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Infertility/Fertility/what's happening with this chart?

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Question
I have been charting my bbt with fertility friend for 8 cycles, so I have gotten very familiar with my system. This month I had a clear and obvious thermal shift on cd12 from 97.6 to 98.3. My temp stayed up for 8 days (above 97.9)then began to slowly fall so I expected my period to arrive. After 3 days of lower temps, fertility friend removed my cross hairs and now says I did not ovulate. After 5 days of lower temps, again my temp has shot back up for 2 days. My usual cycle length is 24 days and now I am on cd27. I have had anovulatory cycles before but they never showed a clear thermal shift (esp for 8 days), like this one does. Also, I did have spotting on the days of lower temps when I thought my period was coming. I never spot so this was odd for me, and it was only when I wiped, never enough for even a panty liner. In your professional opinion, would you say this was an annovulatory cycle  and should we treat it as such or would you reccommend I test? I have never had a cycle like this before. Any advice you can offer would be so appreciated. Here is my chart.

http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/4379df

Answer
Hello Jeniene from the U.S. (California),

Of course there is no way for me to know exactly what your physiology is doing based on a temperature chart, but I can probably offer a possible explanation.  Temperature charts are NOT really measures of ovulation, rather it is a measure of the progesterone rise that should occur from the point of ovulation.  The progesterone hormone is thermogenic and so there is a slight rise in temperature.  The fluctuations you are seeing may be fluctuations in this hormone which is a sign of a hormonal imbalance such as would be seen in anovulatory cycles.  So, I agree that this chart may indicate that this is an anovulatory cycle.  In order to get pregnant with anovulatory cycles, ovulation ("fertility") medication is used to induce the ovary to function correctly.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
www.montereybayivf.com

Monterey, California, U.S.A.

for additional information check out my blog at http://womenshealthandfertility.blogspot.com check me out on twitter with me at @montereybayivf and facebook @montereybayivf.  I now provide personalized fee for service consultations/advice/direction via email and payable via Pay Pal.  If interested, contact me via my email at info@montereybayivf.com.  This service will allow you to have your own personal on-demand infertility expert.

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Edward Joseph Ramirez, MD, FACOG

Expertise

I am a specialist in infertility and advanced gynecological care. I can answer questions about infertility, gynecology related ills, menopause...virtually anything that affects women's health. PLEASE tell me where you are writing from as I am always interested.

Experience

I have been practicing as an Ob/Gyn and Infertility Specialist for over 23 years. Gynecology, advanced laparoscopic surgery, basic infertility, IUI's, IVF, reproductive surgery, and ovulation induction are all areas of my expertise. I am Board Certified. I have been doing In Vitro Fertilization in my clinic for 19 years.

Organizations
American College of OB/GYN, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Fellow of The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists,Resolve-National Chapter, Open Path - Northern California, Board of Directors Monterey Medical Society

Publications
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wall Street Journal, Monterey Herald, SERMO, Women's Health and Fertility Blog

Education/Credentials
Medical Degree from Stanford University, Residency at Tripler Army Medical Center, Reproductive Training at Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco

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