Tuesday, June 5, 2012

FairHaven Health : OvaCue Fertility Monitor {Review}

A couple weeks ago I blogged a little about my journey through infertility. Reading that post should give you a bit of background as to why I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to review the OvaCue Fertility Monitor from FairHaven Health!

The OvaCue Fertility Monitor is a valuable tool in understanding your cycle, thus making it easier to time intercourse for successful conception. I received the OvaCue Bundle which includes the monitor, oral sensor, and vaginal sensor. You can also purchase each piece separately or as a monitor and oral sensor set.

How It Works

The OvaCue Fertility Monitor predicts ovulation up to seven days in advance using their patented Electrolyte Method. This method is 98.3% accurate in predicting ovulation. Basically the sensors detect the electrolyte levels in your saliva and cervical mucus that indicate hormone fluctuations to provide you your fertile window for the month as early as a week before. When using the oral and vaginal sensors together, you are not only given your most fertile window ahead of time, but you also get ovulation confirmation too if it was detected. The small handheld monitor has a color screen complete with a calendar that records your readings.

My Experience

The use of the oral sensor was easy. It's a small, spoon-sized device with a sensor on it. I was initially concerned about using the the vaginal sensor because of the "Dos & Dont's" described in the manual, but it's been much easier than expected. I did find it difficult to time intercourse between taking readings some days since you must wait at least 8 hours after intercourse before taking a vaginal reading. We managed, but the point of TTC is doing the baby dance a lot! :) I would imagine that some women might feel the vaginal sensor to be a bit invasive, but for me it's more peace of mind that I'm doing everything I can to reach our goal of having another child.

I started using the OvaCue a few cycles ago now. I'm now on my 3rd cycle using the OvaCue. Since I was (and still am) on Clomid, my doctor is requiring me to watch my cycles closely and pick my way of charting my cycle. Along with the OvaCue, I also chose to use ovulation pee strips (how glamorous...) that detect the LH surge that occurs about 24 hours prior to ovulation. It started out as my personal way of testing the OvaCue's accuracy and became crucial for me as I've had subsequent cycles due to conflicting results. More on that in a moment!

The first month with the OvaCue I received it a couple days too late to use the oral sensor. It requires that you use it starting no later than cycle day 4 and so I was only able to use the vaginal sensor since you need to start using it by cycle day 8. Without the complete readings of using both sensors together, there was limited information, but we did see the rise and fall of my readings that would indicate ovulation occurred. It did not coincide with where my LH surge would have placed my ovulation (there was a 3 day difference), but I assumed that the second month using both sensors would be more accurate and the results would be more clear.

On my second month with the OvaCue I started taking readings early enough to use both sensors in the same cycle. OvaCue gave me TWO confirmed days of ovulation (cycle days 15 & 17) due to the high rise, fall, and high rise again of my readings. My LH surge was detected AFTER the OvaCue confirmed ovulation, and put my ovulation at cycle day 18 or possibly 19. After starting my menstrual cycle and speaking to my doctor, she said there is NO way that I ovulated on day 15 since that would have put me at a 16-day luteal phase (the time between ovulation and starting your period). For someone like me with severely low progesterone, this is a very, very long luteal phase and highly unlikely. 

After sharing my readings with my FairHaven Health rep she believes that I likely ovulated on cycle day 17. I was hoping I could rely on the monitor more, but I was told that there will "always be those cases where women have to not rely solely on the color-coding the monitor provides and instead watch the trends and readings that it's providing." I've also been told by my rep that overtime she has heard more and more women say that they are detecting their LH surge AFTER their monitor confirms ovulation. She said that those women are getting pregnant since they are timing intercourse earlier than they would when relying just on the LH strips. However, my doctor also told me that LH (lutenizing hormone) reaches the urine very quickly, so it's actually quite accurate.

The discrepancy between the OvaCue's two ovulation dates and the LH surge ovulation date really has me baffled. Why such a difference? I'm actually inclined to trust my LH strips more than the OvaCue because of the intense pain I get in my uterus and ovaries just prior to ovulation while on Clomid. It is BAD. It occurs for 2-3 days, and on the day I should be ovulating according to my LH surge, the pain disappears. I don't understand why I would be in so much pain AFTER ovulation if I did in fact ovulate earlier like the OvaCue said. It honestly doesn't sound logical to me.

