Please help me make a purchase decision...(Clearblu
e users would be helpful!)
I am waiting for AF to arrive any day now, ready to start cycle 8 following a miscarriage last year. I have been using cheap opk's and clearblue digital tests (with the exception of last month when I ran out half way through). Usually get a 'positive' or a smiley around day 15/16, although the cycle just gone it didn't happen and I'm not sure why...
Anyway, I am preparing for AF to arrive and want to order my next lot of opk's etc...however my friend has also lent me her clearblue fertility monitor that she has never opened/used. I am tempted to use it, but I can't afford digital ovulation tests and monitor sticks (roughly same price) so basically...
Would any of you recommend the monitor/does it/did it work for you?
Is it a waste of time, shall I use my money on opk's?
I probably should just buy cheapies but I can't resist and for some reason it makes me feel much better/less stressed using something which 'tells me' in a clear way.
Thanks for reading.
I've conceived three times using the CB fertility monitor. Two were MC at around six weeks but the third is now my amazing three year old daughter! So, yes it does absolutely work. Oh yes I was 42 when she was conceived.
Here's what I know:
The OPK sticks you usually buy only track your LH surge. It is possible for your most fertile day to happen before the sticks pick up the LH surge - in which case you are unlikely to conceive despite what the OPK says.
Where the CB monitor really helps is that it tracks the rise in Estrogen which catalyses the LH surge so it monitors both. Your first cycle is a learning curve for the monitor-in fact it keeps learning as it stores up to six months data.
Basically though it will give you a number of days before your LH surge where your estrogen is rising and you are highly fertile. It should then pick up what it calls your peak day of fertility ie the LH surge - this might sometimes be over two days depending upon how much hormone is produced. After the LH surge/peak day(s) it will also give you a high reading before dropping down to low.
I have been doing a lot of research lately and it would seem that the days you are actually most likely to conceive are 1-2 days BEFORE your LH surge. But you can also increase your chances of conception by trying every other day during your fertile period (which seems to last about 5 days in all). The research also suggests that if you for some reason miss the high fertility run up to the LH surge, say you are ill, and also miss the day of the surge then your chances of conception on say the day after the surge are very slim.
So the research suggests you need to focus on the five days before your LH surge and ensure that you hit either one or two days before the surge is detected.
If this is the case then the CB monitor can indeed help as it will identify the five or so days of high fertility leading up to the LH surge. Ifyour cycle changes month to month slightly it can detect this and make sure you still get to identify the days prior to the surge where you are more likely to conceive. OPK's can't do that.
The research suggests that just relying on the day of ovulation to TTC significantly reduces the likelihood of conception in any one cycle so the average OPK alone isn't going to help much (unless you are charting alongside and know how to use the charts and OPK's together effectively-this takes time).
One thing to bear in mind though is that as you get older the amount of LH produced falls. The CB monitor checks for LH in the morning -but in fact in most women their highest levels of LH are picked up in the middle of the day/early afternoon. For older women the CB monitor might therefore not detect enough LH in the morning and therefore never give you a peak reading - just lots of high readings. I don't know your age but in this case you would likely be better off with charting and OPK's together.
As you have got the monitor on loan and you only need to buy the sticks it's definitely worth a try - it worked for me three times and I'm ancient! If you find you are just getting lots of high readings for more than two months then you could swap to charting and OPK's...hope this helps....
Thank you so much for your response, it was a really interesting and useful post.
I originally posted the thread 10 days ago and I am now on CD6. I decided to go with the fertility monitor in the end, so your reply has reassured me further and I hope that it works out well for me. In regards to the age issue I am 24, almost 25 so hopefully that won't be an issue for me and the LH levels will be okay.
I will be using the monitor for the first time tomorrow so will see how I get on. Fingers crossed.
I'm so glad you went for it in the end! Fingers crossed you get a good cycle and a whopping great positive result.
Given that I am such an ancient artefact I needed to be very strategic about things and can honestly say it was money well invested despite the fact that I, like you, did make that 'Sssss' noise between my teeth as I sucked in my breath and wonder if it could help (or whether it was just a good way of fleecing desperate women!) and question if I wanted/could afford to spend that much. Had I not done so though I could so easily have ended up convincing myself that I needed to go down the IVF route...
Reading my post back, one thing I just need to clarify in the first para after 'Here's what I know' heading is that if you were to TTC only on the day of the LH surge but you had in fact had your most fertile day before the LH was picked up then you've missed the proverbial boat by relying on OPK's. Not that this is an issue for you as you have gone with the CB Monitor. But the really key thing seems to be that the sperm have be ready and waiting just before you ovulate so the golden time is one to two days before ovulation (oh it all sounds so simple doesn't it until you factor in our fickle cycles?!). So, leaving it until you get a positive OPK can be too late as could waiting for the Peak reading on the CB Monitor to TTC. So as soon as you get those high readings on the CB Monitor you will need to get going with some enthusiasm .
There is also load of research on sperm quality and frequency of TTC that I won't bore you with - suffices to say every other day is both manageable re the 'Oh no not again!' syndrome that sets in when you decide to TTC and seems to give a good balance of the trade off between quality/quantity of sperm, so should be fine in most cases.
Anyway, enough of my inane babbling! Good luck and do post again and let me know how things go .
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