Since I’m a geek, my go to for everything is looking for an app, gadget or website that can assist with my question. Google is my best friend for any subject. This was also true when we were trying to get pregnant. I feel that not enough people blog about their trying, but we’re all eager to blog about our pregnancy. I believe this comes from a place of self appointed shame by not being able to get pregnant out of the gate. Well to be honest, this shame comes from many places, family and societal. But if people continue the discussion, then maybe it can help others get the information they need, but also open up. With an open discussion we will also get better TTC (trying to conceive) products and force the medical industry to take a look at what is going on.
I used the following websites, apps, and gadgets to help me with timing, anxiety and overall trying to conceive.
1. FertilityFriend.com is amazing. Okay being on the internet can sometimes be a bad thing when you are looking for information. But as someone who would rather have more information than less, FertilityFriend.com provided that. For free, you can chart your cycles. This is one of the MUSTS for trying to understand your cycles and assisting you in getting pregnant. You do have to pay to post in the forums, but this is where alot of the magic is. Not only can you read what others, like you are going through, but get advice too. The forums are sub-divided by topic extremely well and people tend to make their own groups for just about anything you can think of. The groups is where the magic is. I have made some close online friends in my groups. TTC is a very emotional process and having people you can talk with is a great way to let out emotionally.
FF.com also has an app that you can use to remotely edit your chart. This is very helpful when you are charting your temp in the morning. It’s the best charting app I’ve come across (including two I paid for).
2. ClearBlue Fertility Monitor – To start, I used tests called OPKs. you pee on a test daily and they tell you if you are ovulating which then points to DTD (doing the deed) time. But it can be hard to see if your line is darker or as dark as the test line etc. The monitor helped me get more accurate. It uses a system of Highs and Peaks to let you know when your time is. The monitor itself is a little pricey, but if you factor in the money you spend on OPKs or even treatments when the root cause may just be timing, this baby is worth every penny. Not sure if there is a direct link, but we got pregnant the second month using it. I’ll definitely be re-using mine when it’s time for a second round. While it can be re-used, I think it’s advised to not buy a used one because you don’t know if it’s really been cleaned and it is also programmed to the first owner.
3. SpermCheck Fertility test If your guy is a bit shy about going to the Doctor’s office to check his numbers, this test can help with starting the conversation. I ordered my test from CVS, but it can be ordered from Walgreens online as well. I haven’t seen it in the stores yet. This test only tests that there is a good number of soldiers. It does not test for speed or movement like a regular doctor’s test does. But for around $30 this was a great way to start the conversation with DH because he could take it at home.
One thing that need better technology:
1. Thermometers – Thermometers are used by women TTC daily. You have to take your temperature every day at the same time. Not only that, but it has to be before you move around. No standing up and walking to the bathroom to take it. It has to be your first initial temperature. I used to set my clock at 7am to assure I wouldn’t wake up before then and take my temperature. If you do wake up before you temp, you have to try and not move and try to get three hours of sleep. This is why temp taking can be so frustrating. Temps can indicate Ovulation has occurred by seeing three days of elevated temps. Some people can also see that sustained high temps or a W pattern in their temps after elevation can be a sign of pregnancy.
That was just to give you an idea as to how important taking your temp is to naturally trying. Thermometers are not expensive. I tried looking at the most expensive ones though just to see if they offered what I needed. This was a negative. Women on the FF boards seem to go through 3-5 thermometers in the time they are TTC. This is because you’ll start doubting the ability of one, then you’ll get the same temp over and over again on another, one will legitimately break, and one you might break out of frustration. I think I went through four. My biggest gripe is we are taking our temp in the early morning and yet I couldn’t find one with a working night light. So in the dark, I am taking a temp, trying to angle it to see what the temp is and then writing on a pad of paper so I can put it in my app when I really wake up an hour later. Another thing is sometimes you don’t want a beep because it can wake up your loving husband that you are trying not to aggravate every day. It would be great if it had a silent mode where it vibrated so you and only you knew that it was on or done.
I could probably go on and on. I’m pretty passionate about the lack of technology that is afforded to women during this trying time. Many of the apps in the app store just SUCK. Please don’t spend money on them. I’m working on an app that I think will help. But I only have the prototype done. Have to find time to actually work on it.
In terms of other websites, use Amazon.com. They have great prices on everything you are going to need or try. Delivery is fast in most cases and it’s easy. I went to three stores looking for a particular thermometer when none of them had it, I ordered it online. Also it saves some embarrassing time. I remember my first time buying a pregnancy test at Albertsons I had to go to the Pharmacist, they had to come around to the front, unlock a cabinet, ask me out loud what test I wanted and then walk it back and ring me up there. I’m not sure if Albertsons had a recent stream of Pregnancy test thefts, but it was incredibly humiliating to me. From that point on, I ordered from Amazon.
What tech helped you out when you were trying or what are you using right now?