I hope you are enjoying this week's testimonies.
I find the best way to show that charting your fertility is important for your fertility health is by reading about other women's experiences.
It is amazing what a fertility chart can tell a woman.
Today we are going to hear Andi's amazing story.
She shares with us her experience with charting and how it was a doorway to better health and receiving REAL treatment for her reproductive health issues.
I had not ever heard of Creighton charting until a routine, annual visit with my midwife. She mentioned this might be a tool to help uncover some of my secondary infertility problems.
Initially, I ignored the idea, because I had done temperature charting previously, which seemed to help me very little. Little did I know that the differences between the methods and information to be obtained from Creighton charting was vastly different.
After attending a local conference about NaProTechnology, my midwife approached me again and encouraged me to look into this methodology. Her bloodwork testing as well as testing performed by a reproductive endocrinologist yielded very little in the way of knowing why we weren't conceiving.
I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy three years prior, but nothing else could explain our infertility, and my hopes were growing dark, as was my depression.
When I looked into NaProTechnology and researched the approach, I was immediately drawn in by the numerous statements that NaProTechnology was able to help uncover underlying problems of unexplained infertility!
This resonated with my heart, because I truly DID NOT believe infertility could not be explained. It just meant my doctors had not exhausted every possible avenue of discovery.
I was made aware quickly that the NaPro physicians rely heavily on the Creighton charting system as a way to quickly see identifiable patterns in a woman's cycle that may indicate sub-optimal function. When I finally learned WHAT it was and that no temping was involved, I was more ready to listen.
I found a surgical fellow a few hours from my home and knew the drive would be well worth it. I scheduled my appointment, which was three months away. The staff immediately asked if I was charting, and if I wasn't, to begin so that the doctor would have at least two cycles to review.
I wasted no time in finding a Creighton practitioner, because I believed that what we would be reviewing together would help me better understand my cycles since my ectopic pregnancy, which had been getting shorter accompanied by pain- symptoms, both of which, were deemed unimportant by previous doctors.
Immediately in my first cycle, I noticed that the tail-end brown bleeding (TEBB) I knew I had was ACTUALLY a condition -not something that is normally observed in a cycle!
I was able to discuss this with my FCP Practitioner, which then tipped us off to watch for OTHER things in my cycle, that did eventually turn up. The charting instruction was easy and the manual provided with the materials has been a wonderful reference guide full of answers.
I found myself reading through what different patterns meant saying, "YES! That's ME!" Come to find out, that's what charting is ALL ABOUT! To look for these documented conditions that others outside of NaProTechnology may not find to be mainstream in their practice. But the science is there!
My chart looked like a sea of red and some green after my first three cycles. I felt confident that I had mastered what I used to think was cryptic coding. The NaPro physician asked to see my chart when we first started discussing why I was there and what my concerns were.
As I was rattling off my laundry list of problems, he was nodding his head, and pointing out things that could correspond with those symptoms. At one glance he said, "You have a progesterone deficiency. So we'll do some blood work and find out what those numbers are during your cycle, and I suspect we will prescribe "this" for you, so let's make sure you know how to to that before you leave the office today."
This came from looking at my colorful stickers. And you know? Two weeks later after my blood results were in- he was right. My progesterone and estrogen were dismally low. And I started treatment immediately.
He also remarked how well I had done charting and that I must have a good FCP. I would think most of the FCPs do a phenomenal job because of how personal this is for a woman, and in some cases, as it was for me, very emotional and raw to open up to yet ANOTHER person about infertility.
Learning Creighton was one of the best things I ever did- and should have done the first time I heard about it. The results with my treatment for hormonal imbalance - that has dramatically helped with my PMS and TEBB - are also visible on my chart each month.
I know when I am going to start a period based on my charting, which I am now seeing is very predictable for me. My NaPro physician asks for a copy each time I see him and is also able to offer advice on the chart, but my FCP is easy to get a hold of if I ever have questions.
Fertility charting, I have learned, is far more than Infertility charting - my main goal of starting it.
But regardless if we are blessed with more children, I will continue to chart and have told many other friends about it too who mention certain symptoms or complaints. And I want to shout, "There's help for that! ARE YOU CHARTING?"
My only regret is not finding Creighton and my NaPro physician sooner. In under three months with charting and NaPro, we uncovered a HUGE piece in my infertility puzzle, which has been emotionally freeing as well as physically healing.
This is something, should I have a daughter, that I would absolutely implement in her teenage years, so as to avoid some of the pitfalls I have experienced in what I consider to be sub-standard healthcare for reproductive women.
NaPro works. Charting is the doorway. I invite everyone to step through the door and see what it can do for you, too.
Don't forget to Share with others. If you missed the last 3 weeks of Nutrition, Exercise or Stress Challenges or this week's posts on Charting, you can find them on the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Pinterest Board.