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Fertility Monitors/Computers - Lady-Comp, Cyclotest etc.. any experience of either?

(19 Posts)
tarafitness Mon 16-Jan-12 13:18:06

Hi there

My partner and I recently had friends staying over from Canada. Our friend's girlfriend is a hypnotherapist dealing specifically with pregnancy, hypno-births etc and we got onto the subject of contraception.

She has been using a device called the Lady-Comp (http://www.lady-comp.com/en/page/at-first-sight) for 2 years now after being recommended it by a friend who has used it for 5 years. I mentioned I was keen to come off the pill because I've been on it for most of my life and given how I try and avoid flooding my system with hormones through my diet (i.e. eating free-range animals where possible, beef from grass-fed cows, not drinking milk etc etc) it seems counter-productive to be taking a large daily dose of hormones! Plus I am aware of the risk to my health as my Mother developed breast cancer at a very young age and my great aunt died of it.

Anyway, the way the Lady Comp works is by taking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) temperature every morning at a set time and then comparing data from that day and others throughout your cycle against data from thousands of other women's cycles. You then get a traffic light system to let you know if it's safe to have sex or whether you should abstain or use a barrier method because you are ovulating or just about to (obviously if you want to get pregnant you just reverse your thinking and go for it on red and amber days! ;-) ). Sounds pretty simple!

The problem is that this computer is quite large (about the size of a portable CD player), and also very expensive - I'm talking hundreds of pounds (about 500 euros!)!!. Of course, in this country the contraceptive pill is free so I can't even use the excuse that I won't have to pay for it anymore to offset the price!

There is another computer which sounds ideal, it's called the Cyclotest 2 (http://www.cyclotest.de/This-is-cyclotest-2.269+M52087573ab0.0.html) and not only does it track your BBT, it also allows you to enter details like results from LH tests (which indicate if you are ovulating) and also cervical fluid type. This means the computer can work out more accurately how likely it is that you are fertile.

The Cyclotest is a lot less expensive, it's £150 for the model itself and if you want to buy the software to enable you to view your cycle information on your PC that's an extra £25. With the Lady-Comp you have to send it back to the manufacturer where they print it out for you - not as interactive as I'd like!

Still, £175 is not an insignificant amount of money to part with so I was wondering if anyone had any experience with either monitor? It's quite hard to get information about the monitors as they're both German and not as well known over here or in the States/Canada - my friend had to order hers specially. A lot of the sites that are in English referring to the Cyclotest seem to be rather biased so I'm after a real review.

I've recently also bought Taking Charge Of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0091887585) as it had hundreds of excellent reviews so it might be that I just end up manually charting my cycles... but being a bit of a geek, short on time and eager to not get pregnant for another year or so, I do like the idea of a fertility computer doing most of the work for me!

Any views/opinions/experiences most welcome.

Thanks!

Tara

P.S. I'm not interested in Persona/Clearblue (same company) as I know that their failure rate is quite high. The monthly cost of buying pee sticks also puts me off.

Lexie1970 Mon 16-Jan-12 13:39:47

Hi

It sounds like all of the info required on your lady comp is exactly the info required on fertility friend. Your only expenditure would be the cost of a BBT thermometer which you could get for a fiver off of amazon. Fertility friend is free for the basic package which tells you what you need to know. You can pay an annual membership but for the time being I wouldnot bother...

I personally take temp daily and also bought a Clearblue fertility Monitor off of ebay for about £30 and use these in tandem. The beauty of FF is that it allows you to temp, use CBFM or OPK, you can track CM and also plot when you have intercourse. Save your money and go on FF smile You get beautiful graphs to look at!!!

Lex

tarafitness Mon 16-Jan-12 17:55:35

Thank you Lex, I'd not heard of fertility friend before! I've created an account and will do their tutorials when I get the chance

Thanks again :-)

tarafitness Mon 16-Jan-12 23:54:34

Just found this news report on the BBC website about the symptothermal method of contraception, which is what the Cyclotest employs as you can enter data on cervical fluid and LH hormone tests.

I think I might give it a month or so and then consider buying it, it'll be cheaper than persona or clear blue in the long run as you don't need to continue buying monthly pee sticks!

Lexie1970 Tue 17-Jan-12 09:24:53

interesting but I can't honestly see why you would buy the Cyclotest when all the data it asks for is what you can input on fertility friend and it is free!!!!

What do you think Cyclotest does that is different?

tarafitness Tue 17-Jan-12 17:39:51

Good question and really one that I should ask myself!

I guess it's because I was sold on the idea of a portable fertility computer that woke me up with the thermometer as part of the unit to record my data - which I could then upload to my PC. I like the simplicity of the ladycomp and its traffic light system - the cyclotest uses pics of babies, one for 'at risk' and two for 'highly fertile'.

Charting online is all well and good but what if I have no access to a PC, or my ipod touch battery dies? (don't have an iPhone/android and nobody seems to make apps for blackberrys sad ) . I like the idea of a separate self-contained unit.

