When you’re trying to get pregnant, you suddenly start to notice all the products that are available that purport to help you. Some of these are really useful, others will lighten your bank balance, but might not have any other effect on your fertility.
Today we’re taking a look at fertility monitors – what do they do for you? How do they work? And how can you choose the right one for your circumstances?
What is a Fertility Monitor?
A fertility monitor is a slightly misleading name: there’s no product that can give you an instant read on ‘how fertile’ you are. What a fertility monitor can do is tell you when you’re due to ovulate, and therefore when you are your most fertile for the month (or rather, where your fertile days fall within your cycle).
A fertility monitor can work according to one of two methods: some track your hormone levels to tell you how close you are to ovulating, while others measure your basal body temperature.
The hormone tests check your urine for a surge of the hormones that cause your ovaries to release an egg – they work very like pregnancy tests in that regard. They are quick to use and widely available, but aren’t always reliable. If you have naturally low level of these hormones – primarily the luteinising hormone – then the tests might not pick up when you ovulate. If you have a hormone condition like PCOS, then the test might not be able to give you a result at all.
BBT monitors are harder to use, but they aren’t affected by hormone issues so they may be a better option for you.
The most basic kits will only give you a result for that day – a yes or no answer to whether or not you are ovulating. An advanced fertility monitor offers you more functions, and more options. An advanced BBT thermometer records your temperature over time, lifting some of the burden off your shoulders. The best ones come partnered with apps that show your results and can process that data into a prediction for you.
Similarly some of the best hormone based kits can learn the hormone patterns in your body, coming to compensate, in part for the issues we discussed above and improving their accuracy significantly.