"Smart" Thermometer for Charting? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 11-25-2011, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I recall someone somewhere telling me about a thermometer that could be used for nfp, in which the thermometer kept track of your temps and charts and let you know if it was probably one of your fertile days.  Is it the OvuTherm Sophia: http://www.craigmedical.com/Ovulation_comp.htm  ?  Or are there similar/better products out there?  Has anyone used such a thing as a tool to avoid unwanted pregnancy while bfing?  How about its ability to give you a heads up to ovulation if it should come before your first period after LAM ends? 

 

I am leaning towards wanting to do nfp rather than get another IUD.  Before we had DS, we had an IUD failure and a resultant miscarriage when the IUD was removed on the advice of my midwife upon learning of the failure (it was thought this would maximize the chances of complications or spontaneous miscarriage later on, but clearly the removal itself carried the risk of miscarriage, which was the unfortunate result in my case).  It was an emotionally traumatizing experience, and we feel that the consequence of a nfp failure is way more easy to deal with than the consequence of an IUD failure (ie. we don't know if we want any more LO's but if we got pregnant again, assuming my LAM lasts at least as long as it did for my DD's, we would be o.k. with having another child when our DS is at least 2 or older, but going through what we went through with the IUD failure would be much more difficult).  I thought of trying the hormonal instead of the copper IUD but I'm a little weirded out by the fact that my midwife says that some women don't even get their periods when on that IUD (which she touted as a benefit)... I don't know that I'd want not to have a period, because my period being late was really what tipped me off to the IUD failure in the past--how would you even know if you had an IUD failure if you didn't have a missed period to go by??  I think I'd be living in constant dread that the IUD wasn't working...  Plus something about doing nfp just feels more natural to me and resonates with my life philosophy...

 

However, if we end up relying on nfp for birth control, I do want to maximize our chances of avoiding pregnancy for now.  I have charted in the past and know the drill but sometimes it's so easy to "convince" yourself that, nah, it's o.k. just this one time--I don't think that was *really* fertile cm... and then you end up with another bun in the oven ;).  I feel like one of these smart thermometers would be a good reality check for me, so any info you can share with me about them would be appreciated!


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#2 of 9 Old 12-01-2011, 08:23 AM
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I'm so sorry to hear about all you went through with your IUD and your miscarriage. I can totally understand not wanting to go through that again, no matter how unlikely it is that it would happen twice.

 

I'm guessing that you're thinking of the "Lady-Comp" or something similar. That is a temperature-only fertility monitor. However, it is not really a practical method of avoiding pregnancy before your first PPAF. Temperatures cannot predict ovulation, only confirm it. Over time, the Lady-Comp would give you some days of pre-ovulation infertility based on your past history of your first day of temperature rise, but it can't do this until you are cycling regularly. It also cannot account for sudden unexpected changes in your cycles (that are somewhat likely to occur in the early postpartum - though it probably wouldn't have built up enough cycle history yet to give you much pre-ovulation infertility yet, but if you appear to be regular enough for long enough and then suddenly ovulate early, that could be a problem), which although not very common once a good cycle history has been established, slightly reduces the effectiveness of the method over charting CM as well.

 

I would recommend looking into the Marquette Method if you are looking for something that will give you more objective information in your postpartum charting.  It uses the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor with a special breastfeeding protocol, which takes urine samples (every other day before your first PPAF, though that number will decrease when your cycles start up again) to determine your fertility status.  Before your PPAF, it is very easy.  You are potentially fertile on "high" and "peak" fertility days and infertile on "low" fertility days.  When your cycles return, it's a little more complicated, since the fertility monitor may not give you enough warning that you are going to ovulate to prevent pregnancy, but the Marquette Method has rules for when to determine the beginning of the fertile period even if the monitor is still reading "low," and that is very objective as well.

 

You could also look into the Creighton Model, which does an excellent job of turning the subjective CM information that you are receiving into objective data to determine fertility, better than any of the other methods that I know, and they are also quite promising postpartum.

 

Also, check into these two wikis on NFP methods and breastfeeding options, and join the Charting to Avoid thread.

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#3 of 9 Old 12-02-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow thanks for all that info! I will def look into marquette method. As for ladycomp do you recommend it for after cycles return, maybe combining it with marquette or vigilant cm monitoring?

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#4 of 9 Old 12-02-2011, 11:40 AM
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I believe that all of Marquette's manuals are available for free download from their website (links in previously linked wikis), so you can get good information on what it would require before buying anything.  Make sure you look at the breastfeeding one, under special situations, or something like that.  I believe I linked it in the types of NFP while breastfeeding wiki as well.  Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

 

After cycles return, you have a lot more options with varying effectiveness, and it's really about finding something that fits your needs for effectiveness, your willingness to collect the data, and gives you an acceptable amount of infertile days to be with your husband.

 

From what I understand, the Lady-Comp has a comparable effectiveness to many other forms of birth control, probably a little less effective than the regular sympto-thermal method.  This is with perfect use.  All NFP methods have dismal user-effectiveness rates because not following the CTA rules is how you TTC, and it works!  The Lady-Comp can be helpful in assisting you in being consistent about gathering temp data.  It has an alarm of its own to help you be consistent about wake-up times.  It has a computer to keep track of your data for you so that you don't have to remember to record your temp on your chart all the time, and it gives you an answer about whether you are likely to conceive or not, so there is less ability to second-guess yourself.  I personally feel like it doesn't do anything I can't do without too much trouble, setting my own alarm and remembering to record things on my chart, so it's not worth the price tag to me, but it might be worth it to some people, especially if it makes the difference between getting the data and not.

