But TJ warnes:
I tried for a boy, and got 2 girls! I think it's bogus, myself. But now that I've had two girls, and they're SO different from each other, I don't care what I get for #3! What's funny is that I got the book from another couple who had tried for a boy and had two girls. I said "So, it didn't work?" And the husband said "Sure it worked, the author got his $6.95!!"
For a boy: (Somewhat easier than trying for a girl!)
Trying for a girl-
I hope this information helps. It came directly from the book and I personally know of two people who have tried it and had it work the way they wanted it to. Dr. Shettles method for female conceptions has a success rate of that is a tiny fraction under 75% and the overall success rate for male conceptions is just a hair over 80%. Goodluck to all!!!!!!!!
Susan_D also suggestss:
If you don't feel comfortable checking your cervix, TCOYF suggests doing Kegel exercises to help push CM down from the cervix. I've tried doing it this month and it actually works!
Carmeli gives the low-tech method:
Every time you make poopie (make a deposit), check the opening of your love canal! you'll be amazed at what you find! when i was nearing O, after washing the appropriate soiled area of my anatomy, my tissue showed an amazing gob of EW, and ever since i have tested this method and it works! (sorry, gross)
The alternative is just to do it when you go (check the tissue). the other alternative is do to it at the source (feeling the opening of the cervix), which was perfect for me last cycle, when i had hardly any CM.
Mucus is a normal healthy discharge which is produced in special cells in the crypts (folds) of the walls of the cervix (neck of the womb) as a natural sign of approaching ovulation.
Cervical mucus production is controlled by oestrogen hormones that are produced by the ovary and released into the bloodstream. The presence of cervical mucus allows sperm to pass from the vagina to the uterus, and also acts as a natural filter to ensure the healthiest sperm reach the uterus and, via the fallopian tubes, the ovum (egg). Changes in mucus can be observed at the cervix by the doctor or nurse and can be scored, as can changes in the cervix itself. A high score means that the woman is usually close to ovulation, and the mucus will show a distinct crystal fern-like appearance under a microscope. It can also be stretched into threads near the time of ovulation. Each woman can learn to observe these changes herself. This simple knowledge can often assist a couple in timing intercourse at the most fertile part of her cycle, or it may assist the couple when they are asked to have special tests (eg. the Kremer Test and the Post Coital Test, which are used to determine how well sperm can travel through the mucus). It may also assist the doctor in timing blood tests, or giving medication such as HCG.
Mucus flows from the cervix down the walls of the vagina and can be observed by the woman at the vulva (the outside of the vagina). She can learn to observe the changes by becoming aware of the sensation or feeling produced by the mucus, or she can observe the type of mucus by wiping the vulval area with toilet tissue before and after urination.
In a menstrual cycle of 28 days, at the finish of bleeding you will feel dry, no mucus will be seen, and the cervix will be closed by a thick mucus plug. After 2-3 days you may become aware of a wet or moist feeling at the vulva. No mucus may be seen or it may be thick and white or creamy. Over the next few days this consistency changes to become clear and stretchy (it may sometimes look like raw egg white) and it usually produces a slippery wet sensation. The last day of this clearer, wet, slippery mucus (referred to as the peak symptom in the Billings Ovulation Method) usually occurs within 24 hours of ovulation (release of the egg). Sperms travel through this mucus rapidly, so these are the best days to have intercourse to maximise your chances of conception. After ovulation the mucus becomes thick and/or cloudy again.
At the same time as the mucus is altering, changes are also occurring in the cervix and you can observe these yourself. After a period, the cervix is firm and closed and is usually easy to reach with a finger in the vagina. As the oestrogen levels begin to rise, the cervix softens and begins to open. It also tilts backwards and is higher up in the vagina and harder to reach. The mucus is now becoming clearer. Close to ovulation the cervix is high, very soft and the os (or opening of the cervix) is wide open with clear mucus flowing from it. After ovulation the cervix becomes firm and low again, closes, and is plugged by thick mucus so that sperm cannot penetrate.
