Archive for the ‘Ovulation’ Category

Fairhaven Health Introduces BFP Brand Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips

Monday, October 7th, 2013

bfp-pregnancy-test-strips-16You can never have too many ovulation and pregnancy tests when you’re trying to conceive – but you could quickly deplete your bank account if you’re paying drugstore prices.

BFP Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips may provide the answer to this age-old dilemma. BFP tests provide you with the same type of accurate, high-quality tests used at your doctor’s office, but at a fraction of the price. In fact, you can buy BFP tests for as little as $0.56 each!

What is a “test strip” you ask? Unlike the midstream format tests sold at your local supermarket, test strips are designed to be dipped into collected urine. Simply collect your urine (a Dixie cup works great for this) and immerse the test strip up to the line marked on the tests. Your results will appear within minutes.

Manufactured in the United States, every order of BFP Test Strips ships with complete test instructions. Here’s to hoping you get your BFP (big fat positive) with BFP brand tests!

Now OvaGraph.com Can Interpret your Basal Temperature and Tell You When You Ovulate – for Free!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Basal body temperature charting used to be a tedious exercise involving graph paper, a guidebook, and a whole lot of time, effort, and guesswork.

How far we’ve come! Now you can enter your basal temperature into Fairhaven Health’s own OvaGraph.com website – or the OvaGraph Mobile App – and our proprietary algorithm will interpret your results for you!

That’s right – OvaGraph will tell you on which day you ovulated, what your most fertile days were, and draw your coverline for you. If you have reason to believe the identified day is not correct, you can manually move a line to establish your “revised” ovulation date.

And as always, OvaGraph is a completely free website. Unlike other fertility charting websites that charge users to access premium features, OvaGraph provides all users with access to all features at no charge.

Come check it out!

Fairhaven Health Introduces World’s Most Intelligent Basal Thermometer!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As you’re probably well aware, pinpointing when you ovulate each month is crucial when you’re trying to get pregnant. That’s because a woman is only fertile during the few days leading up to – and on – her ovulation date.

So how do you determine when you’ll ovulate? Methods of accomplishing this abound, but one of the most tried and true ones is to track your basal body temperature (BBT), your resting temperature, which is usually a bit lower than your “normal” temperature. The premise behind BBT charting is simple: during ovulation, your progesterone production increases, warming your body for a possible pregnancy. By charting your basal temperature each day, you can see that subtle thermal shift indicating that ovulation did indeed occur.

Basal thermometers are nothing new… they’ve been around for decades. But Fairhaven Health’s new ibasal Thermometer represents a quantum leap in BBT technology for trying to conceive purposes. Not only does it measure your basal temperature for you with extreme accuracy, it also algorithmically interprets that data for you – telling you precisely when ovulation occurred. No guesswork… no squinting at charts trying to spot a trend.

Learn more about the FDA-cleared ibasal thermometer!

Improving Egg Quality and Ovarian Function in Trying-to-Conceive Women

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Women are born with a finite quantity of eggs, a number which steadily declines with age. A baby girl is born with approximately one to two million eggs, but only 300,000 remain by the time she hits puberty. Throughout her reproductive lifetime, she will only ovulate 300 to 400 eggs.

Since your ovarian reserve is limited, it’s important to keep your remaining eggs as healthy as possible. Egg quality is impacted by multiple factors, including age, chronic exposure to environmental toxins, stress, poor diet, hormonal imbalances often associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and ovarian surgeries, all of which can negatively impact fertility. Poor egg quality contributes to fertilization issues, unsuccessful implantation following fertilization, and miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities.

While there is no way to increase the number of eggs you have, it is possible to improve the quality of your existing ovarian reserve. Thankfully, recent scientific research suggests that blends of powerful antioxidants can help improve egg quality. Research indicates that egg cells are highly susceptible to harm from free radicals, the unstable oxygen molecules that are produced as the body breaks down toxins, and antioxidants help ensure your egg cells are protected from their damaging effects.

We recently added OvaBoost to our line of fertility supplements, which is designed to help improve egg quality and optimize ovarian function in trying-to-conceive women. This all-natural supplement is especially recommended for women over the age of 35 and for women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

OvaBoost contains powerful antioxidants including myo-inositol, which works to promote optimal ovarian function and cycle regularity in women with PCOS, a major cause of female fertility issues. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but hormonal imbalance plays a big role in the onset of symptoms. Women with PCOS tend to produce higher levels of male hormones like testosterone, which can impact ovulation and menstrual cycles.

