OPKs: Positive or Negative?

One of the most asked questions on TTCAL is “How do I know if my OPK is positive or negative?”. It can be hard to tell sometimes. Hopefully this blog post can help clear up any confusion and make your TTCAL journey a little easier.

First let’s recap what OPKs are and how they work. OPK is short for Ovulation Prediction Kits.These tests pick up the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) surge that is produced just before ovulation. Just like a Home Pregnancy Tests (HPT), these tests come in different forms; strips, cassettes or midstream.

When is the best time to test?
This all depends on how long your cycles are. Use the following table as a guide line as to when to start testing.

Cycle Start Day
21 5
22 5
23 6
24 7
25 8
26 9
27 10
28 11
29 12
30 13
31 14
32 15
33 16
34 17
35 18
36 19
37 20
38 21
39 22

The best time of day to test would be late afternoon. Anything from 2pm is advisable until about 8pm. Reason being that LH is more concentrated in your urine later in the day, as opposed to early morning. FMU is not recommended when testing with an OPK.

Try limiting fluid intake before testing, as well as holding your urine for 2-3 hours before.

If you are taking Clomid/Fertomid it is recommended that you do not start testing until a day or two after your last pill. Sometimes these fertility pills can cause a false positive.

How long do I test for?You will need to test until you get your positive result i.e. detecting your LH surge. This can vary from 4 days to 10 days depending on how long your cycles are. The shorter your cycle the less tests you will need. You would most likely “see” your surge within 4-5 days from testing.

 What is a positive, I have two lines???
This can be a bit tricky. Since an OPK does not “read” the same as a HPT. A line is NOT always a positive line on an OPK. You will need your test line to be darker than or as dark as the control line. A faint test line only indicates some LH being picked up, not your surge. So keep testing until your test line gets as dark as the control line.

I have my positive, now what?
Once you get detect your surge, you can ovulate 12 – 36 hours after your positive result. (Bear in mind you can wait as long as 48 hours.) Intercourse (BD-Baby Dancing) can take place the day of the positive OPK; you can skip the next day and BD after that. Although you shouldn’t really miss more than two consecutive days of intercourse when Trying to Conceive (TTC). Of course there is nothing wrong with every day either as long as your partner does not have sperm health issues. If you are tracking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT), keep BD until you confirm your thermal shift.

All  above Info came from Making Babies

And since it is always easier to compare your OPKs to a picture, here are a few diagrams and pictures of different types of tests that will make it easier to figure out if your OPK is positive or negative.

See how the bottom one is as dark (if not a little darker) than the control line. That is a positive result. The 2PM test is not quite positive but almost there.

Another example of an OPK test, same principle.. not positive until the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.

Left (Not Positive), Right (Positive)
Then of course the lovely Smiley face!
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"Rules" aka etiquette for BFP posting

Please remember that the following was on request, several requests actually. Also, this is blunt. It is intended to be blunt.

When is it OK to post your BFP announcement on this board, instead of going directly to PGAL and posting your announcement/intro there? Good question. Back in August, NoahBear wrote a lovely post for the blog that covered the subject well, and gave gentle guidance that relied on people’s common sense.

http://www.ttcalblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/to-post-or-not-to-post-bfp-story.html

Prior to and since that time, there was a struggle on the board. Frankly, it got ugly. Many people who had been part of a core group of support here left under nasty suggestions that this board be ‘controlled by and for newbies only’, and anyone who had been here for more than 6 months should just leave. It was even suggested that they ‘go back to m/c-loss’ if they couldn’t be happy for a random fly-by posting a ‘Squeeee! I’m KTFU!’ on the board.

Those sorts of suggestions were vicious and terribly painful to women who had been giving support and guidance to others and rarely asking for any themselves for a very long time. They were the glue that holds us together and provides continuity to our community. Only some of those lovely ladies who were hurt have come back. And of course, almost every single one of the women who wanted the oldies to leave have graduated and moved on. Because that’s how this works. Most of you will be graduated and moved on in a few months.

However, one good thing that happened during all that, was that after almost a year of back and forth struggles trying to make this board a more supportive place (without becoming the puppies and rainbows barfing hell of babygaga.com), we found common ground and agreed upon certain ideas about posting (and graduate participation). After a few weeks, the first BFP post came and everyone held their breath. Then, only happy ‘Congrats!’ came and were from both newbies and oldies. Then another and another and another. Graduates felt free to come and post support for us, and no longer felt kicked out and rejected by us. Our community began to repair itself.

In time like an occasional hailstone in the rain, we noticed a few absolute newbies who had only posted for less than a month start to post BFPs. But, not wanting to bring back the all out nastiness from the past, people let them slide. Then there were a few call outs posted, the ONE sacrifice everyone had agreed on in order to find peace. But, when PSAs were posted reminding people that call outs were a no-no, the response back was ‘Oh yeah? Well, the Rules aren’t in the blog!’ When a very new person found success on her first cycle in TTCAL, left for a few days, and then came back to post a BFP, and it was pointed out that it felt like a ‘neener neener’ post, the response back was ‘Oh yeah? Well, the Rules aren’t in the blog!’

Well. Now the ‘Rules’ are in the blog.

Whereas before it was left to your common sense, now it’s spelled out. There is still some room for interpretation of course, we aren’t toddlers, or at least we’re not supposed to act like it.

