Well, it’s a good enough time as any to give you an update on how things have been going in the realms of acupuncture. About a month and a half ago I gave you a “one month update” on how everything has been plugging along, and there have in fact been a lot of changes over the last month and a half.
Ever since my last update, I have been seeing my acupuncturist bi-weekly to receive treatment, tell him some updates, and to get an herb mixture to drink twice to three times a day. About three weeks ago, I was starting to get fairly frustrated — I wasn’t seeing any more changes and I was starting to lose hope that anything was going to happen. In fact, I was even starting to think about asking my acupuncturist for a referral to some of the infertility specialists he works closely with. I know it seems pretty unreasonable. When you go the au natural route on things, they’re bound to take a lot longer than other traditional treatments (relatively speaking). I had to take a step back and remind myself that I originally planned on giving the acupuncture treatments a total of six months and it had only been two months. I had a whole lot longer to go before I even went down that route.
One thing that was helping me throughout this time period was charting my basal body temperature every single morning when I woke up. For those of you who are not familiar with charting, your basal body temperature is your body temperature in the morning before you move, eat, or drink anything. It should also be done at relatively the same time every morning. In the morning before I even get out of bed, I grab the thermometer next to my alarm clock, take my temperature, and chart it on my phone.
Charting your basal body temperature can give you a world of insight into what’s going on with your body and hormones without any other information. For regularly cycling women, every month your body temperature will go into two phases — a period of time where your body temperature is low (depends on every women, but somewhere in the low 97’s) and a period of time where your body temperature is higher (again, depends but it should be at least 0.4 degrees higher than your normal “low temperature). If your body is cycling normally, you will be able to easily see the two phases of your cycle — the follicular phase (when your body is getting ready to ovulate — the first part of your cycle) and the luteal phase (where progesterone is higher and up until you get your period). When you see your chart, you want it to be bi-phasic and to see two distinct trends. You can read more about charting here to get specifics.
When I first started charting my temperatures sometime late last fall, I quickly realized that my chart was monophasic and only had one pattern — uh… not so good, right? That basically meant my body was not ovulating and was obviously not cycling (as I already knew — ha). What I wanted to happen was have my body start to create a biphasic chart.
Once I started taking my herbs from my acupuncturist, I started to see a little bit of a trend with my temperatures. For about a week they would be lower, and for a week they would be higher. My body was really trying to do something but just wasn’t there yet. Then, in the first few days of April, my body temperatures were incredibly low, which was quite unusual for me (mine was typically 97.6-97.8 and had dropped down to 97.4) and then they started to rise over the course of a few days.
This TOTALLY stood out to me because your basal body temperature will take a dip when your body ovulates. I kind of (okay totally) freaked out and hoped and prayed that something actually happened. In fact, the next week when I went back to my acupuncturist, I told him with 100% certainty that I was going to start my cycle within the next week or so. Go figure, I guess I know my body pretty well and my cycle returned in the time frame I had predicted.
Yes, I did a happy dance. Yes, I cried a few tears. Yes, I am incredibly happy with everything I have been doing over the course of the past few months. Stopping running, eating a lot more, having to buy new pants… all of those things were quite worth it to get to the point that I am at right now. It’s quite difficult to say where one of those changes start and stop, so I can’t say exclusively that acupuncture was “the answer” to my problems. It sure helped, that’s for sure. I will be continuing my acupuncture treatments to make sure this becomes a regular occurrence as well.
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies over here. It’s been a really difficult past three months — more mentally than anything else. Totally changing my lifestyle and pretty much “letting myself go” has been quite a feat, especially when I’m immersed in the healthy living blog world. I really couldn’t have done it without the Husband. He is an incredible pillar of support for me and never fails to make me feel better about the whole experience. This journey definitely isn’t over, but we’re one step closer!
Recently, I started using a new tool called Ova Ova along with my regular use of Fertility Friend to help with charting my basal body temperature. I actually won a lifetime membership from BERF a few weeks ago and Amanda from Ova Ova offered to host a giveaway on CEC as well. Here’s what I want to tell you — you do not have to chart your temperatures only if you are trying to conceive. Charting your temperatures is helpful to pinpoint if you are having hormonal issues. It’s a great way of natural birth control. It can help you predict when your cycle is going to start. I think it’s so empowering to be aware of what is happening in your body — if you can get information, you should take it!
source (not my chart for privacy reasons)
Amanda is offering one in seven readers a LIFETIME membership to Ova Ova to help chart your temperatures. What I love about Ova Ova is the bar graphs instead of line graphs like Fertility Friend. It’s color coded and really easy to use. The only downside is there is no phone app like Fertility Friend. I love putting my temperature in my phone first thing in the morning instead of having to wait to get to the computer. Instead, I just use both charts to compare (Type A much?) and contrast what each say.
If you are interested in winning a lifetime membership to Ova Ova, please email Amanda (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Ova Ova and tell her you were sent from Clean Eating Chelsey. Remember, one out of every seven people who email her will win a lifetime membership! Even if you do not win a membership, you can still sign up for a trial use — and after your trial is over, Ova Ova is $36 per year for members to use. Good luck and happy charting!