I think most of all I'm just impressed by the reliability of the ladycomp, it's about the same if not more than the pill!. I don't know what sort of algorithms are being used by fertility friend or any of the other free fertility software you can get (I downloaded FemCal the other day, pretty much the same idea I think!), or how much data they have obtained from users... How can I trust their software is correct? I think lady-comp has over a million cycles recorded, not sure about Cyclotest's, don't know how I can find that out either, hmmm

I guess you could ask the same of everyone who uses Persona/Clearblue for contraceptive purposes, it's probably comforting to have a self-contained machine that tells you when you're safe to have unprotected sex and when you're not. It takes all the guesswork out (allegedly!).

I'll see how I get on with FF before I shell out, not least because a) I've only just come off the pill so my cycles are likely to be all over the place - although Lady-Comp can apparently cope with irregular cycles and sleeping patterns... and b) Christmas cleaned me out!

Lexie1970 Tue 17-Jan-12 19:39:44

I think you should save your money at least for the time being :0 Get 2 thermometers off of Amazon - always handy to have a spare and they are cheap smile

Having done oral temping the first month,and then got a nasty cold the 2nd month so couldn't breath and take temp I started temping vaginally - found it a bit gross but after a couple of days I didn't think about it. I literally wake up feel for thermometer insert and then remove when it bleeps - other half oblivious as it is still dark grin

This is my chart - my temping is showing that I do not appear to be ovulating this month (had MMC Sept 2010 and periods have been up the spout ever since) - this is primarily why i am doing the temping as I am either suffering from anovulation or heading for the menopause neither are great prospects sad

www.fertilityfriend.com/home/2f779a/

Obviously this is aimed at folks who want to get pregnant but reading your 1st post again do you want it for birth control? The good thing is once you have Ov your chances of falling preggers are v. slim (but not impossible) and FF will tell you that. Also if you have nice regular cycles you will have a good record of your safe and fertile times.

God I go on but FF has proved a godsend in showing my periods are totally up the spout so recommend it to anybody and everybody smile

tarafitness Mon 23-Jan-12 16:15:34

so sorry for the late response and thanks for sharing your chart smile

sorry to hear your cycles are messed up, charting will definitely help with that from what I've read.

I definitely don't want to get pregnant again just yet. It wouldn't be the end of the world as my partner and I definitely do want children (I have a 15 year old from a previous relationship), but not for another year at least as my OH has just started a new job and mine is about to get frenetic!!

I've been taking my temperature for about a week and I'm still reading TCOYF - fascinating book! I did consider getting the basal thermometer she recommended (BD) but it's in Fahrenheit and I prefer recording in Celsius - plus I'd have to order it from the States! it's a shame they don't do anything similar over here, with a back-lit display and last temperature recall (mine just seems to remember the first temperature it took.. not much use!)

which one do you use?

PopcornMouse Mon 23-Jan-12 17:00:12

Mine was a £1.99 jobby from the chemist - it doesn't have to be a snazzy thermometer, it just needs to read to 2 decimal places smile

tarafitness Mon 23-Jan-12 17:15:55

I bought the Babymad Digital Ovulation Thermometer, seems to do the trick and works to 2 dp

I know in the TCOYF book by Toni she says that a thermometer only needs to read to 1dp but that's if you're recording in Fahrenheit which is more precise than Celsius

just wish mine had a back-light and stored the last reading so I didn't have to fumble around in the dark to record it!

Lexie1970 Wed 25-Jan-12 19:35:56

Hi

Good luck with the temping - the lack of a light can be a real PITA but just listen for the bleeps.....

Re- storing last reading - when you turn it on again hold the 'on' switch down for a few seconds and it will bring up the last reading - I have the baby mad thermometer too!!!

galwaygal Thu 26-Jan-12 11:54:29

I have tried the lady-comp as part of a fertility trial. The study involved comparing it to clearblue OPK and Fertility duo.

I have to say that having charted for many years (using a thermometer to one decimal place only), and charting CM and opk sometimes too. I found the lady-comp very very easy!!!!

I actually put the temps measured from the ladycomp into my fertilityfriend.com account and it agreed totally.

I could easily do the avoiding pregnancy or try to concieve using the low-cost thermometer and fertilityfriend. But using the ladycomp was so so so much easier.

It has an alarm to wake you, you put the thermomter end into your mouth and when it bleeps again to take out the thermometer. I could do all this without waking fully and easily fall back to sleep afterwards if I did not need to yet wake up. With my normal thermometer I have to be awake enough to read the display, and need separate alarm for waking myself, Then I have to put the details into the fertility friend program, to remind myself of previous temps to see if I have ovulated or not (can normally work it out roughly without FF but always use it to confirm).

The ladycomp green/amber/red lights are so so easy to read, no guesswork involved. The number of green days increased as the machine got to know my personal cycle. The day the ladycomp indicated ovulation was correct every month, and even on the month where I did not ovulate when I would have normally, it correctly showed that.

I have to say that if I could afford it, I would buy the lady comp (or baby comp if I was thinking of using it for concieving at any time). I am seriously considering saving to buy it, but as you say it is very expensive.

tarafitness Sun 29-Jan-12 15:03:40

ooops, haven't seen this thread for a couple of days!

