Matched betting for dummies: earn 100s in tax free cash.

Matched betting – What is it and how do I get started?

As stated in my post – ‘How to make money while on maternity leave‘ – Matched betting is a great way to earn £100s in tax free, risk free cash from home.  We are NOT gambling money with matched betting, we are just taking advantage of the free bet offers betting sites run to attract new customers.

But I don’t like sports and don’t know how to place a bet.

Before I started matched betting I have never placed a single bet online. I am not interested in sports or gambling but as so many people were making lots of money from matched betting, I didn’t let it put me off. I was very dubious and nervous at first about trying matched betting, as it seemed too good to be true. I felt uncomfortable with the idea of signing up to betting sites and was worried I would do something wrong that would cost me money. After reading reviews on trustworthy websites like the ‘Betfair’, ‘Money saving expert‘ and the ‘Guardian newspaper‘ I gave it a go and I haven’t looked back.

How to win at the bookies 100% of the time!! Is it possible?

It is very important that you do not go it alone when you begin matched betting and you should do some research before you begin. There are many websites that can help you get going and my favourite is a website called Profit Accumulator.

Not only do they provide a step by step guide to matched betting, a matched betting calculator and oddmatching software, they also walk you through your first two promotions/sign up offers for free. I took away £40 from these first two offers. Not bad for someone who had never placed an bet online before.

What is matched betting?

Matched betting involves placing two different types of bets’ –  A back bet and a lay bet.

The Back bet” – This is when you place a bet backing a certain outcome to happen on the bookie offering the promotion e.g. England to beat Belgium in a football game. You are backing England to win so this is your back bet.  You probably know how to place a back bet and may have placed a back bet yourself on different occasions e.g. backing a horse on the grand national.

Sounds simple so far, but what if the bet you place at the bookies loses? Isn’t this just gambling? Well this is why it is called matched betting.

”The Lay bet” – This is when you place a bet against a certain outcome on a betting exchange (such as Betfair Exchange). You are betting for an outcome NOT to happen e.g. for England NOT to beat Belgium in a football game. With the lay bet you are covering the draw or Belgium to win outcome. Using https://www.profitaccumulator.co.uk/worldcup/“>Profit accumulator’s free odds calculator you can calculate exactly how much money you need to place on the lay bet. It is often more than you have placed on your back bet as you are covering 2 outcomes. https://www.profitaccumulator.co.uk/worldcup/” target=”_blank”>Profit Accumulator have a step by step guide on how to do this too.

Putting it all together.

So in basic terms, matched betting involves placing a back bet and lay bet on the same event and market to qualify for the free sign up offer. These two bets need to be placed with odds that are as evenly matched as possible e.g.odds of 2.0 for your back bet and odds 2.05 lay bet would be good odds for your qualifying bet. You can use Profit Accumulator’s free odds matching software to select which market/event you will bet on. You may lose a few pounds on this bet depending on how closely matched the odds are. Once you have received your free bet you then do the exact same process again, placing a back bet and a lay bet to cover all outcomes. This time the stake is not your own money i.e. this is a ‘free bet’, and you can extract up to 60-70% of the stake amount. How good is that!!

If you understand everything so far, you are well on your way to making £100s in tax free cash!!!!

Sign up to Profit Accumulator today for free and earn up to £45.

If you don’t love it then you do not have to continue. If you love it then they have a monthly subcription of just £17.99 a month. What are you waiting for!!!

 

The 4 step process with Profit Accumulator: How to place a matched bet.

Matched betting involves 4 steps and Profit Accumulator walk you through them all. Once you have signed up to Profit Acculmulator you will have access to their odds matching software (which is where you will find the markets to bet on), and their matched betting calculator. You will need this to calculate the stake amount you will need for your lay bet to cover all outcomes.

Step 1. You need to meet the requirements to qualify for the free bet/sign up offer. This requires you to open an account with the bookie and sometimes you need to opt into the offer. You then deposit a set amount of cash (usually by visa/master card – Please note that e-wallets such as paypal, skrill and neteller are often not accepted.

Step 2. Once you have signed up you will often see odds given in fraction form. Change this to decimal form straight away. You now need find an event  and market to bet on which you can find on Profit Accumulators odds matching software page. The event/market needs to have odds over a certain threshold and each bookie states their minimum odds requirement in their terms and conditions which you MUST READ thoroughly!!Once you have found a market with good matched betting odds (e.g. Liverpool to win Man U), you need to then enter the stake amount (e.g. £30) and back bet odds (the odds for Liverpool to win the game) into Profit Accumulators matched betting calculator. You need to select ‘normal’ mode. This is very important and is usually the default setting.

Again Profit Accumulator guides you through this process step by step, telling you all the terms and conditions that you need to know for each bookie, the markets which have good matched betting odds, and helps you to input the stakes and odds into their matched betting calculator. For your qualifying bet, stick to odds that are as low as possible but are still above the threshold amount stated in the terms and conditions e.g. if the minimum odds required is 1.5, then look for markets with odds just above e.g. 1.8. The higher the odds, the more of your initial stake you will lose.

Step 2. As well as finding your back bet at the bookie offering the promotion, you need to cover the other outcomes of the bet on a betting exchange (e.g. Betfair exchange). You need to find the same market and event (i.e. Liverpool V Man U), but instead of backing e.g. Liverpool to win you place a lay bet against Liverpool winning (covering the draw and Man U win). You need to then enter the odds for this lay bet into the calculator so you can see the stake amount you need to place and the liability (which is the amount you need in your betting exchange account to cover the bet). It will also calculate how much you stand to lose on your initial stake.

Once again Profit Accumulater walks you through this whole process.

Please note: There are 3 betting exchange sites that you can use (Betfair, Smarkets and BetDaq). I use Betfair as they have great odds, lots of fluidity in the market and also have a great sign up offer for their sports book site (see here).

Once you have placed these two bets you need to wait for them both to be settled before you receive your free bet.

Betfair affiliate once page is done. 

Step 3. Once you have placed your qualifying bet and it has been settled, you should receive your free bet at the bookie offering the promotion. You will either have won your initial stake over to the betting exchange (which is preferable) or you will have money in at the bookie you are using for the sign up offer. Once you have your free bet available in your account it is now time to make your profit.

You follow step 1 and 2 above, placing a back bet and a lay bet on the same market. This time select markets with higher odds to extract more of the free money. HIgher odds means you will need more money in the betting exchange to cover the bet however. Once again Profit Accumulator will take you through this process step by step and gives you all the markets to chose from on their oddsmatching page. You then need to enter the back and lay odds into their calculator but this time select ‘Free bet SNR (stake not returned). This once again shows you how much to place on the lay bet, your liability and the all important profit you can extract from the ‘free bet’.

How much can you make from one free bet?

This depends on what the offer is. I was given an offer with a bookie in June 2018 which required me to deposit and bet £100 and they would give me a £100 free bet. After following steps 1 to 3, I lost £5 on my initial £100 but gained £68 from the free bet. This meant I was up £63 for a few minutes work over 2 days, risk free and tax free.

I made over £600 in my first month matched betting and although once all the sign up offers are completed, things slow down, there are plenty of reload offers and promotions on online casinos which you can take advantage of. Profit Accumulator keep track of all offers and they have a great online community that share hints and tips.

 

Is matched betting for you?

This is a great opportunity to good to miss. You can make some serious cash very quickly from your computer if you follow a couple of very simple steps. You do not need to know anything about sports or individual teams and even if you have never placed a bet before, you can get the hang of it very quickly. It is actually a saying in the matched betting world that ‘if you care about what you are betting on then you are not doing it right’.

I know of experienced matched betters that earn well over £1000 every month consistently for a few hours work a day at home.

Which matched betting site should I chose?

