Time the stork’s visit – Daily Pioneer

Posted: September 21, 2019 at 7:47 am

Pregnancy pressure might take a toll on a womans mental health. Ovulation predictor kits are offering an easier option to people who have difficulty in conceiving, discovers Ayushi Sharma

Battling infertility, you thought that all roads lead to IVF or surrogacy? But things do not have to always end up at an intensive treatment route. For there are ways to do this in a natural way. The advancement in medical technology means that a clinical device can help you identify and track your fertile window in the comfort of your home.

The need for these arose as the attempt to conceive can be stressful due to rising societal pressure, a ticking biological clock, which, in turn, often leads to repeated clinic visits, blood-drawing and ultrasounds things, which are not just time-consuming but also expensive.

According to State of World Population Report 2019, the fertility rate per woman was 5.6 in 1969, it dropped to 3.7 in 1994, and is 2.3 in 2019. The changed statistics can be attributed to a variety of reasons, which include lifestyle and behavioural changes. With almost one in six couples facing problems in conceiving and one in two couples tracking their cycles incorrectly, there is a need for proactive measures. With changing lifestyles and associated issues, getting pregnant is not as easy as it used to be which in turn has led to the dip in fertility rates considerably.

These devices are doing away with overwhelming trips to clinics for invasive tests that make you feel like you have a huge fertility problem, even when you dont. Fertility monitors can act as personal assistants that help you understand your body and hormones better. While most women believe that their chances of getting pregnant are highest on the 14th day of their cycle, the truth is that ovulation varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle. Whats more, fertility monitors can help in case of issues like irregular cycles, PCOS, PCOD, thyroid as well, thereby helping you take total control of your fertility, proactively. Taking the guesswork out of the process of conception, it measures estrogen and luteinising hormone levels in your urine to detect peak fertile days in your menstrual cycle.

The best time to conceive is right before a person ovulates or releases an egg because the internal body temperature fluctuates during the menstrual cycle. But it is possible to get pregnant in the days leading up to ovulation, as sperm can survive for several days inside the female body, says Dr Neena Bahl, director, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis LaFemme, Greater Kailash II. She adds that testing through fertility monitors is just like doing the pregnancy test. An ovulation kit tests your urine sample to detect a surge in LH (luteinising hormone) levels. While the LH is always present in your urine, it increases 3436 hours before ovulation, which is five times the regular mount. These tests help you find out those days that act as an invaluable tool in your baby-making arsenal. This time is your most fertile window. Having intercourse on those particular days increases your chance of a successful conception.

There are various ways in which one can track fertility. Some ways are as simple as tracking your temperature in the morning as the day your fertile period starts, the temperature goes up by half a degree. Second, to get an ultrasound on any of the 10 days from the ninth day of your period to 19th day, which shows the exact size of the follicle or the egg and once it ruptures, it is the most fertile period to conceive. Third, there are commercially available sticks that tell about the changes in the hormones. Its an indirect way of letting one know that ovulation is going to take place, explains Dr Bahl and tells us that in most cases, ovulation predictor kits provide an accurate forecast of your LH surge and subsequent ovulation. They can be most effective when used together with other monitoring methods. Along with the kits, doctors usually suggest examining the cervical mucus and charting the basal body temperature which is tested the first thing in the morning. These methods, when combined, can greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant.

As there are advantages and disadvantages of everything, Dr Bahl says, The pros are that it is a simpler way of knowing the best possible chance of conceiving. Instead of going to the doctor and getting an ultrasound done, you can choose this method but the con is that it is not as sensitive as the latter. Everytime you are testing yourself, your mind is preoccupied and its obvious when you are trying too hard for something, you get stressed. You do not release happy hormones which in turn affects your ability to conceive. Moreover, your sexual life is timed according to the device and becomes mechanical. It becomes something solely devoted to reproduction. So yes, it can be a rough method but then its obviously a convenient option.

One of the users of the ovulation predictor kits shares her experience. Shweta Verma, 32, a software engineer from Bengaluru, says that they started their family planning after two years of marriage. She was, later in the same year, diagnosed with PCOD and was prescribed a medication for six months. After which, they were advised by the doctors to try conception naturally. The doctor recommended the use of the monitor to ease the journey. I used it for three cycles after which it was discovered that my husband had a low sperm count. I continued using it and even crosschecked the results with ultrasound scans. They turned out to be identical. This strengthened my faith and I finally got the good news, she says and adds that the monitor eases the journey of a woman.

However, these kits do have limitations as they do not work when fertility drugs are present in the system. Moreover, they do not work consistently on women over 40. Some women in their 40s, especially those approaching menopause, have increased levels of LH in their systems at all times, rendering the tests invalid.

But coming to surrogacy or for that matter IVF, these are for people who are infertile or have medical conditions which do not allow them to conceive naturally. Alisha Mathur, 36, a housewife, feels that the device helps women conceive but I dont think it can ever replace doctors or labs or even procedures like surrogacy. It works even for irregular cycles and notifies when there is a probability of a fertility condition or issue which requires clinical support. Surrogacy is a different thing altogether. In the rarest of the rare cases, doctors suggest it.

Dr Bahl explains it better when she says, You cant jump from class one to class 10. Similarly nobody jumps from tracking ovulation to surrogacy. What would a normal healthy couple do? They would try conceiving without any contraception for one year. And 90 per cent of the couples will conceive within one year of married life. So when you dont, you start tracking the fertility manually. But most of the times you would visit a doctor and ask for his/her help. The doctor will then guide the couple about the various methods. Only when they have tried everything and failed does the doctor advise surrogacy. It might be a marketing gimmick that you can avoid surrogacy if you buy this device. However, the trackers just help women conceive quickly.

Using the ovulation predictor kits or so-called fertility monitors provides more privacy as issues like fertility are things that women dont prefer to discuss in public, feel both the users of Inito fertility monitor.

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Time the stork's visit - Daily Pioneer

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