Have you been trying to conceive for a few months now without luck? Are you in search of a helpful tool, before you resort to the doctor’s office?
For some lucky women, conceiving is easy, and the positive test might take them by surprise. Unfortunately for others, growing a family can be a grueling and demanding experience. It may even leave you questioning the abilities of your ovaries.
Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tools out there that can help you on the way. Today, we’ll focus on a popular choice among potential moms-to-be, namely fertility monitors. These handy little tools will assist you in finding the perfect date to have intercourse to optimize your chances of conceiving.
But before we get into the best products, let’s take a closer look at what a fertility monitor does.
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What Is a Fertility Monitor?
Fertility monitors are electronic devices that will help boost your awareness surrounding your fertility throughout your menstrual cycle.
Depending on the type you purchase, they may monitor any changes occurring in the hormone levels in your urine. Some check your basal body temperature, the electrical resistance of vaginal fluids and saliva, or perhaps a combination of everything.
Basically, a fertility monitor will relieve you of some of the guesswork that often comes with trying to conceive. It will detect the clues we would otherwise overlook, or be unaware of, to optimize our chances of getting pregnant.
How Fertility Monitors Work
Most fertility monitors work by tracking two hormones — estrogen levels in the urine and luteinizing hormone (LH).
The latter is a crucial hormone when it comes to fertility — it controls the functions of the ovaries (source). Just before ovulation, the levels of LH increase, stimulating the ovaries to release eggs.
Once your menstrual cycle begins, the fertility monitor will, generally, have you perform a test. Depending on the type, this might include a urine sample, vaginal liquids, saliva, or your temperature. You will usually have to repeat this for 10 to 20 consecutive days, dependent on the type of monitor and length of your cycle.
The monitor should then be able to work out which days are your “peak” days, and when you’re “high” or “low.” There are also other types that will show a red or green light, indicating when intercourse is optimal or not (source).
How Accurate Are Fertility Monitors?
Providing that you use them correctly, most fertility monitors have an average accuracy of 97 percent — some as high as 99 percent (source).
That said, their accuracy depends highly on how you use it — it’s essential to follow instructions to the letter. Test every day that the monitor asks you to. Additionally, if your monitor requires a urine sample or basal body temperature, do this in the morning.
Besides using the fertility monitor, it’s also essential that you know what’s going on in your body.
What May Affect the Results?
The accuracy of course also depends on any interfering factors (source). These can include:
- Existing conditions: Such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome. Both of these conditions may cause a “false” peak or premature peaks.
- Certain medications: These may include drugs containing hCG, menotropins, or danazol.
- Current pregnancy or recent pregnancy: This will, for obvious reasons, affect the levels of hormones.
In this case, it’s recommended that you consult your physician about when you can begin to use a fertility monitor. These medicines will impact the results. Therefore, you should generally wait for three days after taking the last dosage.
Different Types of Fertility Monitors
Like many other tools on the market, there are different types of fertility monitors. Some focus on hormones in the urine, vaginal fluids and saliva, basal temperature, or a combination.
Here are two examples:
- Digital fertility monitors: These are usually the easiest to use — there’s a screen which displays fast and readable results. They’re generally used to track hormones in the urine, or resistance in the vaginal fluids and saliva.
- Wearable fertility monitors: Wearables are usually those that track your basal body temperature and perhaps heart rate. These generally consist of a small device that you place somewhere on your body, and it syncs with your phone.
Fertility Monitor or Ovulation Test Kit?
It’s not uncommon for women to get these two mixed up. While they both help you time intercourse to conceive, their approach is very different.
Ovulation test kits look and work very similar to pregnancy tests. They generally consist of sticks that you’ll have to dip in a urine sample.
If positive, such a test alerts you when you’ll be ovulating within the next 24 to 48 hours. However, this only gives you a two-day window to make it happen. Plus the LH surge can be quick, making it easy for the test to miss.
As opposed to fertility monitors that detect both LH and estrogen, ovulation test kits will only identify a rise in the LH (source). And although this method has proven to be successful, a fertility monitor does a more thorough job.
A fertility monitor, on the other hand, will give you a larger window. The results typically give you about four to seven days to time your intercourse for optimal chances.
Additionally, most women who experience irregular periods often don’t find ovulation test kits to be helpful. They may show several surges throughout the cycle, which makes it difficult to predict and time. The technology involved with the fertility monitor may give you a clearer view of your cycle.
The Best Fertility Monitor of 2019
Now you know a bit more about fertility monitors and whether they’re right for you, it’s time to look at some of the best products out there.
1. Lady-Comp Fertility Monitor
Best Digital Fertility Monitor
For our choice of the best digital fertility monitor, we selected the Lady Comp.
This device is super easy to use — according to the manufacturer, it only requires 30 seconds of your time each day. When you wake up, simply use the attached thermometer to take your temperature. The Lady-Comp will then show if you’re fertile.
One of the reasons why we love this product is because it’s natural to use and doesn’t require any additional purchases of test strips. After you’ve taken your temperature, you’ll see a green or red light. The former indicates your infertile period whereas the red means you are fertile.
Lady Comp does advertise itself as an all-natural birth control, hence the red warning light for fertile periods. However, it’s also a good choice for when the time comes and you’re ready for a baby.