Lexie - thanks so much for the heads-up on the last reading, just tried that and it worked! that means I can go back to sleep for a bit and not have to worry about losing my latest reading, result :-)

Galwaygal - thanks for your response, it's great to hear from another person who's used it, I was beginning to think that nobody had!

I love the convenience of it, how you just have to take your temperature, but I don't understand how it can be accurate if it doesn't take into account your CF?? I've finished reading 'taking charge of your fertility' and it seems imperative that you use at least both the primary fertility signs and not just one. if your temperature doesn't rise til after ovulation then how does the lady-comp know how long it'll be til you do? especially if you have irregular cycles... it just seems a little too good to be true which is why I thought the cyclotest would be an idea... however, I can't find any real trials and data on it and at least the lady comp has about 1m cycles stored!

it seems that the cyclotest is just an expensive thermometer with fertility software similar to fertilityfriend.com or any of the other apps you can get (i'm using a couple on my ipod touch and one on my blackberry which seems the best so far)

the lady-comp seems a whole lot smarter, but I just don't understand how it can be lol!

MrsHappy12 Tue 15-Jan-13 01:57:06

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

aprilj11 Tue 30-Jul-13 13:31:00

I'm new here and I was searching for other Cyclotest users and came across this post. Just have to put in my two sense because I so love my cyclotest. I looked into the fertility friend website and I can see why it would be good for a lot of people but it is really a totally different system then a contraceptive monitor.

For me, Cyclotest is just much easier to use. Take your temperature, press a button if you see fertile CM, and the simple display with one or two babies during your fertility window shows up. I really do not like charts and numbers and I'd also be worried about making a typo or reading a small number wrong when it makes a very big difference!

The fertility friend lay out has a monthly calendar and the graph. You still have to understand the whole graphing and charting mechanisms which I'd rather just not have to deal with.

Also, I really like having it in my night stand draw - not on my computer that I would need to remember to open the site or even on my phone that does not always end up next to my bed when I go to sleep. Its always there, it has the built in alarm and I can take care of everything from bed and then put it back in the draw.
For something as important as my whole contraceptive plan, I like that it is a such a simple to use, self contained little device.

Oh and also its not something that my LO could get to and mess up or delete the entire app from my phone - that's happens one too many times!

I could probably go on and on but bottom line I think is Cyclotest is really unique and quite different then any fertility site or app out there. Totally worth the money IMO.

smile

Grace893 Sat 13-Dec-14 21:28:06

Hi, I know this thread hasn’t be written on for a while but I am new to Mumsnet and I just wanted to write about my experience with Lady-Comp.

I have had it for about 11 months now and I could not be happier. I had suffered with hormonal contraceptive all my life from nausea inducing pills to the implant which stopped by period for 18 months and gave me unbearable mood swings. My research into other types of contraceptive stated when I read TCOYF which is an inspirational book and I recommend that anybody even contemplating FAM should read it. I started looking on the internet and reading lots of posts like these. I agree that due to the hefty price tag it might not be for some people when there are options like fertility friend however by conservative fiancé did not feel comfortable with me charting on my own however when I showed him the statistics for Lady-Comp he felt much happier.

My cycles are normally between 28-30 days and out of those I have about 11 red or amber days plus 3 days menstruating. It is probably a few more red days than I would like however I can live with this as I have noticed a marked improvement in my mood, libido, weight loss and return of normal cycles. The process itself is so easy and I barely even notice taking my temp any more, I do it whilst half asleep and then just check the temp when I wake up properly. I couldn’t imagine life without my lady comp now. I hope this helps anybody who is questioning whether to get one.

Cat129 Fri 31-Jul-15 21:57:55

Hi Ladies!
I was also looking at Lady Comp and Cyclotest to monitor my fertility. When I was doing my research, I found this other alternative, which sounds awesome, and I wanted to share it with you. It's called Wink, and as far as I can tell it does about the same as Lady Comp or Cyclotest, but it is much, much cheaper: Wink is a discreet, wireless oral thermometer that lets you accurately and easily track your basal temperatures, and it syncs this information automatically with the Kindara app. Kindara is based on the Fertility Awareness Method, which has been shown to be 99.6% effective when avoiding pregnancy. If your goal is to get pregnant, Wink and the Kindara app together can give you the information and support you need to feel calm and confident about your plans to grow your family.

In case you are interested, if you order your Wink using this link, you can get a $10 discount. Here's the link: kindara.com/r/WTyIcFznq

I think this alternative sounds awesome!

Cat129 Fri 31-Jul-15 22:25:28

Sorry, the link before didn't "link" correctly. Here it goes again:
www.kindara.com/r/WTyIcFznq
All the best!
Cat.

elie89 Wed 11-May-16 17:39:39

I see this thread is a bit old, but I'll ask anyway, you seem to be very well informed about the different monitors.
So, I've been doing a lot of research into this too and I'm torn between daysy (https://www.usa.daysy.me/) and clyearblue(can't find the link right now).
We've just started trying with the hubby and any help would be appreciated.
Please share your experiences, we both would be thankful.

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