OPK friend or foe?

According to the Baby Centre Ovulation Calendar the next few days are my peak conception days. Unfortunately I’m not entirely sure of the length of my cycle as two miscarriages in eight months have left my dates a bit up in the air. This has resulted in the boy and I resorting to a pattern of having sex every other day for about three weeks each month in a bid to not miss my fertile window. Whilst this is by no means a chore and hubby certainly isn’t complaining, I’m concerned that too many months of this pattern could lead to difficulties in our relationship and the boy feeling like I only want him for his sperm.

This has got me thinking about OPKs. So far I have avoided them thinking that spontaneity is the way forward but I’m fooling myself if I think that what we’re doing is spontaneous so I’m thinking that if we don’t conceive this month I might start using OPKs to try to more accurately track my fertile window.

What experiences have people had with OPKs and temperature monitoring? Do you think it improves your chances of conceiving? Does it help you to feel more in control of TTC or does the constant monitoring make you feel obsessive? Also, how does it affect the boys? Do you tell them when it’s a good day or just try to initiate sex when you know you’re fertile? Am I doing the right thing by considering OPKs or do you think it’s a slippery slope to obsessiveness that I should try to put off as long as possible?

4 thoughts on “OPK friend or foe?

  1. I was using OPKs and personally found them unreliable. Apparently if you test in the AM and surge in the PM you could miss it altogether. I think that happened to me because I went months without a positive OPK but got pregnant anyway. Twice. Temping does help me, gives me an idea when ovulation did occur, but it’s always retrospective. What I personally found most effective was the Billings method. It’s hard to get your head around at first and isn’t for the faint of heart but it eventually became SO obvious to me when I had my fertile days, even though the OPKs continued to be negative. With the Billings method we were able to pin point the days a bit more clearly and that helped to feel less structured about things and not to overdo it which we knew wasn’t sustainable long term, like you said. It gave me some control in the process. I like to know what’s happening with my body but was careful not to over analyse. Sometimes I’d tell hubby, sometimes not. He did want to be involved so most of the time he asked where we were in the cycle anyway, I thought that was sweet.
    Have you read “Taking Charge of your Fertility?” By Toni Wechsler? It’s a great book that helps to understand the benefits of all three methods to help you chose what’s best for you. It’s very empowering and has a relaxed approach to learning about your body’s signals.

  2. I gave up on the natural (no tests) way a long time ago. Part of it is being a control freak- I like to know exactly what’s going on with my body when. But having sex every other day for most of the month just isn’t an option for us for time reasons if nothing else. Since I started taking progesterone I have to test so I know when to start taking it.

    None of this is particularly good for our relationship or sex life :(. I do tell him when we’ll be having sex, which is totally unromantic for both of us and not ideal. We aim for 3 days before O and 1 day before O. Usually the way it works out is that since it’s been a while, the first time is great. But by the second time the pressure is on and we’ve run in to problems. It’s not romantic or ideal, but sadly I have very little energy to fix it given everything else there is to deal with.

    As far as tests- I use super cheap ones from amazon, and its always worked for me. If I test early enough in the month I can follow it as it starts to increase a few days before O, so I have a little forewarning. Plus there’s the cervical mucus. Whether I’m looking for it or not that usually gives me a heads up a few days before O as well.

    This is just what makes me most comfortable though, I’m sure that what your doing is plenty to get pregnant, so don’t feel the need to change it if it’s working for you.

  3. I learned that if I just quit talking about conception and ovulation with my husband, things worked better for us. He found it stressful and slightly donorish to say, “OK, we’re ovulating let’s go to bed.” He was more likely to be with me if I didn’t bog him down with my pre-conception stress. I used the OPK one month and I also found it unreliable. The lines never changed during the entire time I tested. My cycles were really screwy too and every time I’ve gotten pregnant my first thought was, “How in the world did that happen?”

  4. Thank you for your replies its really great to get views from people who have been through the same things. I think I’m going to wait and see how this month goes and if I don’t manage to get pregnant I’ll start looking at the different options for taking control of the timings. I don’t like feeling so out of control and don’t think that our current schedule is going to be sustainable long term without giving rise to some problems between me and the boy.

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