The changes described usually take place over 5-6 days. Sometimes they can take longer and in a few women there may only be one or two days of mucus. Its production can be reduced and it may never become really clear. However, the sensation of wetness or slipperiness may still be present as a sign of approaching ovulation.
As far as not having any evidence after BD, I think when you are ovulating and your cervix is open, any semen will get farther on the course, if you know what I mean, so you wouldn't find as much. The fact that you found evidence later is probably a good sign. I hope so!
In TCOYF, she recommends doing kegel exercise to get rid of semenal residue the morning after BD. (This really works!!) By night, you would then have a clearer reading on your CM. When you record CM for the day, take the whole day into account.
Dawn also says:
This has been my experience and I assume every man is different. When DH and I BD, I lay with my behind under a pillow and a towel under me to catch any leakage ( about 30 minutes) Some seminal fluid will naturally flow back out... I find that SF ( seminal fluid) tends to be thin, and dries quickly on your fingers. Additionally, it has that "spermie" smell to it which varies from man to man but you know what it is! The morning following BD, I find that all the leftover tends to come out in a cold, thick, goopy, but mainly clear blob, and that I only get one of these "blobs". Fertile CM tends to be thicker, and not dry on your fingers quite as fast. I have found it to be warmer too, not as cold as the blob and without the sperm smell.
This is the reason why i have looked at several other references for alternative viewpoints. I have mentioned some really good FAM books in a previous post to add to our repertoire and i think you should look into them too if you have the time (there's this book called "your fertility signals" and another called "fertility" printed in UK). they have pushed me to take ALL fertility indicators into account and to keep BDing (and to push BDing for others) while all or even just one of the indicators are still ovulatory.
MFS also says:
Without taking my temps, I'm never certain when I actually have ovulated. I've always known that it doesn't tell me ahead of time when I'm going to ovulate (although with several month's patterns to look at, I am very regular, and so it really DID tell me when I can expect ovulation). But, as Carmel said, because different women ahve such varying amounts, consistency, etc. of CM, I think it makes SO much sense to BD until your temp rises. Otherwise, you can't be sure that you've kept going until ovulation. No, it doesn't tell you ahead of time when you're going to ovulate (unless you know you're regular from past cycles), but it really does help in the long run in telling you what's going on.
The month I got pregnant (since had m/c), I ovulated late because of illness and stress (4 days late). Because I don't have much EW CM, the only thing I could go by were those temps. We kept BDing. Also, the temps told me for certain how long my luteal phase was, and I began counting at the right day, not when expected ovulation was supposed to happen. I had 17 days of high temps AFTER ovulation (I normally have a 13-14 day luteal phase), and I knew I was pregnant. I was faintly positive on an HPT, but went in for a blood test, and it was positive. Temps helped a LOT!!
This got a little long-winded, but you have to understand, I'm the temperature queen - I can't go a day without taking BBT because of all the inforamtion it tells me. I don't get a regular day-to-day pattern because my DH works nights (and I have a VERY tiny bladder!), and my temps jump around quite a bit, but when I look at the trends, all the information is right there!
Lisa (aka lisarene) also says:
CM is important, but pay attention to your temps! I discovered that I wasn't ovulating on my peak CM day, but actually 3-4 days later when my temps finally went above the coverline and my CM was almost gone.
My temps would stay the same for 3-4 days, then I'd have great eggwhite CM and the next day my temp would rise .1 or .2 degrees. So I assumed I had ovulated on the peak CM day. But then my temps would take a sharp dip by about .6 degrees, and the following day they would go way up above the coverline and stay there.
By that time all eggwhite CM was gone, but by "fishing" I found that I still had some thick CM around my cervix. Once I figured out that we should BD until the day of the sharp dip in temps and not stop on the peak CM day, we got pregnant right away! (The books say that O most likely occurs right after the sharp dip, before the big rise in temps)
Each person's chart is different and they don't always follow the "norm". Be sure to take all of your signs into account and find out what's right for YOUR body.
