Saturday, December 3, 2011

All I want for Christmas is a baby in my belly...

Well, that's what most women with infertility or trying to conceive want.  In the meantime we drool over the latest gadgets to help track or improve our fertility. From internet-cheapie (IC) OPKs and HPTs to the most advanced of Fertility Monitors.

Informing friends and family about our condition is definitely a personal choice, but for those of you who have shared your plight, you may take advantage of this holiday season to request a nice "Trying to Conceive Gift Basket" or just replenishing your supplies.

So, I'm going to create a list of possible TTC gifts you could ask for this Christmas! These are at least the ones I would want if I were actively TTCing!

  1. Fertility Monitors--
    1. There are many options for this, but my top choice would be the OvaCue Fertility Monitor 
      it provides up to 5 days  notice of ovulation, is effective for women with long or anovulatory cycles, and does not need additional sensors. It is expensive upfront, but would not require any other recurring costs.
    2. Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor  
      perhaps the most popular--upfront costs are lower, but recurring costs could be expensive as it requires 1 test stick for each day of testing. Also, if you are anovulatory or have lengthy cycles (over 44 days) it will not be effective for you.
    3. OvWatch  
      a watch that senses changes in hormone levels in your sweat as you sleep. Low upfront costs, but recurring costs are 30 day supply of sensors.
  2. Charting or ovulation detection tools--
    1. Fertility Microscope  
      this is a very low-tech version of the OvaCue--you use the microscope to analyze your saliva for changes that indicate ovulation. If there is "ferning" in the cells, it means ovulation is imminent.
    2. BBT--Basal Body Thermometers--perhaps the cheapest tool with the lowest recurring cost (changing battery). My favorite is the   BD Basal Body Thermometer
       It features continuous beeping while taking temp and to show that  it is inserted properly. Also has a lighted display to show temp in the dark.  
    3.  OPKs (Ovulation Predictor Kits)--urine tests to show the level of LH in your system. When the LH rises about 2 days before ovulation, the test and control lines will be the same color (or test line darker). You can get a cheap internet version for quantity (advisable for those with irregular O) or for convenience, I recommend 
    4. Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests
    5. . No lines to interpret, just a circle or smiley face to indicate O. 
  3. Fertility Supplements and Aids
    1. Prenatal vitamins--essential to prepare for pregnancy, and to ensure once conception occurs that neural tube defects are minimized.
    2. Various vitamins and supplements--there are SO many that could be 
    3. used depending on how you are trying to enhance your fertility or what challenges you face. You can try a blend like Fertility Blend, Fertiliaid, etc. Some come in tea form, such as Fertilitea. I recommend doing research on which vitamins are likely to help your unique situation before proceeding. 
    4. Pre-Seed
    5. --a sperm friendly lubricant that is especially helpful for those who have low or poor quality CM. 
  4. Other tests, etc.
    1. FSH or Fertility Tests--these test for elevated FSH levels in women, which may indicate low ovarian reserve. If positive, inform doctor so he/she can do further tests.
    2. HPT--Home pregnancy tests--a given, because every woman TTC wants to see if this month is their month! There are various types and kinds--if you tend to test without abandon, cheaper internet strips would be best to give you quantity. If you want to ensure high quality, you may want to go for name brand tests like First Response, EPT, or Clearblue. Look for high sensitivity so you can test BEFORE you expect your period! The premier tests are the digital--the earliest detecting are usually EPT or First Response. These give definitive in black and white your pregnancy status. 
    3. Sperm Fertility Tests--there are some at-home kits for testing sperm fertility. The effectiveness and quality are much less than at the doctors, but if your man is nervous about going in, perhaps this is what will help him see if there is a NEED to do so or not. 
This may not be the most comprehensive list, but is a good checklist if you want to add something to try or refill for your efforts.Check out my Amazon Listmania List: Best products for TTC for some more specific products I recommend. Best of luck to you all, and I hope you have a fruitful holiday season. 

No comments:

Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA


Motherhood Wanted approved!