 

As far as infertile days are concerned, it takes some time to get to the point that it is giving you a lot of infertile days.  First, it will only give you infertile days after it confirms ovulation.  It will slowly add infertile days after your period as it gets to know your cycle.  If you have pretty regular cycles, the fertile times will likely not be terribly long.  If you have irregular cycles, you may have to assume that you are fertile a lot more of the time, though this tends to be true for most methods, though charting CM may be able to give you more pre-ovulation infertility.  Also, if you have irregular cycles, subject to sudden changes, it doesn't have a way of noticing this until you've already ovulated, while if you are charting CM as well, you usually get a heads up that you might be ovulating sooner than normal.  The lady-comp does appear to be pretty good at pinpointing ovulation faster than the regular STM with surprising accuracy, which could give you more post-ovulation infertile days than regular charting, but I have some concerns that it sometimes may jump the gun, telling you that you ovulated before you actually did.  It is a particularly dangerous time to be wrong if it is telling a couple that has been abstaining for a week or two that they are suddenly infertile when the woman i actually just about to ovulate.  It would increase the likelihood of the couple actually DTD at the time that they are most likely to get pregnant from it.  I'm not sure how often this happens, but I do know that I have seen cases where the Lady-Comp has given a green light before other more effective methods, and I wonder how much is reducing unnecessary abstinence and how much is reducing effectiveness.  Really, there's always that trade-off, and it's up to you to decide the effectiveness you need at the time.

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#5 of 9 Old 12-07-2011, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I think I will use a combination of methods.  I've read the Marquette protocols for breastfeeding and have printed them out and will post them on my wall, and I'm starting to track cm and will add the ClearBlueEasy data as soon as I purchase one.  I would also like to track my temp, too, though.  I had been using fertility friend when ttc; will it confuse it if I track my temp on there before ppaf returns?  If I'm tracking temp, too, do you think a regular digital thermometer is fine for now?  And then maybe consider investing in LadyComp once my cycles return?


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#6 of 9 Old 12-07-2011, 01:37 PM
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Tracking your temp is great because it is likely to do a better job at helping you be sure you ovulated.  On the CBFM, if you get a peak reading, that probably means you are ovulating, but it's nice to see that temperature rise follow just to be sure.  My only warning is that temperature data when you're not ovulating is really confusing.  It could be months or even more than a year before you actually ovulate... or it could be much sooner.  It is very easy to look at your temperature data (which will go up and then down and then up and then down) and wonder if you ovulated every time you see the temps rising again.  If you are using fertility friend, it will not help that fertility friend will think that you ovulated as well every time your temp dips and then rises, and if you wait a long time to ovulate, this may happen many, many times.  Always be skeptical of thinking that you've ovulated.  The CBFM will help because it will likely give you a peak reading before you ovulate, so if you've been getting all low readings, and FF thinks you ovulated, think again.  Look for 6 lower temperatures followed by three higher temperatures.  All of the three higher temperatures should be above the highest of the pre-shift 6, and the highest of the 3 higher temperatures should be at least .4F or .2C above the highest of the pre-shift 6.  It doesn't always happen exactly this way, but be skeptical about it if it's not.  Any basal thermometer should be fine for now if you don't want to invest in a lady-comp right now.  A fever thermometer, though, will not generally be accurate enough for fertility purposes.

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#7 of 9 Old 12-09-2011, 11:27 PM
 
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I use Marquette method in combination with LC.  Personally, I like Marquette but also like the feedback that taking my temperature gives me as well, such as letting my know that AF is arriving soon and more confidence in knowing that you have ovulated.  If only getting one, I would go for CBFM and then get a decent digital thermometre to go with it.  If you are looking at CBFM, check out ebay for strips or if you are in the US Amazon as the prices are much better than in the stores.  When I bought my monitor I was able to get a bundle that included a couple boxes of strips from ebay for a good price. I did use Marquette prior to my first PPAF and it worked to keep me safe when I had my first ovulation.  That cycle I actually missed my peak reading but it gave me high readings which under Marquette are considered fertile so we were safe.  Since I was also temping, I saw my temp rise as well.  Since that cycle, I have had a peak reading each cycle. 

 

There is another temperature thermometre that is supposed to be similar to LC but less expensive called Cyclotest.  It may be worth looking into as well.  I have read some good reports on that one.  http://www.cyclotest.de/cyclotest-2-plus.274+M52087573ab0.0.html

 

 

 

Jodi


Mom to three great boys Michael (Sept/01), Carter (Nov/05) and Reid (March/10).

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#8 of 9 Old 12-10-2011, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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jodi5, thanks for sharing your experience!  I don't think I ovulated prior to ppaf with my dd's.  I'm almost certain I didn't after dd1 because I was charting temp and cm.  However, I don't want to assume that it will be the same this time!  I'd rather be safe.  Cyclotest looks interesting, but I can't quite tell from the website, do you know if it stores previous cycles or does it just give you a fertility determination based on the current cycle?  I notice it's a European product and from the screen shots it looks like the temp display is in Celsius; it's not a big deal to me if it doesn't come with a Fahrenheit option but I'm curious if it does... (Personally I think the whole world should use Celsius anyway ;)).


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#9 of 9 Old 12-10-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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It looks like it does learn your cycles and may give the option as well to put in LH result tests.  Here is a link for some further info:

 

http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=316194#Post316194

 


Mom to three great boys Michael (Sept/01), Carter (Nov/05) and Reid (March/10).

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