One thing that my acupuncturist had me start doing was tracking my BBT. I’m glad she suggested this because it has been the biggest insight into what is going on for me. Initially I was slightly resistant because I had not only heard about this but had tried it once in my life when I was not on birth control and not having periods. My previous chart was always all over the place with no recognizable pattern and no real beginning or end since I never had periods. I felt like I was waking up early and charting just to remind myself first thing every day that something was wrong with me, so I gave it up. When I started again along with the acupuncture it gave us a really immediate tool to see what effects the treatments were having and could see any progress that was being made. I ended up having a period 9 days after my first treatment and the start of my charting. It was nice to have an official start; a first cycle if you will, to be able to compare all future cycles to. That first cycle ended up being a little longer than the classic 28 days. It was 142 days to be exact! Yes that is right, a 5 month cycle, the one that started in December ended in May! But really for me this was unprecedented. I was happy with the 5 months since previously I had gone years with nothing. And even though it was a long frustrating 5 months I could definitely tell a lot about what was going on from my chart. Keeping track of my BBT really got me interested in my body and enticed me to research what exactly was going on in there. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and I think every woman should be handed a copy at their first period and then women should be available for questioning. It’s great. It lays out in simple terms what the complex female endocrine and reproductive system is trying to do every month. So in watching my temperatures I could see what hormones were in play and which were not. At best my body was steady but not ovulating and at worst it was all over the place. My acupuncturist was able to use this as well to try to keep energies moving and rising and falling accordingly. Eventually my temps leveled out and stayed low so we knew I just needed a push at that point to ovulate. So she did her needle magic and voila I ovulated. It was beautiful, and my luteal phase was 14 days on its own without much help. So it seemed that once I could ovulate things went well, I was so glad not to be dealing with a luteal phase defect as well. And based on my chart it appeared that I didn’t need to worry about progesterone deficiency either.
The end of cycle one was good and bad. I mean, I didn’t want it to be any longer but it also marked the beginning of cycle two and it felt sort of like starting over. It felt like “here we go again, we are looking at another 5 months” But all that worry was for nothing. The next cycle was shorter! This time it was only two months. And it looked like my temperature was trying to spike around day 14 but it only stayed up for about 5 days before it came plummeting down again with no period. After that it took about 2 weeks to get it to settle down and then 18 days of nice even consistent low temps before we saw the beautiful jump. Also during this time my acupuncturist had prescribed me some really strong raw herbs that I had to make a super bitter tea out of. It was a yang tonic tea, I took it for 8 days followed by some yang herb tablets for another 4 days. But it worked. Cycle two ended in a mere 62 days this time!