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OvuSense Fertility and Ovulation Blog

Real-life stories from OvuSense users and essential information from fertility experts

OvuSense CEO Speaks With “The Journey” – Surprising Things To Know About Ovulation image
21 November 2019
OvuSense CEO Speaks With “The Journey” – Surprising Things To Know About Ovulation
If we’re thinking about TTC 101 (or trying to conceive), tracking your ovulation is one of the first things that women are recommended to do in order to get pregnant. However, this often isn’t as simple as it sounds, as many women don’t ovulate in the middle of their cycle – or may not have regular cycles ...
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Using Data for PCOS Diagnosis -  OvuSense User Morgan’s TTC Journey image
18 November 2019
Using Data for PCOS Diagnosis - OvuSense User Morgan’s TTC Journey
When women struggle to get or stay pregnant, they often find themselves asking ‘why?’ — Unfortunately, the answer the answer is not usually black and white. Morgan was no exception, and after nearly four years of trying to conceive, started using OvuSense to learn more about her cycle.  In 2015, Morgan was...
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OvuSense May Help Diagnose Previously Undetected Causes of Infertility – Research at ASRM 2019 image
13 November 2019
OvuSense May Help Diagnose Previously Undetected Causes of Infertility – Research at ASRM 2019
One in eight couples will have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term, however many are left frustrated without a formal diagnosis to explain their challenges. While some causes are truly unknown, others go undiagnosed as there is not enough information available. Using Core Body Temperature (CBT) mon...
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03 November 2015
Must know fertility facts - Part Two

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Welcome to Part 2 of must-know fertility facts. I hope you found Part 1 useful and you are ready to find out a little more. If so, get comfortable, sit down with a cuppa, and read on. In this blog we look at the reasons for infertility and what steps you can make to help improve your fertility.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Is your occupation affecting your fertility?

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Is your work environment making it more difficult for you to conceive?

 

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Recent studies have looked into the impact various occupations have on the ability for both men and women to conceive. It appears that your fertility can be affected by many differing occupations.
 
Researchers at Southampton University studied data from 119,000 women who work night shifts on a regular basis. Not only did they find that these women had an increased risk of miscarriage, they also identified that women working nights found it more difficult to conceive.
The obvious logistics of not sharing a bed at the same time as your partner may have some influence on the time it may take for a shift worker to conceive, however the study found that lack of sleep and disturbed sleep impacted the most.
 
The physiological cycles of our bodies are regulated by the cycle of wakefulness and sleep, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm. If this cycle is out of balance our hormones can be disrupted leading to menstrual cycle disturbances and difficulties in conceiving.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Key fertility tips for trying to conceive

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Here are a few more fertility tips you might want to consider. You may have already started to monitor and record your temperature every day and if so, this is an excellent step in the right direction to maximizing your chances of conception.

However, there is more that you can do. The next step is to start observing your cervical secretions. Healthy cervical secretions are a key factor in helping you to determine when you are fertile and likely to conceive.

Healthy, good-quality secretions are vital in helping sperm wait for ovulation and then navigate the long journey to reach the egg. Throughout the menstrual cycle your secretions change.

At the beginning of your cycle, during your period you won’t notice any secretions at all, as any that are present are likely to be obscured by your blood loss. After your period finishes, it is also normal not to notice any secretions for a few days, and this is what we refer to as ‘dry days’.

Around the second week of your cycle, you may start to notice secretions in your underwear or on toilet paper. You may also be aware of a sensation of ‘heaviness’ in your vulva and the presence of secretions. This sudden onset of secretions is caused by the fluctuations in your female sex hormones, namely due to the hormone oestrogen. At this time the secretions are generally scanty, white and thick in appearance. Any signs of secretions tell you that you are now in your fertile time.

As your cycle progresses the secretions will increase in amount and become thinner and cloudy in appearance. As you reach the middle of your cycle you will notice profuse secretions that are thin and transparent. You may also be aware of a ‘slippery sensation’ in the vulva. At this stage, if you were to do the ‘finger test’ you would be able to stretch the secretions between finger and thumb (you would not be able to do this with earlier secretions). This is your body telling you that you are, or about to, ovulate. As ovulation only last for 12-24 hours this is crucial time to have sex.

