Fertility Monitors to Space or Avoid Pregnancy

How to Use Fertility Monitors to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy Without Hormones

As many of you know, I’ve had five children in the last seven years. I’m certainly open to having more children in the future, but I feel like my body would benefit from a break from pregnancy/nursing, especially as I am working to overcome my autoimmune disease and heal my thyroid.

Why Not Hormones?

I’ve written before about why I choose not to use hormonal or artificial contraceptives and what I use instead. As I explained in that post:

“Hormonal contraceptives are made from artificial hormone-like substances that attempt to mimic the effects of naturally occurring hormones in the body. Hormonal contraceptives work by:

  • “Suppressing the release of hormones that trigger ovulation;
  • Stimulating production of thick cervical mucus, which prevents sperm survival and ability to travel to a ripe egg in the fallopian tube in the event that ovulation does occur;
  • Disrupting the ability of the cilia (whip-like cells that line the fallopian tube) to move a fertilized egg toward the uterus in the event that conception does occur;
  • Preventing buildup of the uterine lining, and thereby inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg in the event that one arrives in the uterus.” (source)

Personally, the mere possibility that conception could occur and then the fertilized egg could be prevented form implanting is enough to keep me from ever wanting to use hormonal contraceptives (along with a host of other reasons), but it turns out that artificial hormones aren’t good for mom either (or the water supply for that matter):

“In The Breast Cancer Prevention Program, Sam Epstein, MD, writes, “more than 20 well-controlled studies have demonstrated the clear risk of premenopausal breast cancer with the use of oral contraceptives. These estimates indicate that a young woman who uses oral contraceptives has up to ten times the risk for developing breast cancer as does a non-user, particularly if she uses the Pill during her teens or early twenties; if she uses the Pill for two years or more; if she uses the Pill before her first full-term pregnancy; if she has a family history of breast cancer.” Thus, a woman who takes the Pill for two years before she’s 25 and before she’s had a pregnancy to term increases her risk of breast cancer tenfold.” (read the full post here)

As I’m not personally a fan of increased cancer risk, and I’m also not a fan of altering my hormones with artificial means, I’ve used alternative methods to track my fertility. A woman is only cyclicly fertile and within a normal cycle will go from infertile to fertile (for a short window) and back to infertile. Couples who have tried to conceive a child know all too well that there are infertile periods of the month.

Natural methods of achieving or delaying pregnancy depend on knowledge of a woman’s cycle and body to be able to pinpoint the fertile window and use that time accordingly. I often hear it said in the health sphere that every individual’s body is different and that the path to health depends on being able to listen to one’s body and I think this holds especially true when it comes to fertility.

“Natural methods use cues like Basal Body Temperature (BBT), mucus production, cervical position and other symptoms to effectively predict ovulation and avoid intercourse during this time. There are classes teaching how to practice these methods in most areas, or for those who can’t find a class, there are websites like Fertility Friend (free website) that  allow users to chart symptoms and pinpoint ovulation. These websites now even have apps and mobile features for easy tracking.”

There are now computerized devices that make this process of tracking fertility more accurate and easier to do. Most fertility monitors are recommended for achieving pregnancy but aren’t labeled for use in avoiding pregnancy or recommended while breastfeeding. I tried to find information on using fertility monitors for these purposes, but there was limited information available.

Using Natural Fertility Monitors

When given the chance by Fairhaven Health, I decided to test four of these fertility monitors side by side for six months and compare the results to see:

  1. Which were the most accurate
  2. If they could be used during breastfeeding or to delay pregnancy

The four methods I compared side by side were:

  1. The OvaCue (I now use the OvaCue Mobile with my iPhone)
  2. Fertile Focus Ovulation Microscope
  3. iBasal Thermometer
  4. Ovulation Sticks

I also charted my fertility using the Symto Thermal method of Natural Family Planning. This is what I found:

OvaCue

What it is: The OvaCue was easy to learn how to use and provided two different types of data: oral and vaginal readings. The OvaCue works by measuring electrolyte levels in saliva and cervical mucus and pinpointing ovulation up to 7 days in advance. According to this website: “The OvaCue Fertility Monitor consists of a hand-held monitor with a colored screen, an oral sensor, and a vaginal sensor – the ideal combination for pinpointing your most fertile days in your cycle and for confirming when ovulation occurred. The monitor has been demonstrated to be over 98% accurate in predicting ovulation in studies funded by the National Institute of Health.”

How I Used It: The OvaCue doesn’t require any charting or additional data. All I had to do was take an oral reading each morning and a vaginal reading each afternoon/evening. It charted my cycle based on the readings and gave a very clear indication of when ovulation would occur and when the infertile window began. Like all fertility monitors the OvaCue is most accurate for women who have a somewhat regular cycle but it works for those with irregular cycles as well. While breastfeeding and before I had a cycle, I simply reset the monitor every month if I didn’t see ovulation to create another window for it to measure. This would be similar to what might happen for a woman with anovulatory cycles or other hormone imbalances.

The OvaCue is 98% accurate in testing:

OcaCue comparison

I used the OvaCue to track my hormone levels while breastfeeding and for several months had only minor fluctuations in electrolyte levels, indicating no fertility. Once fertility returned, it predicted ovulation 7 days in advance and gave me an accurate measure of when the fertile window ended.

Overall, I preferred the OvaCue and it is the method that I will be using from now on. It is more pricey than the other fertility monitors I tested (though less than the popular LadyComp), but I felt it gave the most accurate data. The OvaCue also matched my charting exactly for my fertile window and showed fertility ending when basal temperature confirmed that this was the case. The new OvaCue mobile is less expensive and used with an iPhone.

Fertile Focus

What It Is: The Fertile Focus uses a microscope to track the changes in the saliva that correspond with changes in fertility. The website explains the FertileFocus microscope:

“Designed by leading fertility expert, Dr. Amos Grunebaum, ObGyn, Fertile-Focus is the affordable high-quality saliva-based fertility test (or personal ovulation microscope) that predicts ovulation with 98% accuracy – up to 72 hours in advance.

Fertile-Focus allows women to identify their most fertile days by testing and viewing the visual changes that take place in saliva throughout the monthly cycle. Just prior to ovulation, women experience an “estrogen surge,” and a distinct fern-like pattern becomes visible in saliva due to the hormonal changes. Fertile-Focus provides the highest quality, powerful 50x magnification lens for easily identifying these crystal “ferning” patterns.”

How I Used It: The Fertile Focus predicts ovulation several days in advance based on the patterns in the saliva. Since I was using the OvaCue while nursing a baby and creating “cycles” for it to track, I used the Fertile Focus as a backup method to show ovulation if the OvaCue missed it. All that is required is to place a small amount of saliva on the fertile focus each morning (before eating or drinking), let it dry and then look at it with the microscope.

Fertile FocusThe Fertile Focus showed the ferning pattern in my saliva at the same time that my charting showed a rise in fertility and the same time that the OvaCue predicted ovulation. It only gave me about 3 days advance notice, compared to the 7 day notice with OvaCue but it was fascinating to see the change in my saliva.

I liked how portable and easy to use the Fertile Focus was, but prefer the extra data with the OvaCue. The Fertile Focus is also the least expensive of the methods I tried and though it didn’t provide as much advance notice of ovulation, it did predict it accurately.

iBasal Thermometer

What It Is: The iBasal Thermometer is a device that relies on the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) method for tracking fertility and pinpointing ovulation. The iBasal has a built in alarm clock to remind you to take temperature each morning and it measures temperature to 1/100th of a degree. I’ve charted with the BBT method before but the iBasal charts for you to make the process easier. The website explains: “Basal body temperature (BBT) charting is a tried and true method for determining precisely when during your menstrual cycle you ovulate. Your basal body temperature is the temperature at which your body rests, which tends to be a bit lower than your “normal” temperature, usually 97 point something degrees F versus 98.6 degrees F. By measuring your BBT each morning (after a full night’s sleep) throughout your cycle you can detect the natural and subtle rise in your basal body temperature that occurs just after ovulation. This post-ovulatory shift in BBT is caused by increased production of the hormone progesterone, sometimes referred to as the “warming hormone”.”

How I Used It: I kept the iBasal by my bed and took my temperature with it each morning. While I was nursing and didn’t have a cycle, it showed slight variations in my temperature, but not enough to indicate a shift in fertility. Also, since I was working on improving my thyroid hormone levels during this time,  it registered a few false ovulations, though most women (even while nursing) wouldn’t have this variable to deal with. It did confirm that ovulation had happened after (which corresponded with the other methods I was using) but it didn’t give advance notice.

Ovulation Sticks

 What It Is: Ovulation sticks use urine to identify a rise in LH (Leutenizing Hormone) that occurs 12-48 hours before ovulation. They are very accurate, but don’t give much advance notice of ovulation.

How I Used It: I use these mainly to confirm what the fertility monitors were saying and confirm that ovulation did occur. They can be pricey and must be bought each month, so they aren’t the best option but they do give an extra way to confirm that ovulation has occurred and that LH levels have dropped. I won’t use these long term but they were useful as an extra way to verify the data from the other machines.

What I Use Now

After comparing all four methods side by side for six months, I’ll be sticking with the OvaCue Mobile and using the Fertile Focus as a back-up to verify. There is also a great community at Fairhaven Health of women using these different methods and they have forums where you can ask questions and get advice.

As I’m trying to temporarily avoid pregnancy, I’m using these methods to pinpoint my fertile window so I can avoid getting pregnant, but the same technology is excellent at helping pinpoint ovulation to achieve pregnancy.

With this existing technology and as more research and innovation happens, fertility monitors provide an alternative to hormonal contraceptives and also allow women to know and understand their bodies and possibly identify hormonal problems.

Sources:

Study of Accuracy of Fertility Monitors

Full list of my resources at the bottom of this post

Full list of resources supporting the electrolyte method used by OvaCue at this link

Have you ever used a fertility monitor or natural family planning method? Please share what worked for you below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Have you heard of the LadyComp? It would be worth looking into and adding to your list.

    • I have and a lot of people do really well with it, but it is more expensive and with thyroid problems, temperature isn’t an accurate method for me 🙁

      • Hi. I just had a miscarriage so haven’t had a period yet. Does the ova cue work if you don’t have a period? I have conceived 3 of my 6 kids before my period had returned. Love all the info, you’re my go to site I tell everyone about.

