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  Commonly Asked TTC Questions

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PostSubject: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:43 am

Q: My cervix is open/closed, hard/soft, high/low could that mean I'm pregnant?

A: Cervical position (CP) is a great sign for detecting ovulation, but it is impossible to tell if you are pregnant by continuing to check your cp after ovulation because it returns to a low position after o--even if you ARE prregnant--which would make it very difficult to feel a difference enough to detect very early pregnancy.

Also, your cervix varies at different stages of your cycle, but even at different times of day, and in different positions so it's best to check cp at the same time everyday, in the same position to get an accurate "feel" for what is normal for your cervix. So if you check it at 5pm one day and the 11am the next don't be suprised if it feels different. It feeling different or being in a different position is not indictitive of pregnancy but rather because of the different time or different position you checked it.

Here's some information about cervical changes at 5/6 weeks pregnant:

Q:What changes can I expect in my cervix early in pregnancy, and what cervical fluid (if any) is present during the early parts of pregnancy?
A:The cervix maintains a low position in the vagina and becomes notably softer. The space behind the cervix, where it connects to the lower uterine segment (the isthmus), becomes so soft that it seems almost disconnected.

Cervical fluid remains a bit more slippery than would be expected just before a period but without the long egg-white strands. It is generally clear, but viscous and thick. It will soon form itself into the mucus plug, so the cervical fluid gets drier as the pregnancy progresses."

Q: How soon after conception does the softening of the cervix take place? Can I tell by cervical changes if I'm pregnant?

A:As you may know, during ovulation, the cervix rises a bit, progressing from low, closed and firm before ovulation to higher, open and soft around ovulation. It returns to its pre-ovulatory status within a few days.

During pregnancy -- under the influence of progesterone and within a week of the missed period -- the cervix softens and begins to drop a bit.

By five to six weeks from the last period, the neck of the cervix becomes soft and can almost feel as if it were disconnected from the uterus.

Unless you are accustomed to the normal positions for your cervix, this change might be very difficult to feel yourself.

One very important fact that those sites don't mention is: OB/GYNS don't touch/stimulate the cervix unless it's absolutely necessary or beneficial to the pregnancy in some way (IE seeing if the mother is dialated, during the first visit to test for STDs, etc).
Stimulating the cervix can cause dilation and thus premature labor (or miscarriage). So if you know you're pregnant don't be poking and prodding in there...leave it for the doctors...because you could be doing more harm than good.


Q: When does implantation occur and should I see implantation bleeding?

A: Implantation happens on average nine days (but can happen as early as 6 or as late as 12 days) after ovulation and fertilization.

Some women have what is known as implantation bleeding (IB) but not all women experience it. In fact, the majority of women do NOT experience it. For the women that do experience it can range from a couple drops of blood to bleeding that is usually much lighter and a few days earlier than a period.

Some women also feel cramping with implantation, but there's nothing that says you have to have cramping with implantation, and just because you have cramping doesn't mean it's caused by implantation.

Q: I have flat temps - does this mean I am pregnant?

A: Maybe, maybe not. If you are getting flat temps, first check the batteries in your thermometer. If your themometer checks out fine and you are taking your temp at the same time every morning, and flat temps are not a common factor in your charting pattern, than it is possible that you are pregnant. But keep in mind, there have been some ladies with flat temps that see that BFP, while others have not.

Q: My period is late, but I'm getting BFN, what's the deal?

A: First, you need to determine that you are in fact late. In a 28 day cycle ovulation happens in middle of your cycle (CD14) but for those with longer or shorter cycles you can use your previous month's luteal phase to determine when your period should come. To do this look back to your previous cycles. Let's say you know you Oed on CD 14 (May 5th) and you got your period on May 19th...that would make that luteal phase 14days. So if you know you Oed on CD17 this cycle add 14days to get how long your cycle should be this cycle (17+14=31). Cycle lengths may vary, but LP is usually pretty consistent varying by only a couple of days.

If your cycles are irregular and/or you don't know when you Oed, it's quite possible that you Oed later and it's just too early for AF or BFP.

In anycase the best thing to do is wait a few days and test again if still no AF.

Second, have you just gotten off of any type of hormonal birth control? If the answer is yes, keep in mind that going off of hormonal birth control can mess with your cycles/ovulation for a few months to come (sometimes it can take the better part of a year to get your bodies/cycles back on a regular track) and just because your last cycle was 28 days doesn't mean this cycle will be 28 days.

Third, are you using a reputable brand of test and testing with FMU? If you aren't go get a reputable brand and test with first morning urine (FMU).

From my experience if your period is late and you're getting BFN you're probably not pregnant. But, it is possible, although rare, to be pregnant and not get BFPs on home pregnancy tests. It has to do with something in the women's body/hormonespreventing the hcg from interacting properly with the animal anitbody used in the HPT strip to get the BFP.

Assuming you have no health/fertility issues most doctors will tell you to wait a week and if still no period or BFP to give them a call and arrange for an exam and blood test.


Q: Is it possible to conceive even if we didn't baby dance (BD) on the day I Oed?