On my third and current month using the OvaCue, I've really not been able to rely on the OvaCue at all. On cycle day 12, all of a sudden after I took a vaginal reading it confirmed ovulation!! What!?! There were no days prior that indicated my fertility at all! That's WAY too early for me and highly unlikely. On cycle day 15, it confirmed a second ovulation day. Then on cycle day 17 it suddenly gave me a dark blue "highest" day of fertility. This just made no sense at all to me. I didn't miss a reading and I did everything correctly so I don't feel that this is a case of user error. The LH strips gave me an ovulation date of cycle day 16 which directly coincided with the intense ovary and uterus pain I experienced again this month. It was even worse this month and I had migraine for a whole week! My hormones were obviously flying this month which probably explains my earlier than normal ovulation date too. Still, it doesn't coincide with the OvaCue's results. 

Final Thoughts

So, the (hopefully positive) results of this month are not in yet, but I'm done taking readings this month and will continue next month if need be. Could it be my super low progesterone with Clomid, messing with my hormones and therefore seriously effecting my readings? I absolutely believe that I may be one of those women that won't get accurate readings from the OvaCue. After all, it's 98.3% accurate which means it won't be accurate for everyone. I feel that the OvaCue does provide some valuable insight into your cycle, but like everything else out there, it's not 100% accurate. I don't believe it's entirely accurate for me personally. Since it's detecting hormonal fluctuations and mine are definitely not naturally correct, I think it has more to do with my body than the actual OvaCue system itself. The whole reproductive system is full of processes that can easily be thrown off by one tiny issue and just snowball into inaccurate results for everything else. I think that's what has happened with me.

Countless emails were written back and forth with FairHaven Health. They are extremely helpful and really eager to help you understand and interpret your readings, and ultimately succeed in your journey to conceive. Customer service is an important factor in how I feel about a product, and I have to say that I am more than pleased with my experience in that way.

While using the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, I've also been graphing other aspects of my monthly cycle in addition to my monitor readings at OvaGraph.com. This free service is not just for OvaCue users. It's a valuable tool for women to record and view various ways of fertility charting including Basal Body Temperature, cervical mucus, and much more. It's fairly easy to use and it was great to be able to have my rep from FairHaven Health be able to see what I was seeing on my monitor to get the best results possible. I definitely recommend checking out OvaGraph! 

Price: OvaCue Bundle Kit - $329
Buy It: Check out OvaCue.com to purchase today!
Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product(s) to facilitate this review for free. No other compensation was received. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


Kassie Groll said...

I am so happy that you've written an honest review. This is the kind of information that people need to be finding when researching before buying.
Also, I can attest to their awesome customer service and I'm a BIG fan of their FertiliTea!

m said...

Thanks for sharing honestly about your experience. There is no tool that is made for everyone. There is no 100% as you stated. Crossing my fingers for y'all! Stoppin by from the Green Mom's Network! www.simplyhelpinghim.com

Melanie Ski said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have not struggled as you are, and I think that is great that you are able to utilize tools like this to help track your cycle and ovulation. Here's to sucess at the next little blessing!

Kelley @ Kelley's Passion for Nutrition said...

Oh how I wish I could have used one of these back then. It wold have made things so much more simpler.

Anonymous said...

I bought an Ovacue and tried it for 3 cycles and I also continued to use the LH Surge sticks side by side. The Ovacue was basically useless. It seemed to me that when I am on an exact 28 day cycle it gives you the estimated ovulation time but if you are irregular or on Clomid, it does not work. I was asked by Fairhaven to review the product and I gave my honest review and they proceeded to keep my review off their website which I find very shady. I use a different website for my LH and pregnancy strips and will not be giving any money to Fairhaven and certainly will try to get my honest negative review of Ovacue out there even if Fairhaven will not let me voice my experience. I can see now why most of the reviews for this product are positive because they do not post the negative ones and keep the negatives off their reviews. I am out $300 and am very disappointed at the behavior of Fairhaven. Thank you for giving me a voice.

Stillfintryin said...

I am also not happy with my OvaCue, i received my Ovulation days today but was cramping so did a LH test and got a positive, Im not supose to O for another 4 days accroding to my OvaCue, I messaged fairhaven and had a quick response but all they said is watch your trending numbers and BD while the vag readings are low, the days are only an estimate which in my case really sucks because my partner has a low sex drive so i got this product to eliminate the guess work so i knew i was getting the right days and now im left using the same methods i used before i got the monitor! very unhappy! I knew there was somthing going on with the review page cause there isnt a review with neg feedback and most of them are preg on the first try, you read reviews to get information not hear OOHH it worked on the first go! how many people will that actually happen to!

Anonymous said...

I the first time I used the ovacue, I got pregnant. My periods where regular but i didn't know ovulation days. After about 8 days of using the oral sensor out displayed my fertile. I had sex everyday leading up to them days. I'm 4 months pregnant now. Keep hope alive.