    • I was just going to say, I love the lady comp. It’s pricey but the easiest and reliable.

  2. This is useful i wish i have read it before . I’m 23 and went,on,the pill for ~3 years due to extremely painful periods. Out of the blue I stopped taking them because I just thought they couldn’t be good for me. My,period has stabalized and,now i juice everyday and try to be healthier. Your site gives me great tips

  3. I bought the FertileFocus. I had just stopped my birth control, and started using it about 4-5 days after my last menstrual cycle. Every other day it seemed to “ferning.” I then bought some ovulation strips. They arrived the date I should have been ovulating and sure enough I was! Because I was using these as a birth control, I spent the next two weeks waiting and worrying. I am not sure if the issue with the FertileFocus was that my estrogen levels, which is tests, were unstable due to the stop of the BC, but my body seemed to still be exactly on cycle. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt that possibly my estrogen was off, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for anyone using it as BC or planning to conceive as it does not seem to be as effective as using an urine ovulation predictor.

    • It can take several months after going off hormonal contraceptives to have normal levels.

  4. In my early 20’s I found the book ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility,’ and it literally changed my life. I finally learned exactly what my body was doing and how to ‘read’ it. Conception control without a prescription was empowering and liberating! My hubby and I not only managed to avoid pregnancy for, TEN years, but concieved on our first attempt, then avoided pregnancy for another nearly 4 years, and once again: conceived on our first try. In fact, I suspected I was pregnant before the tests could tell, based on what my body was doing. AMAZING. I don’t chart or take temps, but keep track of physical signs (mostly ‘egg white’). I charted for about 6 months at the begninning, but once I figured it out, it was simple. A barrier method used a few days a month, and no Rx needed.

    • Yes, Fertility Awareness worked wonders for me too! I was on the Pill for years for endometriosis but got to the point where I just couldn’t stand being so out of touch with my body any more. When I met my husband I was motivated to find a decent solution….

      I charted faithfully for a year and was very confident that I knew what my body’s patterns were.

      After that, I went ‘solo’ and simply monitored mucus and cervical behaviour.

      We were successfully unpregnant for several years. Then on our first try, we were pregnant at age 39, and now have a beautiful healthy 4 year old. Then again, we were successfully unpregnant for 3 years before deciding to go for it again. We conceived immediately, but that pregnancy did not stick. We waited a few months and tried again — again, immediate pregnancy. However, that one didn’t work either and I ended up having to have a D&E. Incredibly, we conceived again during the glory days of late summer and are expecting another lovely little fella soon. I am almost 44. My OB just shakes his head and says he can’t believe it…. 🙂

      • Your story is inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

      • Heidi,

        That is amazing! Thank you for sharing your story 😀

        24 years ago my mother became pregnant with me at the age of 42 after having 2 kids 22 years earlier and 1 other 2 years earlier. I am part of her story now and am so grateful for my life and for my mother. Blessings to you and your family!

    • In Australia we call TCOYF the ‘Billings Ovulation Method’ named after the doctors that developed it. I learnt it from their book 23 years ago and also have 100% successfully conceived 3 children and prevented pregnancy …I’m now 48 and in a new relationship and am out of touch with my fertility since the past few years as I didn’t need to track when my past relationship broke up. Things have changed. I don’t seem to be having fertile mucous anymore although I’m still having menstrual cycles. The last thing I want to do is take contraceptives or have my tubes tied. I’m not really gunning for a pregnancy either! Probably time to read the book again! I’m curious to try one of the methods in this blog post as well to see if I’m actually ovulating.

  5. Does it say anything about using the vaginal testing after intercourse? I’m wondering if the change in chemicals that naturally happen would mess with the accuracy.
    Also is this something you order on line or do they carry it at a medical supply? Insurance may pay for it if it’s at a med supply… Just a thought

    • Yes, you can’t test for 8 hours after intercourse. I don’t think that a medical supply would carry this but it might be worth checking for sure

    • Hey did you ever figure out if this is available via med supply? I looked on a few websites that carry them but was unable to find any fertility monitors to be covered. If you did find it could you send me the website link? Thanks!

  6. Hi Katie,
    I am a hige fan of your blog and your work and have been for awhile.
    I want to start planning my 2nd child this year.
    I’ve been paleo for 4 years and have given birth and am nursing an 18 month old and I fear I may Have messed up somewhere along this past year.
    I am feeling awful.
    My lean muscle has disappeared, my sprinting and fitness over all has reduced, my metabolism is sluggish, my migraines are back and I have gained so much weight that I look like my pre primal self.
    I was doing fabulous till about 6 months ago (one year postpartum).
    My toddler started drinking less breast milk and my menstruation returned after a 15 month break.
    So either it’s my nutritional profile or hormonal profile that has gone totally out of gear with these changes. Honestly yes I have slacked off a little over the past year or so but nothing that warrants this huge a backlash.
    I’ve been reading about estrogen dominance of low progesterone with extended breastfeeding. There seems to be a link there.
    I don’t understand though, how something so natural as breastfeeding a toddler could make me such a mess? It doesn’t add up.
    Are these changes temporary? Is this a modern lifestyle thing? Have i really slacked off that much? Should I begin supplementing big time (calcium/ folate/ magnesium?)
    I wonder if you’ve had any experience with this since you have nursed and been pregnant for a long time these past few years.
    Did you face hormonal upheaval or is it my nutritional profile. Can’t figure it out. Also I always practiced natural contraception and listened to my body knew when I was ovulating etc, now I just can’t tell!

    • Are you consuming any carbs? Being too low carb and nursing can sometimes do that. Sometimes, a natural progesterone cream can also help…

    • Hi Aloka! I’m in a similar situation to you! My daughter is nearly 2.5 and we are still breastfeeding and eat a paleo diet. My period returned when she was around a year and I had a feeling that something was not quite right. It took quite awhile for me to finally get to a naturopath, but she tested my progesterone levels, thyroid, vitamin d and vitamin b. The thyroid was OK but my progestorone was extremely low. Same for the B and D. She wrote a prescription for bioidentical progesterone and I’ve been taking it for a few months now and periodically checking in with her. I also take Vitex, magnesium, cod liver oil, B vitamins and evening primrose oil. I highly recommend finding a naturopath or an open-minded doctor to test your hormone levels and thyroid so that you can go from there rather than guess. It may be preferable to address what may be going in in your body before going for the pregnancy ride. I also totally agree with Katie about carbs – I went too low carb with paleo in the beginning (sort of by accident) and do better eating plenty of sweet and regular potatoes, fruits, etc. There’s tons of great info on this site. Katie does a service to us all to share her wisdom!

      • Hi lily. Thanks for sharing your story. I also suspect its progesterone but i went to a couple of doctors to ask tog et my hormones checked but they just said check your thyroid and looked blank when i spoke about progesterone – estrogen imbalance.
        I don’t think i am too low carb I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
        thanks though I will make sure i get all the tests done and seems like progesterone cream will help.
        thanks Katie and Lily

        • Hi Aloka.

          we are in the boat!
          I was wondering if you got the progesterone cream-and how you feel. I just ordered it myself

  7. Do you abstain during your fertile window or use a condom?
    I’ve been using the Bioself fertility thermometer for several years with success, but they don’t make them anymore.

  8. Katie I am very worried now, I’m only 21 and I have been taking oral contraceptives for about 2 years, and never been pregnant. I know now that I should never have started but every girl I knew was taking them and it seemed like the only option. (and I never would have started if I knew it the fertilized egg could be prevented form implanting)
    I don’t know what to do, my husband and I have been relying on BC because we can’t afford to have kids right now but we do want to have kids in a few years. Is there anything I can do to decrease the risk of cancer?

    • Jenni,

      I am 46 and very healthy, with mostly regular, fertile cycles. I have 4 healthy children (17, 14, 8, 4) and my generation was told oral contraceptives were basically miracle pills–alleged cures for acne, cramps, heavy bleeding, protection from uterine cancer, etc. We were NOT told they are abortifacients. I was on them for probably 4 years then off then on again another 1-2, stopping 6 months before I knew we wanted to ttc. I have been off them since 1/1996). I am careful about diet and exercise. You will be fine! :-). I had no problems conceiving at 40 1/2, 6 months after my husband had had a vas. reversal after 2 years. and was finally convinced we were being called to have another child. What a blessing for you to know so much (and to care!) as a young adult.

  9. Just ordered my OvaCue. Thanks you, Katie!

    • Mommypotamus, how is the OvaCue working out for you? I am nursing and haven’t gotten my cycle back yet and am trying to decide between clear blue fertility monitor and ovucue.
      Thanks in advance for any information you can share!

      • Did you ever get any information in reply to this? I am breastfeeding and would like to purchase Ovacue IF it will work.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m currently pregnant and I’ve been looking in to alternatives to birth control pills since I went off them to try to get pregnant. I’ve always been afraid to try anything else for fear of it not being accurate enough to prevent pregnancy. I’ve read about both the LadyComp and OvaCue and I’ve been wondering which is more accurate. It makes me nervous to use these methods while nursing because ovulation is so uncertain. It’s great to read a review from someone who used it while nursing.

  11. Thank you for doing this research. I do not like taking birth control pills as I am always afraid of missing them and I have a high aversion to “popping pills”. My question is would the OvaCue work on someone who is irregular? My fertility window is different every month.

    • It has for me as I’ve been irregular while getting my cycle back after nursing.

  12. Great article! Have you tried the clear blue monitor? I’m trying to figure out which to get to use for NFP and haven’t found much comparing the two.
    Thanks!

