If you have had trouble conceiving a baby or just want to understand your fertility cycle better, you may have heard of the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor.
My wife and I bought one last fall with the intent of using it initially to help us get pregnant and then later as an additional tool in our practice of Natural Family Planning.
Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for a long-term review, we were blessed to conceive our third child the first month that we used the fertility monitor. However, we learned all about it, gained some experience using it, and I even made my first YouTube video to show the world what comes in the box when you buy a Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor!
How Does the Fertility Monitor Work?
In the most basic sense, the monitor uses urine samples to identify days of High Fertility and Peak Fertility. Obviously, if you have sex on those days, especially the one or two Peak Fertility days, your chances of achieving pregnancy are greatly improved.
There are only a limited number of days during the menstrual cycle when sex can lead to pregnancy. Conception is most likely to occur if you have intercourse on the day the ovaries release a new egg, which is called ovulation, or during the days leading up to it. The fertility monitor tracks a woman’s level of estrogen and LH to predict when ovulation is approaching and indicate the day it has occurred (the Peak Fertility day).
The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor prompts you on the days you need to take a urine sample. This will be a total of ten tests per cycle for more “typical” cycle lengths, or it will be twenty tests for long or irregular cycles. When you start using the monitor, you’ll set a testing time window that needs to be maintained, though you can test up to three hours before or after the time you specify. When you turn it on, the fertility monitor will tell you whether you need to test that day or not.
In general, the manufacturer recommends that the monitor be used by women with menstrual cycles lasting 21-42 days. As you test for several cycles, the monitor begins to “learn” about your menstrual patterns, and the testing days will be better defined.
What’s in the Box?
The answer to this question is not much! Here’s a short video I made to show what the monitor looks like and what you get when you buy one.
Our Experiences With the Monitor
When we started thinking about buying a monitor, I did a lot of research and was convinced that the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor was the single best ovulation tracker on the market. We also spent a lot of time learning how it worked, which was aided by the understanding we’ve gained of fertility cycles through our practice of Natural Family Planning.
Like I said, we only used the monitor for one month before Bethany became pregnant (she’s due in July!). As luck would have it, she had a crazy-long cycle that month of over 50 days, and we hit the max of 20 tests before she ever ovulated. Of course, we knew what was going on since we were also using the sympto-thermal methods of NFP (which helps prove the point that NFP is not only for those with nice, regular cycles).
With this super-long cycle, the monitor basically stopped testing and would have waited until we told it her period had started. It would have then started over testing the next cycle with the “knowledge” of her long menstrual cycle taken into consideration.
Of course, that next cycle is several months away at this point since we successfully conceived a baby. However, even based on our limited first-hand experience, I can tell you that the fertility monitor was very easy to use, and I am confident that it is effective in identifying the days of high fertility and communicating this simply to couples hoping to achieve pregnancy.
And that’s what it’s all about when choosing a fertility monitor.
We plan to use ours again after the baby arrives and Bethany’s hormones calm down. We are hopeful that it will become an additional tool in our practice of Natural Family Planning moving forward, and we plan to learn more about this approach by studying up on the Marquette Model of NFP, which includes the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor in its methods.
UPDATE: It’s now mid-2012, and we’ve been using our monitor for nearly two years since the birth of our daughter Avery. We LOVE it! The Marquette Model has been a real Godsend, and this monitor has made it so much easier to track Bethany’s fertility each month.
Where Can You Buy One (and Learn More)?
We did a lot of research on fertility monitors, and I can tell you that you will find the best price and most dependable service by simply buying your monitor through good ole Amazon. This is not a cheap investment in fertility awareness, and I would encourage you to stick with a trusted resource. Amazon also periodically runs sales on the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor.
Please note: When you buy a monitor, it does not come with the testing sticks that you’ll need. And you’ll have to continue buying testing sticks as long as you are using the monitor.
Fortunately, Amazon offers a combination package where you get both the monitor and test sticks to get you started at a slightly reduced price.
When you visit the Amazon page for the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, you’ll also find customer reviews and additional information on the product. I always find this additional peer feedback to be helpful when considering such an important purchase.
If you do decide to buy a fertility monitor or testing sticks, I’d really appreciate it if you used the links above. For referring you to their site, I get a (very) small commission from Amazon and your price is unaffected. Thanks in advance for your continued support of Engaged Marriage!