I recommend to all my patients that they observe their secretions throughout the day and record their observations in a diary at bedtime. If you put this information together with your temperature recordings, you will see how all the information comes together.

By recording your secretions you can tell when your fertile time starts and observe your temperature for confirmation that you have ovulated. Some women I see aren’t able to identify secretions at all, or find it difficult to tell the difference between the types of secretions. In some circumstances, this may be due to inadequate oestrogen levels, or lifestyle factors. Some things you can do to increase the quantity and quality of your secretions:

  • Ensure you are in a healthy weight range. A body mass index (BMI) of 19-24 is considered healthy.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking alters how the hormone oestrogen is metabolised by the body.
  • Avoid using soap or body wash as this changes the delicate pH balance of the vagina and secretions.
  • Don’t use any lubrication during sex as this may interfere with your observations and restrict the movement of sperm.
  • Some medication such as antihistamines can decrease the amount of secretions. However, do not cease any prescribed medication until you have discussed this with your doctor.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Be careful with high doses of vitamin C as this may have the action of drying secretions.
  • Although there is no conclusive evidence, it is believed that eating foods with high alkaline properties may improve secretions. Enjoy foods like celery, cabbage, kale, pumpkins, watercress and almonds, and avoid highly acidic foods like beef, pork, bacon, wheat, corn and some dairy such as cheese and cows' milk.

I hope you have found today’s blog interesting and that it helps you to have the confidence to understand your cervical secretions and what your body is telling you.

If reading my blog today has made you think about your fertility and you would like to discuss this then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach me by emailing kate.davies@fertility-focus.com

Kate. xx

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03 November 2015
What is PCOS and what can you do about it?

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be divided into two distinct groups: Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
 

What is PCO?

 
Women diagnosed with PCO will have many cysts on their ovaries. However, they will not have the severity of cysts or the hormonal imbalance and symptoms seen in women with PCOS. Therefore women with PCO are less likely to have problems conceiving than women diagnosed with PCOS.
 

What is PCOS?

 
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is unfortunately the cause of fertility problems in many women. This debilitating condition is often not diagnosed until a woman is unsuccessful in conceiving.PCOS is accompanied by a hormonal imbalance which makes it more difficult for eggs to mature adequately and be released at the time of ovulation. In many women with PCOS their condition is complicated further with insulin resistance.
 
It is believed to effect 5-10% of women in both the UK and US. PCOS is a chronic condition where the ovaries develop many tiny cysts caused by egg follicles that have not been able to develop as they should. 
 
 

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03 November 2015
Four reasons why I NEVER recommend ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)!

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Have you ever used ovulation predictor kits (OPK’s) to predict when you ovulate? Have you had a good or bad experience of using OPK’s? I am very sceptical of the reliability of this ovulation prediction method and as a result, I don’t recommend them to any of my patients. Here’s why……….

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03 November 2015
Learning to love Mother's Day

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

For those of you living in the UK, you’ll be aware that Mothering Sunday occurs in late March. Additionally, Mother's Day in the USA is May, as it is in Canada and some parts of Europe. I suspect, when this time of year comes around, you feel a sense of dread. For many it will be yet another year when your arms feel empty and your longing for a baby to fill this empty space is intensified.
 
However, this year, I challenge you to think differently about Mother’s Day; I want you to learn to love it for totally different reasons and I want you to turn the idea of Mother’s Day on its head. I want you to flip it, and here's how: think of this day as not just for mothers, there are many different ways you can learn to accept Mother’s Day without being a mother yet yourself.
 
 

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03 November 2015
PCOS - ten great ways to beat the symptoms and feel better

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

PCOS is your worst enemy, we get that. Fight back with ten great ways to beat the symptoms and feel better:
 
 

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03 November 2015
PCOS and you - the fertility diet challenge

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Weight gain is one of the most common side effects of PCOS. It’s also one that affects your self esteem and compounds your difficulties in conceiving. However, the good news is that by paying attention to your diet, it is possible to lose the weight you’ve gained and feel better.
 
