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TTC Advice and Tips

TTC Advice & Tips

Would you rather receive TTC advice from your mother-in-law or a complete stranger? Most ladies I know prefer the complete stranger route (myself included). Well good news! Our site is literally crawling with complete strangers (the good kind), many of them eager to share their "tried and true" TTC stories with you. So unless you're a mother-in-law, we invite you to chime in with your TTC Advice and Tips. What got you pregnant? We want to know!

And for gosh sakes – if you have TTC advice to share, stop hogging it to yourself! Send us your TTC advice so we can share it with the world!

Some good info on HPT false negatives

I just read this really interesting bit of info on false negatives - it's giving me comfort and hopefully will for others:

Consumer Reports Reviews of Home Pregnancy Tests

We tested 18 pregnancy-test kits to find out which brands work best. Buy the top performers and follow our tips for the most accurate results.

The claims on home pregnancy-test kits certainly sound impressive: "99 percent accurate," "results as early as 1 minute," "ready to use the first day of missed period." But how trustworthy are they? Our tests found that for many women, home pregnancy-test kits will not work as accurately, as quickly, or as soon after the missed menstrual period as the labels promise.

We also found that the usefulness and accuracy of home pregnancy-test kits can be improved if women are aware of the kits' limitations and learn how to work around them. For example, though most test-kit labels advise women to test "as early as the first day of missed period," the kits are more accurate when used a week later.

For women who consider it important to test at the very first suspicion of pregnancy, our tests identified one especially sensitive and reliable brand, First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test. It will detect the very low levels of the hormone likely to be present in the earliest days of pregnancy.

However, First Response promises on its package to detect pregnancy several days before a missed period. At that point, 26 percent of viable pregnancies are not yet producing any pregnancy hormone whatsoever, according to a 2001 report by Allen J. Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a federal research laboratory in Durham, N.C.

TESTING THE TESTS
All home pregnancy-test kits use monoclonal antibodies to detect a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by the developing placenta beginning the day on which the embryo implants in the uterine wall. Concentrations of this pregnancy hormone vary widely, depending on the individual. A recent study of pregnant women, conducted by Laurence A. Cole, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Women's Health Research at the University of New Mexico, found that urinary hCG ranged from 23 to 652 mIU/ml (thousandths of an International Unit per milliliter) 28 days after their last menstrual period. During the first several weeks of pregnancy, hCG concentrations in blood and urine increase exponentially, doubling every two to three days.

All 18 brands of pregnancy kits we tested employ similar technology. Most use sticks with absorbent wicks that are held directly in the urine stream. Most also allow the user to collect the urine in a cup and then dip the stick. One brand, the Inverness Medical Early Pregnancy Test, offers a choice of two products, one with a stick and one with a two-step process in which the user first collects urine in a cup, then uses a medicine dropper to transfer a few drops to a plastic cassette.

Regardless of collection method, reading the results is the same for every test kit: If a line, however faint, appears in the result window after a specified number of minutes, the test is positive. (The kits also have a second, "control" line that appears when the test is working properly.)

To assess the sensitivity of the test kits, we worked with an independent laboratory that specializes in hCG studies. We spiked hCG-free urine with varying concentrations of the hormone, to mimic the range found in normal early pregnancies. We tested each product at increasing hCG concentrations until we obtained a positive result.

We conducted the tests as instructed on each product's package insert. Technicians read the results after the specified minimum wait--anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the product--and then again at the maximum time allowed (10 minutes in all the products we tested). They also evaluated each kit on how easy it was to read a positive result, and on overall ease of use.

HOW THE TEST KITS PERFORMED
One product, First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, emerged as the most reliable and sensitive test kit. It detected hCG at concentrations as low as 6.5 mIU/ml. That's almost certainly sensitive enough to detect any pregnancy soon after implantation. One other product, Clear Choice At Home Pregnancy Test, which provides a small jar for urine collection, was able to detect the same low hCG levels at the reading time specified by the manufacturer. But several of the Clear Choice kits we tested failed to work (showed no line in control window), making it less reliable than the First Response product.

The other test kits were less sensitive than those two; the five least sensitive couldn't detect hCG below concentrations of about 100 mIU/ml at their specified reading times.

TTC

Me and my boyfriend were ttc for awhile and I ended up getting pregnant, but a few weeks later I lost the baby. So we kept trying but nothing happened. We recently had sex, but I was on my period at the time that we did it. But I have been having alot of the symptoms that alot of people have posted. I have headaches, tired all the time, it may be too early but I have been peeing alot more than usual, I got the hard pressure on my pubic bone and lower stomach, my breasts were extremly sore for like 5 days, and they never get sore. My urine has been darker, and my emotions have been crazy. Very emotional about everything. My stomach has been bloated, I have been eating like crazy. I may just be having these symptoms because I want another baby so badly, I have a 2 year old son, that would love a brother or sister. But Im really hoping its the real thing. I could then prove that you can get pregnant on your period. Does anyone have any advice or what their opinion is on my symptoms? Please I really want positive words because this is the last time were going to ttc for awhile....

What I did differently this cycle

I just got my BFP! ~ What I did differently this cycle...