    • Haven’t tried that one, maybe some other readers can share experience…

      • My husband and I practice NFP as well (currently avoiding pregnancy), and I use the ClearBlue fertility monitor. I also check my cervical mucus and take my BBT, but I am not as consistent with taking my temp as I should be. Usually my fertility signs line up, but lately I’ve had several months where the monitor didn’t show an LH surge, only elevated estrogen. Also, buying the fertility sticks every 2-3 months is starting to get pricey and annoying (we’ve been married almost 1 year, and I’d been practicing tracking my fertility for almost 2 years before that). I’m really interested in trying the OvaCue and also the ferning device! They sound more accurate and cost-effective in the long run. I’m wondering if I have fertility issues going on though, esp. with the ClearBlue not showing LH surges….sometimes we cut it a little too close (it’s even happened on the day of ovulation), but I’ve never gotten pregnant. My period has also gotten very light (though it’s always on schedule), and I get anxious and depressed around (what should be) ovulation. (Which works out for abstaining, because I’m not in the mood anyway lol….but it doesn’t seem normal.) I feel great during when most women have PMS! Maybe using the OvaCue would help me figure things out. Sorry if this is TMI…..but wondering if you might have any insight. 🙂

        • Consider trying 5HT supplement 100mg by mouth twice a day. It helps your body produce serotonin. It has balanced my moods out very well. I bought it at Costco.

    • I have used Ovacue for 18 months and Clearblue for 12 months NFP purposes. I like Ovacue better overall. The reason I have both is I have accidently broken my Ovacue sensors – oral twice and vaginal once (you have to be gentle, don’t pull on with the cords!) Fairhaven Health replaced them under warranty but for a couple days I’d be unable to use the monitor, so I got the Clearblue as backup and out of curiosity. Temping would be cheaper but because of my darling kids, I don’t have a regular enough waking schedule to take my basal temperature accurately (although I hear the LadyComp adjusts for that, I am not convinced enough to shell out that kind of money!). Anyway– Both monitors agree on my day of ovulation, except that I commonly ovulate on the first Peak Day that Clearblue gives me, not the second. Correspondingly, I have found the Ovacue will usually let me know one day earlier than the Clearblue that I’ve entered my fertile window, and I love that you can confirm ovulation has occurred using the vaginal sensor– typically I am able to determine I’m “safe” sooner with Ovacue than waiting the recommended time that Marquette method prescribes. I graph the data myself, because I am also breastfeeding and I noticed that in my first 6 months of resumed menstrual cycles I was regularly getting multiple cue peaks and incidences of what Fairhaven Health has termed “secondary fertility,” or multiple *attempts* at ovulation before it is successful. I really loved learning about all that and having information about what my hormones were doing, and using Katie’s dietary & supplement advice I have rebalanced to where I can just trust Ovacue rather than using both monitors and graphing… but I’m a nerd so I’ll probably continue anyway. Lastly I will say that when I’ve had questions, the Ovacue folks provide FAR better and MUCH faster customer service than the Clearblue folks.

  13. This is really interesting! I refuse to use birth control after being hospitalized TWICE from Mirena IUD. Woo, what a nightmare. I do use condoms as a form of birth control, but you know… things happen in the moment and it’s always nice to have a second opinion (in this case, another form of birth control). I think I may have to save up and invest in this.

  14. I just want to make sure I understood this right… I really want to use a natural way to prevent pregnancy… So are you saying that the Ovacue could help with that while still breast feeding? I love all the information you share. your website has moved our family to Living Naturally… Thank you 🙂

    • Yes. It worked for me and I finally had my first cycle in 8 years (I had conceived my kids back to back). I’m working on a tutorial post on how I used it while nursing

      • Hi Katie,

        I really want to do NFP, but am postpartum and have a thyroid problem and am breastfeeding. My daughter is 9 months old and my cycle has been super irregular. I have a LadyComp, but haven’t been able to use it since it relies on past trends and I don’t have trends. Would the OvaCue be able to predict my ovulation? I want to heal my thyroid before having another baby. TIA

        • It has worked for me with irregular cycles and breastfeeding, I’d just be extra cautious the first few months as you get used to the machine.

      • I am nursing my 5th baby in eight years and I too have recently been diagnosed with a thyroid problem and autoimmune disease, so the temperature method doesn’t work for me and we have serious reason to avoid. I have read the OvaCue website but it isn’t clear how you use this method to avoid pregnancy. I would LOVE a tutorial on how you use this! Thanks!

      • Katie! Did you ever finish this tutorial you talk about?? I am on here currently trying to figure out how to use and interpret the OvaCue at 4 months postpartum, I’ve been having really light spotting for a few days ever 10-18 days and don’t know what the heck is going on with my fertility…would love to hear the specifics of exactly how you used the OvaCue before getting your cycles back!

        Thanks so much!

      • Very interested in this article. Great information!! Did you ever create the tutorial post you spoke of here? I believe that it would be very helpful as I am a breastfeeding mother as well and would like to start using the Ovacue.

      • Hey! I am wondering if you ever did that follow up tutorial post on how you used the ovacue while nursing? I am 11 weeks our from having my baby and would love to use it to avoid pregnancy. I plan on nursing as long as I can and I don’t tend to get a cycle until about 9 mos or so. I would really like to use this to prevent pregnancy. Thanks!

        Erica

      • Hi,

        Has the video been posted yet about using OvaCue while nursing?

        Thanks,

      • Katie, do you have a tutorial post on how to use while breastfeeding? I’m 36 weeks pregnant and after a very complicated pregnancy hubby and I are looking to delay conception for a few years. We had previously used LadyComp very successfully, but I plan to breastfeed and it seems like BBT isn’t very reliable while breastfeeding. Could you direct me to your tutorial??

      • Is this tutorial post available yet?

      • Do you have the tutorial post up yet? I just bought one but I’m not sure how to use it while nursing.

    • I am using Lady-Comp monitor over five years and I love it. I says when I have safe days to have sex by showing green light. I have to take my basal temperature every morning in my mouth. I planned my second child exactly got pregnant in first month I tried. When I had red days (ovulation), I used condoms or obstained from sex. ovulation lasts only several days, and it is not big deal for me and my husband.

  15. Boooooo I searched all over, iBasal is “currently out of stock?!” I need to think long and hard about dropping a couple hundred on OvaCue…..

  16. This is some great info! I was on the pill as a teen and young adult and always had a crazy cycle and heavy but I finally decided to stop taking it several years ago and it was no longer heavy and you could’ve set a clock by it! We used nfp to delay pregnamcy and it worked great for us we even got pregnant the first month we tried because I was sure when I was ovulating. Breastfeeding seems to be doing it for us for now (13 mo) although I know this isn’t the case for everyone. We are ready for number two but I don’t think I’m fertile yet, maybe one of the methods can tell me?

  17. Thank you for this comprehensive and detailed comparison. I got off the pill a few months ago due to a glitch in my health insurance and even though I take a very lose-dose pill, the difference I felt in my mind and body without the hormones was amazing. I am not ready to get pregnant but am ready to be off the pill, this was the perfect write up to come across! Thanks again.

  18. Thanks for this timely post!! I just had my second baby this month but both my kids came unexpectedly at 30 weeks. I want to find a natural way to avoid pregnancy for the time being but with my history of PCOS, and thyroid issues plus pumping for a preemie (as opposed to nursing from the breast) I can’t fully expect nursing to keep me from getting pregnant. (My last preemie was able to nurse for two years once he came home and I had no cycles for those two years. I’m hoping this preemie puts nursing together too.) I will look into the OvaCue. Sounds like it should work for me.

  19. Thanks! This is great. I am 19 weeks pregnant with my first. It was a surprise! I had been charting my cycle on an ap on my phone but my “fertile window” was off by 2 days and alas…I am pregnant. I will be looking into using something more accurate/effective after this baby is born. I can’t recall if there’s been talk in this blog about predicting gender based on conception date. But based on that theory, I was suspecting a girl. Sure enough, an ultrasound last week confirmed my suspicions. (And I knew sooner than 20 weeks because I had to see a high-risk specialist due to having Type 1 diabetes. I’m pretty confident in the accuracy of his fancy ultrasound equipment.)

  20. I was on the pill for 8 years straight and have been off of it for almost 11 months. My cycle is STILL all messed up (not regular, and I have ovarian cysts every other month, which I didn’t have much of before I was on the pill). I was very regular before being on the pill, so it’s frustrating. I also developed hypothyroidism around the same time I started taking the pill, and I wasn’t aware of how that can affect tracking fertility, so thanks for that info! We’re going to try to start a family in a few months but I worry about getting my body back to ‘normal’ first. What are the best fertility tracking methods for those with an irregular cycle? I’m in school for nutritional therapy, so I know there are things I should try with foods and herbs in order to get my cycle more regular.

    • The ovacue worked for me even with nursing and no cycle… I just made sure to pay attention to the patterns myself and not just depend on the machine to tell me when ovulation would happen.

  21. We are in the same boat (4 babies in 4 years) of wanting to delay pregnancy for some time. I’m wondering how OvaCue worked during the transition from nursing infertility to regaining your cycle. Our youngest is currently 10 months old and still nursing quiet a bit, but there is very likely a end in sight to “extended infertility”. From the OvaCue website it looked like it didn’t work unless you have started your cycle.

    • I used it while nursing before my cycle returned (and had my first cycle in 8 years). It isn’t tested for use while nursing, but there are some guidelines that help (like looking for a certain pattern of oral readings to indicate a shift to fertility) and that low vaginal levels mean higher fertility, and higher vaginal levels typically mean lower fertility. I just watched my patterns and re-set the machine every 29 days to mimic my cycle. I also really paid attention to the patterns in case the machine didn’t catch an oral or vaginal change.

  22. Hi Katie,
    Do you recommend Fertilaid, fertilecm or any of the supplements on the Ovacue website?
    Thanks,
    Yvonne

    • They are all helpful for increasing fertility, I just don’t use them right now since I’m hoping to wait a little while before having another.

      • Thanks Katie! One more question. Can I take both of these and maca?

  23. Thanks so much for sharing with others the benefits of non-hormonal child spacing! I wish more people would realize that hormonal birth control has many negative side effects on the health and well being of women. I think it is funny that so many people go to great lengths to avoid food containing hormones, and products that are hormone disrupters, while ignoring what the pill and other forms of birth control such as iuds do to their bodies and the environment! Thanks for the run down on the fertility monitors. They are so expensive, that I’ve never taken the plunge and bought one. Right now we are using the Standard Days method of child spacing. Has worked great for the past year. I’ve always been bad about temperatures, charting, mucous, etc, which is why something like the lady comp or ovucue sound good. Oh, I’ve also been using a great app called OvuView that charts for me and helps me keep track of my last period, fertile days etc. it’s been great since I have traditionally forgotten to write all of that stuff down. Good luck ladies! You won’t regret tossing out the birth control!

