Welcome to Part II of our TTC After Loss series. For information on Part I please click here to familiarize yourself with the setup.
This week we continue sharing and comparing real answers to popular questions surrounding TTC. Please remember that everyone’s bodies and stories are different. Don’t worry if your personal answers to these questions differ from what is posted. We are posting these simply to shine light on the average numbers and give hope to those who might be struggling with questions.
How long are your cycles?
We asked thirty women how long their cycles (first day of period to beginning of their next period) were and the average was twenty-nine (29) days. Over half of these women have the typical twenty-eight (28) day cycle.
But fear not, sneaked inside these numbers were women with thirty day (30) plus cycle days. Don’t feel like a freak of nature if you have long cycles. Even though us long cyclers might have to wait a little longer, there is nothing wrong with you — your chances of conception are no different than short cyclers.
When do you ovulate?
Given the same thirty women as above, the average day of ovulation is cycle day fifteen (15.)
Of course, this number does not work for everyone. Some women ovulate as early as day eleven (11) and as late as day twenty-two (22.) As mentioned in Part I of our TTC after Loss piece, ovulation kits and fertility monitors can help a lot of women watch for and prepare for their big O (ovulation.)
Stress, sickness, travel and other factors can interrupt ‘regular’ ovulation by a few days, even weeks for some. Frustrating yes, but not unheard of.
When do you start (pregnancy) testing?
“I start as early as six Days Past Ovulation (DPO.) I know better, but there is something strangely comforting in peeing on tests for me.” Grieve Out Loud founder – Julie
It’s true, there is something to be said about early testing. A lot of women commented that they start as early as the day after ovulation. Women also commented with “If I have tests in the house, I’m going to use them.”
But seeing negative tests – or Big Fat Negatives (BFN) collect in your waste-bin isn’t exactly easy on the heart. The Two Week Wait (2WW) is what you will hear from your doctors. Fourteen days is waaaayyyy too long for most though.
Some women have reported faint positive tests as early as nine DPO, but the average is 10-14 DPO. Note this is just on average, you might be able to test earlier, or wait longer. It really depends on your average Luteal Phase (LP.) If your LP is normally 12-14 days, test on the last day of your LP.
If you are on Fertility Friend they have an awesome Chart Gallery you can search.
How do you handle your BFN’s?
“Disappointing, but I just tried to tell myself that it wasn’t our time yet.” – Holly
This was a very difficult question to ask these families. Finding out all your efforts and hope has failed another month is very hard. You are not a failure. Your partner is not a failure. Be gentle to yourself.
Personally, I have what is called a “Period Party.” Have a few extra glasses of wine, eat handfuls of sushi (and chocolate!) — whatever the case may be. It is sad not to achieve pregnancy, but remember there is always next month!
What if we’re still not pregnant?
TTC after Loss has a way of slowing down the entire universe. Sometimes three or four cycles can feel like three or four years. Keep your hopes high, because the journey is not always smooth.
Some women lose their fertility or even worse, the ability to carry a child after their loss. If after six cycles of perfectly timed intercourse has passed without your Big Fat Positive (BFP) it might be time to consult your doctor. If there is an infertility problem, you might want to check out a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) and begin fertility treatments. Please note there is a huge difference between not getting pregnant and having infertility problems. Fertility treatments can be a very serious and expensive route to take. Sometimes families try for years and years before seeing a RE. Make sure you are timing intercourse properly before assuming you have an infertility problem.
A good rule of thumb is this, so long as there are no medical reason(s) standing in your way — the way you conceived before will be the way you conceive again. Don’t run to a RE after two months of trying. Let things happen as they will. We know the wait is hard, but we’ve all had to do it. Be strong and positive.
But I just can’t wait! Who can I talk to in more detail about this whole TTC after Loss journey?
You aren’t alone friend, there are plenty of places to help you get through it.
We are currently putting together a Pen-Pal list for parents who are TTC again. You can talk one-on-one with someone who has conceived after loss naturally, through IUI, IVF, FET, and adoption. We also have a group of women who are in the waiting period of TTC, along with actively TTC (me included.) For more information or to get set up with a Pen-Pal click here.
Other great sites include Glow in the Woods’ ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss board and Faces of Loss’ Forum.
Don’t give up hope folks. TTC after Loss can be a lonely, stressful, mind-altering journey. It does not have to be though. Let us help you get through the rough patches and share the good times with you.
Next we will be moving onto the well-awaited Pregnancy after Loss! Learn more about how long it takes to achieve pregnancy after loss, the emotions surrounding the BFP, when it is time to share the news, preparing for birth after loss and much much more!