Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tips and tricks

Anyone who has tried to get pregnant for awhile without success ends up picking up a few tips and strategies to increase their chances.  There are a lot of techniques and products that you can try.  I thought I'd put together a list of some of these things

AKA Ovulation predictor kits. We've discussed these a little bit in other posts, but they are an at home test that detects the surge of LH in the body. LH or luteinizing hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and during a woman's cycle will rise sharply (called a surge) and cause the woman to ovulate.  OPKs detect this surge in the hormone, allowing the woman to better pinpoint ovulation and time intercourse.  These tests are available at just about any retailer for a variety of prices and are also available online in strip form for a lower price.  It is recommended that you take these tests twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon (it is usually not recommended to use first morning urine, as it could yield a false positive result).  Most tests (though not all) require the test line to be AS DARK OR DARKER than the control line.  Be sure to read the directions carefully.  Or buy those nice (expensive) smiley face digital OPKs to take out the guess work.  A positive OPK indicates the the ovary will release and egg in the next 24-48 hours, so get your sexy on!

Otherwise known as basal body temperature.  This is another method of predicting ovulation.  The surge of LH in the body also causes a slight rise in body temperature.  All that's required for this method is a good thermometer, although I do recommend buying one made for BBT.  Every morning, take your temperature the moment you wake up.  It is very important that you do this around the same time every morning and before you do anything else.  It doesn't take much to skew the results.  Temperature can be taking orally or vaginally.  Record the temperature in a notebook, or better yet, use a great website (or mobile app) like Fertility Friend, which will not only keep track, but also help you interpret the results and pinpoint suspected ovulation.

Since I mentioned Fertility Friend, I thought I'd also list a few other sites and apps that I found helpful.  Fertility Friend is great for tracking BBT, but you can also track symptoms, upload HPT pictures, and they even offer a class on charting!  I also loved Countdown To Pregnancy.  The site is full of information on early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, information on pregnancy tests, and also offers a charting tool.  I also use an app called Pink Pad Pro.  I started using it when I first started tracking my cycles.  It's a quick and easy way for me to keep track of my period and any symptoms of pregnancy.  All of these come in handy at keeping me grounded if I'm having "symptoms", because I can remind myself I've felt this before!

Okay, we're going to talk about lube.  I always say there is no such thing as TMI with TTC.  Did you know that many lubricants can actually be harmful to sperm?  I'm not saying they are a form of birth control, but if you're TTC you definitely want every swimmer possible to have it's chance!  I'll admit, I hemmed and hawed over this one for a long time, but eventually I tried out a fertility friendly lubricant called Pre-Seed.  Fertility treatments like Clomid and Femara can actually reduce a woman's natural cervical mucus and I found that they really made me dry.  This product took care of that, and I must say my husband approved!  It's available online and at most drugstores and costs around $20 for about 9 applications.  We conceived the first month of using this product after 17 previous unsuccessful cycles.  I can't swear that Pre-Seed had anything to do with it, but I still recommend giving it a try!

Put your feet up
Yep, we mean it.  After sex, prop your booty up on a pillow and your legs on the wall or headboard.  Gravity baby, gotta work against her. Try to stay horizontal for at least 10 minutes or try the next product.

I have never tried this item, but I've heard good things about Softcups.  They are used for menstruation, but basically it's a flexible little cup you insert up by your cervix that will keep the swimmers up that way for longer, especially if you're up and moving.  (Please note, this is NOT the use for which these were created)

There are tons of tips and tricks out there!  Fertility monitors, teas, supplements, cut out caffeine, hubby wears boxers, the list goes on and on!  If there are others you'd like us to discuss here, let us know!

Please note that I have not been compensated in anyway by the sites and products mentioned in this post.  These are simply things that I have used and would recommend.  This post reflects my opinions only.

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