  24. My doc suggested checking my temp every morning to chart and see if I was ovulating or not. I have had a cycle every 16-22 days with the exception of one 60 day cycle since my third child was 7 wks old! He is now 18 months and nurses just as much as he did as a newborn. The doc checked my levels and said they are “fine”, but my question is this: how the heck do you get accurate temp when a toddler still night nurses. I don’t get more than 3 hrs of uninterrupted sleep…with him either nursing (3-4 times between 9pm and 8 am) and sometimes he dream nurses…and he is always kicking me over. We don’t wake up at the same time every day…is this an accurate method? Part of me wants another baby, part of me thinks my nursing toddler is preventing it…and I’m happy…for now.

  25. I may look into this. My understanding is that a BBT reading should be taken after four hours of continuous sleep, and with young kids, I don’t often find that I am getting this. Was this an issue for you, and is it worth monitoring BBT if your sleep schedule is more erratic?

    • BBT wasn’t effective for me in the past when used alone. It would always confirm once ovulation had already occurred but doesn’t give advance warning and things like stress, interrupted sleep or alcohol consumption can interfere so I was glad to find the electrolyte method

  26. My husband and I use the diaphragm, it took a lot of getting use to. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a doctor that could advise on non hormonal forms of contraception. It was horrendous, we even went to a specialist and paid extra, only to be recommended the IUD. She had no knowledge of how to fit the diaphragm. We finally found a clinic that could help us. I was adamant that I wouldn’t go back on the pill or use other methods that interfere with my hormones. All many doctors seem to do these days is write a prescription, they don’t want to be bothered with the alternatives. I felt so much better coming off it.

    To be honest all the people I know who have tried the natural method have many kids! At least 5 or more lol. I went to a catholic school (some strict Catholics don’t believe in contraception), I had a friend who had eleven brothers and sisters! So I have never trusted it. Thanks for the information on these devices and newer methods.

    • I’d fall in to the category of “strict” Catholic. While I’d like a little sleep first, I can think of many things worse than getting to have 11 children 🙂

      • I also fall into the category of “strict” Catholic :). I appreciate all the information you’ve given on this topic and others and applaud your evangelizing through example 🙂
        My husband and I have been married a little over a year and have a baby who is 2 months old now! We are avoiding during this time and I am breastfeeding. We have used the cervical mucus method with success before we conceived our baby, but now that I am breastfeeding I cannot establish a “basic infertile pattern” as I have both wet days and dry days in an irregular pattern!
        Have you had this situation while breastfeeding? I was hoping to avoid buying an expensive fertility machine, but it may be necessary after all….

  27. Hey Katie, just out of curiosity, did you sleep train your babies? I have five as well but they are spaced two to three years apart. I’m doing my own research on that whole thing. Love your blog; it has really helped our family’s health! 🙂

    • I never did. They all decided to start sleeping in their own beds and through the night at around 8-12 months

  28. The Marquette Method uses the clear blue easy monitor and has a protocol for breastfeeding. I have not used it but I have friends who love it.

    • Me too… but I don’t think it gives enough advance notice, especially for double ovulation. Definitely interested in trying it though

  29. Can I use the OvaCue while on the pill as I’d transition off of the pill? I am breastfeeding, so on the pill that works with it (I think progesterone only). I’d like to get off the pill, but I’m hesitant to have my husband have a vasectomy (still researching that). We DO NOT want more children, so I need something very effective. I don’t want to quit the pill until I know I have something accurate as an alternative.
    Thoughts?

    • I found it very accurate for me, but I would definitely recommend being very careful the first few months since your cycle may be irregular when transitioning off the hormones

  30. So glad to hear someone talk about this topic. Thanks for the reviews and information.

  31. I’ve been charting my cycles (FAM) for 14 yrs. I have 7 kids and have been nursing for over 13 yrs straight and tandem for over 11 yrs straight (I’ve even nursed 3 for a combined total of 3 yrs). I have ovulated as early as 8 wks PP or as late as 12mo (6mo PP is my average).

    Charting (observing fertile signs, taking my temps, cervical position, using a barrier method while fertile) has worked for me during annovulatory periods post partum, and while nursing (even on demand through the night). It also allows me to determine my body’s health and if I may have potential hormone issues (short LP, low temps etc). Other perks are I always have a good idea that I am pregnant before I could test (I get an implantation dip). And several times we were TTC I never even took a pregnancy test, I didn’t need to, 18 high temps told me I was pregnant.

    It also allowed me to know that I had a loss I wouldn’t have known of otherwise. It allows me to time pregnancy to get pregnant on the first try and is excellent at preventing. The only times we have gotten pregnant when not specifically TTC are when we consciously took “risks” (and we only do take risks that if we are OK with getting pregnant, otherwise we play it safe).

    It is cheap, all you need is a piece of paper and a good thermometer.

    I learned everything I know from the book “Taking Charge Of Your Fertility”. Most empowering womens book ever!!

    I’m sure some people need something more (as you mentioned with thyroid problems) but I just want to share for those who may be reading that not everyone does. That charting can be used successfully by people even during annovulatory periods PP and while nursing (a lot). It’s easy, cheap, accurate, and gives you far more information about your body than simply when you ovulate!! I love looking over my cycles from a decade ago (and notes) to compare what my body was doing then to now! I think it will prove very handy when get older (menopause…eek, LOL)

    • Preach!! I’ve been charting for long time as well. 16 years to be exact. 5 healthy kids and 2 angels later, I’m still trying to pinpoint the exact month I’ll return to having a period. My baby turns 6 months in a few days and I’ll be pulling out my thermometer and charting since I know it works!! I’m interested in the ovulation kits but I know once I add solid foods it’s only a matter of time before I cycle. Baby has just started consistent night sleeping.
      Great information here, Katie.
      I’m one of those “strict” Catholics too. 😉

  32. very useful information!

    I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and it was great before my first child. We could use barrier methods or abstain during fertile times and I only had 6 cycles a year. Then I got pregnant for the first time (we didn’t use barrier methods or abstain but knew it was a fertile time- we weren’t SURE it would work b/c I had been diagnosed infertile in my youth and even put on the pill to ‘regulate’ my non-existent cycles). When my son was 6 months old and exclusively breastfeeding, my cycle returned. And the challenge of charting while breastfeeding began!!!!

    I would have 50-60 day cycles, extremely long pre-ovulation phase, and loads and loads of mucus! I was pregnant again (it seemed a) easier, and b) like good timing) w/ my daughter when my son was only 15 months old. He weaned around 18 months and my daughter was born strong and healthy. We thought we could do this charting thing again, but ended up w/ a surprise pregnancy when my daughter was only 10 months old- a surprise, using barrier methods, day 35 ovulation baby. 😀 She was a homebirth b/c the Dr’s office wouldn’t allow my ovulation date to determine my due date. And my daughter was fully 44 weeks by LMP when she was born.

    So we were SUPER CAREFUL after she was born- w/ returning cycles (6 months even when tandem nursing my 2 year old and 6 month old all day) and STILL got pregnant w/ a 2nd delayed ovulation that came after a charted ovulation (yay double ovulation?!?), while nursing my 2 daughters. 😀

    Then we went Creighton model- SO STRICT. so limiting, and turns out that i have, on most cycles, either a double ovulation or just 10-14 days of mucus MINIMUM. I spaced out my 5th (i think we decided one more would be easier than Creighton Model and fighting over abstinence for 2-3 weeks every single cycle) and he was born when my 4th was almost 2 years old. And we had another charting surprise (SURPRISE) even w/ 15 days of abstinence during the cycle. So, either double ovulation or surprise ovulation or the swimmers lived a full week.

    Needless to say, we’re a little, teensy bit skeptical of most natural methods!!!!

    I’ve considered ladycomp and will definitely look into OvuCue as 7 days prediction is pretty good (but not long enough if i didn’t ovulate this time!) as we’re pretty overwhelmed w/ 6 kids in 8 years! thankfully, i was gluten free for 4 years before my first pregnancy, nutrient dense foods educated by my 2nd pregnancy, and basically eating as clean and nutrient dense as possible for the last 6 years. BUT I know it’s no guarantee and that my body is still being drained.

    Thanks for the reviews and resources!

    • I suspect double ovulation has be responsible for both of my kiddos. Your post makes me feel like I’m not crazy!! Do you have any resources for info on double ovulation, I’m really curious about it. I charted carefully and was very intune with my body, but I still have two (very welcome) surprises. Glad to know there’s an additional method I can try!

  33. I’m 51 and had a hysterectomy leaving the ovaries in October 2011. Not knowing where I am in my cycle has been very challenging especially when it comes to progesterone cream, BHRT etc. I’m hoping one or more of these will provide the information I need to get a handle on where I am in my cycle. I’m showing no menopausal symptoms but very much in pms. 😛 Thanks for this information. I needed it!!! 🙂

  34. What about the mini-pill for contraception while breastfeeding. That has no hormones right?

    • It still has hormones- it is progesterone only but still artificial hormones.

  35. Although mentioned, the fertility-awareness based methods of NFP (FABM) can be great. Either as an alternative to or in conjunction with one of the fertility monitors. The Creighton Model System in particular is wonderful, because it helps a woman identify the return of fertility while BF-ing BEFORE her cycles return. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy can be different as well (ie, just because your cycles didn’t return for over a year with one child doesn’t mean the same will happen with #2 or #3). For women with other health-related issues (endometriosis, PCOS, irregular cycles, unusual bleeding patterns, painful periods, etc), the medical diagnostics/treatments that are provided in conjunction with the Creighton charting (called NaPro Technology approach) is particularly useful. It is a wonderful, supportive way to look at women’s reproductive and gynecological health that doesn’t involve taking artificial hormones. It works cooperatively with a woman’s natural cycles and seeks to treat the underlying cause of any dysfunction (rather than just trying to mask symptoms). For women who are tired of the birth control pill being prescribed for every concern that they go to their doctor with (acne, painful cycles, irregular cycles, heavy periods, etc), this approach is a God-send!

