If you had told me years ago, that at the age of 33, I’d use a fertility monitor, I would have laughed and laughed. In fact, I myself have always been somewhat of an “insta-preggers” type of girl. My first two children were happy accidents. So imagine my surprise when my husband and I started trying for our third baby, and things were a little different this time around.
Enter the Clearblue Fertility Monitor Touch Screen. I had honestly never heard of it, prior to chatting with my sister-in-law. She had just gotten pregnant with her second baby at 38 and gave me hers, after successfully using it to conceive. So, I stopped laughing and instead, decided to give it a try.
What is the Clearblue Fertility Monitor?
We all know getting pregnant can be tricky and can be different for every person based on factors such as age, cycle and reproductive health. There are many types of ovulation and fertility monitors on the market, but the Clearblue fertility monitor touch screen is specifically designed to make the process as easy and convenient as possible, especially if you’re new to tracking your cycle.
The Clearblue fertility monitor identifies your hormones for high and peak fertility days with a clear, easy-to-read digital display. You insert a fertility test strip when it instructs you to, and the monitor basically reveals those magic days when you are the most fertile by measuring the levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH). The touch screen part is super convenient as well.
The fertility monitor is also very user-friendly. My version of the Clearblue fertility monitor touch screen is purple and white. It looks like a compact makeup-case that might contain a large palette of bronzer. When you hold it in your hand, it’s a bit heavy, since it is a piece of equipment. But, because of its compact size, I found it easy to transport when I needed to and nice to stash on the counter of my bathroom without feeling cluttered.
My Experience with the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
Before I used the Clearblue fertility monitor, I had to buy some of the matching test strips that you insert daily. I was able to buy a 30-pack of Clearblue monitor test strips, which was easy enough. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the test strips could be covered with funds from my FSA account. Win! In another surprise, the fertility monitor itself can also be covered with FSA funds. Double win!
But then, the set-up began. For me this was the most annoying part. Ahem, I am not the most technologically savvy person, so even the simple instructions made my eyes glaze over.
Here’s what it looked like for me to use the monitor:
- Wake up and get ready. Every morning, in the first half of my cycle (aka as soon as your period ends), I would wake up around 7 AM to my fertility monitor blinking orange. The blinking orange is an indicator that it’s time to test, which was a super convenient reminder. A note: if you notice the test strips are hard to tear open, you’re not alone, because I experienced the same thing. It’s a small gripe, but when you’re anxious to see that result, it makes a wait feel even longer.
- Take that test. Next, I’d take my test strip to the bathroom and pee on the strip for three seconds (you can also just dip it in a cup of urine). Once the test strip was used, I’d take off the cap and insert the test into the monitor. It gave a satisfying click when it was inserted correctly.
- Wait for ovulation. I used about 10 test strips on average for each cycle. Once I hit my peak fertility day on ovulation day –the test measures luteal hormone to verify this— I no longer had to test anymore that month.
Clearblue Fertility Monitor Touch Screen: What to Know
One key feature of the monitor is that it is far more accurate than using an app to track your cycle. For example, I was using the Flo app to record my fertility cycle before I tried Clearblue. The first time I used Clearblue it synced up exactly to when the app predicted I would ovulate. But in the second month, my window of ovulation was a full 2-3 days off from what the app predicted. I remember being really surprised at how different the prediction and results were.
Other considerations you should be aware of about the monitor are:
- You have to start using it within 4 days of your period: This was a feature I wasn’t initially aware of and I didn’t love it—you absolutely have to set up a “new cycle” within the first four days of your period in order for the test to work. That meant that I personally ad to wait over 20 days to get started with the monitor, since I missed that critical window for set up. I almost forgot about it by the time my period came around again, but fortunately, I was able to catch the window the second time around.
- The test strips can be tricky: Another thing that took me a while to figure out was that you have to hold the pee stick at a slight angle when you pee and keep holding it down at an angle before insertion into the monitor, or else the liquid overfills the test strip window. Otherwise, you’ll get error read on the monitor. It was easy to fix once I figured out what I was doing wrong, but slightly annoying because I wasted a few test strips in the process.
- Easy to use: Once you get the hang of it, the monitor was super fun and easy to use. The fact that it alerted me each day (with an orange light) to insert a test strip was a wonderful feature. I love the smiley face that indicated peak fertility—I felt like a kid in an ice cream shop every time it showed up, one step closer to my goal!
In the end, I loved having the confidence of the Clearblue prediction. According to clinical studies, the monitor is 99% accurate in detecting the LH surge, when tested against clinical samples. In other words, it really does lock down your fertility window, and I was psyched by that. Bring on baby #3!
Pros & Cons
Easy to use
Accurate for fertility prediction
Price with strips can add up
Learning curve withs trips
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use the Clearblue Fertility Monitor?
You use the monitor and test strips (sold separately) on a daily basis in the first days of your cycle. It requires some setup within the first few days of your period to get started. On the days it is time to use a test strip, it will alert you and provide you with the level of your fertility, such as “low,” “high” and “peak fertility, “ according to the rise and fall of estrogen and luteinizing hormone.
When should I start using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor?
You can start using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor on the first day of your next cycle (Day 1 of your period), but not before. You’ll need to set a new cycle when you get your period.
Can you get pregnant with a flashing smiley face?
A flashing smiley face is the alert for “high fertility,” so if you have intercourse on the day that you have a flashing smiley face, you’ll increase your chance to get pregnant. Just make sure you still test the next day, as a non-flashing solid smiley face indicates peak fertility, and you wouldn’t want to miss that!
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