Making babies…. for some it is easier than others. When Dustin and I got married in June of 2007 we decided right away that we wanted to start a family. And the first month we tried Dilly was conceived. It truly doesn’t get much easier than that! When we decided it was time to add another bundle of joy to our family Sugar wasn’t quite as easy – it took about 6 months before we saw two pink lines. And so when we were ready to start trying for Baby Harper #3 I told myself that I wouldn’t get discouraged until we reached the point of trying for at least 6 months. And I admit I did pretty well…. but then when month 7 rolled around I was getting a little down in the dumps (probably more than a little if you ask Dustin or anyone close to me). So when I had the opportunity to try out the OvaCue Fertility Monitor I jumped at the chance…. I had no idea when I was ovulating or if I even was since I had breastfed Sugar for so long so this was the perfect solution.
I received both the OvaCue Fertility Monitor and the Vaginal Sensor to try out. Now the science behind how the monitor and sensors actually work is best said by the experts and so…
The OvaCue predicts ovulation using the patented Electrolyte Method™ – a technique that has been demonstrated to be 98.3% accurate in predicting ovulation in clinical studies overseen by the National Institute of Health.
Here’s how it works: Throughout your monthly cycle, your body retains or discards varying amounts of minerals, such as sodium and potassium (electrolytes). The OvaCue tracks the changes in these electrolyte levels in your saliva over time and processes this information to precisely define your time of peak fertility.
About a week before ovulation, a high point in the salivary readings of electrolytes is reached, corresponding with the release of the dominant follicle (ovum). The measurement of this phenomenon is what allows the OvaCue to provide an accurate prediction of ovulation several days in advance.
As you get closer to ovulation, your body begins to produce estrogen, causing a definite change in the electrolytes in the reproductive tract. Estrogen secretion increases and the electrolyte content of the vaginal mucus changes, causing the OvaCue readings to drop. About 12-24 hours before ovulation your body switches to progesterone dominance, causing a sharp increase in vaginal readings, which confirms ovulation and marks the closing of your fertile window.
Now that may seem like a lot to take in, but I think it is important to understand why and how this device actually works. Using it on the other hand is extremely simple. On day two of your cycle (the 2nd day of your period) you place the spoon sized sensor on your tongue for three seconds – that’s it – three seconds! You have to be sure to do this before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth and it is best to do it at the same time each morning. I would set my alarm for 7am and keep the monitor on my night stand so that I could take my readings at the same time each day. I would literally take the reading in mere seconds and then go back to sleep.. that is if Dilly and Sugar weren’t already awake. After you have taken your electrolyte reading it automatically computes your current cycle day, fertility status, peak fertile days for the cycle, as well as the start and end of your fertile window.
Since I also received the vaginal sensor I was able to actually confirm that I had ovulated! Just as the oral sensor measures changes in the electrolytes in your saliva the vaginal sensor measure changes in the electrolytes in your cervical mucus. With measurements taken from the vaginal sensor, the OvaCue® is able to detect the hormonal shifts that accompany ovulation. Specifically, it will identify the estrogen surge that occurs just prior to ovulation and the subsequent shift from estrogen dominance to progesterone dominance that occurs at the time of ovulation. The OvaCue® will display a pink box on the day that this hormonal shift is detected, indicating that ovulation occurred on that day. Below you will see my chart. I began my cycle on November 12th, 2011 and so I began using the oral sensor on November 13th, 2011.
According to the key my fertile window was from November 22nd through the 26th. November 25th was my highest fertility day (dark blue), but when I used the vaginal sensor it confirmed that I had in fact ovulated and so it turned pink. In a nut shell to get pregnant you need to have intercourse on the dark blue days…. which means that Baby Harper #3 was conceived on November 25th, hehe. Sorry if that was a bit too much information for you… but I find it funny that he/she was conceived on black friday! Of course I did not know that for sure on Black Friday… instead I had two torturous weeks of wondering if the monitor had worked and dreading my cycle starting again. On December 12th, 2011 I had enough waiting and took a home pregnancy test. Sure enough there were two pink lines staring back at me. I will be honest with you I was in complete shock.
I couldn’t believe that in just one cycle of use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor had worked for me. And I have to say that I know without a doubt had I not had the monitor we would not have conceived that cycle. Come on… it was Black Friday! I had been shopping all night and was ridiculously tired, had I not known it was my most fertile day I definitely woulda called it a night, hehe.
And so yes, if you are trying to get pregnant and are having difficulties figuring out when you are ovulating I highly suggest trying out the OvaCue Fertility Monitor. In fact is has been clinically proven to be 98.3% accurate in monitoring ovulation. Oh and there is a great online community where you can track your readings and get helpful tips from other women who are trying to conceive as well. And one more thing… this isn’t only for women who are trying to get pregnant – the OvaCue is also ideal for those who choose natural family planning. By knowing your most fertile days you can choose to skip them and therefore avoid getting pregnant as well. Which means that the monitor will also come in handy after Baby Harper #3 makes his/her appearance because this will be the last Harper baby. And so if you are interested in purchasing the Fertility Monitor and vaginal sensor be sure to visit the OvaCue website where they can be purchased together as a set for $329. They are also available separately.
Pssst…. in case you are wondering why it took me so long to divulge my use of the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, here’s the scoop. Yes, I am SO beyond thrilled that we are having another baby and growing our family… but if you have been reading my weekly pregnancy updates then you also know that I have been sick. Very sick. With everything from sinus infections to migraines to kidney infections along with the typical morning all day sickness and pure exhaustion. And so some days I would kind of feel that I brought all this upon myself and have a little bit of a pity party, but now that I really think about it I know that is all the pregnancy hormones working against me. I am SO glad we used the OvaCue Fertility Monitor and that Baby Harper #3 is growing inside me. And so thank you OvaCue because without you our family would not have this blessing…. now if only you had something to make my pregnancy go a bit smoother that would be great, just kidding!!