There are several matched betting sites out there including a big player called oddsmonkey. They also offer a free membership were you can earn up to £45 from two sign up offers. I have read amazing reviews of Oddsmonkey and their monthly subscription is only £17.99 a month also. The reason I signed up to ‘Profit accumulator‘ was simply that it was the first matched betting website I came across. I have not been a member of Oddsmonkey so I cannot give an honest review of their services. You could always sign up to both and see which one you prefer. Oddsmonkey also provide free guides to matched betting, oddsmatching software and a matched betting calculator.

With Profit Accumulator or Oddsmonkey you can earn up to £45, so you have nothing to lose and £45 to gain with maybe 20 minutes work!

You make think matched betting is too good to be true but it is a real way of making actual money. It is 100% legal and as gambling profits in the UK is tax free, the profit is yours to keep!!!!

Select a link below and get started today!!! What are you waiting for!!

 

 

How to make money while on maternity leave – My top 5 ways to make 1000s.

Make money online in the UK.

So you are on maternity leave and you are receiving statutory maternity pay. In the UK this is 90% of your average weekly earnings for 6 weeks and then £145.18 for the remaining 33 weeks (2018 figures). After this you are on your own. What will you do?

With the cost of childcare so high, most new mums cannot afford to go back to work even if they wanted to. This was the predicament I was in after having my two children. If I went back to work full time and put my kids into nursery, I would take home hardly any money once the extorionate nursery fees were deducted. I didn’t want to leave them at such a young age anyway, so I started to wonder if there was something else I could do.

How to stay at home and earn money?

I have always been very independant, especially when it came to supporting myself financially, and I found it very difficult to hand over the reins to my husband. Although I knew I had the hardest job in the world…..being mum of two young kids 24hrs a day, 365 days a year, I still wanted to feel like I was contributing in some way to our monthly income. I started doing some research looking into ways to earn money online from home and I felt swamped with all the information.

I surfed the net for months looking for easy ways to make money on the internet and I tried out all the usual suggestions on most ‘make money at home’ websites, such as answering questionaires or earn while you surf the net. I joined several websites where you answer questionaires e.g. opinion post, swagbucks and Toluna, but I didn’t earn very much at all and it was really tedious. I also attached Qmee to my web browser in the hope I could make money while I carried out my general activities online, but I just wasn’t making any money. I wanted to earn at least a few hundred pound a month and I wasn’t getting close to this using these methods.

After about 3 months of research I found 5 legitimate ways to make money online and I will share them with you.

My top 5 legitimate ways to earn money online:

These are my top 5 ways to make money as a stay at home mom. I have tried all 5 from the list and can honestly recommend each one as a way to make a monthly income.

1. Wealthy Affiliate – My number one way to make money online at home.

Ever dreampt of owning your own online business and working from home? Well while you are on maternity leave, you are in a prime position to start making that dream a reality.

Ever heard of affiliate marketing? I hadn’t until I started researching how to set up an online business. Most people make money online by setting up a website/blog to help people out within a certain niche market. Your niche could be anything you like e.g. pet products, cookery books, holiday destinations, hair products, dieting tips. There are literally millions of niches out there to chose from. Once you have set up your website, written some useful content and started to gain traffic/visitors, your site will move up the rankings in search engines such as Google/Bing and Yahoo. When a website is ranked higher up in the search engine results, the website gains more traffic and gains authority in that particular niche resulting in more visitors.

Once your website has daily traffic and people are reading your content, you can begin to advertise and recommend products e.g. from Amazon or ebay. If someone clicks on a link from you page through to the website and buys something, then you get a commission. The customer does not even need to buy the product you are advertising. As long as they click through to the site from your affiliate link, you gain a commission from whatever they buy.

Sounded pretty straight forward to me but I didn’t have a clue where to start and had no idea how to set up a website, never mind buy a domain name and attach affiliate links to my posts/page to start earning cash. It was then that I started to look into training programs to help me set up my very own website and online business.

I did a lot of reasearch and over several weeks I found a few companies that looked promising, but after reading customer reviews, there were too many negative experiences and the monthly fees were too high. I wanted to spend as little as possible to get started and I almost gave up on the idea.

While at a local baby/toddler group with my two kids, I got to speaking to one of the other mums and she told me she had an online business selling shoes. She told me she was an affiliate marketer and although she was only earning a few hundred pound a month, she had only been doing it for 5 months. Her business was expanding every week with increasing numbers of visitors and customers to her website. When I asked her for some advice on how to get started, she told me about the affiliate marketing platform she uses – Wealthy Affiliate.

Sign up here for free with just an email address.

When I got home I started to do some research into this company I had never heard of before called Wealthy Affiliate! I started to read review after review and there were so many people praising this platform as they were able to set up their own website and earn a great monthly income. I read how Wealthy Affiliate can teach you to set up an online business from scratch with no previous experience necessary. Not only this, but they let you set up 2 websites free of charge.

Members are earning £1000s a month and there are 100s of success stories. Members are quiting their day jobs, travelling the world and earning real money at home from their computer. Sounds too good to be true? You can try it for yourself for Free. 

The FREE Membership – $0

When you sign up to Wealthy Affiliate, you are automatically enrolled onto their free membership plan. You do not need to enter card details and you can get started with just an email address. The free membership is very good and you can learn  how to set up a website and make money from it. They give you free access to Word Press (an online website creation tool) and you can chose a website theme and get started writing content on your very own website. You can set up 2 free websites that you can develop while you complete the entry level course which is a step by step guide containing 10 lessons. You can remain as a free member for as long as you like.

The free membership package is designed to show you what is available for you at Wealthy Affiliate before investing any money. Unfortunately you do not get all the lessons and training that Wealthy Affiliate has to offer with the free membership but it is a great way to see if you really want to set up an online business. Setting up your own website takes dedication and hard work but once you start to achieve results, you won’t look back. If you try it out and like it then there is the option to upgrade to the premium package which I will discuss below.

 

Wealthy Affiliate Free vs Premium package

As I mentioned above, you can remain a free member for as long as you wish, but there will be some limitations. The real perk of using a platform such as Wealthy Affiliate is not only the training, but the community of over 100,000 members that are at your disposal. You can ask members to visit your site, read your content, give feedback and write a positive comment on your posts. All of this gets you ranked higher in google/bing and yahoo. You can talk freely with other members, ask questions, follow members, read 100s of success stories and send private messages. There is also a 24hr live chat option which always has someone who can answer any questions quickly and proves extremely useful.

 

What training is available?

When going premium, all levels of training will be available to you including a 50 lesson ‘Online Entrepreneur Certification’ course and a 70 lesson ‘Affiliate Bootcamp’ course. You are shown countless ways to improve your rankings in search engines to gain more visitors, and you can monitor visitor numbers using a free analytical program. There is also a free research program incorporated into the software which you have unlimited access to. It is called Jaxxy and it helps you to come up with low competition keywords for your site that are searched for often. This is a great way to gain authority within your niche and you will get ranked higher by search engines. You also get access to 100s of training videos which make things a lot more easy to follow and understand.

So how much does it all cost?

A lot less than you may think for your very own online business. As stated above, the free membership is designed to show you what Wealthy Affiate is all about and it will help you to decide if you want to commit yourself fully to the training and your online career. If you decide to upgrade to premium, your first month will set you back just $19.99 for 30 days (£15.30 or €17.20). That is better than half price. You can try out all that Wealthy Affiliate has to offer for 30 days at just 50p a day.

Premium Membership – $19.99 for the first month, then $49  per month thereafter. Cancel anytime hassle free.

After the first month, the subscription increases to just – $49 (£38 or €43) which you will soon see is an absolute bargain with the amounts of tools, training and support you receive. You can also cancel anytime from within your account. There is no need to call or email them. You can leave whenever you want. It is that straightforward. Wealthy Affiliate is my number one way to make money online at home while on maternity leave.

Sign up for free today here.

 

2. How to make money from matched betting.

Firstly, I have never been a gambler and I had not placed a single bet before I started matched betting. Secondly, it is  extremely easy once you have done it a few times and you can earn £100s in risk free, tax free cash. If you are not into sports or gambling on sports, please do not let this put you off. We are not gambling money here. We are just taking advantage of the offers betting sites run to attract new customers.