Etiquette for Posting BFPs on TTCAL

1) If you are fortunate enough to find success on your first cycle or two on TTCAL, it’s a pretty good bet that you should go directly to PGAL and post a BFP/Intro post there. The board as a whole hasn’t yet had the chance to really get to know you or your struggles. Their happiness for your success is likely to be overshadowed by their pain of seeing yet another newb flash through and leave them behind. Posting now would only serve to hurt others. PGALers will be excited for you and welcome you with open arms. (Of course, if you were here giving support for months while you were TTA before you were TTC, then of course you’ve been here long enough.) Do remember that when you move over from m/c-loss you may move over with a group of women you know and feel comfortable with, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the women on TTCAL know you yet.

2) If you’ve been here actively giving support 3-6 cycles, and participating in the board as a member of the community, post that bad boy BFP up! If you read posts but don’t respond to very many, or if you just start your own threads and don’t reply much to others, then this doesn’t apply to you. If in doubt, review your posting history. If the entire first page of history is all on TTCAL, all recent, and almost entirely support to others posts, you’re probably fine.

3) If you’re a member of 6+, then you get to post your BFP without thought or worry about it. You’ve been providing support and knowledge to ‘generations’ of TTCALers long after all your questions were answered for you by others. You’ve earned it. (But that’s rather the point isn’t it? BFPs are intended to celebrate the long-awaited success of our friends who have struggled.)

4) BFP posts should include a ‘bfp warning’ in the title. If you’ve already included a ticker in your siggy as fast as all that, please put a ‘ticker warning’ in the title. For reference, most graduates who post a BFP (or intend on coming back and offering support) chose not to use a ticker for a while, or use a typographic ticker (“my baby’s progress”), instead of a graphical one (i.e. the fruit ticker or pictures of the developing embyo). Only graphical tickers should need warnings on BFPs. Graduates with tickers of any kind are always welcome to participate of posts started by people with ‘PGAL/PAL Welcome’ in their siggies, no warning needed.

5) Call out posts are absolutely not cool on this board. If you are so excited and happy for someone that you don’t feel posting your comments in the OPs BFP post with everyone else is good enough for you, send a PM or call them out on PGAL (you do know that they read through those congratulation replies over, and over, and over again, right? Yours wouldn’t go unnoticed. Really.). But the ‘call out’ posts were the price we paid for board peace. This isn’t about being mean to you, it’s about NOT being cruel to women who are hurting. Getting your umpteenth BFFN and logging on to TTCAL looking for support because you are losing hope seems pointless if the first page is all call outs for the latest graduate to leave you in the dust.

6) If you are new to the board, and someone is called out for their BFP post and you think it’s uncalled for, perhaps you should stop, listen, and learn before condemning the very women who you will be seeking support and knowledge from, before criticizing them for calling someone out for an inappropriate post. If you are unlucky enough to be here for more than a few months, you’ll figure it out fairly quickly.

7) Always remember that the intention of these rules are to provide a reminder about etiquette. Etiquette is not something to make yourself feel good, it’s to make others feel good.

~Written by Petra from TTCAL

To Post or Not To Post- A BFP Story

When new members come to the board, it’s often asked “do I post my BFP here?”

Long ago, there was a time when all BFP’s were welcomed if you were an active member of the community. For a while that seemed to be gone and absolutely no BFP’s were “allowed”. Recently, it’s gone back to those who are active members can post them.

So why is the debate always coming up? That’s a very good question, and no matter the answer, it wont matter. This debate will arise every few months, get heated and die down. There will be clicky polls, unpopular opinions and arguments.

A couple suggestions before you think of posting your positive pregnancy test for all to see:

-Have you supported others and somewhat gotten your “name” out there?
-Have you put a “warning” in your title (ie. pg mentioned, bfp mentioned)
-Would you consider yourself a regular on the board?

If you have to ask yourself, or others, if you’re a regular, you probably aren’t. If you have posted on the board, either new post or responding, a small handful of times over several months, you’re probably not recognized. We don’t know if you read every single post and just don’t post. We don’t know you until you let us. Intro, participate, support, post random things, just get out there and get your name known.

Give support, get support. Simple as that.

Can It Be Genetic?

It’s widly “known” that losses are not genetic. Doctors say there is no way that the trait can be passed down from either parent. Yet, when you ask the board if any of their immediate family members have had a loss, more say yes than no.

Interestingly, though, more say no than yes when it comes to infertility (secondary or initially) with a good chunk unsure.

The top Google searches when you type in “Are miscarriages….” pops up with genetic and hereditary. That’s not a coincidence.

Once you’ve had a loss, you know how much it’s out there, like a new world has been exposed. But why does it seem to pop up a lot in your own family?

Searching online and talking to doctors seem to bring up nothing. They’ll say it’s a fluke, a genetic abnormality (of your LO, not you) or that it’s just a coincidence. There seem to have been no true studies into why they seem prevalent in families.

Perhaps one day,family losses will be a factor into your monitoring during your own pregnancy. Maybe it will help to boost your check-ins or ultrasounds or even just your betas.

Until then, we’ll keep on keepin on.

Interesting articles to read:

Way Of Predicting Outcome Of Pregnancies With Miscarriage Threat Developed

Are Miscarriages Hereditary? A question on AllExperts.com

Multiple Miscarriages Linked To Gene– from 2001