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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Pregnancy Scares » Missing period; elevated temperatures

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Author Topic: Missing period; elevated temperatures
moon_goddess
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I never wanted to be one of those people who post about pregnancy scares, but I am starting to get anxious about my risk. (I do have intermittent anxiety in real life, and it tends to go into hyperdrive when I focus on one thing.)

I guess I'll start with the tangibles that I think would actually help me figure out what my risk is.
What does the 2% perfect use failure rate of condoms come from?

I have used condoms every time I have engaged in intercourse and, to my knowledge, they have been used correctly. None have broken. My period is over two weeks late; I have been monitoring my temperature every morning for a few months, and it has been high for much longer than it usually is at the end of my cycle. In all of the time that I have been menstruating, I have only had one period that was later than this, and it was over half a decade ago, and I had not been sexually active.

My boyfriend is sure that everything is fine, and had been trying to reassure me, but I have not told him about the temperatures being high. Last month my period was also a week late, but since I was charting, I noticed that the temperature didn't spike until later (I was under a lot of stress right when I should have ovulated) and then the number of elevated temperatures was the same as it had been in the past.

Thanks for your help. (Also, I would appreciate it if someone who was more familiar with FAM would answer my questions, since that is the root of a fair amount of my anxiety.)

Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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That failure rate comes from when condoms are used perfectly, but still slip off or break and, much, much more rarely, manufacturing issues.

How long have you been charting your basal temps for, only a few months? If so, I would say you need to get to at least about six months of charting to really start to have some real patterns you can figure are, or are not, patterns.

And why are you feeling concerned about your temp being higher for a little longer? It sounds like you are assuming that means something it probably does not. Generally, all an elevated temp tells you - not accounting for all the things that can elevate our body temps - is that you have already ovulated in a cycle.

[ 02-27-2014, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moon_goddess
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I have been charting for 4-5 months. I am concerned because usually when I ovulate, I notice that my temperature goes up at least .3 of a degree and stays there for 9-10 days, before it goes down. It's now been over two weeks since my temperature has gone up, and Wechsler's book says that if you have 18 high temps in a row you're probably pregnant.
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Heather
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Well, I know what Toni has to say about elevated temps is a lot more complex than that. My best advice? If you are going to put a lot of stock into charting, do more than use a book: take a class and really study with someone in person. (And I know Toni would agree with me.) Same goes for figuring it will likely take more time than this for you to get to know your patterns - especially since it sounds like during those few months, your cycles have been irregular - and also know better when a variation is or is not something to concern yourself with. Same also goes for recognizing that when two months in a row, your periods have been erratic, you have to figure little to none of your charting may be something to rely on per information, since we really need very regular patterns in cycles, and for more than just a month or two, to glean sound information from charting.

But here is the thing: if you are concerned you are pregnant, then you can test for it. As, if you are in fact pregnant, you will get a positive result. And I advise anytime someone is having the kind of sex, using any method, that can result in pregnancy and has a late period, they test. After all, it is not like it would be impossible for you to have become pregnant, so since you have been having that kind of sex, do have a late period and are also seeing a difference in temps than you have before, testing would be the sound thing to do at this point.

Too, are you comfortable using condoms alone, or combining them with abstaining during most fertile times based on what you know from your charting so far? If not, it may be you would feel more comfortable with a different combo of methods.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moon_goddess
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Thanks for your quick responses. I'm getting cramps this afternoon; so I'm expecting my period anytime now. Honestly, I think I have a lot of other stressors in my life right now, and a lot of anxiety, and kind of used this as an outlet for all of the worry.

I would like to take a class on FAM, but I live in a pretty conservative area and am not married, so I'm not sure if they would have classes anywhere around here. I was mostly just charting for fun, to see if I could notice patterns, and except for the last two months, the other months' worth of data look strikingly similar.

I do need to think about whether having sex is really a good idea for me right now, because with my period being that late, even if I had used four methods of birth control I think I still would have been really anxious. And I for sure need to have a more open conversation with my boyfriend about the intersection of sex and anxiety.

Thank you so much for responding, too. It means a lot that you're willing to explain through the things that make me anxious even though you guys get tons of pregnancy freakouts and it feels really silly to be worried about something that my brain logically knows can't be the case.

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Heather
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I am so sorry you are having such a hard time!

You may mot need to hear it, but just in case you do: in my experience, for most people, there are going to be times in life or relationships when sex on the whole, or certain kinds of sex, just offers more stress or downsides than benefits. That can occur at any time of life, not just when people are young. So, if it is your feeling it would be best for you to step away from it for a while, and spend more time first on working through how to manage some of these issues better with your partner, I would trust and honor your instincts there. It is always, always okay to take sex time-outs when and if we need them or want them.

Per FAM classes, have you looked up midwives or doulas in your area? They tend not only to be very openminded people, they often provide that education, be it through formal classes or less formal instruction.

But I would also check in with yourself, too, about if now is the right time for charting. If it is something adding to your anxiety rather than alleviating it or having a null effect, now might not be a good time for it, you know?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moon_goddess
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I have not looked for FAM classes yet, but I like that idea. I will look into it.

Charting was really reassuring last month when I clearly saw that ovulation was delayed, and so I was not worried when my (usually very regular) cycle was a week longer. So I'm not really sure whether it's ultimately more helpful than harmful or not.

Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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