Free Bet anyone?

Most online bookies or betting sites offer promotions to new customers to encourage them to sign up. This usually involves offering free bets (eg, “deposit and bet £30 and we give you a free £30 bet”). Sounds a bit risky as your initial £30 may be lost? Be assured that there is no risk involved if the steps are followed correctly.

With matched betting we place 2 separate bets in a strategic way so we cover all outcomes of an event (e.g. Win, lose or draw in a football game). We may lose a few pound on our initial qualifying bet, but we can extract around 60-70% of the free bet as tax free cash so can make a good profit.

Guaranteed profit!!!

So in the example above, ”bet £30, and get a £30 free bet”, we may lose £2-3 of our initial £30 we have deposited and bet with. This is no big deal as we can extract around £20-£25 of the £30 free bet given to us by the bookie. We are therefore up £18 – £23. It is that simple.

You can read reviews on trustworthy websites like the ‘Betfair’, ‘Money saving expert‘ and the ‘Guardian newspaper‘. I used a matched betting service called Profit Accumulator who provide you with a step by step guide on how to earn up to £45 from just two sign up offers free of charge! It you enjoy using their service and want to earn more, you can sign up to their monthly subscription for just £17.99 a month. I made over £600 in one month using their matched betting service  and I am also earning money each month from reload and online casino offers including £100 in 2 days during the World cup.

For more information check out my post on ‘Matched betting for Dummies” or click here to go to Profit Accumulator’s home page . What are you waiting for?

3. What is arbitrage sports betting? and how much can I earn.

So I have covered matched betting, but what is arbitrage betting? Once I’d used up all my free sign up offers given to new customers at each bookie, I started to look into other ways I could make tax free cash from sports betting. I wanted it to be risk free once again as I am not a gambler. It was then that I found arbitrage betting.

Arbitrage betting has been around for many years and is completley legal. In simple terms, you are covering all outcomes in an event to make a profit no matter who wins. Arbitrage betting is also known as Surebets or Arbitrage Trading. A ”sure bet” comes about when different bookies disagree on the odds for the same market.

To find a sure bet you will need some arbitrage betting software to help you and this comes at a price. It is big business and there are several big players in the sure bet software market. I tried a few of these but it was all so complicated with all the handicaps and different abbreviations for the different markets and it almost put me off. It was far too complicared for someone with as little betting experience as me.

I was thankfully recommended a company called ‘Betslayer‘ on an online betting forum and I signed up for their  Free 7 day trial and loved it. Betslayer is cheaper than other arbitrage betting software at just £49 per month for their gold package and it is so simple to use. You can access the software online with no software download needed and there is tons info on their website to help you get going. The owner of ‘Betslayer‘ is called Max and he is always on hand to answer any questions and there is a great online community that you can compare notes with

Arbitrage betting is ever green and opportunities come up daily for you to take advantage of. You can make a few pound off each sure bet, so if you place 10 bets a day that could make you £20-30 a day,every day for literally an hours work. That soon adds up to £600-£900 of tax free cash each month, every month.

You can see a short video on the Betslayer website by clicking here or you can start your free trail by clicking the link below.

Betslayer free trial

4. Social Trading with eToro trading platform.

Ever thought about buying stocks and shares in big companies like Google or Amazon but didn’t know where to start? Well now trading is at your finger tips with online brokers such as eToro. With trading you need to think of it as a long term investement as you are not going to be making an income from this every month. You need to invest money to make money over a long time period, so never invest more than you can afford to lose. I had a dabble in trading a few months ago and although I made a bit (one trade made me 60 dollars in 10 minutes from a 100 dollar investement in netflix), I was also very silly and lost what I made very quickly.

Those in the industry call it the ’90/90/90 rule of trading’ i.e. 90% of people will lose 90% of their investement in 90 days. This is because they do not research properly before they start to trade. I learnt my lesson very quickly the hard way, but trading is a long term investement and I am confident I can make back the money I lost. I would advise at this moment in time to steer clear of cryto currencies and stocks as there seems to be on a downward trend in recent months and a lot of people are losing a lot of money. Usually if Donald Trump sends out a stupid tweet, US stocks plummet and UK, European and Asian stock markets usually follow suit. When the US sneezes, the whole world catches a cold as they say. Foreign exchange and commodities seem to be the best way to ride out the Trump storm.

The great thing about eToro’s social trading platform is that you can open a free account and start trading virtually with virual money. This way you can open trades without risking your own hard earned cash and see how you go. It doesn’t cost anything and you have around 1 million dollars to mess around with. If it actually really fun and you should do this for at least 6 months before using real money. I cannot stress this enough especially of you have no previous exerience.

Alternatively, you can copy people that are experienced traders. Every trade they open, you open the same (as a % of your investement) and when they take profit, you do to. You can also copy people on a virtual account to see how much money you can make from investing in them. Traders who are copied have to obide by certain rules so they can’t do anything silly with your money and they mostly keep risk to a minimum.

I followed a few foreign exchange traders (Forex traders) and stock traders for a while now and I have settled on a few to copy in my virtual account first and I am doing ok. I would definitely recommend using the virtual account for a few months before copy trading with real money. I cannot stress this enough.

Below I have given my top 4 traders to copy as they have many years of experience and keep risk to a minimim. There are literally 1000s of people you can copy however so play around with you copy trades in the virtual account risk free. You can see traders statistics and monthly/yearly earnings on their profile page and many have their own websites as well giving more information about how they trade and what analysis tools they use. You should find someone that is consistently earning every year and has more good months than bad. Preferably someone that has been trading for a good few years.

Stock traders:

MrThor3374 – Thomas Barson – he has made around 60% on his investement in the last 12 months and has a very diverse portfolio of stocks, currencies and commodities.

DavidGiles – David Andrew Giles – he has made around 33% on his investement in the last 12 months and has 3 yrs of steady results. He focuses on stocks and crypto currencies.

Forex Traders:

goodgoing – Wayne Ryan – This guy is brilliant. He made around 23% on his investement in the last 12 months and has had over 25yrs of experience trading currencies. I trust this guy knows what he is doing and as he doesn’t touch crypto currencies or stocks, he can would be a great addition to your portfolio.

big-profits – Enmanuel De Jesus Bautista Lopez – he has made around 16.44% on his investement in the last 12 months and usually has 60% of his investement in currencies.

Why not open a free account here and give it a go using their virtual account.

5. Making and selling things on ebay.

This was my first online venture and I did quite well as I had the time when I initially went on maternity leave. Being heavily pregnant and then having a newborn to look after can be quite boring and lonely at times as they sleep quite alot. I took it upon myself to try and stay busy. As I am quite artistic I tried my hand at a making/producing unique items and selling them at a profit on ebay.

The first thing I tried was painting peoples pets and celebrities in a pop art style. A customer would send me a photo through ebay and I would reproduce it on a canvas using acrylic paints. I really enjoyed this but it was very time consuming.

I then started making pebble art pictures which I would sell these on ebay. This proved very successful and the pictures where very quick to make and sold very well around fathers day, mothers day and Christmas.

I then decided to hand make gem art pictures which did not do so well. They took a long time to make and unfortunately were a big flop.

My final venture was to make rustic signs for outdoor weddings. These proved very successful but once I had my son I couldn’t find the time to carry on with them.

I know lots of ladies who do very well from knitting baby clothes and blankets in their spare time. They just sit and watch TV or watch their kids playing in the garden and knit.

When you are making something to sell online, you need to come up with an idea that people will like, but that does not take a lot of time to do. Even if something sells really well, if it takes you hours to make then your hourly wage is stretched thinner and thinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anovulation – What is it and how can it be treated?

What does anovulation mean?

Anovulation is when your ovaries have not released an egg in a given cycle. It could occur as a one off but if you are not ovulating regularly then this is a serious hindrance to getting pregnant and you should seek help from your GP.

Why am I not ovulating?

