If you are working with a sperm bank to conceive, you are committed to your future as a mother. You have made a plan to conceive and you are excited and ready to bring that new life into the world. You may be ready, but is your body ready? Just because you want to get pregnant does not mean that it will be easy or that it will happen on your first try. Conceiving is often a challenge. If you have found it difficult, you aren’t alone. Many women struggle to conceive, whether with a partner or a sperm donor, which is why there are several fertility monitors on the market and why you might want to try one.
What Are Fertility Monitors?
A fertility monitor is an electronic device that you can use to measure various factors that affect your fertility and to find your most fertile days. You are most fertile the day before you ovulate and three days after ovulation. Ovulation and fertility can be detected by various cues from your body. Depending on the monitor you choose, it may measure any of the following:
• Basal body temperature
, or BBT. BBT is your body temperature when you first wake up in the morning. Ovulation causes BBT to rise between a half and one and a half degrees. This temperature increase starts with ovulation and ends at menstruation. By tracking your BBT you can determine when you are most fertile.
• Hormone levels in urine.
Measuring your body’s hormones can be done easily by analyzing your urine. Hormones fluctuate during your menstrual cycle and by tracking them you can determine your most fertile periods.
• Changes in saliva.
You can also track ovulation and fertility by looking at your saliva. Some fertility monitors are small microscopes that allow you to track the visual changes in your saliva that occur when you are ovulating and are most fertile. Other monitors use an oral sensor to track those changes.
• Vaginal secretions.
The mucus that you secrete during your cycle changes in terms of consistency and electrolyte level. Some fertility monitors help you track those changes using a vaginal sensor to pinpoint ovulation and your most fertile days.
Using the Fertility Monitor that is Right for You
There are many factors to consider when choosing a fertility monitor. Start by talking to your doctor or fertility specialist for a recommendation. Also consider which type of monitor will be easiest for you to use and most cost-effective. Many women like the urine tests or temperature monitors because they are simple to use and non-invasive. Others use saliva and vaginal sensors because they feel they are more accurate. Another consideration is how much warning a monitor gives you for ovulation. Simple urine strips and temperature monitors will tell you that you’re ovulating, but don’t give you much warning. Oral and vaginal sensors can give you up to a week’s notice so that you can plan ahead.
Once you have chosen a monitor to use, it’s important to be consistent and to keep records. Take measurements every day and carefully follow the instructions that come with the monitor. Some monitors will record and save your measurements so that you have a record. If yours does not, record them by hand. Over time you will get a pattern of ovulation and fertility that you can use to predict your most fertile days. Planning ahead is important if you are using a sperm donor to conceive. Using fertility monitors is a great way to increase your odds of conceiving. Find what works for you, follow your doctor’s advice, keep faithful records and before you know it you will be pregnant.