Many researchers believe that these higher testosterone levels are related to insulin sensitivity. That’s where myo-inositol comes into play. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and is responsible for carrying sugar into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. Women with PCOS have cells that are less sensitive to insulin, resulting in higher insulin levels. High insulin levels appear to be correlated with an increased production of male hormones. But the good news is that research in women with PCOS shows that supplementing with myo-inositol can improve insulin sensitivity, helping restore hormonal balance and increasing fertility in these women. Learn more about OvaBoost

How accurate is the OvaCue Fertility Monitor?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

If you’ve done any research at all on the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, you have probably read that the OvaCue has been clinically proven to be 98% accurate in monitoring ovulation (based on studies from the National Institute of Health). So, what exactly does that mean? To give these statistics a “real life” perspective, we decided to put the OvaCue up against the transvaginal ultrasound to help showcase its accuracy in a different way. Transvaginal ultrasounds are the most accurate way to pinpoint the exact date of ovulation, as it makes it possible to visually monitor the development of the dominant follicle until it is released from the ovary and into the fallopian tube.

Sarah, Director of Social Marketing and Customer Service at Fairhaven Health, uses the OvaCue daily and blogs about her experience at OvaCue.com. Some of you may know her as “FertilityChartingWithSarah” at OvaGraph.com, and others of you may know her from corresponding with her about OvaCue customer service questions. Sarah has always been interested in female reproductive health and ovulation prediction, so she jumped at the chance to monitor an entire cycle with a series of transvaginal ultrasounds to predict and confirm when ovulation took place. She continued to use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor (oral and vaginal sensor) daily while also going to a fertility clinic for regular transvaginal ultrasounds. What did she find? Read the results here!

Increase Your Odds Of Conceiving – The Natural Way

Monday, August 20th, 2012

When we’re younger, we’re told (with good reason!) that nearly any instance of unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy.

When we’re actually trying to conceive, however, we discover that this is not necessarily the case. The reality is that most women have just a 3-5 day window each cycle in which pregnancy can occur. The result? If you’re not aware of your fertile window, the path to pregnancy can quickly become a very frustrating journey.

In calculating your fertile window, it helps to know your average cycle length and whether you have a regular or irregular cycle. You can determine your cycle length by simply counting the days from when full menstrual bleeding begins (cycle day 1) to when you see menstrual bleeding return. A regular cycle is one that contains roughly the same number of days in each cycle, give or take a few. An irregular cycle is when your cycle length varies considerably from cycle to cycle. For women with irregular cycles, ovulation prediction can be a bit more difficult and may be an indicator of an underlying ovulatory disorder. Many women indicate that FertilAid for Women has helped them in imparting some normalcy to an irregular cycle.

With this information in hand, you can begin to track your fertile window through a variety of means, including monitoring changes in your cervical mucus, using urine-based ovulation tests, taking your basal body temperature (BBT), or even using an electronic fertility monitor like the OvaCue.

Once the menstrual bleeding associated with your period ends, your body begins to prepare for its next opportunity to conceive and your ovarian follicle begins to develop and mature. At this time, production of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) increases to help facilitate the maturation of the dominant follicle. The dominant follicle is the “chosen” follicle that your body seeks to rupture, resulting in ovulation.

Your most fertile window is comprised of the days leading up to ovulation, as well as the day of ovulation itself. Due to the fact that sperm can survive within a woman’s body for up 4-5 days, it’s recommended that you time your “procreational” intercourse (aka “babydancing”) to occur just prior to ovulation, as well as on the day of ovulation, to increase your chances of conceiving.

During your fertile window, we would expect you to see a change in the quantity and consistency of your cervical mucus. What is referred to as “fertile-quality” cervical mucus very much resembles raw egg whites in both look and feel. This clear, highly viscous fluid provides the sperm with a healthy medium in which it can swim toward the egg for fertilization. FertileCM is a Fairhaven Health product designed to help support your body’s production of fertile-quality cervical mucus.

When using ovulation tests, you’ll find that knowing your average cycle length comes in handy to help you determine when to begin testing. Women with longer cycles will ovulate later; therefore they will begin testing for ovulation later than women with shorter cycles. Make sure to refer to the directions that come with your brand of ovulation test to you know when to begin testing. Ovulation tests detect the LH surge in your urine, and from the first positive test you see, you can expect that ovulation will occur anywhere from 12-48 hours later. This helpful tool provides you with advance notice of ovulation, allowing you to time intercourse to coincide with your most fertile window.