There are many causes of anovulation such as weight loss, being overweight, exercising too intensely, hyperprolactinemia (high prolactin levels), premature ovarian failure, low ovarian reserve, thyroid problems and being very stressed. More often than not, the root cause of anovulation leads to a lower level of estrogen, which is an essential hormone needed to induce ovulation. Often you will never really know why you didn’t ovulate on a certain cycle or why you are not ovulating in general but you need to speak to your GP if you suspect it is a regular occurrence.

Symptoms of anovulation.

The main sign that you are not ovulating is absent periods i.e. amenorrhea. You may not know if you are ovulating or not if you have regular periods however. If you want to be 100% sure you are ovulating you can begin to chart your daily temperatures (see ‘Chart you Ovulation’ section) or you can ask your GP to do a blood test around 9 days before your period is due. The blood test measures your progesterone levels which should be nice and high if you have ovulated.

The black line represents progesterone levels which increases after ovulation.

 

Likewise, if you decide to chart your temperatures, a sustained increase in your basal body temperature (BBT) for a 12-16 days before your period is due would indicate you have ovulated.

BBT chart showing ovulation (red vertical line) followed by a rise in BBT. The rise is sustained for 14 days prior to a temperature dip and menstruation.

 

If you are having periods but your progesterone levels and your BBT  does not rise, then it is likely you are having anovulatory cycles. From charting my own ovulation, I know I have had at least one anovulatory cycle at a point when I was very stressed out. This cycle was short (22 days) and instead of ovulating I got my period early and it was lighter than normal.

BBT chart showing my anovulatory cycle. There is no ovulation detected on my chart and no sustained rise in BBT, despite getting positive ovulation tests on two separate occasions..

 

Treatment for anovulation.

If you have been diagnosed with anovulation by your GP and you are trying to conceive then you will probably be referred to a gynecologist who will do further tests and try you on some medication. You would probably be given a drug called clomid which stimulates the body to ovulate and this drug is found to work very successfully.

Clomiphene citrate stimulates ovulation.

How does Clomid work?

Clomid has a similar structure to estrogen and attaches to estrogen receptor cells in the hypothalamus (in the brain). With the estrogen receptor cells blocked, your brain thinks that you have low estrogen in your body. As estrogen is usually released from the maturing follicles on your ovaries, the brain thinks the follicles are not maturing so it produces more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FHS stimulates the follicles to mature and they release estrogen and its levels will become nice and high and will then induce the all important peak in luteinizing hormone (LH). The peak in LH causes the release of the egg from the ovaries. You can only get Clomid with a prescription from your doctor or gynecologist.

How to stimulate ovulation Naturally.

If you are ovulating but not very often, or your cycles are very long and infrequent, there is an alternative natural treatment you can try to naturally stimulate ovulation. To induce ovulation naturally there are several routes you can take. You can take fertility herbs to try to balance out your hormone levels (which I have described in the ‘Fertility vitamins and Fertility herbs section‘) or you can try Soy isoflavones. I have written a separate post on ‘Soy Isoflavones‘ which may be of interest to you.

 

If you have any questions or if you have had any experience with anovulation or Clomid, please share below.

Thanks.

Soy Isoflavones and Ovulation – the natural alternative to Clomid.

When I was researching how to induce ovulation earlier in my cycles, I kept reading about the prescribed medication called Clomid (clomiphene). This treatment acts in such a way that it stimulates our ovaries to produce more estrogen, which in turn can cause a peak in luteinizing hormone (LH) to its threshold level. This rise in LH induces the release of the egg i.e. ovulation.

How does Clomid work?

Clomid has a similar structure to the hormone estrogen and it attaches to estrogen receptor cells in the hypothalamus (in the brain). With the estrogen receptor cells blocked, your brain thinks that you have low estrogen in your body. As estrogen is usually released from the maturing follicles on your ovaries, the brain thinks the follicles are not maturing so it produces more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FHS stimulates the follicles to mature and they release estrogen. Estrogen levels should become nice and high and this will then induce the all important peak in LH and the release of a mature egg.

You can only get clomid from your doctor or gynecologist on prescription.

Maturing follicle on the ovary.

A Natural Alternative to Clomid.

If you discovered that you are not ovulating regularly, or if your cycles are very long and you ovulate late, you can try to induce ovulation naturally with Soy isoflavones supplements. Soy Isoflavones can work as a natural alternative to Clomid. They are phytoestrogens and you can buy them here online for around £16.99 for 90 capsules. They are thought to act in a similar way to clomid by weakly attaching to estrogen receptors in the brain.

Although there is no actual scientific data on the use of soy isoflavones to induce ovulation, there are lots of woman on trying to conceive forums that have tried them and it helped them to ovulate earlier. I was really interested to see if they would induce my ovulation earlier so I gave them a go.

I am not giving medical advice here and you should do your own research. You should also consult your GP if you are on any other medication before trying them. As they are a natural supplement used during the menopause or for symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome), I thought they would probably not do me any harm.

 

How should soy isoflavones be taken?

All the advice I found online said the best time to take them is at the beginning of your menstrual cycle (just like Clomid) and most women were taking them on days 3 to 7 of their cycle. You can take them on cycle days 1 to 5 or on days 5 to 9, but you will then either produce lots of immature eggs or a few very mature eggs. Taking them on days 3-7 seemed like the happy medium.

Soy Isoflavones should be taken at the same time every day and with food. I suggest taking them in the morning with breakfast.

They should be taken for five days in a row only and no longer. If taken for longer than 5 days in one cycle they can have negative effects on your ovulation and your cycle will be wasted.

The recommended dose for Soy Isoflavones is around 100mg per day, but you should use the lowest dose that works for you. Never exceed 200mg a day and never exceed 160mg.

You can buy 90 x 50mg capsules here and you can take 2 together for 5 days in a row on your chosen days i.e. cycle days 1 – 5, 3 – 7 or 5 – 9.

Warnings: There are certain medications that you should not take soy isoflavones with and antibiotics are one of these. You should also not take soy isoflavones and vitex together.

Do Soy Isoflavones work? I will share my experience with you.

After chatting to lots of women online who had tried Soy Isoflavones, I decided there were enough success stories for me to believe it could work. I decided to try them as my cycles were really long (40 days plus) and I was ovulating really late around cycle day 30. I was hoping they could shorten my cycles by helping me to ovulate earlier.

I tried them for 3 cycles and took 100mg in the morning with breakfast on cycle days 3 to 7.

Cycle 1. The first cycle taking them, I ovulated on cycle day 18 and this was a vast improvement. As I was charting my cycles, I discovered that my luteal phase was only 10 days long.

Cycle 2. The second cycle I took them I had all my fertile signs and a positive ovulation test around cycle day 16-18. I thought I was going to ovulate but I started to spot instead and I came on my period. This cycle was 22 days long and was an anovulatory cycle. I remember being particularly stressed out that cycle as I was struggling emotionally after a miscarriage I had suffered a few months earlier.

Cycle 3. The third cycle I took them, I ovulated on Cd14 and again and my luteal phase was still 10 days long.

The next few cycles I decided to stop using them to see what my body would do. I was concerned that the Soy isoflavones were giving me the short 10-day luteal phase. The next 3 cycles without using soy isoflavones I ovulated on cycle day 22, 30 and 22 and my luteal phase was still 10 days long. This confirmed that the Soy Isoflavones were not causing my short luteal phase. I had seen a gynecologist at this point and was prescribed progesterone and conceived the following cycle.

I cannot be 100% sure that it was the soy isoflavones that shortened my cycles but it was a bit of a coincidence that 2 out of the 3 cycles I took them were the cycles that I ovulated the earliest and were my shortest cycles.

Should you give them a go?

If you ovulate later in your cycle and your cycles are irregular then maybe give them a go. I didn’t have any side effects that I can recall but if you are concerned about side effects then there are lots of information online about them. Also, check out the forums on trying to conceive websites such as baby centre regarding soy isoflavones as there are lots of useful information on there too.

