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How do we start TTC?
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How do we start TTC?

Hi everyone! I'm new to all of this and I need some advice on how to get started TTC. I apologize ahead of time because I know this post is going to sound jumbled and all over the place. I'm currently on BC and my husband and I would like to start actively trying this summer. I've started tracking my cycles since November. The first day of my period in November was on the 26th. My December period started on the 25th (christmas present lol.) So that is 29 days... I'm confused about what is considered the "first" day of your period. Yesterday, whenever I wiped I had brownish, light red spotting very small amount, not even enough to use anything. Today I actually used something as it was a little bit more, still light and not a normal heavy flow. What would you consider the first day to be? If it's today then that would be a 27 day cycle. When do I ovulate? As I seem to not really have a normal consistant cycle. Also, what is everyone experiance on trying to get pregnant right after stopping birth control? Do you suggest I stop taking the pills a few months before TTC or continue taking them up until then? I know theres no easy answer but Im concerned about how long it might take to conceive if the BC is still in my system, but at the same time im concerned about not taking my BC pills and getting pregnant immediately (I would love that by the way!) but my husband and I both agreed that waiting to conceive this summer is best.

Sorry for the length and I appreciate any advice you can provide.

God Bless,
Amy
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24 Comments Post a Comment
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376739_tn?1317669990
You have come to the right place and these are my favorite questions!

First of all, you never know how long it will take to conceive. It can take 6-12 months or it could take 1-2 months. You just never know. What I do know is that coming off of BC can mess your cycles up so it is probably best to stop taking the BC now so you can get a good idea of when you will ovulate.

Ovulation occurs 14 days BEFORE your next period. Most people will tell you that you ovulate 14 days after a period but that is not true for everyone. Your entire cycle is based on hormonal fluctuations. Under stress your hormones can get a bit crazy, thus pushing ovulation, which then makes you late for your period.

So here's the basics:

The first day of your period is the FIRST DAY of your cycle.
Most women ovulate about 14 days before their next period.
Once you know how long your cycles are you can subtract 14 from that number.
If your cycle ends up being 29 days you will most likely ovulate on CD15.

You can use a calendar to chart your fertility. I use a regular calendar and write out my cycle days next to the calendar date. You can also use online fertility calendars. I prefer mymonthlycycles.

It's always best to use more than one method of determining ovulation. If you think you'll ovulate on CD15 then you need to look for ovulation symptoms to make sure you are ovulating. One way is to check for discharge. GROSS, I know, but it plays a very important role in conception.

When you ovulate the cervix softens and as a result you will have a discharge. You'll notice it when you use the restroom. It will resemble egg whites. There might be a ton or there might be a little. That means it is time to BD (baby dance=sex). You can have the discharge for days but the last day of EWCM (egg white cervical mucous) is the day of actual ovulation.

Recap:
-First day of period = CD1
-You'll most likely be able to conceive between CD12-18 (always BD for that whole week, not just the predicted ovulation day)
-Check for EWCM (mucous) when you use the restroom. Believe me, you'll notice. It will be slimey.

Anyway, that's a lot of info. Please ask any questions!
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613536_tn?1294242047
I would strongly suggest reading Taking Charge of your Fertility.  I read it and it was absolutely fantastic.  It lets you know everything you need to know in regards to ovulation and ttc.  Just note that you ovulate between 12-16 days before your next period should begin... not 14 days after the start of your LMP.

I stopped taking my b/c in mid september and got pregnant in november.... but I was allowing at least 3 months for the pills to get out of my system (we got pregnant earlier than expected!!)

As for the first day of your period... I do believe they go by the first time you see red blood.... but don't quote me on that one.
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376739_tn?1317669990
Roke- I think it is the first day of actual blood flow (not spotting). The reason being not everyone has red blood. Some have pink or brown or a mix.

And yes, that is a great book to read. I basically summarized all their major points but you can find it on amazon or maybe even Walmart.
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688845_tn?1325185836
Wow you both are a wealth of knowledge! I certainly did come to the right place.

Thank you so much for the information!

I have butterflies just thinking about quitting my BC!
Did anyone else : )
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287246_tn?1318573663
I also suggest Fertility Friend as a website that is wonderful for charting BBT if you decide to go that route.  I used it for a year to avoid pregnancy and then just got pregnant in December our first try.  It is baby #6 for us, but it was the first one we got pregnant with intentionally and charting let me know exactly when I needed to do what.  I have a picture of my chart under my photos if you are interested in seeing what it looks like.