- Easy to use
- Works efficiently.
- All-natural method of birth control.
- No need for additional accessories.
- Will only do one thing, namely, track your temperature.
- The button is small and not easy to navigate
2. iFertracker Smart Fertility Tracker
Best Wearable Fertility Monitor
To tick the boxes of comfort and efficiency, we’ve chosen the iFertracker fertility monitor. If you feel most comfortable with keeping track of your BBT, then this device is perfect.
It consists of a small wearable sensor that connects to an app on your smartphone or tablet.
To get the most accurate results from your BBT, you’ll need to time your tests precisely every day. Luckily, the iFertracker will continuously record your temperature during your sleep, which gives you a more accurate reading.
Before you go to bed, attach the tracking device under your armpit and let it do its magic while you sleep. When you wake up, sync the results with the app and remove the sensor.
Inside the app, you’re able to see all of your ovulation cycles. However, users say it’s not the best app on the market. Some TTC (trying to conceive) women said they used a different app for monitoring the data.
Additionally, the sensor also keeps track of your movements and physiological responses during sleep. This means that you’ll be able to analyze the quality of your sleep, which can also affect your fertility (source).
- Easy to use and will do most of the work for you.
- Very accurate and efficient.
- Multi-purpose — tracks both temperature and sleep quality.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Requires batteries that may run out quickly.
- Can leave some sticky residue on the skin when removed.
- The app seems to be unreliable.
3. OvaCue Fertility Monitor
Best for Irregular Cycles
Timing is everything when it comes to conceiving, and this tracker from OvaCue will not disappoint you.
The OvaCue is a hand-held monitor with a color screen and two sensors. Now, don’t confuse these — one goes in your mouth to check your saliva and the other near your cervix.
Because this is a double-duty device, it will help you pinpoint the exact dates that you’re ovulating. Even when your body decides to mix it all up, you’ll still have the upper hand.
As you place the oral sensor in the mouth, it will read and record the electrolyte resistance. Here it will identify which days are your “peak” days and which are “lows.” Then it will provide you with a fertile window and an advance notice five to seven days prior.
The vaginal sensor will monitor when your body switches from progesterone dominance to estrogen. This will show you when ovulation has occurred. It’s thanks to the vaginal sensor that you’ll be able to find a pattern in your irregular cycles.
That said, it’s essential to follow the instructions to understand exactly how the sensors work and what to look for.
- Fairly easy to take readings.
- Two-way monitor device.
- Very accurate.
- Amazing for irregular periods.
- Can be complicated to understand, so be sure to read the instructions.
4. Clearblue Touch Screen Fertility Monitor
Best Fertility Monitor for PCOS
Conceiving while affected by PCOS can be difficult, so you want something that’s easy and fast to use. Clearblue is a well-known brand among TTC women, and the company’s fertility monitor is well worth a try.
The monitor itself is very high tech — it features a touch screen that showcases all your fertility data. On top of that, it will save up to six cycles, which you can share with your fertility doctor.
The device tracks the two most important fertility hormones present in your urine — LH and estrogen. Clearblue even states that its results are 97 percent accurate — almost the same as an ultrasound.
Timing is everything, and luckily this monitor will remind you when it’s time to test. This will give you the most reliable results of “peak,” “high,” and “low.”
However, to test, you have to buy test strips separately and dip them in your urine before inserting into the monitor. This does add a bit of extra cost, but for a reliable test, I would say it’s well worth it.
And it’s important to keep in mind that the monitor first needs about one month to analyze and understand your patterns.
- Easy to use.
- Gives fast and reliable results.
- Well suited for women with PCOS and irregular cycles.
- You have to buy separate test strips.
- Requires at least one month for reliable results.
- Can get tiring having to pee on a stick every morning.
5. Femometer Smart Basal Thermometer
Best App and Monitor Combo
It does get tedious having to check, write down, and calculate your temperature every day. Fortunately, Femometer has made an app that will do most of the boring work for you.
Having worked their way through a few in-app issues, it’s now updated and ready to go. As you sync the monitor with the app, you’ll get an overview of your cycle. It then gives you a seven-day notice for your fertile window.
The thermometer will save up to 300 days of memory so you can easily log in your data at the end of the week.
The thermometer itself looks stunning. There are three colors available — purple, pink and the popular rose gold. It will switch on and off automatically as you remove and replace the cap.
The material of the thermometer is FDA and CE approved, made from antibacterial material. It’s super easy to clean — all you need is a cotton pad with either water or rubbing alcohol.
That said, don’t use it near a sleeping partner. As you close and open the thermometer, it makes a loud beep.
- Easy to use.
- Amazing app.
- Stunning and high-quality material.
- Doesn’t sync with the app automatically.
- Thermometer alert is noisy.
The Right Time
Being aware of your fertility and monthly cycles are important when trying to conceive, or prevent a pregnancy. Fertility monitors are an excellent tool to use. They’ll give you a good overview of your cycles and are still helpful, even if you experience irregular cycles or have a condition, such as PCOS.
We hope that you found our list of fertility monitors helpful. If so, make sure to check out our favorite, the Lady-Comp fertility monitor. It works well for any woman and is easy to use.
Do you have a favorite fertility monitor? Please let us and other readers know in the comments below. And feel free to share with other TTC women.