Friday, January 15, 2010

Charting Menstrual Cycles

OK, I'll warn you ahead of time, this is probably TMI! So if you don't want to read an in depth reflection of my reproductive capabilities, I'd probably skip this post.

I'm an individual who believes that if you're not preventing a pregnancy through any form of contraception or natural family planning, you're "trying to conceive." Joe and I aren't quite ready to start trying to conceive. I'm starting residency in mid-June and that'll hopefully entail a move. I'll have a job, but since we're moving, Joe will have to find another job. So, given those factors, we've decided it's best to continue to keep preventing a pregnancy. (Now of course, if an "oops" happened I think we'd both be ecstatic, but we must be responsible here).

Coming this March, I'll have been on some form of hormonal birth control for nine years. Studies have shown that women on birth control for at least ten years have a decreased risk of ovarian cancer, but I digress. Having been on birth control for a large portion of my life, I'd like to see what my body is like off of it. Like any foreign substance we put into our bodies, it has side effects.

So with those thoughts above, I thought about starting to chart my cycle so I know when to avoid sex. Yes, lots of people give Natural Family Planning a bad rep, but done properly, it's very effective. Joe and I decided we'd not consider going off birth control just yet. But here's a problem I have with charting to avoid--I always imagined when Joe and decide it's time we'd like a baby, I'd just stop birth control. I wouldn't pay attention to when I'm ovulating, and just have sex when we'd want to have sex. (I told you this is a little TMI for some). This is where I'm running into a problem. If I start charting to avoid, that means we'd also know when it's most likely to conceive and when we're ready to have a baby, the "fun" would be gone. I don't really want to turn into the woman who says to her husband, "I'm ovulating today, so we better have sex," especially if the mood, timing, sleep status, etc aren't ideal for "baby making." (Don't get me wrong though, if after some time we aren't conceiving and we need to do this, I'll have to readjust my mind frame).

If you can't tell, I need to get back on a busy rotation so I can get babies of my brain!


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