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How Contraceptive Monitors Make Your Birth Control EffortlessAlthough most people are unaware of the fact, fertilization and conception can only occur during the 12 to 24 hours a women is ovulation. Add to that the five days sperm can 'wait around' inside the uterus for an egg to be released, and you have a short number of days, often called 'the fertility window,' during which sex can lead to pregnancy. Avoid sex or use a different method of contraption during the fertility window and you have simple, natural birth control.
What stops more people from using this method? A big factor is effort. Although studies have shown tracking your cycle can be an extremely reliable method of birth control, the process of getting to know the biological mechanisms taking place with in your body — and then charting and graphing them — seems way too overwhelming.
This is where contraceptive monitors come in. Simply stated, they make natural birth control virtually effortless.
Persona: Introducing Test Stick DependencyThe Persona monitor was the first mainstream contraceptive monitor to rely on disposable urine test sticks to determine hormone levels. Hormones levels in urine rise and fall indicating impending ovulation and when ovulation has passed. When the urine sample stick is inserted into the device, your fertility status is displayed with a green or red light.
Sixteen test sticks are used during the first ‘learning’ cycle', then about eight sticks are used across eight days in future cycles. The number of test sticks necessary may vary if there is a significant variance in ovulation dates, or if ovulation is not identified. Persona is said to have a 94% contraceptive reliability or a Pearl Index of six.
The Persona Brand is actually owned by THE mega pharmaceutical company Procter and Gamble. They, of course, are looking to bring in big money, so while the persona contraceptive monitor itself is quite inexpensive, there is a catch. The continuous investment into test strips, like ink cartridges for an ink jet printer, steadily increase the actual amount you spend on the device.
Cost: £65 for the device. £14 a month for test sticks. First 2 year cost: £401
Clearblue: The Upgraded Test Stick MonitorThe Clearblue contraceptive monitor is basically the good old Persona in a new shiny box with a very cool looking touch screen interface. It uses the same Persona test urine test sticks, has the same quoted 94% reliability, and even lights up with the Persona logo when it is turned on.
In some countries, Clearblue is marketed as a fertility testing device to aid conception, and in others it is marketed as a contraceptive device. The same technology is used for both purposes.
This contraceptive device uses 2 x AA batteries which we are told last for only 4-6 cycles due to having to power the touch screen, so the cost of that should be factored in to the over all expense of the computer
Cost: £99 for the device. £20 a month for test sticks (based on £40 for 20 sticks). First 2 year cost: £579 plus batteries
OvuSense: Is a vaginal dongle really necessary?A fairly new device on the market, OvuSense relies on basal body temperature (BBT) readings. The BBT measurement is assessed by a thermometer dongle that is inserted into the vagina and kept there overnight. In the morning, the dongle is placed onto a reading cradle and the data is downloaded for analysis. The company claims that assessing BBT every five minutes results in a more accurate reading.
The fact is that the first five or six hours sleep are irreverent to BBT, and one single reading upon waking is sufficient. It seems like it would be pretty uncomfortable and invasive to sleep with a vaginal dongle just to replace a waking oral temperature reading, let alone a hassle to put in, take out, and clean it every day.
For the sake of transparency, we should note that we have not personally tested the OvuSense, so users might feel there are other benefits we are unaware of.
Cost: £349 for the device and the first dongle. £145 for a replacement dongles required after 3 cycles.
First 2 year cost: £1509
The Old and New Lady-Comp a.k.a Baby-CompThe Lady-Comp a temperature only contraceptive monitor. It has been around for about 25 years and uses BBT readings to identify ovulation. BBT is taken with the integrated thermometer, and fertile and non fertile days are calculated and displayed with red, green and yellow lights.
Readings are required every day and no extra fertility indicators can be inputted. Its bright orange LED display can be seen in the dark, although this drains a lot of power and a monthly charge is necessary.
A new Lady-Comp has been launched, also referred to as the Next Generation Lady-Comp. We haven’t managed to get hold of a device yet but we know it uses AAA batteries, therefore avoiding the need for the old charger and the hassle of changing adapters during international travel. It also now allows data to be transferred to a computer as opposed to the old version where you needed to send the monitor in to receive a print out back in the mail. The 99.3% quoted reliability suggests that the internals of the Lady-Comp have not changed, but the user interface has been upgraded.
Cost: £425 for the old Lady-Comp. First 2 year cost: £425 plus batteries.
The Pearly: Cute and basicPearly, is also produced by Valley Electronics, is touted as the mobile and economical version of the Lady-Comp. It is defiantly smaller and cuter than the original Lady-Comp which is quite cumbersome. The overall cost of the pearly is still relatively high for this limited type of device.