Losing weight will also help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease as well as boosting your overall health and well-being.
 
However, diet alone can’t cure PCOS but it can help to alleviate the symptoms, and with ovulation monitoring or further support from your specialist, losing weight can significantly increase your chances of conceiving.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Can acupuncture improve your fertility?

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 

During my day to day work in the field of fertility, I hear many claims about the latest therapy that ‘will get you pregnant’. Unfortunately many of them turn out not to be true and others may have other therapeutic benefits, but do they really get you pregnant? For me to be confident in recommending a therapy to my patients, it is vital that the treatment has its roots in research, and it’s safe to say that this is exactly where acupuncture for fertility sits nicely.
 
A report published in 2008 reviewed seven studies that looked at the benefits of acupuncture and fertility. The report found that acupuncture increases a woman’s chances of conceiving by 65%. Conversely a later review in 2010 concluded that there is no evidence to support the benefit of acupuncture during IVF, however doubt has been cast on the validity of the findings in one specific study in the review. Complementary therapist and clinicians alike still support the use of acupuncture for fertility and I have seen countless numbers of women report improvements to their menstrual cycle and in particular the lengthening of their luteal phase when using acupuncture for fertility.
 
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Research in 2005 found distinct benefits for men and fertility. This research showed that acupuncture significantly improves the quality and health of sperm and found that analysis of sperm samples before and after acupuncture showed fewer structural defects in the sperm and an increase in the numbers of normal healthy sperm.
 
I believe that when considering your fertility and what you can do to increase your chances of conceiving, it’s important not to look at just one aspect but to consider your fertility more holistically. Often it’s not just one thing you do or one change you make that results in conceiving but a combination of many aspects
 
Let’s consider for a moment the impact of stress on fertility. Research into the benefits of acupuncture for fertility, suggest that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress. Recent studies show a clear correlation between stress and infertility. Therefore it makes sense to work on reducing your stress levels by identifying your stress triggers; for many women this iacupuncture-906144_1280s work related, or the stress they experience while trying to conceive.
 
Getting lots of good quality natural sleep, exercising and eating a balanced diet can really help to combat stress and by adding in acupuncture can increase the likelihood of conceiving. You may also want to spend a little time thinking about your cycles and hormone balance
 
Acupuncturists report good effects when treating women with irregular cycles. Getting your cycles more regular and then monitoring your natural fertility indicators such as your body
temperature and cervical secretions helps you to conceive quicker.
 

 

Clearly, more research into the benefits of acupuncture for fertility is needed before we can hand on heart say ‘acupuncture will get you pregnant’ and it may be that we never can. However, current research looks very encouraging, and that’s enough for me.

 

Book your FREE consultation with the OvuSense Fertility Nurse, Kate -  to assess your fertility potential, answer your burning fertility questions, get recommendations on how to optimize your fertility and have your charts analysed.

If you are an OvuSense customer you are entitled to a FREE 1 hour consult, if you are not currently using OvuSense you book a FREE 15 minute consultation. Consultations are held by Skype or Telephone. Don't see a time that suits you? Email Kate on kate.davies@fertility-focus.com

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03 November 2015
Must know fertility facts - Part One

 By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

 

As the fertility Nurse Advisor for OvuSense I am delighted to have the opportunity to share with you some of my knowledge, expertise and tips on how to maximize your chances of conception and in essence give you the knowledge to help you achieve pregnancy quicker.
 
For the first few blogs I am starting at the beginning with all the basics, the ‘must know’ facts about fertility. The ones that are crucial, the ones that really matter.
 
Firstly, if you are reading this because you are trying to conceive, please know that you are not alone. One in six couples experience problems conceiving and, if this is you, I would urge you to seek advice sooner rather than later. There is also so much that you can be doing now to optimize your fertility.
 
 

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