Buy Natures Aid Soy Isoflavones here – 50mg – 90 Tablets for £16.99.

​Natural Killer Cells and Miscarriage.

What are natural killer cells?

Natural killer cells (NK cells) are part of the white blood cell family and they play a vital role in defending our bodies against disease and infection. All of the organs in the human body have NK cells, and a woman’s uterus has a huge number to prevent infection getting into this very important reproductive organ. In essence, we are all animals and the basic purpose of our lives is to reproduce and pass on our genes to the next generation. Our reproductive organs are therefore very important in evolutionary terms.

Not only do NK cells help prevent infection but they also aid in conception. They can recognise a growing embryo as a ‘foreign but friendly’ group of cells/tissues and they do not attack them. This is obviously very important if a pregnancy is to be successful.

Natural Killer Cells and fertility.

Some women have an abnormally high number of these NK cells in the uterus and this can cause a big problem if they are trying to conceive. Rather than seeing the embyo as ‘foreign but friendly’, they may attack it and this may lead to infertility and recurrent miscarriages.

In some incidences, NK cells may even prevent implantation in the first place. If you have had recurrent miscarriages then you should ask your GP to check your levels of NK cells. I have a friend who had tests done after her 4th miscarriage and she discovered this was her issue. She is now 6 months pregnant after being treated.

Treatment for high Natural Killer Cells.

It could be as simple as placing you on steroids to calm your immune response to foreign cells. Steroids may reduce the number of NK cells present in the uterus to within normal range, thus allowing you to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. Your doctor should refer you to a specialist if you are found to have high NK cell levels, as treatment needs to be balanced. Treatment should reduce NK cell number to prevent damage to your precious baby, but your body must still be able to prevent infection of the uterus. By week 10 of a pregnancy your baby will start producing its own steroids so treatment can slowly be tapered off from week 12 or so. You may also be given progesterone treatment and baby aspirin. 

To find out more about Natural Killer cells and other infertility issue or reasons for miscarriage, this is a great book recommended by lots of ladies on popular trying to conceive forums. Amazon customers have given it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Please feel free to comment below.

 

What is the best water filter for the home? and how can it improve fertility?

You may think it is a bit strange for me to be discussing water filters on a Fertility website, but what you put into our body is very important when trying for a baby and for your future health as a busy mum. When I was struggling to conceive after my second miscarriage, I had a consultation with a nutritionist and he opened my eyes to the ingredients in tap water. I had no idea that there may be 1000s’ of different contaminants in tap water or that there were things added to it. It also never occurred to me that these contaminants could be affecting both my general health and my fertility.

I was in a predicament!!

As our bodies are made up of 60-70% water, it is very important to stay hydrated. If you don’t drink adequate amounts of water, then your body will send its reserves to the more vital organs and your reproductive system may suffer as a result. I was advised to increase my water intake to help improve my fertility, but I didn’t want to consume contaminants that could negatively affect it.  I struggled to know what to do! Could I improve the quality of the water I was drinking? Could I remove the contaminants in tap water to make it cleaner? Or should I only be drinking bottled water?

Is bottled water better than tap water?

                    Versus              

Bottled water versus tap water facts.

Although I am creating this post to highlight the contaminants that are in tap water, I am in no way advising you to stop drinking tap water and reach for bottled! I am hugely opposed to buying bottled water and plastic bottled drinks in general, as well as the 1000’s of other single use plastics we use every day. Plastic bottles in particular are causing an enormous problem within our environment, and we should all take responsibility and stop buying them today. Not only this, but there is a lot of controversy at the moment on whether there is a link between micro-plastic consumption, cancer and fertility problems.

It was in the news recently, that 93% of bottled water samples taken from around the world, is contaminated with micro-plastics. The study by Ornmedia, analysed 250 bottles from 9 different countries around the globe. A total average of 10 plastic particles were found per litre of bottled water, each larger than the width of a human hair. If bottled water contains micro-plastics then most of us are consuming them everyday. The affects on our health from consuming plastic is unclear, but research is currently being carried out with some interesting findings.

Bottled water may leach hormone disruptors.

Most bottled water is made from polyethylene terephtalate (PET/PETE) and may also contain bisphenol A (BPA). Both ‘may yield endocrine disruptors under conditions of common use, particularly with prolonged storage and elevated temperature‘.

Endocrine or hormone disruptors, can affect the level of hormones such as estrogen in the body and how they behave. By either blocking a hormone’s actions or mimicking them, hormone disruptors may throw our bodies off of its normal hormonal balance. Because high estrogen levels can lead to the development of breast cancer, women who are genetically susceptible should try to limit their exposure to these estrogen mimicking chemicals.

High levels of estrogen may also lead to estrogen dominance. ”Estrogen dominance” can cause an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone which can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, delay or prevent ovulation, and may drastically decrease the chances of conception. It is also often linked to poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Who knows how that cold bottle of water you buy from a shop has been stored before being placed in the fridge, and how old is it? Months? Years? Has it been warmed and cooled over and over? Does is contain micro-plastics/chemicals? In my opinion, for the sake of your health and the environment, give up bottled water completely.

For more information on how to avoid harmful plastics and how plastic consumption may be linked to breast cancer visit ‘breastcancer.org‘.

What contaminants are in tap water?

So……… now I have covered why bottled water should be avoided, what’s the deal with our tap water? Is it bad for us too? Below is a short list of the types of contaminants that may be lurking in your Tap Water.

This is just a selection of the ones you may have heard of. There are 100s’ more.

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Heavy metals such as Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Radium, copper, Barium.
  • Aluminium
  • Hormones – such as estrogen and progesterone from excreted birth control pills
  • Pharmaceuticals – e.g. hormone medication
  • Recreational drugs
  • Nitrates – e.g. nitrogen from fertilisers leaching into our water system
  • Pesticides/herbicides
  • micro plastics such as Bisphenol A – endorine disruptor.
  • bacteria and cysts

What affects can tap water contaminants have on your fertility?

Not only can contaminants in tap water affect female fertility but it can also affect the quality of your partners sperm. I have summarised a few of the ones which may cause an issue to both you and your partners fertility.

Chlorine and Infertility – Your tap water may not taste or smell like swimming pool water, but it is well known that our tap water also contains chlorine. The presence of chlorine in tap water is a result of it being added artificially to make it clean and safe to drink. It disinfects the water and when we drink it straight from the tap, we are ingesting it.

Consuming chlorine has been linked to reduced sperm motility and sperm count and it could affect implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterus. Chlorinated chemicals may also act as a mimic of estrogen, which could lead to estrogen dominance and breast cancer.

Fluoride and Infertility – Fluoride is added to tap water to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is present in our toothpaste too but as we spit most of that out, we are limiting our consumption. As it is in our tap water however, we cannot really avoid consuming it. Fluoride has been shown to reduce sperm motility and can damage the head of the sperm cell i.e. the acrosome. As an intact acrosome is needed to penetrate the egg there is reduced chance of conception.

If we are consuming too much fluoride then the thyroid gland will uptake fluoride instead of iodine (which is what it needs for normal function). By replacing iodine uptake, fluoride can begin to reduce thyroid activity/health. This may lead to hypothyroidism.

For women, hypothyroidism is often linked to reduced levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which is the hormone that matures the eggs on our ovaries each cycle. It may also lead to an increase in the hormone prolactin (which inhibits ovulation) and a reduction in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is what causes the release of the egg from the ovaries. It may also reduce progesterone levels after ovulation. Hypothyroidism could therefore lead to immature eggs/follicles, delayed/lack of ovulation, a short luteal phase and irregular cycles. Hypothyroidism is also linked to an increased risk of miscarriage.

For men, hypothyroidism can lead to decreased sperm count and motility and sperm defects. Scary stuff!!

Heavy metals and infertility.

The consumption of heavy metals has been shown to negatively impact ovarian and pituitary gland function (the gland in the brain which releases FSH and LH). This negative impact may unbalance our reproductive hormones and cause irregular ovulation, low estrogen and progesterone levels and even anovulation.

Heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, chromium and cadmium may also lead to a higher incidence of miscarriage. These heavy metals are toxic if consumed even in small amounts and as they cross through the placental barrier, they may accumulate in the tissues of the developing fetus. This can increase the risk of a miscarriage or harm to your babies brain, nervous system and organs.

Heavy metal consumption may also disrupt a woman’s immune response to foreign cells in the body, such as sperm cells and your developing embryo. This may lead to your immune system attacking a sperm cell or fetus instead of seeing it as ‘foreign but friendly’. This can lead to infertility or a miscarriage.

Hormones in tap water.

The contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy medication may be excreted via urine, which can flow into our water ways and can end up in our tap water. This presence of hormones in our drinking water can lead to an imbalance of hormones in both men and women.

Several studies have revealed that the feminisation of male fish (i.e. male fish growing female sex organs and carrying eggs) has resulted from estrogen being present in streams and rivers. This is very concerning. High estrogen consumption can lead to reduced sperm count in men and estrogen dominance in women. Both may lead to fertility issues and even infertility.

Pesticides and infertility. 

Pesticides and herbicides are sprayed onto agricultural land and may leach into rivers and streams or may be carried by rain into our waterways. Pesticides and herbicides are known to be endocrine disruptors as they contain Xenoestrogens.

These compounds mimic estrogen and may attach to estrogen receptors in the body. This may lead to an imbalance in hormones and fertility issues. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and poly cystic ovarie syndrome. Pesticides may also contain organochlorines and these compounds have been linked to miscarriages, birth defects and infertility.

Does tap water contain micro-plastics. 

Yes, unfortunately tap water does contain micro-plastics. However, a study by orbmedia found that bottled water contained nearly twice as many pieces of micro-plastics of 100 microns in size (about the diameter of a human hair) per liter than the tap water samples tested. In addition, most micro-plastics in tap water can be removed easily using ‘Reverse Osmosis’ which I will discuss below. As plastics such as Bisphenol A (BPA) can act as endocrine disruptors, you should aim to remove as much micro plastic from your tap water as possible.

How can you reduce contaminants in tap water?

There are various methods to remove contaminants from your tap water. The most popular way is using a water filter pitcher as they are relatively cheap, take up little space, require no installation and can often be kept in the fridge door. Not only can they reduce total dissolved solids, chlorine, fluoride, lead and mercury but they may remove 80% of estradiol (the major female sex hormone) and larger pieces of micro plastics (which is far better than no filter at all).

Water filter pitchers reviews – What is the best water filter pitcher to buy?

 

BRITA Marella Cool Water Filter Jug review.

 

Price:

£13.92 for jug and 1 filter.

£25.91 for jug and 3 filters.

£39.10 for jug and 6 filters.

£19.95 for 6 replacement cartridges.

Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 5.

Filter lifespan: 1 month.

Review: BRITA is probably the best known and most popular leading brand of water filter jugs. It is slim and can fit into your fridge door and has a 1.4 litre water capacity. It is also dishwasher safe (except lid). It will notify you when to replace the filter cartridge and its filter cartridge has a 25 percent finer mesh (than previous versions of BRITA filter) for better removal of dissolved solids. Its micro carbon pearls reduce chlorine and organic impurities which affect taste and odour of tap water while its ion exchange pearls permanently absorb lead and copper and reduce limescale.

Despite BRITA being the leading brand of water filters, they do not remove as many impurities and contaminants of other more expensive and less known brands. I have reviewed two of the best water jug filters on the market below.

 

ZeroWater 5-Stage Dual Ion-Exchange Filter review.

Price: 

£34.99 for jug and one filter.

£29.99 for 2 replacement filters.

Amazon rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars.

Filter lifespan: Varies depending on how contaminated your tap water is (lasts 2-4 weeks) – cleans 25 – 40 gallons.

Review: Zerowater states their filters reduce more impurities than the leading brand (BRITA) i.e. 99% compared to 50% of total dissolved solids. Their filters remove virtually all total dissolved solids while delivering pure tasting water. It reduces Lead, Fluoride, Mercury and Chromium (99.7%) as well as other heavy metals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that the level of total dissolved solids in purified bottled water should reach 000-010ppm. ZeroWater states it is the only carbon pitcher filter to achieve this level. ZeroWater’s has 5 layers of filters. The first layer contains activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy, which removes chlorine. It also has an ion exchange stage which removes virtually all dissolved solids such as Aluminum, Lead, Zinc and nitrate. Three further stages remove many more impurities including a 99% reduction of fluoride. ZeroWater filters reduce pharmaceuticals, 99% of Arsenic. Chloramine reduces expected life of a filter, ZeroWater filters and jugs have been independently tested to reduce it. Zerowater is bisphenol A (BPA) free and has an 8-10 cup water capacity.

People reviewing this water filter have complained that they need to replace their filters very often. How often will depend on how contaminated your water is but it can be as soon as every 2 -4 weeks. The lid display will tell you when you need to change the filter and might give off a fishy smell when it needs replacing.

 

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – Triple capacity filters review.

Price:

£69.95 for jug and 1 filter.

£49.95 for 1 Replacement filter.

Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Filter lifespan: Up to 3 months – 150 gallons.

Review: This water filter is expensive but I personally feel it is worth the extra money. It is 100% BPA-free,100% FDA approved, 100% recyclable and 100% vegan. Each filter can clean 550 litres (150 gallons) of water each which is 3 times more water than BRITA filters and 4 times more than ZeroWater. It states to remove 2000% more contaminants than BRITA, including fluoride, lead, chromium 6, chloramines, mercury, copper, Arsenic and chlorine as well as estrogenic pollutants and larger pieces of micro-plastics. It has a 5 stage filter with 2 micron pores which removes contaminants that other filters miss. The filter also keep trace levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water, which ZeroWater filters and reverse Osmosis systems will remove. It comes with a lifetime guarantee and great customer support. If the filter pitcher ever breaks. they claim they will replace it free of charge.

 

Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System review.

 

Price:

£215.99 for Water Filtration System with Alkaline Remineralization Filter.

£104.99 replacement filters (lasting 1 year).

Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: This filtration system is an under sink mounted water filter and water softener. It removes up to 99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses, hormones, micro plastics and more. Certified as “Gold” standard by the Water Quality Association (WQA). It has high reliability and low maintenance for several years. Its alkaline remineralisation filter balances pH and reintroduces ionized minerals including calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. It can be installed easily (do-it-yourself installation) with great customer support if needed. The filtration system fits under a standard kitchen sink and includes all parts for installation. It has clear instructions and a video to help guide you. It comes with a 3-year Manufacturer Warranty.

If you are serious about cleaning your tap water to bottled mineral water standard then this is the filtration system for you. As it removes micro plastics as well, it also exceeds the purity of bottled water.

Feel free to comment below. If you have any filters you think should be added to my list let me know.

 

The Clearblue Fertility Monitor review – Can it help you get pregnant?

I first bought a Clearblue advanced fertility monitor after my second miscarriage. I wanted to start trying to conceive straight away and as I was not ovulating regularly, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of warning before I did. This is the ”crème de la crème” when it comes to trying to conceive accessories and I will share with you my experience using it.

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor Review.

Before I bought this device I read through lots of reviews on Amazon and they were mostly very positive. It was important to me to read reviews from people who have actually bought the device and used it (with or without success) rather than from review websites who may make a commission from selling it. You can read the Amazon reviews yourself here.

Despite a lot of women stating the obvious i.e. that the machine and the Clearblue fertility monitor test sticks are expensive, lots of customers were getting pregnant using it and so I was confident it worked well. If a gadget works well and could help me to conceive by telling me when I was most likely fertile, then it was worth investing in. The machine costs around £80 which in my opinion isn’t too bad. It is the sticks that Clearblue make their profits from, costing around £28 for 20 sticks (plus 4 pregnancy sticks free).