The Pearly is a temperature only device, it requires daily BBT readings throughout the cycle, and does not allow for any other indicators to be imputed. It is quoted as having the same effectiveness as the Lady-Comp, but can store less data and can't be downloaded without mailing it in.
With the Next-Generation-LadyComp being launched we will have to see if the pearly continues to be offered.
An internal battery lasts for 2 years which can be sent in for exchanging with a small cost.
Cost: £290. First 2 year cost: £290
Cyclotest: Effective, Affordable, Versatile.Were not going to hide the fact that Cyclotest is our favorite contraceptive monitor. Here's a breakdown of why.
Sign up for an NFP course and they will teach you how to assess your fertility using the Symptothermal Method. Modern medical professionals insist that using just hormone tests or just temperature charts is not as reliable as using more then one fertility indicator. The Symptothermal Method, which uses both BBT alongside other indicators, is the future of NFP. Cyclotest is the only monitor on the market that allows, yet does not require, the to user to input cervical mucus observations and LH test results. This small yet significant difference blows all the other monitors out of the water.
Apart from increasing accuracy, using another indicator is important if your sleep is disturbed resulting in a unreliable BBT reading. This is especially critical around around the time of ovulation when an inaccurate temperature reading could alter you projected fertility window.
Cyclotest is also noteworthy because of the simple fact that it is affordable. Many contraceptive monitors come with an astronomical price tag, putting natural contraception out of the reach of the average consumer. Cyclotest is reasonably priced, and even better, it does not require test strips — so the low price remains low.
The low price however does not affect the functionality of the monitor. It is 99% reliable, and the charts it produces can be downloaded via USB. It has a flexible and highly accurate thermometer and was awarded best fertility monitor by the German version of Which? magazine.
Cost,: £149. £29 for the optional download software. First 2 year cost: £149
Bioself: Retired With HonorsBioself was a very 1970s looking brown-beige device that was actually a pioneer in contraceptive monitors. It used the very sound Symptothermal method of charting fertility, had a quoted 99% reliability and included an built in thermometer.
The downloaded charts were available via snail mail. Bioself was even FDA approved, but sadly it never really took off in and production was stopped.
The company ceased activities in mid 2013, although may still provide warranty support.
1. Enjoy more pleasurable sex. The pill can effect sex drive and condoms break the intimacy of skin-to-skin sex. FemCap lets you have sex the way it was meant to be!
2. Does not interrupt spontaneity. FemCap is easy to use and can be inserted hours before intercourse. No fumbling with a condom and breaking the flow of the moment.
3. Environmentally Friendly. The reusable FemCap is made from a non-allergenic latex-free material. Good for you. Good for the world.
4. Stay Balanced. You don't want to be on medication for the greater part of your fertile life. Its just not natural. Femcap allows your fertility and menstrual cycle to fluctuate organically, without altering your internal balance. This also means that you can enjoy reliable hormone-free contraception while breastfeeding.
5. Simple Sizing. FemCap eliminates the problem of finding a doctor to fit your barrier contraceptive. The size you need is simply determined by your obstetrical history, so you can order your FemCap online today!
When we stop and think about it, none of us actually want synthetic hormones in our systems. Heck —we don't even want hormones in dairy cows, let alone directly into our bodies. The low dose claim is one of the reasons vaginal rings have catapulted to the number one prescription birth control on the market today. But what is going on underneath the slick marketing and pharmaceutical push?
Nuva Ring uses what are called 'Third Generation' hormones. Very little research has been conducted on third generation hormones, but the studies that have been done revel a disturbing trend. The risk of blood clots may be as high as 50% more likely to occur in women using this form of birth control. Additionally, women may experience unexplained spikes in estrogen, but occurrence and ramifications are being pushed under the carpet by the pharmaceutical companies.
In its April newsletter Worst Pills Best Pills Ranked Nuva Ring as a 'Do Not Use' product. And heartbroken family members of women who died of heart failure at shockingly young ages are rallying to make consumers more aware of potential health risks. Why should women have to compromise their health, and even more their lives, for adequate birth control? Read more on the truth about Nuva Ring here.
So what options are there for safe and effective birth control? Believe it or not, all women have a built in birth control rhythm. For almost three out of four weeks of the month, conception is simply biologically impossible. A viable egg is only available for sperm to fertilize for a short window of time, during ovulation, before and after which impregnation is impossible.
Understanding your unique fertility window is simple thanks to fertility monitors like Cyclotest 2 Plus. The most accurate way of assessing ovulation is tracking your Basel Body Temperature. Cyclotest 2 Plus, has a built in thermometer and automatically generates a fertility graph based off of your temperature taking. Its easy and affordable! Click here to learn more about Cyclotest 2 Plus.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to relying on understanding the your natural fertility rhythm. But imagine this: if women were empowered to connect with their bodies, instead of viewing them as a problem that needs to be medicated away, a revolution in women's health could occur. We could create a culture of holistic contraception, with safe, natural birth control. It starts now.
