Do fertility ovulation monitors work?

A few months ago, a package arrived in the post for me: a space-age looking digital ovulation monitor. It was posted to me by my friend, Lindy. You see, I’m trying to avoid going back on the hormones and regressing to a rather worse version of myself. My alter ego: Hormonezilla.

Lindy is 37 years old and suffers from a condition which puts her at risk of early menopause. One of her ovaries doesn't work at all and the quality of her eggs is poor. My doctor told Lindy, after three failed IVF cycles, that she would never conceive and give birth to her own child. Lindy, in the interim got divorced, met a new man, moved to New York and is on the verge of having her baby made with her own egg and cooked inside her own body.

How did she do it?

According to Lindy, The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor is "the best money she ever spent". It costs about R2000 and the sticks that go with it are about R200 for a pack of thirty.

It's not yet available in this country but you can order it off the website. This little device fits into the palm of your hand and the local version contains six or so sticks. So, when you think you might be ovulating, you urinate on the stick like a pregnancy test to deduce whether you have in fact produced an egg.

This is all very well if you have regular periods and lay an egg once a month at more or less the same time. For me, who has no idea when and if she will ovulate, it’s a pointless and expensive exercise.

The digital monitor actually tells you when your peak fertility days are as well as when you have an egg floating around. This maximizes your chances of conceiving, considering that sperm can live in the body for a few days. It also works up to cycles of 42 days.

So, this is how Lindy fell pregnant. And, I am sure so have scores of other women.

My experience

I’m on the fourth month of using my monitor and nada. Even though it's predicted my ovulations (which have sometimes been two weeks late!), I’m still not pregnant. Perhaps this is because with PCOS, the hormones may indicate that I have an egg, but it has not been released properly? I’m just not sure.

As Lindy’s story proved, it’s as much about the heart, emotional health and wellbeing as much as anything else. I’d like to believe that there is some giant cosmic plan at work. So maybe the best course of action right now is to surrender to that. Meanwhile, I’ll keep using my technologically advanced monitor and waiting for the pretty little egg sign in the window.

Have you used an ovulation monitor? What has been your experience?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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