I agree with both Joy and roke.  They both gave great information.  But it is common to have remnants of EWCM just after ovulation.  It's kind of like left overs.  It won't be much and it won't be for long.  After ovulation has taken place, your CM will pretty much dry up until your period comes.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!!
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376739_tn?1317669990
Yeah, there's definitely more to the CM observation than I gave because it can get confusing. But Michele added valuable information. Post-ovulation CM usually is not clear like egg whites. It is usually cloudy.

See how this can get confusing? That's why using a chart, whether a calendar at home or an online one, is helpful. You can write CM on cloudy CM days or EWCM when you have the fertile discharge.

I have never taken BC so I don't have information on that.
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613536_tn?1294242047
The Fertility book has numerous charts in the back of it (and explains how to use them) for keeping track of your cycles.
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688845_tn?1325185836
Thanks for all the advice! Few questions:

Roke- You said you allowed for 3 months for the birth control to leave your system... Is that a general rule that it takes about 3 months for BC to leave your system? Lucky you that you got PG earlier than expected! I will def. look into getting that fertility book!

Michele- What is BBT Charting?

Joy- Sorry I know you probably already answered this but how long does someone normally ovulate for? If I ovulate on CD 15, why are the chances high that we could conceive on CD 12-18? Is it because of how long sperm lives or do you ovulate for a few days?

I am so clueless to all of this!

Also, I tried to use the archives so I dont bother everyone with these stupid, common sense questions but I wasn't getting the results I was looking for.
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287246_tn?1318573663
Amy,

Girl, you are not bothering anyone!!!  That's what this forum is for :)

BBT is Basal Body Temperature.  That is when you take your temps every morning to pinpoint your exact date of ovulation.

As far as how long you ovulate......You release the egg only once on one day, but sperm can live up to 5 days inside you in the right conditions.  I have seen some people say 5-7 days, but the fertility site that I charted my temps on said up to 5 so that is what I am saying.  So, if you had sex on CD13 and you ovulated on CD15, the sperm could still be alive in there and fertilize the egg.  The idea is to have healthy sperm waiting when the egg is released.  CM is def a factor and will def help you know when ovulation is approaching.  But BBT charting is the only way to pinpoint the exact date of ovulation.  Once ovulation has taken place, it is too late to conceive that cycle.

What me and hubby did was since I had been charting, I knew when ovulation was approaching.  So we started BDing on CD12.  We BDed everyday until I had confirmed ovulation by my temps.  I ovulated on CD16, so we BDed 5 days in a row.  It was exhausting but it worked first try :)  And again, my chart is under my photos under my profile if you want to take a look....
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688845_tn?1325185836
Im exhausted just thinking about BD'ing 5 days in a row haha!
My hubby will thank you! Im going to check out your chart now.

Thanks.
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189069_tn?1323405738
Couldn't have said it better than JoyRenee! Good luck! And never lose hope if you don't conceive right away!
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688845_tn?1325185836
Thank you for those words of encouragement!
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658868_tn?1247261350
I also heard one of my friends say that it took them 6 months to get the BC pills out of their system .. i guess, it would also depend on your body and general health. Your Doc will be able to give you more info, de4pending on what BC you are using along with your general health.
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688845_tn?1325185836
Thank you, DH and I decided that I would stop taking BC pills now so I can start to regulate and get my cycles back in order before TTC this summer. I pray that we are both fertile lol.
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621803_tn?1302891941
Amy- I would also suggest stopping birth control a few months before you start ttc.  As far as I know, with most birth control you don't ovulate, and it regulates your period , so charting your cycles while you're on birth control may not be as accurate as you like.  When I was on BC, I had a perfect 28 day cycle.  Then, when I went off of it (a year ago this month), my cycles were all over the place, anywhere from 2 weeks, to 36 days!  This is the first month that I've had anywhere near a "normal" cycle.  But, even with my cycles being all over the place, I did ovulate each month, so was still able to get used to the signs of ovulation, which I never had while I was on BC.    Good luck with everything!!!
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621803_tn?1302891941
lol....you must have posted as I started typing...I see you've already decided to go off BC!
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688845_tn?1325185836
Haha yes we posted at the same time. I am currently on AF now and scheduled to resume BC this Sunday but we have made the decision not to. Thank you for posting your experience. It worries me not knowing what to expect when I stop taking BC. Ive been on it since I was 15 because of how bad my periods were when I was young so I really don't know what to expect. I really hope they're not as bad as they used to be. Are you currently TTC? How have you been tracking ovulation?