The machine will ask you to do a test on random days at the start of your cycle and so you may go through a few more sticks in the first few cycles until it works out your pattern. A box of 20 however should last you more than one cycle, with most women using 5-10 sticks per month. This works out at less than £28 for 2 cycles which isn’t that expensive. On a night out I could spend that much on one or two round of drinks.

Amazon rating: 64% of customer have given 4 or 5 stars.

Is it worth the money?

Yes, so many women get pregnant using this monitor as they are so precise and I conceived my son on my 5th cycle using it. I believe it would have worked sooner for me but I was suffering from a common fertility issue and needed progesterone to help with implantation.

Clearblue state that 97% of ovulation predictions are correct (validated with ultrasound). Clearblue also claim that their monitor improves your chances of conceiving naturally by 89%, by detecting more of your fertile days than an ovulation test alone. This is definitely true. You may think I was mad but I was using my ovulation ferning microscope, ovulation tests and this monitor all at the same time and this monitor was by far the most reliable and accurate. There was no guessing, like with some ovulation tests, if the lines were darker or as dark as the control line as it would just tell me if I was fertile or not.

It might seem like a big investment but if you have been trying to conceive for a while with no luck and you think you are not timing things correctly then it is definitely worth a go. You may find that you are ovulating much earlier or later than you thought. This happened to my friend who borrowed my machine and conceived using it on the 3rd month. She was timing things all wrong for nearly a whole year!

How does the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor work?

The Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor works by detecting 2 reproductive hormones present in your urine. It analyses the levels of these two hormones and identifies all of your ‘High’ and ‘Peak’ fertility days. The machine may take a cycle to get used to your levels as every woman’s peak levels will differ, but this is another feature which makes the machine so intuitive and reliable. Ovulation tests do not do this. For some women who use ovulation tests they get really strong positives, but for some women they only get lines almost as dark as the control lines and still ovulate. This can be rectified by using several different brands to double check but all this guessing is removed with the monitor. This machine saves you from squinting at ovulation strips, guessing if they are positive or not.

The hormones the monitor detects is lutineizing hormone (LH) and estrogen. LH reaches its peak around 12-24 hrs before ovulation and is what a standard ovulation stick tests for. Estrogen reaches its peak several days before ovulation and is actually the hormone that triggers the LH peak. This is why the monitor is so clever! You get more warning that you are approaching ovulation with the monitor than with ovulation tests alone and it can give you up to 4 days notice. This will inevitably help you to maximise your chances of having sex at the right time each cycle to catch the egg.

Limitations: Only suitable for women with cycles of 21-42 days. Clearblue states that it may give inaccurate results if you have poly cystic ovary syndrome, liver or kidney disease or if you are on hormone replacement therapy. Fertility treatments such as Chlomid, may also elevate estrogen levels and result in more high fertility days being displayed earlier than expected.

How to use the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor?

The machine is quite petite and discreet and the touch screen is easy to use and enables you to see summaries of your charts over the previous 6 cycles. It is very simple to set up and enter data and input when you have had intercourse etc. Each day you check the monitor to see if it is a test day or not and you can even set up an alarm.

The machine comes with instructions on how to use and insert the sticks into the monitor but you can also see a demo video here on Amazon. Basically you dip the tests into your urine sample (I would pee in a container) for 15 seconds. Always hold the test pointing downwards and not upwards as this may affect the results and make sure the machine is switched on and on the correct screen before inserting them. Once the sticks are inserted into the monitor it takes around 5 minutes to read and you then remove the test to see the result. The display will tell you if you are at ‘Low’, ‘High’ or ‘Peak; fertility. If you have high estrogen levels then the machine will most likely give a ‘High’ reading. If you have a peak in LH then it will read ‘Peak’ and you can be confident you will ovulate within the next 24 hrs or so. If the reading is ‘Low’, then it will ask you to do further tests in the days that follow.

Please note: Many women did give poor reviews on Amazon stating the monitor did not detect their peak days, but I suspect they were actually testing at the wrong time of day. It states in the instructions to test in the morning but as I explained in the section on ‘Ovulation tests‘, lots of women do not get their peak of LH in the morning. I always tested later on in the day and it worked great.

Testing for pregnancy using the Clearblue fertility monitor.

In addition to letting you know of your impending fertile window, the monitor may also be used to accurately detect if you are pregnant. There are special pregnancy sticks available to use with the monitor which are included when you buy a pack of the ovulation test stripes. What I did was use a cheap pregnancy test stripe first and if there was a sniff of a line I would test with the machine so not to waste them. There is nothing better than seeing the screen light up in bright letters – PREGNANT!

Things Clearblue could improve:

The monitor is very good and very simple to use, but for someone like me who has charted their cycles for several years, the option to enter basal body temperatures would be an advantage. Also, they should include the option to record other information e.g. if you have fertile cervical mucus or if your cervix feels open/closed. It is not a huge problem as I just used a fertility app on my phone to record this information.

Best place to buy:

Amazon: You can buy the Clearblue fertility monitor and ovulation sticks separately or you can buy the fertility monitor with 20 sticks included which also comes with 4 free pregnancy sticks that you can use with the monitor.

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor Only – £79.99

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor, 20 ovulation sticks and 4 pregnancy sticks – £114.98.

Clearblue Pack of 20 Refill Fertility Tests and 4 Pregnancy Tests: £24.99

 

If you have used the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor or have any questions then feel free to write a comment below.

 

 

What is an ovulation ferning microscope? And how do you use one?

An ovulation ferning microscope is also known as a fertility microscope or ovulation saliva microscope and you probably never heard of one of these before trying for a baby. I first discovered these when chatting on a trying to conceive forum as a few of the ladies were raving about how useful they were. I was really interested to know how they worked, how one could help me get pregnant and how to use one and I will share what I have found with you. I will also give you a review of the one I bought and used.

What is an Ovulation ferning microscope?

An ovulation ferning microscope is a little hand held microscope that you can use to check if your estrogen levels are high and you are approaching ovulation. As I explained in the section ‘your menstrual cycle explained- the basics‘, the hormone estrogen starts to increase as you approach ovulation. This rise encourages the maturation of the eggs on your ovaries and causes you to produce fertile cervical mucus. In addition, it causes your cervix to soften and open to allow the passage of sperm up to the Fallopian tubes to fertilise the egg. Without a blood test or e.g. the Clearblue fertility monitor, you are unlikely to know for sure if your estrogen levels are starting to increase but with the help of an ovulation ferning microscope you can detect a rise with confidence.

How do ovulation ferning microscopes work?

Well it is actually quite clever. As mentioned above, as you are approaching ovulation you produce increasing levels of estrogen. High levels of this hormone causes your saliva to become more saline (salty) which changes its structure. This change can be clearly observed using an ovulation microscope.

You first need to smear a thin layer of saliva onto the microscope lens first thing in the morning (before you eat or drink anything or even brush your teeth) and let it dry for a few minutes. If you have high levels of estrogen in your system then once your saliva is dry, you will see some crystallisation. These crystals form a ferning pattern if you have a lot of estrogen in your body and indicates you are in your fertile window.

Do Ovulation ferning microscopes work?

Yes, they do work really well if used correctly. The first cycle I used my microscope I was using it wrong. I would use it at random times during the day and I would see a lot of particles on the lens which was probably bits of food etc. and I missed my estrogen peak. After reading up about their correct use and watching a few videos on Youtube however, it worked really well. I would see the odd patch of crystals on the lens at the beginning of my cycle but a few days before I ovulated, Boom!! The whole lens was covered in crystals in the characteristic ferning pattern.

Should you buy an ovulation microscope?

Ovulation microscopes can be very useful and can give you a greater chance of predicting when you may ovulate. They are not 100% accurate and should not be relied upon for e.g. birth control, but they can save you money when it comes to ovulation tests when trying to conceive. I had long cycles when I first came off the pill and I would go through so many ovulation tests every cycle. Once I bought a microscope however, I would only test when I observed a change in my cervical mucus and when I seen crystals on the microscope.

