BBT, EWCM, etc are a big deal in the TTC (trying to conceive) community. FertilityFriend.com is the holy grail that is credited for many babies.
But I am not planning on using them. I don’t own a BBT thermometer. I haven’t been tracking any mucus. And I tend to just keep track of “the Auntie” only to make sure I keep supplies in my purse when I’m likely to suddenly need them.
Because it doesn’t make much sense for me to do so.
I’m a lesbian, hence the frequent references to my wife. Because of this, we don’t have unlimited on-demand access to male gametes. We’ll probably end up buying them. At hundreds of dollars a pop, and likely a very limited window (frozen swimmers die sooner), it could get expensive if the timing is a smidgen off.
If I were straight, I’d feel differently. Then the accuracy rate of charting wouldn’t bother me as much. The accuracy rate for OPKs wouldn’t be able to justify their expense. But when it’s likely to be hundreds per month, it makes sense to invest under $100 to get the most accurate over-the-counter picture of when ovulation will occur for a month.
I’ve known about cycles and temperature and all that for many years, my parents have horrified me many times by telling me that they use NFP. Yes, they are in the ~1% of Catholics in the US who actually use it. And what’s worse is they told me that they used those charting methods to conceive me (I’m firmly in the camp of people who prefer to be ignorant of the circumstances of their own conception).
Back when I was trying to be straight, I looked into that method for birth control, I began taking my temperature (with the wrong kind of thermometer). I decided against using it. I liked using the barrier method well enough, but in that relationship the more barriers the more I was able to tolerate it. (On a side note: I’m bad at pretending to be straight.)
Also, I tend to wake up randomly to use the bathroom at night. I also tend to wake up with a warm cat on me randomly. I also have a spouse who has sleeping issues, she’s started getting up between 3-6 am. I don’t always wake up, but I do notice my sleep changes when she’s not around. I sleep better when she’s next to me.
I’m not entirely sure my nighttime temperature will be meaningful. I’ve been described as “a blast furnace” in my sleep and I wake up soaked with sweat more often than not. This has gotten worse since I’m on a medication. Medications do interfere with charting’s accuracy as well.
Speaking of my neuroses, I am a bit neurotic, or if you’d rather, I’m Type A. I’m sure the stress of daily temperature taking and mucus reading would undoubtedly add stress in my life. It’s needlessly complicated. OPK’s due a better job of predicting, charting is great at telling you that you’ve ovulated. Past tense.
So basically when the time comes, I won’t be charting. And I’m pretty sure I’m right in my decision. But it, like everything in life, is subject to change. If we end up going with a known donor, reducing the cost of each attempt, we may chart. Also, if OPK doesn’t work for me, for whatever reason, I may chart. But those aren’t likely. I can’t think of anyone my wife would want to ask to be a donor and I don’t have PCOS or any hormonal issues (I’ve been checked a few times).
Of course this likely means we’ll have problem conceiving, as such hubris just begs for it.