Displaying items by tag: fertility

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 11:38

Are your ovulation tracking letting you down?

There is a growing demand for effective ovulation tracking. To increase your chances of conception, you need to be able to calculate your “fertile window” (the 6-8-days in each cycle when you have the highest chance of conception).

The Fertility Show Africa has written an article on how to correctly track your fertile window. Fertility Show Africa is the essential fertility event for those struggling to conceive or on a journey to parenthood and the show takes place on 10 & 11 October in Sandton. You can buy tickets here and attend it online

However, tracking your true fertile window using an app alone is not enough. As hormones fluctuate, so does our predicted day of ovulation in each cycle.

Standard ovulation prediction kits (OPKs)

Basic tests in this field measure the increase/rise in luteinising hormone (LH), which typically occurs before ovulation, and triggers it. The majority of OPKs come with LH test strips to measure the concentration of this hormone in your urine, in order to tell you when ovulation is approaching (24-36 hours).

Standard test strips generally have two lines. The control line, which indicates that the test is working. And a second line, the test line. Most OPKs allow you to check by eye whether the test strip is significantly darker than the control line.

If you are trying to conceive it is important to know when your fertile window will be (the 6-8-day span), including the expected date of ovulation. Standard ovulation test strips only allow a fertile window of 24-36 hours.

Advanced (digital) OPKs

As it can be hard to determine how dark the line is, an increasing number of women are searching for digital solutions. However, digital OPKs can also be confusing or inaccurate as they may only let you test according to an app’s prediction of the rise in your LH alone, which you could miss if you are not testing every day as you may be in your fertile window period already.

It is important to remember that in many cases sperm can wait up to five days for the egg to be released. Taking advantage of your full fertile window could increase your chances of conception and decrease the pressure of having to have timed intercourse after the LH rise alone.

What to look out for when buying an OPK

Check how many hormones it tests, how often it tests, and which hormones it tests.

Also, how it lets you know that you are entering your fertile window period/or that you are about to ovulate, and when that date will be.

Most OPKs only test the rise in LH indicating that ovulation is about to occur. OPKs that test follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) too can indicate the fertile window up to six days in advance, as opposed to only two days with the LH test strips alone.

Look at the technology behind your preferred digital OPK. How does it digitise the test results? How clearly does it show your cycle data, and how many days of your cycle data are included in its calculations?

OPK recommendations

Kits should test more than one key ovulation hormone. For example, they should measure both LH and FSH to identify more fertile days.

Use OPKs that measure your full cycle period, considering your unique cycle length, expected date of ovulation and your fertile window, especially if you have PCOS.

Choose OPKs that make use of an app, test strips, and that can give you results in a digital format, based on your unique cycle length and hormone pattern. Also OPKs that you can use if you have endometriosis or PCOS.

Use OPKs with colorimetric digitisation technology. This means the technology is used to read the lines of your hormone test strips thoroughly through the lens of your smartphone camera and digitise the result right away on your phone, giving you an overview of your full cycle, and not just the two days leading up to ovulation.

Choose a digital OPK that allows you to track your cycle, FSH and LH, and that reminds you when you are most fertile and when to test which hormone throughout your cycle period.

How to use your OPK correctly

Always measure your hormones using either first morning urine, or the urine after your longest and deepest sleep. This is because the metabolites of the hormones you are testing accumulate during your deep sleep phases.

Stick to using one brand only, as many OPKs work differently. Using more than one OPK could decrease your chances of conception if they are giving you different results. Different brands have different methods of predicting your fertile window. You could choose a few brands, use each brand over a cycle period, and then decide which one works best for you.

The Pearl Fertility Ovulation Tracking Kit

At Fertility Collection, we prefer the Pearl app as it tracks your unique cycle and the two key fertility hormones for ovulation throughout your unique cycle period.

It tells you when you are most fertile and when your best chances of conception are, and it accurately tracks your fertile window (up to six days including the date of ovulation and thereafter).

It digitalises all your results on its in vitro registered medical app. This way you have an overview of your whole cycle, which you can share with your medical practitioner if need be.

The Pearl Fertility Kit is 99.9 percent accurate in predicting your fertile window based on your cycle length and hormone results, giving individualised cycle tracking at your fingertips. The Pearl fertility kit can be used if you have PCOS.

The Pearl Kit includes:
o 15 FSH test strips
o 15 LH test strips
o 2 HCG pregnancy tests
o Unique access code to the Pearl Fertility App
o Reusable test strip holder

Fertility Collection will be exhibiting at Fertility Show Africa on 9 & 10 October 2021 at the Focus Rooms, Sandton Johannesburg, and online.

Want news and news articles? Click here

Published in Fertility

Fertility Show Africa is the essential fertility event for those struggling to conceive or on a journey to parenthood.

The event offers show visitors a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with leading fertility, adoption, surrogacy specialists as well as alternative fertility solutions and products in one place, at one time and in a discreet and supportive environment, making the show an invaluable resource for show visitors looking to start or expand their family.

The event offers an unparalleled speaker programme from leading fertility specialists, in a space where visitors can engage, ask questions, find answers and gather information from some of South Africa’s leading fertility specialists, embryologists, nurses, psychologists, social workers and fertility support disciplines.

Exhibitors range from doctors to clinicians and practitioners, fertility clinics, advice groups, donor agencies, acupuncturists, diet, nutritional and lifestyle supplements and advisors, as well as yoga, massage therapists and other therapies.

Fertility Show Africa is the only live event that brings together:

  • Top Fertility Experts
  • Adoption Specialists
  • Clinics
  • Doctors

Click here to learn more about this event and book your tickets here. 


Published in Fertility
Monday, 05 October 2020 15:21

Can stress affect fertility?

Stress can cause infertility and infertility can cause stress? It seems like a never-ending cycle. Although extreme stress may affect fertility, it rarely does so in ways that would lead to long-term trouble with getting pregnant.


While stress alone does not seem to cause infertility, stress can push us toward unhealthy behaviours that can affect our fertility.


Here are some examples of stressed out unhealthy behaviour:


  • Sleep too much or sleep too little
  • Give in to emotional eating or not allow enough time to eat healthy
  • Not find enough time for exercise or push yourself to exercise too hard
  • Drink one too many alcoholic drinks
  • Smoke, or, if you quit smoking, start smoking again
  • Drink too much coffee, especially if you're sleep deprived
  • Lose interest in having sex

Here are some tips that may boost your fertility:

  • Creating a bedtime routine and sticking with it
  • Watching your carbohydrate and junk food intake is also advisable. This is true for men and women. Eating more junk foodhas been correlated with poorer sperm health
  • Just as eating too much junk food or being overweight can cause fertility problems, weighing too little or not eating enough can affect your reproductive potential
  • You should work out, but not excessively
  • Enjoy your coffee, but within limits
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Try to stop smoking
Published in Fertility
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