Check out ethicalfamilyplanning.com for more on safe natural birth control options.
Chlamydia - The Hidden ScourgeMany women suffer from from an infection called chlamydia, but because it is very difficult to detect early, and it can incubate for many years without presenting symptoms, the majority don't even know thye have it.
Young women are particularly susceptible, because the immune system of their not sexual organs can not fight the infection. According to a study conducted in Berlin, between 10 and 20% of 17-year-old girls are infected.
How Chlamydia Is ContractedChlamydia is often contracted through unprotected sexual intercourse. However, infected hands can transmit the bacteria. Conjunctivitis can therefore be a symptom of chlamydia resulting from the bacteria entering the eye.
The Risk Of Other Sexually Transmitted DiseasesSomeone suffering from chlamydia (perhaps even without knowing it) is exposed to a greater risk of contracting other STDs. The infection weakens the mucous membranes, thereby increasing susceptibility to other sexually transmitted diseases.
Chlamydia SymptomsWhere a chlamydia infection presents its symptoms, these are often pronounced. However, the symptoms coincide with those of other diseases.
- Vomiting and nausea, together with a vaginal infection
- Contact bleeding during sex
- Thick yellow discharge (increasingly)
- If the cervix is affected: increased or unusual discharge
- Pain in the lower abdomen (from mild to severe)
- Pain when passing water
- Increased urge to pass water
- Irregular menstruation
Risk Of Inflammation Of the OvariesChlamydia infections often cause inflammation of the ovaries.
A Swedish study shows that with each inflammation the risk of infertility increases drastically. The risk is 15% with the first inflammation and 50% with the third inflammation.
The Risk Of Chlamydia Is Increased By ...
- Heavy smoking
- Hormone disorders caused by eating problems
Chlamydia Test For Both PartnersTreating chlamydia with antibiotics is usually successful and does not give rise to any complications. Damage from inflamed ovaries that has already been incurred, however, cannot be rectified. If you have chlamydia, your partner must also be tested for it. Otherwise, after a successful treatment with antibiotics, you run the risk of being infected again.
Cyclotest chlamydia detect possible chlamydia infections. Many people don't experience symptoms when they are infected with Chlamydia, making it very difficult to diagnose the infection. The long term consequences of Chlamydia are serious and include infertility, and it is therefore it is extremely important to test yourself regularly.
Fertility and Ovulation
Determining the fertile daysMost couples only think about fertility after they've decided that they want to get pregnant.
Before this, fertility probably played a rather insignificant role in their lives because during that time, their focus was instead on a reliable form of contraception.
This is why few women actually know when their fertile days are. Before trying to get pregnant, many women are usually unaware of the symptoms which are characteristic of the fertile cycle phase.
When can a woman conceive?A woman can conceive only when she has sex during the few days around ovulation. Therefore, on most other days in her cycle, a woman is infertile. Many women can recall from biology lessons at school that a woman is supposed to ovulate around the 14th day of her cycle. While this may be the case for some women, there is not enough detailed information to say it applies to everyone.
The fertile phase within the cycle can vary from cycle to cycle, especially since cycles and ovulation can be influenced by outside factors such as diet, stress, and illness.
Because there are so many things that can cause variations within each cycle, identifying the fertile days and ovulation is often difficult. Knowing when you are ovulating will maximise your chances of getting pregnant by allowing you to coordinate your love life with your ovulation.
What about online ovulation calculators?Online calculation tools used to automatically calculate your fertile days and ovulation using the dates of your last menstruation are not as effective as fertility monitors.
The results are based on static calculation formulae which doesn't take into account your personal conditions. Couples who regularly have sex on the dates calculated by such tools are often unsuccessful at getting pregnant because the fertile phase was calculated incorrectly.
On the other hand, there are entirely natural symptoms you can use to indicate your personalfertile days and ovulation periods, which are the most promising days for conceiving. Read on to find out which symptoms characterise fertile days and how you can monitor your cycle effortlessly.
Increasing fertility by natural meansBefore you begin any burdensome hormonal child-planning treatments, you should consider taking advantage of all the pregnancy aids provided by nature. In addition to health risks, hormonal child-planning treatments can increase the chances of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc).
Analysing your current lifestyle and making small changes can help you get pregnant quickly. There are also aids available to help you determine your personal fertile days around ovulation as well as teas and vitamins which can increase you and your partner's fertility. Homeopathy has also been proven successful in gynaecology, especially when it comes to child planning.
Click here to read more about conception and ovulation dates.