No more heated seats in the car for me or for DH!
No more using the electric blanket at night ... turn it off before hopping into bed.
Believe it or not, I switched from my Rx prenatal vitamin to Geritol Complete this cycle from CD-3. (Now I'm back on my Rx).
Cut waaay back on my caffeine everyday.
Increased my daily water intake Propped after BD or simply remained lying down for about 15 mins after. *I might have done a handstand or two, sure! :-)

Grapefruit Juice and Robitussin

The first month we tried, I got a BFP!
* I o'd on Day 14 and we bd'd 12, 13, 14, 15.
* I used warm water for lubricant since we need it and Pre-Seed hadn't come in the mail yet!
* We did doggy-style and I would lay on my stomach for 30 minutes or go straight to sleep, depending on the time of day.
* I used Grapefruit juice (1 glass everymorning start on day 10)
* And I took 3 tbsp a day of Robitussin starting day 10 as well until after O.
* I temped as well.
* Robitussin (the kind with no letters after the name) and grapefruit juice help increase CM, so there is more the the sperm to live in once they enter the cervix!

Here is what I did my BFP cycle

What I think might have made a difference for me in my BFP cycle: * I've been eating more protein, including some fish (I'd been vegetarian for 18 years, so this was WEIRD and difficult, but I figured it was worth a try). * Almost no soy. * Eli/Weagan's B-vitamin/Vitex cocktail (NOT for everyone I know, but good for me b/c of my short LP, late ovulation, and other issues). * Cut way back on exercise after O--I usually work out 5-6 days a week for an hour, plus I bike to and from work. This month I just biked to/from work, no lunchtime workouts. * I stopped drinking altogether a couple months ago--I used to drink up until O, or a few days after O. But I read a couple things that suggested that alcohol, even in moderation, can lower fertility in some people...at this point I need all the help I can get, so I cut it out. It was hard for me at first, but it's actually great now, and I'm sleeping better. I was resistant to this b/c I felt like cutting out all drinking would make me more aware of TTC, acting as if I were already pg, put more pressure on me--but I'm aware of it all the time anyway, so....And I did decided to have a beer or glass of wine each time I got my period (but that's it). * Acupuncture every 2 weeks plus Chinese herbs * Had lots of sex around ovulation, recommended by a friend of mine (who has no kids, but two of her friends, who are our age, didn't get pg for a couple years, then one cycle tried the sex-fest, and it worked)--I know it goes against most doctors' advice, since sperm doesn't get to build up, but...it seemed to work for us * I didn't temp after O, which made me less stressed in 2ww.

No sugar diet & Preseed/Clomid/IUI

What we did differently: Everything!
* We did a Clomid/Repronex cycle (see my home page for details)
* hCG shot
* IUI (#2 - our first IUI was w/ just Clomid)
* added yams to my diet
* added avocado to DH's diet
* completely stopped eating sugar
* drank decaf green tea instead of the full-caff white tea for CM
* used pre-seed (we've done this for several months)
* did NOT use Instead cups (we'd done that for about nine months)
* HSG was done on April 13, so still w/in the 3 mos of increased fertility post HSG
* BDed a LOT. Even when we were sure we were past O date, we continued to BD
* used fertility monitor instead of OPKs

Preseed

Just got my BFP! What I did differently this cycle:
1. Used pre-seed beginning at CD11 until O was confirmed.
2. Didn't chart that much (just to confirm O and a few other random days.)
3. BD approx. 36 hours apart the 3 days leading up to O (Thurs PM, Sat AM, Sun PM with O on Sunday.)

Other things that I did or didn't do:
1. No green tea or robitussin (I did that on some of my previous cycles.)
2. Pillow under butt for between 10-20 minutes after BD.
3. Took PNV every day.

Green Tea tablets and Lots of water

I wanted to tell you what worked for me:

1. BD lovingly...keeping it fun and fresh. I prefer missionary, so 98% of the time that's how it goes.
2. Green tea tablets every day
3. Lots of water (I try for 1.5 L a day)
4. Grapefruit and/or fresh carrot juice when I can
5. Prenatals & supplemental folic acid daily
6. DH multivitamin & 1000 mg vitamin C daily
7. BBT and OPKs
8. SMEP plan, loosely

This month, we've been traveling (my husband is on business) and I actually reduced my temping obsessiveness...
I drank more caffeine than I have in a long time...
Put on about 5-10 pounds from eating out....
I bought tons of size small pants and size small shirts...
Invested in a mountain bike (which even has yet to be assembled)...
Mostly, we kept BDing fun!

Hope this works for all of you too...I will tell you I wasn't expecting this to happen this month!

Pineapple Juice

Hi, we just got our BFP today and I wanted to share the story with you.

On our 4th cycle TTC we did a few things different because I was getting really impatient and needed to do SOMETHING, even though it might not work.

What we did:
BD every other day from CD 10 on
Used opks and BD 3 days in a row after positive opk
Drank 1-2 glasses of pineapple juice from O day until I tested positive
Prayed!

I hope that helps some of you. I heard good things about the pineapple juice and decided to try it this month. Only don't use it after your BFP because one of the chemicals in it can cause AF tocome. (on the flip side the same chemical is supposed to help with implantation...)
Another note- on my estimated O day, we BD of course, and my husband was having a hard time "finishing" due to all the BD we had being doing. (sorry TMI) He even got blisters (TMI again!) but was determined to BD and finished after 45mins. We got our BFP 11 days later!

Musinex until O and Low-estrogen diet

What I did different this month: No drinking, even before Ovulation, no caffeine, one cup of green tea every day, one cup of grapefruit juice every day before O, Raspberry leaf tea every day before O, B-100 complex vitamin along with prenats, stopped taking all medications including my allegra-d, Musinex every day till O (max dose around O), ate only organic dairy and meat products (to avoid excess estrogen), ate mostly whole foods (non-processed) including lots of fruit and vegetables, took fibercon tablets to have a BM once a day, supposedly excess estrogen can be absorbed from you bowel if you don‚t have a daily BM - sorry if that is TMI, but hey whatever works! Drank pineapple juice every day from O to 10DPO to help implantation. Used a natural progesterone cream twice a day.

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