fitbeauties · Pregnancy

Tracking Your Cycle & Making Babies

Hello friends!

I’d thought I’d give you a bit of an update on the Garcia Jr. status or at least the process I’m following to conceive Garcia Jr.

I realize this is a private topic and in some cases sensitive topic and maybe one that most people wouldn’t write about and post for the world to read but my whole philosophy is around sharing information to help women. We all need to know more about our bodies including skin, hair, beauty routines, nutrition, weight management, mental health, sexual health and fertility etc etc etc. . Hence the fitbeauties tagline ’cause a girl’s gotta know!

So with all that said, if you are a guy who would rather not know about women’s vaginal health or you are someone who would rather not (or maybe should not) know much about me and my personal life, or you are easily offended you might not want to read the rest.

When I was a little girl I was lucky enough (and very grateful) to have a mom who encouraged me to get to know my vagina. Like really get to know it with a hand mirror and all. I grew up with 4 sisters and vaginas were a reoccurring topic of conversation. We called it our vulva and we had a song about it. Shall I sing it for you?

Sung to the tune of Raffi’s Peanut Butter Sandwich song. It goes like this:

Vulvas are beautiful, vulvas are fine. I have a vulva and I’m really glad it’s mine.
If you have a vulva you have to treat it well. You have to keep it clean or it really starts to smell!

Hahaah, hope you liked that. My mom made it up to convince us to get in the bath!

Ok anyway needless to say I’m an advocate for knowing your own body intimately. The same way I urge yo to tune into your digestion, I also encourage you to tune into your hormonal cycle. You can learn so much about what’s happening within your body by just paying attention to a few signs and signals. I will say that I’m not an expert on fertility and I’m just sharing information I’ve learned from experience and articles, books and papers I’ve read. This post is about sharing that information with you but please do you own research and have your own discussions with your health care providers.

Ok so with regards to fertility and getting pregnant (or avoiding pregnancy) one of the most important things you want to know is if and when you are ovulating. This may be the most important. One of the only ways to know if you are in fact ovulating is by monitoring both your cervical mucus and your Basal Body Temperature (BBT).

Since deciding we wanted to begin our journey in starting our family I’ve been doing both. I follow the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) that I told you about in this post. (You’ll want to  read the book I mention there too, Taking Charge of Your Fertility). This means I track my cycles very carefully and we make sure to have intercourse during my most fertile times. I did this to some degree to avoid pregnancy also, i.e avoid or use back up during your fertile time in that case.

I take my BBT daily and track my cervical fluid and the symptoms in an awesome app called Kindara. If you’d rather chart on paper use these. Either way I highly recommend you do the same at least for a few months to see what your cycle is like. This will tell you when you are most fertile but it will also help you determine if there are any issues like short luteal phase, anovulation (lack of) and even thyroid issues if your temp is consistently very low. By tracking you can also help the doctors help you if you need it. It can clarify some issues around PCOS and help identify why you might not be having viable pregnancies, are miscarrying or not conceiving at all.

In addition to tracking I’m using ovulation test kits (OPK) to track the release of my Lutienizing Hormone and also following the Sperm Meets Egg Plan . OPKs aren’t considered very accurate on their own (although they do work well for some people) but they can add more data to the info you do track during your cycle giving you a better and bigger picture. This actually goes the same for BBT tracking only. You need to track the cervical fluid too because the temp portion only tells that you have in fact ovulated (or not) but won’t tell you when you will.

In addition to tracking my cycle I’m also supplementing with maca root (for both of us) and vitex as well as the other supplements I mentioned in my previous fertility post plus managing my nutrition carefully.

Maca Root is known to:

  • increase libido
  • increase sperm production

Vitex is known to:

  • Help balance, regulate and support menstrual cycle
  • Reduce PMS symptoms

Lastly I’m using a lubrication called Pre-Seed as it’s one of the only ones safe to use for contraception. The quality of your lubrication is important for the sperm to get to where they need to go. Most lunrications actually inhibit sperm, even the natural ones. Actually even some of your natural lubrication can act as a barrier unless you are in your fertile phase. When not trying to conceive I actually really like coconut oil as a lube but in this case I’m sticking with what’s conducive to my goal! Apparently you can also use raw egg white but I felt like that was a bit more cumbersome. “Excuse me while I go crack an egg”. Actually I really just don’t want to waste one of my farm fresh eggs, especially that yolk! Haha. I think I’ll skip that natural remedy this time. Well at least for now 😉

At this point I’m assuming I’m fertile by way of my charts and symptoms but if conception doesn’t happen by the 5-6 month mark I’ll arrange a visit to my doctor for us both just to make sure. I haven’t been on any hormonal type birth control in over 10 years and we are both healthy but I’m almost 37 years old so egg quality or quantity (and sperm mobility) along with other issues can be a concern. Fingers crossed that’s not the case though and all goes as planned! 🙂

To get pregnant you may not need to do any of the above (except get to know your vagina because that is an absolute must.) Really, you can just go about your business, have sex when you like and see what happens. Typically the research show that on average it takes about a year to conceive for couple doing it that way. If you want it to happen sooner than later or you are having some issues you may want to looking into the Fertility Awareness Method a little more. See if it’s right for you. It will at least either help you get pregnant or help you and your doctor identify what’s going on.

If anything these methods will help you gain insight to your cycle and body in a way you probably never even knew was possible!  I didn’t know a lot of it before all of the research and reading I did (doing) when embarking on this journey, but thanks to my mom and the hand mirror I can say I did know my vag very well! 😉

Before you go here is a great article  – 3 biggest mistakes people make when trying to conceive -seriously, read it!

Happy Tracking & Baby Making Beauties!

xoxo

Image from the Kindara FB page

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