PCOS & Getting Pregnant: Find Your Fertile Window
Many women that have been diagnosed with PCOS want to give up on charting because their cycles are so long and irregular and they can never figure out when and if they ovulated. Well, let me tell you that charting is the best solution if you are trying to conceive! Here is your personal charting strategy to finding your fertile window.
When you have PCOS, it can be a challenge to chart your cycle and to find your fertile window. However, it's still completely possible for you to fall pregnant naturally, and charting is definitely your best friend when you're trying for a baby.
PCOS and pregnancy: debunking the myth
I am sharing with you a PCOS strategy to charting to help you fall pregnant naturally and make the most of every cycle that you actually ovulate. You may have been told because you have PCOS that you can't conceive naturally. That is so not true, you totally can.
Yes, you're going to have some challenges. Yes, you're going to have to work on your hormonal imbalance. Yes, you're going to have to work on lifestyle changes. However, in the meantime, please just keep trying, and charting is still really useful for you, even more so than for somebody that has a regular cycle. Because when you have PCOS, it's not just difficult for you to conceive because you have a general hormonal imbalance, but just very simply because there rarely is an egg to be fertilized. Sometimes, you don't ovulate at all, and if you do, you might not know when it's happening, and it might be quite rare.
However, if you're able to catch that one egg, guess what? You can get pregnant!
You know that I'm all for charting because charting tells you when you're fertile, how fertile you are, and when you have PCOS, the charting is even more important because your fertility is so incredibly unpredictable. Before I get into this very simple strategy, let me give you a few dos and don'ts.
Do and Don'ts to find your fertile window
1. Use cheap LH strips
Do use the cheap LH strips instead of expensive digital tests, because if you have PCOS, you're probably going to have to test a lot more than someone else. So, just get the cheap ones. Not only are they cheaper, they're also a lot more useful because you'll be able to see if your hormones are changing, if the LH is going up, or not at all, instead of having a positive or a negative.
2. Don't start ovulation tests halfway your cycle
This is usually in the inserts of ovulation tests that, "Oh, if you have a 28-day cycle "and you will likely ovulate day 14," then start testing probably day 12, I think, is what they would advise, maybe day 13. But, if one cycle you had 60 days, one you had 40, one you had 90, and you take the average of that, and then you split it in half and you start a couple of days before that, that kind of actually doesn't make sense. So, don't even do that, I'll tell you when to start testing.
3. Make sure that you do take your temperature.
Yes, you might feel annoyed because your temperature isn't changing, but you need to be able to spot when it's happened, right? So that you know when your next period might come or where you are in your cycle, so just keep up with that, take your basal body temperature every day.
4. Track your cervical mucus and ideally your cervical position as well.
Because that will just give you that little bit more information on your fertility and where you're at in your cycle, and if you're nearing ovulation at all. So, here's what you do, and it's very simple.
What your cervical mucus should look like
I said that you need to track your cervical mucus every day, right? Well, the most fertile cervical mucus is considered the egg white type, the raw egg white. The moment that you see that, that's when you start testing with ovulation strips. And then, most likely, because you have raw egg white cervical mucus, your estrogen will be high, and if estrogen is high, LH will start to go up because that's just how the body works. If LH is up, then you can expect that ovulation is nearing.
The moment that you see the raw egg white cervical mucus, it's most likely that you are nearing ovulation. So, in order for you to be able to catch that egg if it's showing up, you will want to start testing for the ovulation tests, right? And then, if you see that the test is positive, then you definitely want to make use of that. So, the moment that you see that you have a positive ovulation test, I would recommend for you to make love every day.
PCOS and ovulation tests
However, it's possible for you to have lots of positive ovulation tests and that you guys get really fed up with making love, and that is a wrong spot to be in generally, but it's especially a wrong spot to be in to receive a baby. So, consider to maybe make love every other day, which is a lot more manageable. Just remember that every day will probably be better, but every other day, you're good.
Make sure to keep that up until you have a negative ovulation test, so don't stop testing once you have the positive, keep testing. So, keep making love every day or at least every other day until you have that negative ovulation test and that you have three days of a raised temperature, because once you have those three days of raised temperature, you know that ovulation has happened.
If you're doubting between the every other day and the daily, and you kind of want to go for the daily, but it's too exhausting, then maybe also look at your cervical position, as I said. If you have a lot of cervical mucus that is raw egg white and your cervical position is super fertile, then you know you're really nearing ovulation, so you may really want to try for the everyday, then, and that's basically it. Easy, right?
Just know that trying to conceive when you have PCOS and you're charting is not going to look as peachy as when you have a regular cycle. Anyone that has a regular cycle will work up to ovulation, they will try for a baby. If two weeks later, it turns out that you're not pregnant, then you know you're starting a new cycle, and two weeks later, you can try again. This is just not the case when you have PCOS. It's a lot harder and you need to set yourself up for that.
However, try to focus on the positive, rather than thinking, "Oh, I'm never ovulating, "or I don't know when I ovulate." Know right now that you do know that it's possible for you to catch that egg whenever it's there. You just need to be sneaky about it.
Frustrating things about charting when you have PCOS
First of all, we can have lots of negative ovulation tests. With this strategy, you're kind of eliminating that issue, because chances are that your test will be positive when you already have the cervical mucus. So, rather than starting way too early in your cycle and then getting 10 negatives, you're skipping that. It's also a lot cheaper.
The second frustrating thing can be that instead of lots of negative tests, you have lots of positive tests. Because the problem with PCOS is that often, LH will generally be quite high, but you're still not ovulating because you're not getting this nice spike, this peak of LH, it's just continuously high. So, that's a possibility, too. You may find that you get lots of positives in a row or you have a few positives without a raised temperature, and then get another about of positives. Stay positive with the positive tests and know that this strategy is going to give you the best chances of catching that egg when it does drop.
If you want to learn more about boosting your fertility naturally, then make sure to check out our fertility supplements and treatments.