It seems like when I was trying to get pregnant with Luke a few years ago I looked and looked for resources to help us conceive and this time around I’m amazed at all the resources that are available! I’m not sure if they are new or I just missed them completely years ago. The truth is, a lot of women (myself included) feel like their choices in conception are limited.
If you don’t get pregnant within a year then you go to the doctor, start on Clomid or something similar to see if you can make that work and then after a little while on those drugs they move you on up and the next thing in line is AI (Artificial Insemination) and then if that doesn’t work your next choice is IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and if THAT doesn’t work then you’re destined not to have kids?
I cried myself through watching Giuliana and Bill go through IVF and I would call Jennie saying “Seriously! You went through all this?!!” Having not met Jennie until our maternity swim class I really had NO idea how involved IVF is and I can only imagine how emotionally draining it is to go through, especially if the outcome isn’t successful.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of drugs in general. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like they definitely have their place and need of importance but I do think we over-use them to “fix” our needs and it’s easy to forget all the natural resources we have available to us. It’s easy to get lazy because I really do feel like our culture over-medicates simply to try and fix the symptoms instead of trying to get to the root of the problem. It’s a lot more work, after all, to really diagnose what’s happening in our bodies to cause our symptoms isn’t it? It’s not our fault that when we go to the doctor and say we’re having problems getting pregnant they tell us “ok, well here…try this and you’ll get pregnant!” (OK, I’m paraphrasing here!) When you’re desperate to have a baby you’ll do ANYTHING (literally.) so I wanted to offer up a few alternatives to the usual drugs and other surgical procedures so if nothing else you know you have choices.
My biggest suggestion is a book and website resource called “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”. After trying for a year on my own to conceive Luke I started “temping” and within 3 months I was pregnant with him. I’m on my second month now once again of temping and I will be sure to let you know how it goes! 🙂 The reason this is so great is because you learn SO much about your body and your cycles. They have these wonderful charts that let you step back and take a look at exactly what is going on with your body. Am I ovulating when I thought I was? Am I annovulatory? etc. Go to the website and check out the galleries of charts – they have a different category for everyone (i.e. PCOS, Thyroid issues, Endometriosis, short cycles, long cycles, the list goes on…!) It’s seriously awesome BUT you do have to be disciplined enough to remember to take your temp every morning at the same time. If you want MORE info about TCOYF email me and we can talk more about it.
The next choices is the OV Watch. I do have this BUT I didn’t get in time to start it this cycle so if I’m not pregnant this month I’ll be writing a more thorough review of it next month if I get to use it. OV Watch is a watch that you wear at night that notifies you 4 days before you’re due to ovulate. How does it work? Here’s how OV Watch describes it:
Researchers in the late 50s and early 60s noted that numerous salts (chloride, sodium, potassium) in a woman’s sweat fluctuated in relation to the menstrual cycle. Chloride levels are low at the start of the menstrual cycle and peak three times during the cycle (see graph below). Using a patented biosensor, OV-Watch detects a baseline chloride ion level for each woman and then accurately predicts ovulation based on the timing of the first peak. The OV-Watch detects the chloride surge 3 days prior to the estrogen surge, 4 days prior to the LH surge and 5 days prior to ovulation, making it an earlier predictor of ovulation than any other chemical surge during the month. For women trying to conceive, knowing the days before ovulation not only lowers the stress level for her and her partner , but it increases her chances of getting pregnant.
What’s the cost? You can the starter pack with 1 month supply of sensors for $124.99. You do you have to have a new sensor each month and they are $39.99 each. They say that within 6 months of using OV Watch you have a 66% higher chance to conceive with OV Watch than using the LH ovulation tests. All in all, I would absolutely invest in this because it’s MUCH cheaper than all those doctor’s visits and the drugs needed for AI, IVF, etc. It’s also worth noting that you can absolutely re-use the OV Watch the next time you’re trying to get pregnant and/or give to a friend to use since you have to get the monthly sensors.
Another choice is the Fertile Focus Saliva Fertility Microscope. Within 5 minutes each morning you get a test result from your saliva which shows whether or not you’re in your “fertile” part of your cycle. Isn’t this crazy?! This is how they describe it:
Fertile-Focus detects hormone changes that occur prior to and during ovulation. As estrogen increases, “ferning” or crystal patterns can be viewed in dried samples of saliva. These patterns indicate that ovulation is about to take place. The duration of your most fertile time lasts from several days before ovulation to 24 or so hours after ovulation.
Still a little confused? Here’s a picture to show you a little more detail about how the process works.
They claim it’s 98% accurate when predicting ovulation! What’s the cost? A whopping $26.95! The curious part of me wants to try this just because it looks so interesting!!
I’ve read a lot about this next option and it’s most expensive option but definitely the easiest. It’s called the Ovacue Fertility Monitor. This is kind of like temping and fertile focus all in one gadget! It’s a saliva based monitor with a calendar built right in. It automatically reads the results for you and all you need to do it put the sensor paddle on your tongue for 5 seconds! If you wish, they do offer a vaginal sensor as well that you have to purchase separately for $100. The vaginal sensor is highly recommended for women with irregular cycles or ovulatory disorders (PCOS) because it’s the most accurate way to know for sure when you’ve ovulated. You can read more about the vaginal sensor HERE. The great thing about this monitor is that it is a lot of money initially but you don’t have any monthly charges, such as sensors or LH sticks.
OvaCue will automatically keep track of your current cycle day, current fertility status, and start end dates of your most fertile days. This data is stored and used to calculate the best time for you to conceive each cycle. OvaCue comes complete with an oral sensor, long-life battery, owner’s manual and a convenient carrying case.
How much you’re asking? Well, I did say it was the most expensive at $249.00. Which is still pennies compared to what you’ll pay for other procedures at your doctor’s office. I would absolutely recommended this product if you want the least amount of hassle and you don’t want to think about your results. Some people, myself included, prefer knowing all the science behind what’s going on with their body which is still why I prefer the good ole’ fashion temp taking. Everyone has different preferences so you have a few options here to choose from that would best suit YOU.
Of course, I would always recommend using Pre-Seed while you’re trying to get pregnant. It’s the only sperm-friendly moisturizer! This internal lubricant will not harm sperm.
You can buy this online but I’ve been able to find it at CVS as well, which was not available years ago. This is a great way to save on shipping costs! It usually retails for around $20 a box (see below) which will last you about a month, maybe two.
I hope this gives you a few options in your “baby-making” quest! If you’ve come across something else that you’ve used please email us or leave a comment so we can add it to the list and share with others. I will be posting even more great natural fertility resources over the next few days including: herbal teas and my thoughts on the great Amish Healer, Solomon Wickey!