After ovulation, your body increases its production of progesterone to warm the body and prepare for pregnancy. This shift from estrogen dominance to progesterone dominance is a signal that ovulation has occurred. If you are using a basal thermometer, you will see this switch confirmed by the slight rise in temperature on your basal body temperature (BBT) chart. OvaGraph is a free online service that Fairhaven Health has created to allow women to conveniently chart their BBT online. At this point in your cycle you are in your luteal phase, or what some TTC aficionados affectionately call the “two week wait.” If the egg is fertilized, then your body will begin to prepare for pregnancy, and the fertilized egg will attach and implant to the uterine wall. If not, your body will begin breaking down the uterine lining, resulting in menstruation.

Many struggling TTC couples neglect to consider male fertility as a possible contributing factor, despite the fact that male fertility issues contribute equally to infertility. We recommend that all trying-to-conceive men take a comprehensive male fertility supplement, such as FertiAid for Men. Doing so will provide him with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids needed to ensure optimal sperm health.

Wishing you all the best in your trying-to-conceive efforts!

Chart Your Fertility Online – Free – at OvaGraph.com!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Do you chart your fertility? That is to say, do you take your basal body temperature each morning and plot it on a graph to identify that telltale temperature spike that indicates your ovulation date? Or better yet, do you use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor – an electronic ovulation prediction device that pinpoints your most fertile time of month?

If you don’t do these things, you should! Basal body temperature charting is a wonderful way to learn more about your body’s reproductive rhythm. And using the OvaCue is simply the best way to ensure you identify your entire peak fertile period – that time of month when you’re most likely to conceive.

Good news! We’ve developed a site for women who’d like to have ALL of their fertility indicators charted and graphed in one convenient location – OvaGraph.com. At OvaGraph, you can enter your daily basal temperatures, OvaCue readings, cervical mucus status, intercourse days, ovulation test results, and much (much!) more. Want to share all of your fertility status with your ObGyn? No problem! You have your own unique link that displays your entire reproductive profile for that cycle, and previous ones as well. Not interested in sharing your fertile status with the world? No worries! Just configure your privacy settings to conform to your own comfort level. Click here to see the chart of Fairhaven Health’s own fertility specialist, Sarah.

Perhaps equally beneficial to trying-to-conceive women, OvaGraph also features a wonderful community of trying-to-conceive women who interact daily in the forum. Get your questions answered by other women in the same position (or by our product experts who log in daily to assist with interpretation) – or just get a bit of support from ladies who really know what you’re going through.

We invite you to come over to OvaGraph and establish your free account today!

PCOS and Insulin Resistance

Friday, August 19th, 2011

A significant number of the women who experience issues with fertility also suffer from a medical condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  Unfortunately, PCOS affects as many as 1 in 5 women of reproductive age, and most of these women will have difficulty becoming pregnant.  Many women who are diagnosed with PCOS have multiple, small cysts in their ovaries, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and cycle irregularity. But, the presence of cysts on the ovaries is just one of the signs of this syndrome.  In fact, PCOS is characterized by a wide array of symptoms, including acne, weight gain, loss of hair, abnormal hair growth (typically seen on the face, back, or fingers), miscarriages, and sleeping problems.

While there is still much to learn about PCOS, it is now believed that the symptoms listed above, including the development of multiple cysts in the ovaries, appear when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones, particularly testosterone.  And, what stimulates the ovaries to produce abnormally large amounts of male hormones? The answer: Insulin.

What exactly does it mean to be insulin resistant?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. On the surface of each cell of the body there are insulin receptors, little doors that open and close to regulate the flow of glucose (the sugar that is used by your body’s cells for energy) into the cell.  These receptors, or doors, are activated by insulin.  Women who have PCOS often have insulin receptors that do not function efficiently. This causes a condition known as insulin resistance, which forces the pancreas to produce more and more insulin to push glucose into the cells. These elevated insulin levels have the detrimental effects described above. It estimated that anywhere from 30-50% of women with PCOS experience insulin resistance.

How is insulin resistance controlled?

Recently, I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion surrounding the benefits (or lack thereof) of taking the prescription medication known as Metformin for PCOS and insulin resistance. Metformin is a drug used to help control blood glucose in three ways; it decreases the absorption of dietary carbohydrates through the intestines, it reduces the production of glucose by the liver and it increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. Simply stated, it lowers insulin, glucose, and testosterone levels, which results in a decrease in the symptoms associated with PCOS. Therefore, addressing insulin resistance helps many women with PCOS restore cycle regularity and increase their chances of conception.