A: YES! YES! YES! Sperm can last up to 5 days in fertile CM and the egg can last 12-24 hours. So even if you didn't BD on the actual day you Oed but a couple days before chances are good that there was sperm waiting for the egg to be released (which is GREAT!).

Although it is better to have the sperm waiting for the egg instead of the egg waiting for the sperm, it's entirely possible to catch that already released egg if you BD in time for the sperm to race up and meet it in the tube for conception.

Q: When should we have sex if we're trying to conceive?

A: If you're trying to conceive the best time to have sex is around the day you ovulate. The general consensus is that you should have sex a few days before ovulation, the day of and the day after.

Some doctors recommended making love every other day because it takes about 48 hours for the sperm count to build up to their most fertile levels. The more sperm, the higher the chance for conception. You want the highest count of the most mature sperm to maximize the chances of fertilization.

So if you know you ovulate on CD14 you may want to considering having sex on CD10, 12, 14 & 15.

Q: Can you get your period while pregnant?

A: The simple answer is no, you can NOT get your period while pregnant since the hormones of pregnancy prevent the lining being shed, the bleeding is not truly a menstrual period.

It could be implantation bleeding, that many mothers-to-be get (though you don't have to have implantion bleeding to implant) a few days of bleeding right around the time that the embryo is burrowing into the wall of the uterus.

Also, women who get pregnant while on the Pill might have intermittent bleeding before it is obvious that they are pregnant and they stop taking their pills.

It could also be early pregnancy bleeding. Bleeding in early pregnancy is a common occurrence but should always be reported to your doctor.

Q: My breasts feel funny does that mean I'm pregnant?

A:Most of us have been there...they tingle, feel fuller, seem bigger, and/or hurt/throb...and we wonder if it means we could be pregnant. Chances are that if you're feeling breast symptoms that are unusual for you or are severe you could very well be pregnant, but keep in mind just because your BBs (boobs) feel funny doesn't mean you're pregnant, and not all women feel or notice breast symptoms during very early pregnancy.

Other Reason than Pregnancy your BBs could feel funny:

-Caffeine activates a chemical called cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate), which has been associated with breast tenderness. Remember that many beverages besides coffee, such as black tea and cola, as well as chocolate in any form, also contain caffeine.

-PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and if you have breast tenderness month after month that's probably what's causing it.

-Hormonal fluctuations related to menstruation.

-Approach of menopause (once your menstrual periods have stopped completely, breast tenderness often goes away unless you are taking hormone replacement therapy)

-Breast feeding

-Injury

Other common causes:
-Fibrocystic breast changes. Fibrocystic breast tissue is a common condition. It involves breast lumps and bumps throughout the breast tissue that tend to be more tender just before your menstrual period.

-Mastitis -- a blocked and infected milk duct that may have some redness, usually associated with breastfeeding

-Certain medications may also cause breast pain, including digitalis preparations, aldomet, aldactone and other potassium-sparing diuretics, anadrol, and chlorpromazine.


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PostSubject: Re: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:45 am

Q:Help! I peed on the test and then forgot about it could this be an evap line or a barely there positive?

A: First let me begin by explaning that an evaporation line is a line that is caused by the chemical reaction with the urine that shows in the result window of the test, exactly where a positive line would be. Contrary to popular belief it doesn't have to be gray or blue..it can be whatever color the test line is and can even appear as an indent in the test strip where the test line would be if it were positive.

A good rule of thumb is to ***NEVER*** read the test after the recommended period of time because there is really no way to distinguish a faint positive from an evap line, whereas if you had seen it in the recommend testing time you could have considered it a faint BFP*

I would recommend testing again, with FMU, and making sure you read the test in the recommened time frame...throw it away after the time is up and don't go digging it out of the trash just to "check" to see if a line has appeared

*While all tests have the possibilty of evap lines some of the cheaper ones like Dollar Tree Tests are infamous for getting them. My recommendation is if you see what could be an evap or a barely there BFP on one of those tests is to assume it is an evap until you take another more reputable test and get a no-doubt-about-it BFP.

Q: Could {---- insert something here----} give me a false positive result on my HPT?

A: A home pregnancy test works by detecting hCG, a hormone released by the placenta and into the urine (and blood) right after the embryo begins implanting.

That being said things like stress, alcohol, Clomid*, progesterone supplements, oral contraceptives, pain relievers, antibiotics, and urinary tract infections will not cause you to get a false positive.

If you've recently had a baby or a miscarriage you should wait until your hcg levels drop back down to a "not pregnant" level before testing so you don't get a false positive result.

*Fertility medications that include hCG CAN cause a false positive, those include hcg injections (inluding Pregnyl, Pregnyl amd Novarel). It's recommended that if you had an shot that includes hcg that you wait 7-14 days after your last injection to take an HPT so that it's out of your system so you don't get a false positive.


Q: People have been talking about pregnancy blood tests they've had done in their doctor's office, could you give me some information on them?

A: There are two types of blood tests used to detect pregnancy.

One is a quantitative blood test, also know as a Beta test.

