clearblue monitor test stick help PLEASE!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-19-2006, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am using the ClearBlue fertility monitor for the second month. Last month I ovulated very late (day 20ish I think it was). This month it asked for my first test on day9 and it was low. Then I tested on day10 and it showed peak fertility (early now!). But when i look at the test stick it basically looked like one blue line and a huge blue smudge. Then today day11 same thing...one line and peak fertility (no big smudge though). Now last month I had one dark line when i had low fertility and as I peaked the line got lighter and a second line got darker.

Now normally at ovulation I get some serious cramping around the ovary that is ovulating. I have had not even a twinge so far. No real CM to speak of. Just doesnt seem right.

So I called their hotline and the lady said somethng along the lines of it being virtually impossible to get false positives...and when i asked about the lines on the test stick she told me to ignore them...that they don't mean anything. I find this SERIOUSLY hard to believe...what do they exist for if not to mean something???

Any ideas? advice? Am I ovulating without cramping? And very early?

totally frustrated
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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They are pretty reliable, but they aren't perfect. If it were me, I would assume that I was ovulating and BD just in case. I would also take OPK's in addition to using the monitor. If those end up being positive, you can be pretty sure that you're ovulating. Good luck!!
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do the OPKs work in comparison to the monitor? DOn't they do the same thing?

BTW I have had no thermal shift and the monitor read as high (not peak) fertility today. And the stick looked like a light smudge...no clear lines.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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Yes, they work in a similar way. The monitor tests both estrogen and LH. When it detects a rise in estrogen, you get a 'high fertility' reading. Then, when it detects a rise in LH, you get a 'peak fertility' reading. The OPK's only detect LH.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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I can’t tell you whether you have ovulated or not, but the results you are getting DO make sense. Like the PP said “the monitor tests both estrogen and LH. When it detects a rise in estrogen, you get a 'high fertility' reading. Then, when it detects a rise in LH, you get a 'peak fertility' reading.” Wikipedia has a nice chart that shows the relative levels of hormones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cycle.

The line closest to the pee end of the stick is the LH line and the second line is the estrogen line. So in a normal cycle the estrogen line will get darker at first, but then starts to get lighter. When that happens the LH will start to get darker and you will get a peak reading. Then the LH line will go away and the estrogen line may or may not get a little darker again. Which explains the results that you got last month. However, the monitor works by comparing the blue line to the white background. If you have a situation where you have a big blue smear where the LH line is suppose to be then the monitor will read it as a positive because it is basically a stupid machine and can’t tell the difference between a big blue smear and a blue line. From there it kind of goes on automatic pilot and gives you a couple of days of peak and then a couple of high irregardless of what the pee sticks are saying. It is sort of guessing based on your previous cycles.
So, as for customer service…she is full of it. Of course she is going to tell you that there are no false positives, she wouldn’t want you to lose faith in the monitor and stop spending money on their test sticks. They also don’t like to give out information out on what the lines mean because they don’t really want you to know how the machine and the sticks work because once you do you don’t really need the monitor and how else are they going to justify $200 for the monitor.
The machine is not fool proof, but can be a great tool in additon to other ovulation predictors (BBT, CM, cramping). I've had smearing issues too, as well as problems with the stick not wicking which can really muck up your results. I have the protocol for resetting the machine if you ever want to reset it.

Whew! Sorry for the long-winded response. I hope it makes sense.

FC
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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FC,

Thank you. You told me what I basically knew, but at least now I know I am not crazy. Sounds like you are RIGHT on. The monitor is still asking me for tests even though it already gave me two peak readings. I am SURE I haven't ovulated yet as my BBT is hovering around my bottom basement pre-ovulation numbers...nothing that even remotely looks like a thermal shift.

Boy this makes me cranky!! LOL
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