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621803_tn?1302891941
I'm on CD 4 of cycle 9.  I was in a similar boat when I went off BC. I had been on it since I was about 17, and honestly didn't remember how my cycles were, so when they started getting all screwy I didn't know if it was because of coming off of birth control, or if that was just the way my body was to begin with.  I'm thinking though that its my body at this point, not the BC, since its been a year since I stopped taking it.  
I've been using OPK's since June, they seem to work pretty well...I always get AF 14 days after I get a positive, so I'm thinking they're accurate. I think I'm going to try tracking BBT this cycle too though.  Just one more thing to put into fertility friend!
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688845_tn?1325185836
I'm going to check out fertility friend, I've heard so much about it but haven't seen it yet. So have you been TTC for those 9 cycles? I hope I don't get too discouraged if it doesn't happen right away......
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621803_tn?1302891941
Yeah, I won't say it gets easier the longer it gets.  I still cry everytime AF comes.  BUT, I will say that it doesn't take up every single second of my thoughts anymore...I'm able to actually have a life and ttc at the same time, which at the beginning was a little hard. I'm sure I drove dh and my friends crazy with baby talk!  I've tried to just accept that it will happen when it happens.  It doesnt' make it any easier though when I get a BFN
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688845_tn?1325185836
Aw, I'm sorry to hear that.... We'll maybe we'll conceive at the same time  : D
imagine that...
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376739_tn?1317669990
Amy, Michele answered the question for you but I wanted to re-iterate what she said.

The reason I said your fertile window would probably be CD12-18 is because ovulation is always a guess unless you're charting and know your body very well. Some women can feel themselves ovulate (like a pinching on one ovary), too.

Also, sperm can live up to 5-7 days so it's always good to have sex over the course of a week or so. There is only about a 48-hour opportunity to get pregnant every cycle. MOST eggs die within 24 hours while some within 48 hours.

I hope that helps!
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486578_tn?1232913850
hi sweetie and congrats on deciding to ttc. its really exciting but can be stressful, number 1 thing i want to get across is to NOT GET STRESSED if u dont get pregs right away, i should listen to my own advice, but this is so important to know right away, also, i love this website, its WWW.BABYMED.COM   its an awesome webiste, they have pregnancy tests available for a dollar, i havent tried them, but ive heard that they work, umm and when u go on there, they actually have a calender just in case u forget what renee has said, its an ovulation calender, u actually entire first day of last period n how many days ur cycle is, n it calculates it for u and its pretty kool even tells u when ur next period is expected fyi, to get there, go on website, then click on babymed toold, then in the middle of the screen ur gonna click on ovulation & fertility calendar. i found that to be really helpful. i would say to get off bc now because the hormones in the pill change ur period and make it more regular, so it might change a tiny bit from what its at now when u get off, and try to keep track that way, itll be alot easier once the summer comes around, ull be a step ahead, jsut use protection till then, another thing, its sounds gross, but peoploe think that lubs are safe (sperm friendly) but none of them really are, there is 1 out there made specifically made to help couples that are ttc, u order this product from the website, its called  WWW.PRESEED.COM   lol, c i told u it sounds funny, but anyway, u use that beofre yo uhave intercourse, and they also say that studies show that oral sex (saliva) isNOT sperm friendly neither, so none of that when u are trying, anything i forgot lemme think a sec, lol. im sorry its so long,   just try to stay away from alot of caffeinne and candies that have cafeinne, like chocolate and hot cocoa, oh and start an otc prenatal vitamins, it doesnt help chances, but itll help u have a healthier baby, iron helps protect against any spinal cord birth defects like spinal bifoda, lemme know if i was any hep to u, nikkie
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688845_tn?1325185836
Wow thank you so much for all the detailed advice.... I'm going to check out that website now. I really appreciate it, thanks again.
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