Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adventures in OPKs!

So the image to our left, Internetz, is not of a woman (no, that's not actually me!) gazing at the results of her pregnancy test.

It is an image of a woman gazing at her ovulation predictor kit stick (aka OPK) and probably wondering whether or not the
!&$# second line is as dark or darker than the test line. Welcome, my friends, to an exercise in futility! Or so I'm told.

Now I know that some of you may be thinking to yourself, "But Fertility Chick, you are on a spawning break, why are you concerning yourself with OPK's?" Well, the ND wants me to use them this month just to see if I'm ovulating.

While I feel pretty confident in pulling a big "N - O" out of the hat, I will humour her and use them.

Today is CD-14 for me - and since we have no bloody clue what the hell my cycle is going to do this month, I'm supposed to start them today.

But Internetz, I've never actually used these before! I've tried temping with my basal body thermometer (BBT) - and that was a big pain in the ass. And before Irish Boy and I got our official diagnoses of "PCOS/IR" (me) and azoospermia (him), I went out and spent the big bucks on a fertility monitor that was supposed to detect ovulation which also frustrated the hell out of me, thank you once again PCOS.

So I fear that trying to look at these bloody lines (if I even get a second one!) may in fact drive me crazy. Which, in turn, will likely drive you crazy since I may blog incessantly about it - and post pictures for your viewing enjoyment!

It's now 4:51 p.m. here and I was told by my ND to use my OPK in the late afternoon or early evening. Hopefully that's what others do? Show a girl some love and let me know!

I almost forgot about it, so now I'm trying to hang on to my pee for the next few hours so I can give a "good sample." Ask me how irritated I am that I didn't remember this when I got home from work an hour or so ago and totally could've have spared myself the trauma of "holding on" for the next couple of hours!!

This seems like a good time to share that I am convinced that not only do I have a bladder the size of a pea (ooh, quirky pun!), but that I also must share it with someone else, hence the reason I have to pee so often. This is made worse at times like this when I know I can't go pee whenever the hell I feel like now, for the next two damn hours, all I can think about is, yes, going pee! Trying to get images of Niagara Falls out of my mind.... now.

So here we go...I'm not spawning, but I am going to drive myself crazy by trying to figure out if I'm ovulating. FUN!

But here's the catch. Are you supposed to do the OPK test at the same time every day? Because if so, it will likely be around 6:30 or so that I will do mine. The only problem? Tomorrow night, we're due to have dinner at my colleague's house at, you got it, 6:30!

Umm, would it be weird if I asked him for a Dixie cup before heading to the bathroom?

Oh the things I get myself into!

Post your OPK tips, tricks, and crazy adventures for me! Clearly I'm going to need all the help I can get!



babyhopes said...

When I did mine (before finding out that my husband has very slow sperm and I have a fibroid, and thus pretty much making it impossible for us to get pregnant on our own), I used one in the morning, and one after work (I read that twice a day was best because sometimes you only get the 12 hour window). I think I was usually within an hour each day, so CLOSE to the same time each day, but not exactly.

Melissa G said...

Ahhh the dixie cup shuffle. My last cycle was uncharateristically late, so I can commiserate being on a "pee schedule" for an extended period of time.

I also test twice per day. I test at 11am and 4pm. It doesn't HAVE to be the exact same time but it's best to be as close as possible. So if you need to do it at 5:30 tomorrow, I wouldn't sweat it. (I usually get positives after 3pm.)

Here's the thing about deciphering the lines. I used to freak out about whether or not it really was dark enough, but when it came down to it each month, a positive test is very distinct. You'll know. I get a progressive line, so each day the line is a little darker until eventually I get a positive test. My RE said it's best to test after 10am and before 8pm. So if your test at 6:30 is questionable. Try not to take in anymore liquids and test again around 8pm.

Another thing I can recommend is buying the digital tests and keeping them around for when your line starts to get darker on the cheapie ones, just for a little reassurance.

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions, and Good Luck!!!

Shanny said...

I hated having to guess so I invested in the clear blue fertility monitor. Sorry I'm no help, the only thing I can say its that when it really is positive you won't question it, it gets pretty dark.
Good luck!!!

AF Recruiters Wife said...

I too have PCOS, and after several frustrating months of trying to do the ones at home, my doctor finally just has me come in to do blood work... not that it really helps you any. However, my girlfriend that is a super 'baby maker', took hers twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. It sucks because you go through twice as many, but like the previous posters said, you may only catch it that way.

Anonymous said...

I have no advice or help on the OPK, but I can share the bladder misery. I swear mine is also tiny and very prone to the power of suggestion when it comes to no access to a bathroom. We've had some remodeling work done on our bathrooms this week and it has been absolutely miserable for me and my power-of-suggestion bladder.

Anonymous said...

I have PCOS, too, and always only tested once in the morning basing that off the advice that the first morning pee is more concentrated due to not drinking anything and holding it all night. Never heard about doing it twice a day and am glad I didn't because my OPK days were before being dx'd w/ PCOS and that would have been majorly expensive! Especially on my 96-day cycle!

Jin said...

I've got the Internet cheapies and they said to test in late afternoon/early evening. So generally I use them between 4 and 7 pm, and I don bother trying to hold pee to get a good result, since I also get the progressively darker lines.

Busted Tube said...

I tried the Clear Blue Digital test this month and it was SO much easier to read- it's either a smiley face or an empty circle- no peering at lines.
Good luck!
Also, I'd read that afternoon was best, but my doctor's office said morning only this last cycle... who knows.

Melissa G said...

My RE told me to test first thing in the morning too. Even though I explained I get positives in the afternoon. I call to let them know that afternoon and make an appointment for the next morning. Last time I checked I still have a positive test that next morning.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh how I wish I had advice for you!...All I know is that if you have a high FSH, an OPK will indicate a high LSH, which means nothing whatsover. I hope you are pleasantly surprised and find that you are ovulating!

Megan said...

I've heard some people say that they use them 2-3 times a day, but um, no thanks! I never wanted to drive myself crazy with them so I didn't make it a habit to use them. I did use a fertility monitor for a few months and that was crazy enough. So, really, I'm no help. Good luck!

(and thanks for following me! =)

B. said...

Initially, I was told to test in the morning, but then I read somewhere that late-afternoon is best. I compromised and tested twice a day with the really cheap internet sticks. I was worried too about deciphering the blasted line- was it darker? How the heck do I know! So, like Melissa, I splurged on the digital tests when the line started to approach the darkness of the test line. A few times, I used both tests with the same pee (I always used a Dixie cup... didn't trust my aim with just a stick) when the cheapie was really close. I never saw a definitive (+) on the cheap tests, but got a smiley face on the digitals every month. Good luck!!

Jennifer said...

As I said earlier (more or less), FF can blow me. I eventually began to rely more on the strips than I did on my temps. And like everyone (maybe?) else here, it was nice to be able to count on blood work and intimate dates with Chilly to get an idea of what was going on.

FF totally appeals to the OCD list maker in me though, and I like being able to record all of my symptoms/test results/general nutcakery.

Are you working with Internet strips/sticks? Buying a combo pack of OPK strips and pregnancy tests was the smartest thing I've ever done. I'd rather my disappointment and sadness come at a rock-bottom price, thanks.

The only advice I have is to thoroughly read the instructions. Someone (ahem) didn't and wasted I don't know how many strips. I figured that first thing in the morning would be ideal, but the instructions from - product plug alert! - advised to test between, I don't know, 10a and 6p. So, you know, read the directions. I tried to test around the same time(ish) every day, but I certainly don't think it has to be timed down to the minute.

I'm rooting for you in the ATL. Heart!

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