    • My husband and I learned Sympto-Thermal when we were engaged, and then switched to Creighton about a year into our marriage. I will never go back! We’ve dealt with a whole host of infertility issues, but with the help of Creighton and Naprotechnology I am finally pregnant after 2 years of trying. For me personally, Sympto-Thermal was much more confusing than it was helpful. (Partly because my body wasn’t behaving the way it was “supposed” to, but partly because it just isn’t specific enough.) And I found medical help with that method to be difficult to find. (The first doctor I went to wouldn’t even give me the time of day about my concerns.) I’ve found the Creighton model to be much more scientific and much less confusing. It is less confusing partly because it is more specific (e.g. it distinguishes between 8 or 12 types of mucus, rather than 3 or 4 with Sympto-Thermal) and partly because the instruction in the method is both much more rigorous and more personal. My doctor and my Fertility Care Practitioner are also well-integrated, so I’ve felt taken care of, rather than left to figure out how to deal with what was wrong, as I was with Sympto-Thermal. I don’t have any personal experience with avoiding pregnancy on either method, but if we ever need to, I feel much more confident about using Creighton to do so.

  36. Hi, Katie! I just want to add one more use for the Ovulation Scope. If you do NOT get pregnant, the ferned pattern in your saliva goes away at the end of your fertile period. But the time I got pregnant, the fern pattern remained- until I should have gotten my period, and beyond. So I was highly suspicious that I was pregnant, and confirmed with a home pregnancy test that indeed I was. I had a friend who had recurrent miscarriages, and she was wondering if I knew of anything that tested really early for pregnancy, so that she could get on progesterone early enough to save her pregnancies. I told her about the Ovulation Scope, and that it essentially confirms pregnancy weeks before any other pregnancy test, and she went out and bought one. She used it and was able to save her next baby. Hopefully this helps some of your readers who are trying to prevent early miscarriage. Thanks for your wonderful blog and have a great day.

    • That is awesome, thanks for mentioning it!

    • I have had 6 pregnancies and only one healthy birth, our awesome son is 7 now. What is this about progesterone to save your pregnancy!? How come my doctors never mentioned or tried this? How do you know if this is your problem?

      • I’d find a doctor who knows about it to ask, but I know several people personally who have been able to carry a pregnancy to term by using natural progesterone cream for the first trimester

      • For repetitive miscarriage, check out fertilitycare.org and look for a certified Medical Consultant in NaPro Technology. They know how to monitor progesterone levels in pregnancy and do so very effectively! The most effective mode of administration is IM (injection). Creams just don’t have high enough absorption rates and there is no control for dosage. Same with vaginal suppository and even oral administration.
        That being said, it is not prescribed without monitoring. They strive to keep progesterone in the healthy range and will re-check levels every couple of weeks and adjust dosage etc… I have a lot of experience with this after losing my second pregnancy at 17 weeks and then not being able to maintain another pregnancy for over 6 months because of a progesterone problem. With hormonal support, we were able to maintain pregnancy in the first cycle of trying and were on progesterone through week 29. I got taken off a couple of weeks ago (now at 31 weeks) because my levels went up enough and then stayed up! Now only needing to get it checked with signs of pre-term labor. Not enough OB’s know how to use progesterone therapeutically. Look for a NaPro trained doctor and you will find what you need!

  37. Hi,
    I really like your blog and i don’t know if u know the book called TAKING CARE OF YOUR FERTILITY by TONI WESCHLER
    In her book she teaches how to monitor our fertility by tracing 3 signs of our body: temperature, cervix liquid (no need of a microscope) and the location of your cervix.
    Very much amazing!!
    Rona

  38. Thank you so much for your thorough review!! After my second child (I didn’t realize getting pregnant the second time was that easy and quick), I want to space out the kids a little more, but refuse to use any hormonal birth control and sometimes get off track with my temperature (which can be frustrating, as I don’t have a cycle while breastfeeding so am really in the dark). It’s nice to see the different options!!

  39. The Creighton Model is worth looking into as well. It’s based on the Billings Ovulation Method and tracks biomarkers during a woman’s cycle. It really helps you understand your own cycles (even when breastfeeding) and can highlight potential issues for someone dealing with infertility (hormone imbalances, etc.) in addition to letting you know your most fertile time.

  40. thank you for being an advocate for nfp!!!

  41. We started out in our marriage using the Ovulation Method and then progressed to the SymptoThermal Method. We brought into the world five beautiful kids over 21 years of practicing natural methods of spacing. We have been married now for 28 years and I actually feel that I wish we had been less anxoius about “too many kids” because I would like to have seen who else would have entered our world. Your children become your world and what they do you experience in a way as well, so your world expands. I know as a young mother you are active and anxious about many things but take the time to see the remarkable little ones in your care. Build your relationship with them and do not be so concerned about getting them into every program and sport. They really just want to spend time with you and your husband. They will be your best friends someday. A piece of advice – pray for your kids everyday that they will become the persons God created them to be.

    • Thank you for your words of wisdom. I have four kids 6 and under so I am at a very exhausting part of life but they are my greatest joys! With a 2 year old and 8 month old I feel I need 2-3 years to be ready for another 🙂

  42. I just wanted to point out to those that may be reading comments about FAM and Creighton Method. There are numerous natural methods out there. There is no one size fits all when it comes to natural family planning (contrary to what many people very enthusiastic about their chosen method say). And I always recommend people stay in close contact with their instructor when charting a natural method. The more you try to figure it all out on your own the more abstinence or less effective a method tends to be, I have used TCOYF (FAM) then a sympto-thermal method, then the Creighton Model, and now I am using Billings. They are all very different! And BTW, Creighton is NOT an “improved” version of Billings as a previous comment says. At first glance they look very similar and even the people who created the Creighton model claim it to be a “standardization” if the Billings method (once one learns Billings one would learn that they are more different than similar). They use the same terms that mean completely different things. Having used both I can see the merit of both for different people and in different circumstances but I personally the simplicity of Billings.

  43. Hi there,

    Although I chose not to use contraceptives for religious reasons, I have to say it’s nice to see a post promoting NFP from a health point of view. I’ll save it so I can share it with those who don’t care about religious aspects of it all. I only discovered NFP after I was pregnant with my second back to back, and after much reading decided on using the ClearBlue monitor…I never heard of the monitor you chose before. I like the CB monitor but the sticks cost about 30$ a month as I test everyday while I’m still nursing nd waiting on my cycle to return. If your monitor doesn’t have those added costs I’m thinking I might switch. But will I need a new instructor? I currently use a Marquette type method.
    Also just fyi, there is a super suportive and informative group on facebook called natural family planing NFP closed group that has been a wealth of info on this subject for me. They are catholic based, but I’m not Catholic and I don’t have a problem with their rules for discussion.
    Thanks again for your post.

  44. Hello Katie!

    I apologize if this has been answered already…I tried to read through all of the comments/replies to avoid duplicates but may have failed.

    I have my 3 1/2 month old baby girl resting on my lap. We planned her (no pills for us) and I was very in tune to my ovulation cycle before I conceived.
    At 6.5 weeks postpartum my cycle returned d/t my daughter getting insufficient milk while nursing. (She was tongue and lip tied). It lasted 5 days, as did my past periods. I just started bleeding again on and off but dont feel that I’m ovulating. My D.O. feels that I possibly have a tear deep inside that our midwife missed. However, for religious reasons we abstain from the pill but Im not ready to be pregnant again.

    a) How can I figure out if these are real periods and worth tracking?
    b) I’m a FTM so I dont understand the correlation between breastfeeding and my period…can someone explain?

    Thanks! Loved you on the Mom Conference today!

    • The monitors can help with that, or you could use the strips to be able to tell for sure if you are ovulating or not. It is possible to have anovulatory cycles while nursing, but I personally still abstain during the time that ovulation would be happening just to be sure…Congrats on your little one 🙂

    • Morgan – some women do not ovulate before their first postpartum period. Also breastfeeding *can* suppress the hormones your body uses to ovulate. Some women can go over a year without cycles, ovulation, or a period when breastfeeding while other women experience an early return to fertility. Since you have had issues with breastfeeding (I did too) that may have been enough to let your body get back into cycles.

      Since you do not want to use pills or other devices (I don’t either) you could use some of the resources Katie mentioned in this post or you can check out the following:
      Billings Ovulation Method http://www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org/
      Creighton Model Fertility Care System http://www.fertilitycare.org/
      SymptoPro Fertility Education http://www.symptopro.org/
      Marquette Method (uses the Clear Blue monitor) http://nfp.marquette.edu/definition_nfp.php

      Each of these hooks you up with an instructor in your area or by distance education (usually online). They can also help guide you through the confusion that is the return of fertility postpartum. Best of luck!

  45. Hi wellness mama everyday im loving more and more your info and post and lifestyle. I bought many years a go a monitor called monitor persona which is to predict whrn you’re fertile and when not.. i think it was designed more like a contraceptive, than to try to conceive… please can you give me some feedback comparing this monitor persona with ovacue? Much love from Chile 😉

  46. I have been using OvaCue for 3 cycles now… and every time I knew I was very fertile ,something would happen and be in the way and my husband and I wold not be able to baby dance during that time. It’s like the Lord was showing me I can not CONTROL my fertility even with this fancy machine!!! Also, relying on the machine brought a stain on my relationship with my husband, as he felt like he had to perform according to OvaCue data! -right there and right now! 🙁 One time right when I was ovulating ,my husband felt pressured that he now became a baby making machine and we had a fight. So, OvaCue is NOT a miracle solution. If you are a born again Christian you would really have to seek the Lord’s guidance how to use this wisely; it can put some pressure on you to perform according to it’s data when you are trying to get pregnant. It might work perfectly for some ,like it does for Wellness mama and it might not work as well for others. Some of us just need a miracle to get pregnant and I am in that category.
    Dear wellness Mama, would you post something on boosting fertility naturally for men and women ..thank you!

  47. Hi Katie!

    I was so excited to see and read this review. I am currently nursing my 3 month old and do not have a cycle. I would like to use the ovacue, but don’t know how since I do not have a cycle. How did you start using it?

  48. Hey Katie,

    First let me say that your blog is AMAZING, and I want to thank you for doing so much to help others. My daughter is almost 2 and we have been trying for our second for almost a year. I have PCOS and my periods are very irregular. Which one would do you think would work best for my particular case?

  49. I’m interested in a natural method and don’t want the risk of baby number 7 before we are ready to upgrade our vehicle. I’m using the copper IUD right now and it has some effects on me I’m tired of and want to be free of. How should I go about transitioning off one to get to the natural way? Thanks!