Find a position that is comfortable for you. Squatting on the floor, sitting on the john, or even with one leg up is fine. The important thing once you find the position comfortable to you is to check your cervix using the same position every time because your body position affects what you can feel.
For your initial forays, use your middle finger and reach in with your nail facing the floor. Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are short! Later on, if you find it more informative or comfortable to do so, you can try checking with your middle and index fingers, but for your first few attempts, try with your middle finger only.
As you get more comfortable with checking your cervix, you may also want to check more than once a day since some changes are very subtle and you can reassure yourself of your assessment of your status from time to time. This is especially helpful during your fertile time, when determination of your peak conception days is very important. Some woman with low cervical mucus have found that the best way to check cervical mucus is at the source, which makes the understanding of the changes in cervical position very important. What is important to remember is that the learning takes time! Take your time, relax, it may take more than one cycle to fully understand what your cervix is telling you. But you will soon agree that knowledge of your cervical position is a vital addition to your awareness about your body and your cycles. Good luck!"
I've read that you should check cp at the same time every day and also not too close to when you wake up because it drops lower when you are tired. After checking it for a cycle you'll get the hang of it.
But MRSchoen states:
From what I've been able to determine over the last few months is that -- no matter what they claim, your cervix or cervical fluid can be high/low/wet dry/creamy depending on your body. You sound normal. I've had that experience in the past but this time my CM happens to be creamy. I've pretty much given up trying to relate my body to a textbook ie. TCOYF with respect to those issues since (like most women this BB) my cervix was SHOW right up through AF. I"ve become sooo confused trying to anticipate what my cervix or CM will be up to next.
I hope your bod's more textbook than mine. :)
Laura (aka LkGls) also says:
You found the protrusion which is more than I can say when I first started trying. At this point, it should be firm - like the tip of your nose. If you kind of roll your finger around the protrusion, the "opening" should be facing toward your back side so that you would feel it with the fingerprint side of your finger. This was very hard for me to find . . . it feels like just a small dimple. I still cant tell when mine is open. As it gets closer to O, the protrusion will get harder and harder to reach so that you can only feel just the tip . . . and the opening will be closer to the bottom of the protrusion rather than the side. It should also get softer - like the feel of your bottom lip.
One other thing (sorry so long!), I have short fingers too, for me, it is easier to reach if I squat down on the floor vs. sitting on the toilet. I usually check mine in the shower . . . so I know my finger is clean before (and after!) checking.
Julie says too:
I've noticed that mine sits about in the middle (I can reach the tip with my finger about part way in) and actually leans towards the left wall. As o starts it moves higher and straightens so that it is more straight up and down.
Sparki gives this beautiful and brief description:
Before baby, your cervix has a dimple...afterwards, it has a smile! :-)
Some things are for sure-not all women have this each time and also that the bleeding CAN be SO MANY other things such as:
Hormone fluctuation mid-lutal phase-[I've asked for others to post more about this]; fibroids can cause non-mense bleeding; every so often we have a short cycle; you can get pg and it doesn't take (ie conceive & then miss implant), called by some "chemical pregnancies", "missed abortions" and "early" miscarries. No one knows why these things happen but it apparently happpens a lot and doesn't necessarily affect fertiltiy but it CAN. Another thing, the DRS can tell which it was in a lot of cases and esp. hormones should be checked. Also, as we age (premenopause) cycles can change. I was on 28 day cycles for years with just 2 26 day cycles in each year which varied (a few months apart). This year had either early mc or 50 day cycle. When MY periods extended then became 2x per mo then 3 it turned out to be fibroids (very common, often asymptomatic).
+++ you CAN BE pg and bleed or spot (cross our fingers and act "as if" so as not to damage). Now I've had a lot of these different things happen and it's very ANNOYING/CONFUSING. I hope it helps you to know how many of us have shared this experience and I wish you luck in your search. Personally, I'd write down every little symptom, wait for af date, test and MAKE SURE TO CHECK W/DR. Notice color, whether spots or clots, texture and timing.
