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What you should know about fertility kits and other fertility aids

Using fertility kits and self monitor devices can help women to become pregnant.
Using fertility kits and self monitor devices can help women to become pregnant.
AP Photo/Rene Macura

The American Fertility Association website is an excellent source for fertility related topics.  Dr. Lawrence Grunfield, MD, has written an article on "Over the Counter Intuition, A Guide to Do-it-Yourself Fertility Kits, Gadgets & Gizmos."  It offers lots of good information on what to use, how it works, and when to use it. Knowing your body, when it cycles is critical in concieving.  Timing is everything when you are trying to get pregnant and these devices offer the tools to help you with this process.

GOOD ADVICE

Dr. Grunfield offers advice about how to use these fertility aids. He says:

  • "First, know what your doing. Read the instructions and follow them.  Any questions about procedure, interpreting them, call the 800 number."
  • If it has been a year of unprotected sex (3-6 months for the 35 and over crowd) without a pregnancy, skip everything else and head to your doctor for basic infertility workups
  • Distinguish between home fertility tests and predictors."

Two of the most important tools in your arsenal of fertility devices is a basal body thermometer (BBT) and home predictor kits that measure luteinizing hormone (LH). They cost under $25 and can be very useful.  Dr. Grunfield explains that the BBT "doesn't tell you when ovulation is about to occur.  But mapping BBT gives you pretty good hindsight that could assist you in beaming in on your  fertile time."

Ovulation predictor kits "detect the amounts of luteinizing hormone that collects on the dipstick held in the urine stream.  The kits have a 2 year shelf life.  A positive reading tells you "ovulation will happen within 24-48 hours" according to Dr. Grunfield.

Dr. Grunfield also discusses the pros and cons of using more expensive self monitor devices.  They "register increases in estrogen levels that precede the LH surge by about 3-4 days."  The reality is that you must be consistent in your self monitoring behaviors and it takes a lot of time and energy. To get a lot more details about these devices and how they work go to:

http://www.theafa.org/library/article/over_the_counter_intuition/

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