  50. Hi Katie!

    I was SO excited to see your review of the Ovacue, because I am also nursing my fourth and waiting for my cycle to return. Do you think you will be posting the article you mentioned back in March, with more details about how you used yours while in lactational amenorhea? I just ordered the ovacue because I’ve always been terrible at interpreting the charting I attempted, particularly as my periods start up again after birth & nursing. We knew we wanted at least 4 babies and now we have them, but I need to have a break from pregnancy & nursing to work on healing my thyroid, too.

    On a side note, do you or anyone else here have any thoughts on when to decide to allow your family to continue to grow, or not? My husband and I are not interested in any “permanent” forms of birth control, so I guess it’s sort of a silly question – we’ll always be able to change our minds, I guess. I’ve begun putting away the first size of baby clothes because I just don’t feel emotionally ready to part with them yet, but I wonder sometimes at what point we will be ready to decide if we’re “done” or not. Right now, I am emotionally stretched in dealing with my littles’ needs (3 under 5, which it sounds like you can relate to). I am also currently really struggling to feed us good, real food on a very small budget, and the kiddos are only going to grow and eat more! I know that God sees us and ultimately provides for us, and I know I’m doing everything I currently can to be faithful in using our resources. I’m kind of afraid of what people will say if we have more someday, and also afraid of getting older and wishing we had allowed more people to join our family. And then I try to look ahead and imagine parenting my oldest through his teens and having more babies & toddlers distracting me at that point, and I want to be there for him… just too many thoughts at the moment, I guess. :o) I suppose I ought to just focus on preventing pregnancy until I’m done nursing the current baby and have a chance to do some more cleansing and getting my thyroid back on track and then reconsider, but for some reason these thoughts are consuming me now :o). Well, thanks for “listening!”

    • I will try to work on that post soon. My personal philosophy is that short of a grave reason like a medical problem, psychological problem or really tough financial problem, we will probably be open to more (though we do want to space them a little more to let my body recover). It definitely is a personal decision but it seems that when I talk to older and wiser women they only regret the ones they wish they’d had. Also, the stage you are in right now is absolutely the toughest in my opinion and I think there is a tremendous value in older siblings having a baby around…

  51. Hey Katie!
    Thank you so much for writing this post! It has really opened my eyes to a whole new world.
    I have plans to marry my best friend by the end of this year. I am in my 20’s and have remained pure, saving myself for marriage. With a wedding fast approaching, I have been researching what contraceptive options I have. ( there was no reason for me to research or start taking anything before this point in my life!) The world has been telling me to go on the pill, it’s easy and a no-brainer. My gut tells me otherwise. I want to be a mom one day and raise healthy children…which is not easy to do these days…and going on the pill just does not sit well with me. I then read your posts and it all made sense why I felt the way I did! I am new to this world. I want to wait a little while, if possible, before having kids, ( as in, not getting pregnant the day after my wedding!) but I am overwhelmed by all the information out there. Do you have any additional advice to a young woman wanting to wait a little before getting pregnant but who is also trying to ensure the health of her future children? I am open to any suggestions you may have…websites, books, articles, ect! Thank you for taking the time to write this post, and to read my comment!

    • I’d use the ovacue… it was by far the most accurate one I tried and the easiest to learn. You could start using it now to make sure you have the hang of it before your wedding. Congrats 🙂

  52. I bought an ova cue and it does seed easy to use. I am not impressed with the quality if the machine. I had to travel for work and I put it in my suitcase with my luggage and the screen cracked. The bag was not tossed around, just carried to and from my car. Also I am so use to touch screens the old school navigation is hard to get accustom to

  53. The OvaCue website says you need to start monitoring at the beginning of your period, during menstruation. How do you do this during breastfeeding without periods? You mentioned you were able to do this but how does this match with the below question/answer. Thanks!

    Natova from Costa Rica asked:
    If you do not have your mestruation, how can i start using the ovacue? You say you must start the second day of your mestruation.
    A.
    Customer Service: Unfortunately, in order to begin use of the OvaCue, you do need to start taking readings at the beginning of your cycle (menstruation). You will need to wait until you start your next period.

    • I just started charting 30 day “cycles” each calendar month and restarted each time as if I’d had a period to monitor my hormones.

      • Hi Katie,

        I think it’s awesome how you’ve been able to use the OvaCue during lactational amenorrhea, and I understand how you’ve been resetting it to mimic your normal cycle length – but how did you know when to begin the first “cycle,” in order to be in tune with your hormones at the right stage of your cycle?

        (My husband and I use the symptothermal method, which has been wonderful for us, but I know when our baby is born the charts may be hard to decipher and temps will be off as I transition back to fertility after/during breastfeeding.)

        Thank you so much!

        • Honestly, I just guessed was careful to reset once a month. I realized that most monitors can take in to account a cycle variance of up to a week and a half and still be accurate and realized I’d have a pretty good chance of it being within that range by just picking a date.

  54. Thank you for this post! I’m really hoping you can share more about exactly how you used the monitor while breastfeeding. I was planning on doing the Marquettte Method with the Clearblue, but based on your review I bought the Ovacue and the Fertile Focus. Now I have my monitor, started using it 2 days ago and it says that I need to have a ‘cue peak’ first and start testing on certain cycle days and it’s very confusing! I don’t feel confident in it at all. I am EBFing my 9 week old but I had a period like bleed at 7 weeks and now the monitor is giving my very high vaginal readings (380-400+) and I’m thinking I should have got the Clearblue after all. I have 3 children under 3 and I’m exhausted physically, I’d love more babies but I don’t think my body could really handle anymore at the moment. We conceived #3 before my first PP period too. Although baby #3 seems stronger and healthier than his older siblings, thanks to a real food diet and big spoons of cod liver oil!

    • I’ve been there too and I understand the frustration. I’m working on a full post about how I used it while nursing, but basically, I just acted like I had cycles and reset it once a month as if I had. It will give high readings sometimes, especially while nursing.

      • Thanks- I’ll look forward to the post!

      • Have you wrote the post you are talking about here? I am really wanting to buy the ovacue but want to make sure I know what I’m doing. Where can I find the instructions you are talking about to prevent pregnancy while breastfeeding?

  55. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for your valuable info and more so your amazing heart that shares and shares! I’ve been slowly transitioning (largely thanks to you) from a vegan diet to adding fish,cod liver and beef broth. I have a 13 month old baby, that is mostly breastfed w little interest in solids (I was vegan when I was pregnant with him),had a miscarriage (at 6wks) and was bleeding heavily for 4 weeks, just got my normal period and now finally replenishing my body with all that good fat and protein to get pregnant again. My question is, what is your take on nursing while pregnant?

    Thank you so much! Andy.

  56. Thanks for this informed piece on fertility/contraception monitors! I’m very proud to say that after 20 years on the Pill I’ve decided I needed to find another option. In AUS less than 4% of the population use sympto thermal measures as an option for contraception. Quite frankly, I believe (as a generalisation) our Drs push synthetic alternatives. I’m not a sickly person…the only reason I go to the Drs is for a pap test and my pill script, regimentally every 2 yrs. I initially started taking the Pill, in my teens after developing recurring ovarian cysts and heavy periods. My Dr suggested it and naively I opted for a band-aid solution instead of per-suing any potential underlying issues for my cysts. Fast forward 20 years and I’ve been on the Pill for more than half my life and not once had any Dr suggested I consider an alternative or discussed with me the side effects of my long term script. Thankfully, I’m fit and healthy and haven’t experienced any untoward effects of this. My first period, post ‘quitting’ came on time and was ‘normal’, for me and I’m now excitedly awaiting the arrival of my Lady Comp!

    • I thought I’d update after using Lady Comp for 9 months. LOVE!!! From the very first day I felt complete confidence in this device. Realistically it took a couple of months for it to get to know my body’s cycle and as such in the early stages I recorded more red and amber days but now, I only have 6 red days per cycle which we abstain. For me, coming off The Pill and using Lady Comp and switching to a Juju Cup, from tampons has made my periods a non event! My partner can’t even tell when I’ve got them. I feel better in myself for getting off The Pill and I know my body thanks me too. I know there are other fertility control options out there but for me Lady Comp was definitely the right choice!

  57. Hi Katie,

    I havent seen a reply to my question and I really would like to know your take on nursing while pregnant. I have a 15 months old that still nurses, I have changed my diet to include more fat and protein. With such little gaps between your kids, did you nurse while being pregnant or what would be your input on that? (btw, I use clearblue and I’m very happy with it!)

    • I definitely nurse while pregnant but some women can’t. You might want to talk to a doctor about it if you have concerns 🙂

  58. Love this! I thankfully learned about NFP in the Catholic church my husband and I married at and it is truly awesome. I’ve only known the symptom-thermal method, it is awesome to know there are other options to help confirm what the chart is saying. Great post.

  59. Thanks Katie. After 2 attempts it’s now clear that I’m one of those who can’t carry a pregnancy while breastfeeding ;-( Guess God has a different plan. It’s all good, we’ll wait till our baby boy gets off the boob to try again. Love to all the mamas.

  60. Hi I have a two month old baby and trying to figure out birth control and really loved reading your post. I had never heard of doing this as a method of birth control before so it was very interesting and informative to read. I don’t want to take any hormones via shot or pill etc. I am really interested in the OvaCue as the accuracy seems to be so great and I am wondering if you are still happy with this method of prevention. I also wondered if it is as effective if you haven’t had a cycle since giving birth. Thanks so much for your time.

    • I am still very pleased with the OvaCue and it is a little tricky if you haven’t had a cycle to get started but it can done. There are instructions for what to do.

      • I am a Catholic, homeschooling, mom of 5 and I was wondering where to find the instructions you referred to on using the monitor while nursing. Thank you!

      • Hi Katie,
        Where would I find those instructions? I’m 8 weeks postpartum and planning on using the ovacue to space any other babies. I’m currently nursing. Thanks so much.

    • I started using the monitor after having my third baby. I was 9 weeks PP, breastfeeding and no cycles yet. The monitor gave me a ‘cue peak’ and said I ovulated that month. (that was i August) Well, I still haven’t had a period and I’m not pregnant so obviously I did not ovulate. Needless to say. I am not relying on the monitor at the moment (we are using barrier methods) and I won’t even bother using it until I get into regular cycles.

