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OvuSense Fertility and Ovulation Blog

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

The Value of OvuSense image
13 December 2019
The Value of OvuSense
Several times each month, we receive inquiries from women and clinical professionals asking about the ‘value’ of the OvuSense device. Since OvuSense was first created, we have continued to be proud of the clinical understanding of our technology. If you’d like to read more about the clinical backing of OvuSe...
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Fertility & Family – How to Make It Through The Holiday Season image
11 December 2019
Fertility & Family – How to Make It Through The Holiday Season
Whatever your religion or background, the next few weeks are filled with non-stop social and family engagements celebrating the holidays or ringing in the new year. Often, this means taking a trip back home to be with your extended family. While this can be a joyous reunion, this time can also bring up memories o...
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03 December 2019
The Road to Understanding Infertility
While many women aren’t diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) until later in life, some women find out as they are first starting their period – often without a proper explanation of what this means for their health or future fertility. ...
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29 October 2015
The guilt of secondary infertility

In our PCOS Facebook Support group we have a lovely mixture of group members, some who are trying to conceive for the first time and many who may already have children. I recently asked the women in the group suffering from secondary infertility (the difficulty in conceiving after having previously conceived and carrying the pregnancy to term or suffering a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy), how not being able to conceive again made them feel.

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27 October 2015
Miffy's story

Secondary infertility, now pregnant with baby number 3

Hi, I'm Miffy and here is my fertility story and journey.

I've be trying for baby no three recently. My first baby was a stillborn (conceived her naturally after 6 months of trying). We then tried for 18 months after that with no success and it was at this point that I found out I had PCOS.

The doctors said that I needed to lose weight and be put on medication. We tried again to conceive and we were successful. My daughter is now 5 years old, after trying for her for 4.5 years. It's not nice being on fertility medication. We wanted to have a third baby, so I underwent ovarian drilling and then lost weight (as my doctor suggested) only to be told that IVF was our only option. We were so upset. Continue reading

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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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