One other thing some women have mentioned is change of vitamins, diet or herbs may affect. I miscarried on Don Quai when I was younger.
I am not sure how a m/c could affect an OPK test. I don't know if pregnancy causes a rise in LH which could throw off the results of an OPK. So no help with this ?. A recent m/c can cause a false positive on an HPT if your hcg level has not yet gone back to normal. The only way to tell if they have or not is to do a quantitative blood test
Here's some information I came across in a Consumer Reports magazine from October of 1996. They rated HPT's and OPK's and I thought the information would be helpful to all of us. As for sensitivity (accuracy of test) and ease of use for HPT's..these were the top four 1) Answer 2)Clearblue Easy 3) Advance and 4) EPT. Answer was also the cheapest for one test. For OPK's...they rated on the same criteria ..sensitivity (accuracy) and ease of use. The best one was Clearplan Easy One step. Ovukit Self Test was #2 with sensitivity, but was harder to use...Then third was Ovuquick Self Test (the Ovuquick One step wasn't so accurate). Just FYI, the Conceive OPK was given a poor rating for sensitivity. I would recommend you not use it. Keep in mind these tests were done a year ago, and there may be others on the market. the following are the hpt's and opk's they used in the testing: HPT: Answer, Clearblue Easy, Advance, EPT, Conceive, Confirm, Fact plus, Walgreens, Precise and Be Sure Plus. The OPK's: Clearplan Easy, Ovukit, Ovuquick Self test, Ovuquick one step, Conceive 1 step.
I have an OPK that I bought at Wal-Mart. I paid $12 for 5 days worth of tests. The test includes a chart that says what day of your cycle to do it, which varies depending on the number of days in your cycle.
|Days per cycle||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32|
|Day to start test||5||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15|
MSF also states:
While OPKs can tell you ahead of time when you are going to ovulate (or when you get your LH surge), they can't tell you for sure if you've actually ovulated. Only BBTs can tell you that. Once you've ovulated, your progesterone rises, and that causes an increase in temperature. A rise in your BBT indicates that you have ovulated. So, while OPKs will tell you ahead of time when you probably will ovulate, if you don't take your temps, it's hard to know for certain that you did ovulate.
yippie recently talked to her doc about OPKs:
He said that we should not assume they are as precise as the OPK manufacturers would like us to believe. They DO indicate an LH surge, but my doc doesn't think they are really that accurate in determining when we will O. Doc says it depends so much on how concentrated the urine is. SO I said the instructions say to hold urine for 4 hours. He said that's fine but that the concentration of your urine is affected by your consumption in AT LEAST the 24 hours before you do the test, and that you are unlikely to have exactly the same concentration of urine when you test from daya to day OR from mnth to month. He said to take the tests with a grain of salt. Use them, but don't get hung up on the timing as much as we do. He doesn't think the manufacturers instructions about Oing within 24-36 hours are that reliable.
My dad is a surgeon and expressed a bit of skepticism about OPKs, too. He said it takes about 12 hours for hormones (or whatever you're testing for) to show up in your urine (I told him I'm sure the manufacturers of OPKs have taken that into account!) and that it will always vary from day to day AND from person to person.
So the OPKs are useful, but they are not as precise as we think -WE ARE VICTIMS OF OPK MARKETERS. We are falling into their little traps!!!!
Even if Connie wasn't aware of it, but I suspect that she was having PCO, as one of the sign of PCO is an elevated level of FHS in the first part of the cycle which caused her the false positive of the OPK.
Positive OPK but no Ovulation?
See response under Ovulation topic.
OPK as an HPT?
Yes, there are some women who have used OPK as an HPT with success results. But bear in mind that this method is not reliable.
As I promised, I did try the OPK once I was confirmed pregnant. Sure enough, itís showing a strong LH surge line, has been for 3 days now. I guess that LH and hCG really are structurally similar! So, Iíd say feel free to use OPK instead of HPT if you want, maybe just confirm it when itís looking positive. Though, Equate tests are around the same cost per stick anyway. :)