      • Just wanted to update in case anyone is following the comments. I’ve decided to sell my Ovacue. I just can’t trust it after it said I’d ovulated three months in a row, despite the fact that I had not (I hadn’t started my period postpartum).

        I’ve just now started my first postpartum period and have ordered the LadyComp. I did TONS of research (didn’t want to make another expensive mistake!) and it seems extremely effective. And simple to use. I know some people love the Ovacue and Yay!! for them but with three young children I don’t have time to sit around analyzing my readings and wondering if I got pregnant.

        I’ve also just got a diaphragm and natural spermicide (contragel) to use until my LadyComp gets a feel for my cycles.

  61. Hi there! Thank you for writing this review! I’ve been looking at this monitor for YE:ARS! Ha! I have super irregular cycles, still breastfeeding too. My cycles are about 46+ days.. Wondering how that works with avoidance? You say you just started another month on the machine?

  62. I see you already have a number of requests, and you have already sort of answered the question, but I would love to see the post using ova cue while nursing. I have considered getting it after the past two babies, but wasn’t sure how to start if I hadn’t gotten my cycle back. Now that we are (happily) pregnant with number six, I definitely want to have a plan so that we can take a break after this one.

  63. I recently received my Ovacue in the mail. Haven’t used it yet. I’m 10 weeks postpartum after our 7th baby and nursing. From reading Katie’s previous posts, I think I’ll just try to set it up for a 30 days cycle and re-set every 30 days until my menses return. Trying to figure this thing out…

    • How did this work? I’m in the same boat now and would love to hear your feedback! Looking to purchase ovacue if it will work 🙂

  64. Thank you for providing women with so much good information!

    I wholeheartedly recommend taking a class and finding a local instructor – whichever method you use or technology you add. You will be more confident the more you understand about your body.

    Also, keep the conversation open about when/whether to be open to another child, it takes two of you to get pregnant, so the two of you should decide! A good prayer: God, if you want us to have another baby, please put it in our hearts to want another baby.

  65. Hello.Thank you for this blog. I also had five children in seven years, rest for a couple, and now I had another. I am breastfeeding and would like to know how you used ovacue in this period. I use it before with good results.

  66. I never had my period while breastfeeding, with my last daughter for 2 years breastfeeding nothing, till i stopped. Is it tricky to use one of these devices when you don’t have a period? Currently i have a 8 month old and I’m planing on breastfeeding as long as i can, i believe my body will react the same, i wonder what would work for me to try.

  67. Hi Katie!
    1st off, I love your blog, huge fan!

    I recently just started using the ovacue to track my fertility. I am 4 months postpartum with my 2nd beautiful baby and would like to understand how you relied on the ovacue to predict ovulation.
    I am breastfeeding and I haven’t had a “full period” but spotted for a few days last week and considered it a period for the sake of charting and started taking temps along with tracking cervix, mucus and using the ovacue.
    My question to you is how did you track the ovacue charting yourself, instead of relying on the monitor to give you advance notice, while breastfeeding before the return of your cycles?
    What did you look for in the variation of oral and vaginal readings.
    I do NFP both for health and religious beliefs. I am 1 of 9 children from what people would call the ” traditional big Catholic family”, just hoping to be able to give my body a period of healing time between our little blessings.

    Thanks for all your great information!

    • I just picked an arbitrary day as the “start of my cycle” at first based on when during the month I had gotten my cycle before having kids. I just reset it every 30 days while I was nursing and had no cycle and for the first six months or so it just said I wasn’t ovulating (and I wasn’t having an actual cycle, just resetting it for the sake of tracking). The month after, it detected that I was ovulating (it was slightly “early” for a regular cycle because I was manipulating the machine but it still managed to catch it.

    • Be careful. It said I ovulated for every month postpartum when I hadn’t. I didn’t get my first period for months. So be VERY cautious relying on it if you are serious about avoiding.

  68. Thanks for answering Katie! One more quick question. I know everyone is different but based in your experience, how much does the oral reading drop ( average) after you get a cue peak? Mine seams to go up and down but not drastically and i would like to catch it prior to ovulating on my graph.
    Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks again!

  69. Katie i very much enjoyed your post. I am sitting here with my 4th precious little one (oldest is 5 😉 ) … Hubby and i are looking to wait a while to see if my body can heal (varicose veins, adrenal fatigue) before considering bsby #5. Just curious if you have written your follow up post on how you used the ovacue. Thanks for all the info you have shared! … I am drinking sole every day now bc of your post 🙂

  70. I can tell when I’m fertile because its when I’m crazy horny…. I use Period tracker on my phone and it also verifies my approximate fertile window, so the combination of horniness and fertility window lets me know I will definitely get pregnant.
    When I tried birth control pills in college, they made me crazy emotional.
    Went to condoms.. My daughter is a result of me learning that I’m most fertile when horny, even if the calendar timeline says its ok to not use a condom…! haha. She’s an unexpected blessing (she’s 20 now!) My son was then planned and I easily got pregnant right away! (he’s 18).
    So my advice if you want to have a baby – have sex when you’re most horny! and be 10 pounds ‘over weight’ – (by eating healthy fats.) Babies need your energy to grow and thrive, so if you’re thin and having trouble conceiving, gain a little fat and see if that helps to ensure a healthy baby. ( and if you’re ok with asking saints for their intercession, ask St Anne for her help since she was older and considered barren when she had Mary)

    • and I breast fed my kids (and pumped at work for daycare bottles for my daughter), but it DIDNT prevent me from having a period.
      It started right back up within 6 weeks of each baby. My older sister said she didn’t have a period for 6 months while breastfeeding after each baby.. I wasn’t that lucky. So don’t rely on breastfeeding to not get pregnant….

  71. I’m sorry if this is too personal of a question but do you just never use condoms? You don’t even mention them, is there some danger with them or are you mainly focusing on ‘other’ forms… I know this is about the monitors but I’m just curious if there are any bad effects of condoms or if they are generally ok?

    Thanks

    • I don’t use them for personal reasons, but I’m also allergic to latex and avoid plastics, so that rules them out anyway 🙂

  72. I struggle with ovarian Cysts. it seems the only thing on the market these days to keep the cysts down is birth control. I really don’t want to be taking birth control for all of the reason you have listed. Have you heard of any products out there that can keep cysts down naturally? I feel completely stuck and out of options. thanks. Jennah

    • Hi Jenneh, There is a lot of evidence that dietary changes can help with cysts, but I’d find a good naturopathic doctor in your area and get some specific advice.

  73. Hi, Katie! This is such an amazing and informative article! I now know that I am at a 10-times higher risk for breast cancer as I have been taking “the Pill” since I was 18, non-stop (I am now 26).

    I would really appreciate some advice – I was prescribed the Pill (Yasmin) because it was supposed to control my PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), and was told to take it indefinitely until I decide to have children or else my ovaries will be so clogged with cysts, I won’t be able to have children anyway. I also have hypothyroidism and take Levothyroxin (or something like that) every day for that.

    I am wondering, have you posted anything about how you manage your thyroid problems, and whether it is safe to be off the Pill when having PCOS? I would gladly invest $300 in the Ovacue for a natural method if this means I will be Pill-free and maybe possibly a tiny bit healthier and hopefully breast-or-any-cancer-free-and-still-be-able-to-have-children in the future. I have not been lucky enough to find a holistic-type of doctor and all my doctors firmly believe in all the chemical creations of modern medicine…

    And actually, if anyone else has any information for me regarding my questions above, please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.

      • Katie, thank you so much. I will look into naturopathic doctors and I read up that article too. I really hope I can get some medical help on my journey of natural healing.

        Thanks again! 🙂

  74. Hi Katie,
    Hav eyou heard of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System? It’s a system wher eyou are taught how to track your cycle by looking at cervical mucus externally. The system can be used by pretty much any woman in any stage of fertility. It’s pretty accurate and has lots of research to back it up.

    • Yep 🙂 I’m actually trained as a sympto-thermal instructor and I’ve used the creighton model as well. I found that I really like the ovacue because it gives additional data and has a place to note sensation, symptoms and everything else that would be charted. 🙂

  75. Read this if you are considering buying ova cue for birth control. I bought this monitor a few months ago. I am nursing twin 17 month olds but have had my cycles return 8 months post partum.

    One month using ovacue for birth control purposes it said ‘ovulation confirmed’ followed by a day of ‘high fertility’. The next two days said ‘not fertile.’ On that second not fertile evening the device retroactively changed my ‘not fertile’ days to ‘high fertility’ after a second ovulation was confirmed! Luckily we had abstained through those multiple days of not fertile days that it retroactively changed!!

    Another cycle I waited four days past ovulation and the device marked three days of non fertile days before intercourse…we didn’t have any intercourse before ovulation. Despite playing it conservatively I got pregnant..then miscarried. I wasted $300. If you definitely do not want to have anymore kiddos, do NOT purchase this. Sorry.

    • I absolutely agree, see my above comment! After a few months of using my Ovacue I realized it was totally useless. So glad I didn’t accidentally get pregnant! I’ve since bought a Ladycomp and love it. Just mad I wasted $365 (which was about $400 CDN)

      • Dove,

        Thank you for your sharing your commonality with OvaCue being unreliable. It’s so unfortuanate as I really, really wanted this to be our natural, reliable birth control. I still can’t believe it retroactively changed the fertility labels on the device!!

        Question regarding Ladycomp…I read some reviews that said it was way too conservative for days allowing safe intercourse…even just allowing intercourse days that are during menstration only. What is your take on this?

        • Good question. When I began using it I was PP and breastfeeding, so my cycles were irregular. I had 8 green days and 4 yellow, 19 red. 6 months later things have regulated and I had 16 green days, 12 reds. We do use a barrier during red days, so the amount isn’t a big concern.

          • Wow, great and interesting information! Thanks so much! Just wish I could trade in my Ovacue for Ladycomp.

            Hard to believe there are not more posts on here about accidental pregnancies with Ovacue, I added extra days of “safe days” and still ended up with a surprise pregnancy which ended in miscarriage. I have 5 kids, 10 years old & under with my twins being only 18 months old, another set of multiples would have been a super challenging situation!