Quantitative tests detect the actual level of hcg in the blood, and is used to precisly predict the age of the fetus, to detect a very early pregnancy, when an abnormal condition can elevate the hcg level is suspected, to monitor the hcg levels to make sure they are increasing (indicitive of a growing pregnancy) or to make sure they are decreasing (in cases of a miscarriage and waiting for your levels to return to a not pregnant level).

With a quant. test you will most likely have to get another one done in 48 hours so that the doctor can compare your levels to the first test and see what they are doing...more importantly than what one quant. test result was is what the levels are doing over numerous tests.

The second is a qualitative blood test.

Qualitative tests give you a "pregnant" or "not pregnant" result much like a HPT and can give a 'pregnant' result about 7 days after conception.

This pregnancy test is considered to be about 98% accurate. When the test is negative but pregnancy is still suspected, the test should be repeated in 1 week.



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PostSubject: Re: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:46 am

Q: What is a chemical pregnancy?

A: A chemical pregnancy is a very, very early pregnancy that was detected by a home pregnancy test but that ended in miscarriage; it is also known as early pregnancy loss.

The most common example of a chemical pregnancy is: a woman tested and got a positive but a very short time later (a couple of days maybe) started miscarrying...which had she not of tested and gotten a positive she probably would have mistaken for a period that was a little bit later than usual and maybe somewhat heavier and/or more painful than her normal period.

They call it a chemical pregnancy because it was a pregnancy that was only detected by chemicals and not by an ultrasound. Once you can see the pregnancy on an ultrasound it is referred to as a clinical pregnancy.



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PostSubject: Re: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:48 am

Q: I'd like to know about O pain. Can you tell me what causes it, what it feels like and how many women get it?

A: Pain at ovulation is called "mittelschmertz," which is German for middle pain. Ovulation pain is caused by stimulation of the nerves that innervate the ovary due to the increased size of the ovary and/or bleeding and fluid release from the ruptured follicle.


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PostSubject: Re: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:50 am

Torsion of the ovary or endometriosis could also be causes of ovulatory discomfort.
http://parenting.ivillage.com/ttc/ttcsigns/0,,3pvn,00.html
About 20% of women experience mittelschmerz, or pain associated with ovulation. The pain may occur just before, during, or after ovulation. So you DO NOT have to feel O pain to ovulate!


Symptoms from:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001503.htm

Lower-abdominal pain that is:
-One-sided
-Recurrent or with similar pain in past
-Typically lasting minutes to a few hours, but may extend as long as 24-48 hours
-Usually sharp, cramping, distinctive pain
-Severe (rare)
-May switch sides from month to month or from one episode to another
-Begins midway through the menstrual cycle

Symptomsfrom:
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Ovulation_pain?open

The symptoms of ovulation pain can include:
-Pain in the lower abdomen, just inside the hip bone.
-The pain typically occurs about two weeks before the menstrual period is due.
-The pain is felt on the right or left side, depending on which ovary is releasing an egg.
-The pain may switch from one side to the other from one cycle to the next, or remain on one side for a few cycles.
-The pain sensation varies between individuals - for example, it could feel like uncomfortable pressure, twinges, sharp pains or cramps.
-The duration of pain ranges anywhere from minutes to 48 hours.


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PostSubject: Re: Commonly Asked TTC Questions   September 5th 2010, 12:57 am

Q: My urine stinks/has changed color, could that mean I'm pregnant?


A: While some women notice a change in their urine while pregnant, there are many, many more proable reasons your urine could have changed...only after ruling the other things out should you actually look to change in urine as a sign of early pregnancy.

Website #1:
"Food products can often affect the odor of urine as can the presence of an infection. I suggest you contact your physician who should be able to check the urine to determine if an infection is or is not present. If your urine is free of infection you may want to resume your regular diet and you may find the problem will resolve. If an infection is present it will need to be treated. "

Website #2: "Urinary odor comes from diet primarily. Something you are eating or drinking. If the urine is concentrated there is more odor. It can have a smell from some medicines and supplements {{{like prenatal vitamins}}}. Also, if there is an infection, there may be some odor.

Drinking more water often helps. Sometimes, extra vitamin C can reduce the odor to some degree. A urinalysis may be helpful just to make sure there isn't something else going on."

Q: Does having a period mean you are ovulating?

A: No, it's not always true that if you're having a period you must be ovulating, especially if you're periods tend to me very irregular.

Here's some information from a very reputable, credible site...WebMd.com
http://www.webmd.com/content/article/75/89900.htm


There is something called anovulatory bleeding that some women get, thinking it's a period, but they never ovulated so it wasn't a true period.
Anovulation is absence of ovulation when it would be normally expected.

You can read more aboutanovulatory bleeding here:
http://parenting.ivillage.com/ttc/ttcsigns/0,,47t1,00.html

and more about Anovulation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anovulation

If you've been on any type of hormonal birth control recently sometimes it can take the better part of a year for your cycles/ovulation to get back on track and become regular. I would suggest doing an internet search for your form birth control and see what the general time frame is for women coming off of it to get back on track and conceive.
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