Fertility Friend (FF) vs Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF)

These are two great online resources for predicting and confirming ovulation and helping to determine your best chances of getting pregnant.

Both have the same base, you can chart your temperatures medications, cervical fluids, symptoms and your period (length and flow strength).

Each one is different in their own way and you have to look at and experience both before making your final decision.

Here are some threads on other boards about FF vs TCOYF on BabyCenter, WhatToExpect.com and even on TCYOF.com.

Personally, I have read TCOYF but I use FF. As of now, I do not take my temperature, use OPK’s or check my cervical position, so it’s very basic for me. I follow my days, my cervical fluids and sometimes my “symptoms”.

Fertility Friend:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility:

Both sites are very user friendly, have forums and great tutorials. FF provides classes to get you started with charting and TCOYF has the book that is available for purchase. Whether you want to do a lot, like those pictured above, or a little, like me, there’s a right match for you.

Have you looked at both? Which one is your favorite and why?

What is this stuff? Cervical Fluids

“Typical” Cervical Fluid Pattern

While your cervical fluid pattern may vary from cycle to cycle and it may vary from woman to woman, a typical cervical fluid pattern looks like this:

Immediately following menstruation there is usually a dry vaginal sensation and there is little or no cervical fluid.

After a few days of dryness, there is normally a cervical fluid that is best described as “sticky” or “pasty” but not wet. While this kind of cervical fluid is not conducive to sperm survival these days may be considered as “possibly fertile” if found before ovulation.

Following these “sticky” days, most women generally notice a cervical fluid that is best described as “creamy”. This fluid may be white, yellow or beige in color and has the look and feel of lotion or cream. At this point the vagina may feel wet and this indicates possible increased fertility.

The most fertile cervical fluid now follows. This most fertile fluid looks and feels like raw egg white. It is slippery and may be stretched several inches between your fingers. It is usually clear and may be very watery. The vagina feels wet and lubricated. These days are considered most fertile. This is the fluid that is the most friendly and receptive to sperm. It looks a lot like semen and, like semen, can act as a transport for sperm.

After ovulation, fertile fluid dries up very quickly and the vagina remains more or less dry until the next cycle. Some women may notice small amounts of fertile-looking fluid after ovulation as the corpus luteum produces small amounts of estrogen, but you are not at all fertile after ovulation has been confirmed.

Cervical Fluid and Their Meaning

Dry – Probably Not Fertile

Sticky – Probably Not Fertile

Creamy – Possibly Fertile

Watery – Fertile

Egg white – Most Fertile

How can I tell the difference between fertile cervical fluid and semen?

If you find that you have more watery or eggwhite days than you would expect and that these often follow days or nights that you had intercourse, then you may be mistaking seminal and cervical fluid. They have similar properties because they share the same function: transporting and nourishing sperm. You will find, however, that fertile cervical fluid (eggwhite) is more clear and stretchy and shiny. It will stretch a couple of inches without breaking. Semen may be more whitish and is more likely to break when pulled.

If you are in doubt and it is near your fertile time, always record eggwhite cervical fluid, even if it may be obscured by seminal fluid. This way, you will not miss a potentially fertile time. Emitting semen immediately after intercourse by doing kegel exercises (which is sometimes recommended for people who are charting to avoid pregnancy so that cervical fluid is not obscured) is not recommended when you are trying to conceive. While most sperm reach their destination within your reproductive tract quite quickly after intercourse, you don’t want to sacrifice your chances of conception to have a perfect chart.
Taken directly from Fertility Friend

OPK’s- What you need to know and how you need to know it

I am going to preface by saying this: You may get one surge that will lead to ovulation. You may get a surge that will not lead to ovulation. You may get multiple surges leading to no ovulation. You may get near positives and never get an actual positive. You may have PCOS or other hormonal complications that will never allow you to surge or ovulate. You may have constant lines and never surge.

There are many variables and many ways that ovulation tests can be viewed or read.
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If you read the post about home pregnancy test varieties, this one will blow it away. Pregnancy tests are simple. You can test with blood, a stream of urine or urine in a cup. With ovulation tests you can test with a stream of urine, urine in a cup, taking your temperature every morning at the same time, using a watch during certain time periods and also through blood tests or ultrasounds.

This post will only talk about a few. Midstream and cup collection will be the two biggest. There will be a small bit about taking temperature and using the watch or monitor, so bear with me.

Midstream tests

There are variety of companies who create midstream OPK’s. ClearBlue, Answer and those from Early-Pregnancy-Tests.com are some of the more popular. These tests look like the home pregnancy tests, so make sure you have them separated so you can identify them properly.

With these tests you will get a smiley face for the digitals and a line for the regular version. For your lines, you want the test line to be AS DARK OR DARKER THAN the control line. Remember, you may always have a line there, but it’s lighter when you do not have a surge.

If you use the ClearBlue digital OPK, DO NOT open it and analyze the lines inside. They are often lighter than the control and will confuse you. Trust your smiley face or empty circle to tell you the truth.

Dipping tests

These are often referred to as the “internet cheapies” or Wondfo’s. They’re small strips you dip into a cup of collected urine. These are my personal favorite. They’re cheap, easy to transport and easy to read. You must follow the instructions properly to insure you get the right answer. Early-pregnancy-tests.com and Amazon have great deals on them.

The same goes with these as with the midstream. The test line must be AS DARK OR DARKER THAN the control line. If your lines smear or there is no control, test again. That’s what’s great about the dipping ones. You don’t have to pee again, just use the same collection.

Temping

Full fledged charters will also use a basal body thermometer to help determine ovulation. Please note: This will NOT predict ovulation, but it will help confirm what an OPK will predict.

With temping, you take your tempature every morning at the same time after 3 or more hours of sleep. There are many rules when it comes to temping the proper way to get the proper answers. Please ask questions and read Taking Charge Of Your Fertility. It’s a FANTASTIC book with questions you’ll have and their answers, scenarios played out and charts to help get you started. Also check out FertilityFriend.com. It’s an online version of charting that has “classes” to teach you.

Using a watch or monitor

No, I don’t mean a regular watch, I mean the OvWatch. This watch requires you to follow specific instructions when wearing it, how to read it properly and sensors to be used.

The monitor I’m referring to is the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor. It’s expensive, requires sensors daily and can be difficult to read if you don’t follow the instructions. I have heard great reviews and outcomes. You can also often find the monitor and/or sensors on Ebay or Amazon for decent prices.

There are many ways to help find out the right times to time sex to achieve pregnancy or to avoid it. These are only a few ways. Never be afraid to ask questions. I HIGHLY recommend reading the book, it will answer so many questions you never knew you had. You can find some on Ebay, Amazon, Barnes&Noble and many more places.

*********WARNING: THE THREAD BELOW CONTAINS PHOTOS OF BABIES AND INFANTS *************

What is it you like to pee on for that perfect timing? Join us in this thread or comment below to share your favorite, or the one you refuse to use!