  76. Hi Katie,

    I am looking to use the OvaCue for NFP purposes, avoiding pregnancy. I want to know on the not as fertile days is it ok for ejaculation inside or do I still need “pull out” method or condom when we have intercourse and according to the readings which days are safe to have intercourse without getting pregnant?

    Thanks,
    Lacy

  77. I’m surprised! No one seems to have mentioned Kindara?! That app changed my life. As long as you have a good quality basal thermometer, I believe Kindara is the cheapest method! So easy and it gives you so many options and variations in ovulation tracking. I wouldn’t bother using anything else!

    • I am also looking at kindara and I really liked the modern aspect of their technology. I am going to be removing a Mirena is it a good solution to use after that?

  78. Katie,
    Did you prefer the monitor or mobile OvaCue?

  79. Hi! I stumbled upon your article while looking for the best way to avoid pregnancy without using contraceptives. We have 6 kids in almost 9 years! The youngest is 4 weeks old and I’m breastfeeding. I bought the Ovacue and just received it. I’m wondering how and when you started using it for the first time. I saw in a previous comment you were working on a tutorial on how you used it while breastfeeding. I could use all the help I can get!!

  80. I haven’t read all the comments… but the female body can ‘store’ sperm for up to 7 days and use them to fertilise eggs. I mention this because for a long time I thought sperm could only live for 3 days. Which is normally true, except when they reach a certain point when the body almost puts them to sleep, storing them in a sort of sleep which keeps them alive until they are ‘needed’. I was first told that by a police doctor, but was in such a panic I verified with 3 others before accepting it.

  81. Do you know if it’s necessary to have cell phone signal in order to use the mobile OvaCue? I’m just wondering if it would work while we’re camping, for example, or traveling where we wouldn’t have a signal.

  82. Hi Katie,

    I am 25 years old and had meningitis as a 6 month old but made a miraculous recovery. The downside I don’t feel as energetic as others my age and when I get sick it’s not pretty. Nonetheless, I had my second child who is now 1 and I continue to breast feed. My period came back when she was 6 months old and has been consistent. I am trying to avoid pregnancy at all costs as I know my body will not be able to handle another pregnancy, but will only look into natural methods (personal and religious purposes). Will the OvaCue monitor work with me as it would if I were not breast feeding since my period came back or it doesn’t matter? And also do you use NFP charting in addition to the OvaCue?

    • I was able to use the OvaCue effectively during breastfeeding, but I’d recommend giving yourself a couple of cycles to be safe and charting as well, at least in the beginning.

  83. Hello Kamila,
    To my knowledge the fertility monitor’s on the market have not been certified by the FDA for use to avoid pregnancy. My husband and I have been teaching natural family planning for over 20 years with the Couple to Couple League, CCLI. You may be happy to know that the Couple to Couple League now has online courses that are very affordable. The cost is $130 which includes materials and a subscription to the CCLI newsletter. There is also a specific CCLI class which covers the postpartum transition in depth. You can locate in person and on-line classes at CCLI.org. There is also a self paced on-line class for $99. Hope that helps!

  84. Thank you very much for your help.

  85. Hello Katie 🙂
    I see that you said you do the Ovacue mobile now which is nice because it is $100 cheaper then the regular one. Do you recommend just getting that one or is it smarter to get the regular one instead?
    Thanks!

    • The mobile one works great, they just didn’t make it when I first got one 🙂 I would definitely recommend the mobile one…

  86. Hi Katie! I have loved reading all of your healthy family tips for a long time. I am new to fertility tracking and have been reading so much information about it. We are planning to conceive our last child soon hopefully. We have 3 boys and are longing for a girl. I have read that you can use these fertility tracking methods to help plan the gender of your child. Sorry if this a strange question…..did you use any of these fertility tracking methods to conceive any of your children or to help plan their gender through timing? Since you have children of both genders I thought maybe you could give me your opinion and or experience.
    Thanks

    • We’ve left the gender up to chance with all of ours, but I know from tracking that 3 days pre-ovulation was the key day for all of our girls (the boys were closer to ovulation).

      • Thank you so much for your reply Katie. I have been reading that 3 days before ovulation is best. It’s nice to hear that 3 day cutoff got you your girls even if you weren’t trying for gender. We will be trying that. Wish me luck! 🙂
        Thank you

    • Uh, doesn’t sperm determine the sex of the child? Not sure how timing of ovulation could factor into that. I am pretty sure it depends on what sperm randomly fertilizes the ovum.

      • Yes, but based on research they have observed that female sperm live longer and male sperm swim faster. So the timing of intercourse in relation to ovulation can make it more ideal for one or the other to fertilize an egg based on their qualities. Sperm can survive in cervical fluid for 5 days so If you have sex 3 days before ovulation, by the time the egg is released only some of the sperm will have survived long enough to wait for the egg. Since the female sperm live longer, there is a greater likelihood that the speed still alive after 3 days is female. If you have sex after ovulation has occurred and the egg is already available at the time of intercourse, whichever sperm gets there faster will fertilize the egg. And bc male sperm have been observed to be faster, it is more likely to conceive a boy if you have sex when the egg is already available. It is of course not full proof but I have found it to be true based on my experience with my kids. Interesting stuff!

  87. Please forgive me for what may be a really ignorant question lol but I’ve been searching and can’t find the answer to it. What technology is used to read the saliva and cervical mucus in the Ovacue? Here’s where the ignorant part comes in – I’m concerned about using anything in my mouth or vagina that uses radiation, electromagnetic technology, sound waves, etc. So basically, I just want to make sure that the Ovacue doesn’t use any of that and verify what it does use?

    Thank you!!

  88. I was just wondering what you might suggest in my situation. We had a miscarriage last week and were told by the doctor to “wait one cycle” before trying again. I am not regular and have never been able to figure out when I might be ovulating. I just want to be sure that we do not happen to conceive before I get my first cycle…but also do not want to use barrier methods. I love the idea of the OvaCue for future use, but cannot afford it now and need a quick solution for this month. I see my doctor this week, but know what they will suggest. You seem so wise in this area and would appreciate any help. Thanks!

  89. Hi, Katie! Love this and going to purchase an Ovacue after having my 2nd child in the next couple of months, I too have a thyroid issue and hope to conceive baby #3 sooner than it took my other two children).. Only concern is having my cellphone by my nightstand when doing the readings. Do you have your IPhone by your bed to monitor? Just trying to limit emus these days and don’t want to add to it. Thank you so much for what you do! LOVE your site and always recommending to my friends.

    • Yes, I just keep the phone in airplane mode so it isn’t emitting anything 🙂 Congrats on your baby!

  90. There is a pill that can be inserted vaginally 5 minutes before needed, that prevents getting pregnant. This is a more natural form of birth control plus it works to stop the egg being fertilized, not to prevent a fertilized egg from developing as the pill does (tantamount to killing the poor innocent baby I think!) It is only available in Europe as far as I know. However not 100% protection!
    Personally I found breastfeeding to be 100% protection for me. At 18 months I stopped breastfeeding in the day for a couple of weeks so got my period back. After that I went back to full-time breastfeeding and breastfed until 25months my little boy! The month after I stopped feeding him I got pregnant! I wonder if I could enjoy the protection from getting pregnant and be period-free from breastfeeding because I was supplementing carefully and eating a natural healthy diet home made food etc. Apparently in the old days everyone fed clean(no period) and did not get pregnant while breastfeeding. People say that nowadays our bodies are weaker so it doesn’t work anymore. Perhaps eating healthy homemade food and supplementing can bring us back to it??

  91. Hi, Katie
    You actually tested all monitors, thanks for the effort!
    Have you tested some other ones? The one I liked most is daysy and I’m almost ready to invest in it, but I wanted to ask someone who has actually used it.
    I’m looking into an easier way to prevent pregnancy right now because I have problems with the pill.
    I want to have an electronic monitor and have looked into all of them, but I couldn’t find ibasal. I don’t like the ones that measure hormones – too messy. Daysy seems the easiest to use, but is a little more expensive.
    It seems the best quality monitor I have seen so far. Have you heard about it, is it good or not so much?
    Thanks again.
    BTW daysy is this one https://www.eu.daysy.me/technology/prevent-pregnancy/

    • I’ve heard of it but haven’t tried that one yet. There are several new ones on the market that I plan to test and write about soon.

  92. Hey Katie, thanks for the reply.
    I might actually get one soon 🙂 and I’ll report which one I got.

  93. After struggling with “infertility” for two years and being told I would never get pregnant with our own eggs, I radically changed my life (diet, exercise, spiritual practice, etc) and got pregnant in under two months. One of the ways I did it was by having sex EVERY DAY that I wasn’t on my period. You see, OPKs never worked for me, doing my basal body temperature stressed me out, and I had egg white cervical mucous twice a month which was always super confusing. I looked up the only study available and it was clear- couples who have sex every day are the most likely to get pregnant (as long as the male’s sperm health is good). It helped take the pressure off since we never knew if we were “baby dancing” or just enjoying each other. It really helped us get happy as a couple as we struggled with infertility! I think that since it was so hard for us to get pregnant, we couldn’t risk missing ovulation, and this is what worked best for us. Best of all, its free! Oh- and we used PreSeed. Hope this helps some people!

  94. I am getting married soon. Me and my fiance are both poor college students and we really don’t want to have a baby until he graduates and gets a job. In your personal opinion, does using the OvaCue and then abstaining on ovulation days and using condoms on non-ovulation days sound like a really safe way to prevent pregnancy?

    • It has worked for me. It definitely requires a lot of consistency and tracking, but I have been happy with it!

    • I’d recommend the Lady comp over Ovacue. Much easier to use and more accurate.

  95. Hi Katie,
    We recently purchased the OvaCue mobile to put off another pregnancy for a couple years (I have three boys, three and under). I am breastfeeding and haven’t had a cycle yet. Could you explain in more detail what to watch for on my chart as an indication of possible ovulation? I was taking the oral readings and the monitor identified a cue peak and predicted a fertile window. But then a few days later, there were readings even higher than what was identified as the cue peak. Isn’t the monitor just looking for trends to follow? How do I know before I start cycling that it will accurately pinpoint my fertile window?

    • It is looking for trends. I use it as if I have a cycle and reset it once a month as if I had. I also use caution any time it shows any fertility at all.