in bed awake the first time the alarm goes off.
I put the thermometer under the other side of my tongue the second time the alarm goes off and start getting ready for work.
I take the thermometer out and read it the third time the alarm goes off.
[/quote]

So complicated! Geeze! :slight_smile: Just pop it in, take it out when it beeps and put it on your nightstand and snooze away. When we did sympto-thermal, I was always half-asleep while taking my temp, but still “awake.”

I also suggest Creighton. They have a very uniform and consistent way for checking mucus and their charting is so unbelievably easy. Furthermore, your fiance would only have to attend the initial traning session and then you would meet with a nurse for several follow-ups. Looooooooooove Creighton.

A place to get a lot of NFP experience on a charting question is the Delphi NFP forum. It is an open but firmly Catholic board.
forums.delphiforums.com/nfptalk/start

Temp when the alarm first goes off. With the digital thermometers, you can check the readout after you get up. However, my wife also didn’t like having to wake up enough to grab the thermometer eaither, so we went to mucus only observations very early on.

It sounds like you’re using an old fashioned mercury thermometer. Make your life easy and get a digital basal thermometer. You can find them in most drugstores for about $10. Pop it in your mouth and when it beeps you’re done.

[quote=1ke]I’d suggest looking in to a Creighton class-- www.creightonmodel.com and www.fertilitycare.org

[/quote]

I’ll also throw in a plug for the Creighton method, especially if you are getting frustrated with the temperature taking. It is much less complicated, and my wife and I also found it easier to make the transition back into observation and recording after our children were born. I can attest to its success, for both purposes!

i found temping vaginally to be more accurate for me and noticed shifts better

Even being an engineer, I just never have trusted those digital thermometers. But yes, I’ll check it out.

I’ll look into Creighton, but I bet FI and I stick with STM anyway. We’re both engineers, so the quantitative vs qualitative is a big plus… unless, of course, I just don’t have a normal temp pattern to see anything. I don’t think I sleep with my mouth open, but I haven’t ruled out vaginal temperature yet, especially if I go to the digital thermometer. And the classes together is really personal preference, so not having him present for the Creighton follow-ups (not that it would even be appropriate at this point) isn’t necessarily a plus.

Could the fact that I get up early anyway have anything to do with my trouble with the temperatures? I leave before 6am to get to work, and normally get a full night’s sleep.

Actually, I was just going to post a thread to ask about sleeping after you take your temp. Thanks for reading my mind! I have another question, too. I have had temps of 96.7 or 97 for approx. the past 8 mornings. I always take my temp at 6 AM. This morning my husband got up with my daughter at 5:20. He brought her to bed with us, but I never really fell back asleep. I took my temp at 6 and it was 97.4. I was hoping this was the begining of my thermal shift, but it probably wasn’t, was it? I am really getting anxious because DH and I haven’t had relations for over 2 1/2 weeks! (He’s going nuts!) we have the most serious reasons to avoid pregnancy, so I’m trying to be really conservative. He can’t stand it! We aren’t in classes because of his work schedule. I feel like I’ll never hit stage 3!!! :banghead:

The Creighton website would look a lot more professional without all that boldface text. I could barely stand to read it!

Maybe someone can give me a brief overview of the differences here?

[quote=RCCDefender]Actually, I was just going to post a thread to ask about sleeping after you take your temp. Thanks for reading my mind! I have another question, too. I have had temps of 96.7 or 97 for approx. the past 8 mornings. I always take my temp at 6 AM. This morning my husband got up with my daughter at 5:20. He brought her to bed with us, but I never really fell back asleep. I took my temp at 6 and it was 97.4. I was hoping this was the begining of my thermal shift, but it probably wasn’t, was it? I am really getting anxious because DH and I haven’t had relations for over 2 1/2 weeks! (He’s going nuts!) we have the most serious reasons to avoid pregnancy, so I’m trying to be really conservative. He can’t stand it! We aren’t in classes because of his work schedule. I feel like I’ll never hit stage 3!!! :banghead:
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I would guess between the actual added heat of another body in the bed, and knowing the other body is in the bed, I’d write that temp off and wait to see what tomorrow brings…(sorry!) – also, I think the rule of thumb is after 3hrs of continual sleep, your body has dropped to it’s lowest temp, so as long as you’re getting 3hrs uninterrupted, you should be getting an accurate read – as for trusting the digital thermometers, so long as it’s consistent with itself, that’s all that matters…right? And they have a memory on them too, so you can listen for the beep, go back to drooling, an when you wake up 30min later, the temp will held for you to look at…I never charted until I was home from work…then I’d enter the temp from that morning (since it was still “in” the thermometer’s memory).

[quote=vluvski]The Creighton website would look a lot more professional without all that boldface text. I could barely stand to read it!

Maybe someone can give me a brief overview of the differences here?
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Creighton is a method of NFP developed by Dr. Hilgers (www.popepaulvi.com) and it is mucus only. You do not temp or observe cervical position as you do with STM.

However, the CM observation instruction is much more structured than STM. There is a specific nomenclature for the observations-- you don’t just call it whatever you want-- and method of observation. Makes it much easier IMHO. I’ve been charting Creighton for almost a year and it’s very easy.

It’s highly reliable and I find it easier than STM. If you are going to stick to STM, you need a basal thermometer and you need to temp at the same time and right when you wake up.

Creighton also has the advantage of being use by Dr. Hilgers to treat infertility patients. You can send in your charts and consult with them if you have trouble conceiving or if your observations lead you to believe you have female problems.

Additionally Creighton has really good instructions for menopausal women, breastfeeding women, women who have continuous mucus, and various other “special” situation. IMHO they deal with these more effectively than STM.

[quote=vluvski]The Creighton website would look a lot more professional without all that boldface text. I could barely stand to read it!

Maybe someone can give me a brief overview of the differences here?
[/quote]

Agreed with the above post. Also, I like Creighton b/c it talks about the differences between types of mucus more (with more detail) and so if you drop the temperature thing (like a lot of people do, esp. when they have a baby) then you have more knowledge to depend on mucus-only.
Also, even Sympto-thermal says that the more reliable sign is the mucus and so if one is off then you should depend on the mucus anyway. So while sympto/thermal works nicely for confirming that you are correct in your mucus reading (IF the temperature is accurate regularly) but once you’ve been doing it for a while and are confident in the method and in your ability to use it the temperature just becomes a little overkill. On the other hand, if the temperature is not accurate and just isn’t working correctly for you then you are supposed to depend on your mucus anyway, so…

The real boon of using Creighton is that you get more education and vocabulary for understanding the mucus - the important one.

P.S. I totally agree about the Creighton website - who designed it?! Their books are printed the same way. I would redo the whole thing for free just to make it look as professional as they actually are. Oi ve.

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