There is also a large amount of information available about lifestyle changes that could help control insulin resistance. Weight loss has shown to be helpful for women that may be overweight – yet, weight loss can be more difficult for those with PCOS. The combination of dietary changes and more aerobic exercise has been shown to help even if weight loss is not achieved. What dietary changes are most helpful? Eliminating high glycemic carbohydrates such as refined sugars, white bread, and refined corn and potato products and incorporating high-fiber foods (whole grain bread and brown rice) and non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc) is recommended.

For women with PCOS that are trying-to-conceive, herbal supplements (such as, FertilAid for Women) can help to restore hormonal balance and encourage cycle regulation.

OvaCue: The Ideal Fertility Monitor for Women with Irregular Cycles

Monday, September 20th, 2010

With so many different monitors on the market, it can be hard to determine which monitor is best suited for you. Most don’t work well for women with irregular cycles or have limitations for short or long cycles. When trying-to-conceive, timing is everything – the OvaCue can help with prediction and confirmation of when ovulation is taking place, even for those with irregular menstrual cycles.

For women with irregular cycles, the use of the OvaCue Fertility Monitor’s oral sensor and optional Vaginal Sensor is ideal because the monitor is able to adjust accordingly to the irregularities that may occur that month. Irregular cycles are often related to a hormonal imbalance, which can make it difficult to use most monitors as they predict ovulation based on pre-determined levels of a specific hormone (which some women may not reach due to an imbalance). The OvaCue is different in the sense that it interprets each daily reading in correlation to previous readings, instead of having to reach a certain pre-determined level. The OvaCue uses an electrolyte method of detecting ovulation – reproductive hormones affect your electrolyte levels, allowing the monitor to detect the selection of your dominant follicle by interpreting the rise and fall of your electrolyte levels.

The oral sensor uses your average cycle length to determine when to look for specific trends in your oral readings. Once this trend is detected (also known as your ‘cue peak’), the monitor is able to predict when ovulation may occur, which generally happens about 5-7 days past the detection of the ‘cue peak’. The ‘cue peak’ is indicated by a light blue square (the selection of your dominant follicle) and signifies the beginning of your fertile window. However, women with irregular cycles or ovulatory disorders may stray from the average and ovulate a little early or late from the original prediction.

The vaginal sensor allows additional information to be interpreted and cross reference data received from the oral sensor. The vaginal sensor is monitoring electrolyte levels in your cervical mucus – the rise and fall of both estrogen and progesterone. It can detect when estrogen levels increase just prior to ovulation and when your estrogen levels decrease and progesterone increases – signaling ovulation. For women with a hormonal imbalance – ovulation may actually occur earlier or later than the average 5-7 days (after the dominant follicle is selected). The vaginal sensor is able to notify you a day or two in advance of when ovulation occurs. If ovulation is occurring earlier than predicted – the colored day will turn to a high/peak fertility day (dark blue) when I may have previously been a ‘possible’ fertility day. If ovulation ends up occurring later than first predicted, your fertile window will actually be extended out (continued dark blue days) until ovulation is confirmed with a pink square.

Some women may experience ovulation confirmed twice on the OvaCue, which indicates Secondary Fertility.  The OvaCue can help you detect this secondary fertility when you use both the oral and vaginal sensor.

What is Clomid and how does it work?

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) is a fertility drug commonly prescribed to women that are trying-to-conceive to induce ovulation. Clomid is often prescribed to women with irregular cycles that either experience irregular ovulation or don’t ovulate at all. If you aren’t sure whether you are ovulating, you can determine this by tracking your menstrual cycles with ovulation predictor kits, fertility monitors, or even monitoring your body’s natural signs – the consistency of your cervical mucus and tracking your basal body temperature.

In order to understand how Clomid works, it is important to understand what is happening in your body as you approach ovulation. In the beginning of your cycle, estrogen levels are low which signal your body to produce FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). Estrogen levels begin to increase which triggers LH (Luteinizing Hormone). This surge is what releases the mature egg from the follicle. For ovulation to occur, enough LH and FSH must be produced to release the egg. Clomid is used to help your body produce enough LH and FSH. It tricks the body into thinking that there is not enough estrogen – which increases the production of LH and FSH, causing your body to ovulate. Generally, it is not recommend to take Clomid for more than six cycles, so if pregnancy is not achieved, a different treatment plan should be discussed.

While taking Clomid, it is common to experience a decrease in fertile-quality cervical mucus. It is extremely important to have a healthy environment to transport and protect the sperm when trying-to-conceive. Supplements, such as FertileCM can help increase the quantity and quality of fertile-quality cervical mucus and is safe to take along with Clomid.

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