This is where the Ovacue Fertility Monitor becomes so much more than a useful tool for charting and changes into the perfect companion for anyone trying to get pregnant or even those trying not to get pregnant.
Many women have heard about Fertility Microscopes, where you test your saliva every morning to see if you are ferning as another indication of fertility. (You can find information on that HERE). But, I have found something better!
The OvaCue Fertility Monitor has an oral sensor that you place on your tongue first thing in the morning and it tests the electrolytes in your saliva. Depending on the time in your cycle, you have different levels of electrolytes (ie potassium, sodium, etc) which help the OvaCue pinpoint your peak days before you are even fertile.
Each morning, you wake up, then stick the oral sensor on your tongue. It takes maybe three seconds to get a reading, it records it, and then you shut it off. That's it! About a week before you ovulate, the OvaCue will have a higher reading with the oral sensor and then the next day it will drop back down. This indicates that you will be fertile soon and you should ovulate soon.
The idea that I could know when I might become fertile was huge for me. Just going by the classic signs of fertility (cervical mucus/cervical position) I only have a couple days before I ovulate. With the OvaCue, I was able to better plan my fertile days because I had a heads up.
Another fantastic part about the OvaCue is that it uses a color code to let you know your peak fertile days. On the home screen of the OvaCue, it has your calendar. Each day is given a color based on the oral/vaginal reading you get. White is your non-fertile days, light blue is possibly fertile, medium blue is high fertility, dark blue is highest fertility, and pink is the confirmation of ovulation (to get the confirmation, you have to use the optional vaginal sensor, which I will talk about in a second).
Just looking at my chart on the OvaCue, I loved how I could know what my readings were just by the color. It made my cycle come alive, and I didn't have to worry as much about completely charting my cervix and mucus, though I did anyway.
This cycle I also took FertilAid, a fertility supplement for women also by the same company as the OvaCue. It contains all of the herbs and vitamins I currently take but in a single pill. The only things I take in addition to this is a little bit of extra vitamin B6 and D. I had more energy, I slept better, and with my cycle, and I ovulated earlier! I haven't had reactions to the supplement like I sometimes do with different herbs, especially vitex, and I absolutely love taking it. Three pills a day, and it enters my system fairly quickly.
Since I try to live more naturally, I have trouble going to the doctor for simple things I can do myself that have more effect than medications and tests I would get there. Which is another reason why I absolutely love my OvaCue. I received the optional Vaginal Sensor, which sounds a bit weird and looks a bit intimidating at first (the black probe looking thing in the picture above), but the information I was able to get with just a three second vaginal reading every day was priceless.
Unlike the oral sensor, with the vaginal sensor you need to be up and about for a few hours before you take a reading, and it needs to be taken at least eight hours after having sex. You insert the vaginal sensor until you feel it hit your cervix, then you pull back 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and then push the tip of the sensor towards your tailbone, so the handle you are holding is more towards your front than your back. Here, it sits in a pool of mucus and secretions and is able to get the best readings.
The vaginal sensor can completely confirm ovulation based on the change from estrogen to progesterone that happens the day you ovulate. A few days before ovulation occurs, your mucus and electrolytes go from progesterone dominance to an estrogen dominance and your numbers on the OvaCue will drop. As soon as ovulation happens, you will have a spike which will remain higher and level throughout your luteal phase, if your hormones are balanced and your body is working like it should. This is handy for any woman whether they are trying to get pregnant or trying not to get pregnant. Knowing when your fertile period ends helps you know if you cycle is balanced, it can help you know if you have any issues with hormones or your luteal phase (from ovulation to your period), and for those avoiding pregnancy, you know exactly when your fertile period ends so you know you can't get pregnant anymore.
The vaginal sensor also does something else that I absolutely fell in love with. The vaginal sensor can tell how your progesterone levels are doing after ovulation. For someone like me that has progesterone issues and a luteal phase defect, knowing if my levels were dipping, knowing each day what was going on, gave me peace of mind. It gave me one more levels of knowledge that I needed to know for not only peace of mind, but information I could take to the doctor when and if I decided to go in for testing. Being armed with this information has made me even more knowledgeable about my own body and has helped me become more informed on issues surrounding my trouble getting and staying pregnant.
Also, for those that want to chart their OvaCue graphs, they have an amazing service, OvaGraph! If you want to see sample charts, you can use OvaCue's sample graphs, or you can views my chart here as an example.
For a one month's supply of FertilAid, it is $28.95, but it has a very good balance of vitamins and herbs which are perfect for fertility. They are able to give your body a supplement that is necessary for a healthy cycle and healthy start to a pregnancy. Plus, considering how much money a lot of us in the natural community spend on vitamins and herbs, $28.95 for most of what you take in three pills a day can actually cut your budget by a little bit.
Now, the OvaCue is a little bit more pricey. For just the OvaCue and oral sensor, it is $249 with free shipping. If you get the bundle with the OvaCue, oral sensor, and vaginal sensor, it is $329 with free shipping. The price is a bit steep when you first look at it, but think of it this way. The knowledge gleamed from the OvaCue can help not only with a natural cycle and give you more information on how your body works, but it can help with a medicated cycle too. Through the course of our three years trying to get and stay pregnant, I have probably spent more than that on vitamins and herbs and tests. Having the extra bit of information that the OvaCue is able to give you can make you more prepared to take control of your care should you need testing, and can help your provider know what tests you might need more than others. Paying $250 or $329 now could save you a lot of money on unnecessary testing because you will be armed with even more information about your body. Plus, if you don't want, you can use the OvaCue to help with your own home care, like I am doing for now. The more information, the better your chances of understanding your body and getting pregnant.
Both of these products are absolutely amazing for those trying to get pregnant (and the OvaCue is amazing for those trying not to!). Charting can seem like a little bit of a hard thing to do and seems a bit complicated at first, and the OvaCue is a perfect alternative, and even an aid, for those that want to know more about their own bodies.
Fairhaven Health sent me the OvaCue and FertilAid to review, no other compensation was given, and the views expressed are my own.