Product review: Babystart Fertil Focus Ovulation Microscope.

Before buying a microscope I read a few reviews and decided to invest in the Babystart Fertil Focus Ovulation Microscope as it was the most rated on Amazon and the comments were mostly positive. I was doubtful that they worked so I didn’t want to spend an awful lot. As mentioned above, I was using it wrong at first but I can now say that it worked brilliantly. It was easy to use and clean and totally reusable so I could test my saliva everyday. As it is the size of a lipstick it is also very discrete and it was easy to view the results through the lens viewer. I used it when I conceived both my son and daughter and as it gave me positive results before even my ovulation sticks, it definitely gave me that extra bit of warning.

Price:£24.99 (Please note that there are cheaper/more expensive ones available).

Amazon rating: 54% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Please feel free to comment below to let me know if you have tried an ovulation ferning microscope and how you found it. If you have any questions on how best to use one, get in touch.

 

 

 

 

How to increase cervical mucus naturally – Top 10 secrets revealed.

How to increase your fertile cervical mucus naturally.

You may not have notice this before trying for a baby but your cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle. As explained in the section titled ‘What is the fertile window?‘ you get a specific fertile vaginal discharge which is particularly watery or resembles egg white (EWCM) when you are fertile i.e. a few days before and during ovulation. This ‘fertile’ cervical mucus gives perfect conditions for sperm to swim and survive on their journey to the egg.

During the fertile window, your ovaries start to produce lots of the hormone estrogen which should increase the amount of your fertile cervical mucus. Unfortunately for some women however (including me), they don’t get very much of it. This can be a problem as having vaginal dryness when you need lubrication the most, can make sex painful for both you and your partner and can inhibit sperm on their journey to getting you pregnant. This often means that you reach for your favourite lube to make things more pleasant …………but then as discussed in my post on ‘sperm friendly lubricants‘, your normal lube can be doing more harm than good.

Most women are OK with investing in and using sperm friendly lubricants, but some would much prefer to try to increase the amount of her own natural fertile fluids instead. Luckily there are some great ways to increase your cervical mucus naturally and I will go through the top 10 ways to do this below.

1. Keep Hydrated.

You won’t be surprised to know that your cervical mucus is made up of around 90% water. It therefore makes sense that if you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water that you would be supporting the production of cervical mucus when it is needed.

If you find you are not producing much watery discharge or EWCM during ovulation, then your solution may be to just drink a few more glasses of water a day. We are all guilty at times of not drinking enough but if you already feel you are drinking plenty then don’t over do it. The average adult should drink around 2 litres a day to stay hydrated.

2. Does green tea help cervical mucus?

I have not tried this out myself as I do not like the taste of green tea but it is worth noting that some women have seen an increase in their fertile cervical mucus after drinking it.

Its effects have not been scientifically proven but as green tea has so many health benefits anyway, it won’t do you any harm and if anything if will simply up your intake of water.

3. Grapefruit juice and fertility.

I have read a lot about grapefruit juice increasing a woman’s fertility on different trying to conceive forums. Grapefruit juice is thought to help a woman’s vagina produce the optimal conditions for sperm and despite it being acidic it has an alkalizing effect on the body once it has been digested. Lots of women have reported seeing an increase in their fertile cervical mucus if they drink a glass a day during their fertile window which will then help sperm to survive and swim to the egg. In addition, grapefruit juice may also improve the texture of your cervical mucus further enhancing the passage of sperm through it.

                         

It needs to be 100% grapefruit juice though, which is free of concentrate and sugar/sweeteners. You can squeeze your own juice or buy pre-squeezed juice and although you may find it difficult to get juice free from concentrate in your local supermarket, you may find it in a health food shop or online. The brands ‘eager‘ and Beutelsbacher Demeter are very good.

4. Green vegetable smoothies and soups.

We are told consistently by dietitians that we all need to be eating lots of veg to stay healthy, in particular green veg as they are so high in various vitamins. It is also true that leafy green vegetables can greatly help a woman’s fertility, in particular the quality of her cervical mucus, so it has an added benefit.

If you do not like eating green vegetables and could not face a daily dose of broccoli or spinach, you could make a smoothie and add in some coconut milk, banana and nut butter (peanut or almond is very good) to make it taste more palatable. I currently have a Vitamix blender which is amazing and I would argue it is the best blender available at the moment! You just roughly chop up your veg and blitz it with some fruit, nuts, seeds etc and you can boost your fertility no end. Then once you have your little one all of your own, you can use it to make their baby food, smoothies, healthy ice-cream etc.

I often make a green smoothie for my son which we call ‘dinosaur juice’ and I hide all sorts in there including chia seeds, spinach and avocado. The Vitamix is so good because it keeps all the fibre and makes the drink so smooth you would have no idea of the contents. The same goes for vegetable soups. Throw a load of boiled veg in the Vitamix with a stock cube and the left over veg water and turn it on. It not only blends the soup to an almost silky smooth texture. If you are making a raw vegetable soup, it also heats it up as it blends. You can ensure your smoothie or soup is full of goodness and easy to digest and it will improve your fertile mucus production and your fertility in general. You would have no excuses for you and your growing family to not get your 5 a day so is a great investment.

5. Garlic and fertility.

If you really want to go down the natural route then this one may be worth a go. Some women have seen an increase in their fertile cervical mucus after eating a clove of raw garlic every day before ovulation.

They do say the more garlic you eat, the less you can smell it on your breath but I will honestly say I gave this one a miss. Maybe if your partner eats some as well it wouldn’t be so bad.

6. FertileCM supplements.

FertileCM is a dietary supplement specifically designed to enhance the production of fertile cervical mucus and brings about ideal conditions for sperm to survive. It contains L-Arginine which is known to increases cervical mucus production. It also helps to support and enhance the uterine lining ready for implantation of a fertilised egg. An added bonus of using this supplement is that some ingredients in FertileCM have been shown to increase a woman’s sex drive and so can make trying for a baby less of a means to an end and more enjoyable. After taking FertileCM for a few cycles I definitely noticed an increase in the amount of egg white cervical mucus I had during ovulation.

Price: £26.31 for 1 month supply (90 capsules)

Amazon Rating: 75% of customers have given 4 or 5 stars.

7. Evening Primrose Oil and fertility.

Evening Primrose oil is a must have when trying to increase your cervical mucus naturally. It is a herbal supplement containing a fatty acid called GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). This GLA is converted into prostaglandins in the body, which may enhance the production of your fertile cervical mucus. Evening primrose oil capsules should be taken between your period and ovulation ONLY. You should stop taking evening primrose oil after ovulation as it may cause mild uterine contractions. This is helpful when you want a fertilised egg to attach to the uterine lining. If you chart your temperatures or have other reliable signs of ovulation then you can stop taking them at the correct time. The suggested dose is 500mg three times a day (1500mg per day) for the first cycle. If your cervical mucus has not increased then you may up that dose to 1000mg three times a day during your next cycle.

Price: Efamol Woman Pure Evening Primrose Oil 500mg – £10.65 for 1 month supply (90 capsules).

Amazon rating: 94% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Price: Blackmores Evening Primrose Oil 1000Mg – £27.98 for 63 days supply (190 capsules).

Amazon rating: Only has 1 customer review giving 5 stars.

8. L-Arginine and fertility.

L arginine is an amino acid which we can take it as a supplement. It may enhance blood flow to the pelvic area by helping our bodies increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels and helps to increase blood flow to the uterus, ovaries, and genitals and can help improve fertility for both a woman and man. One of the benefits to women is that it can increase the amount of cervical mucus produced. Be aware that FertileCM contains L-Arginine so you should not take both supplements together. Recommended dose is 1000mg twice daily. If you have a good intake of red meat then this supplement may be unnecessary but for all those vegetarians out there, it could really help your fertility.

Price: Amazing Formulas L-Arginine – 1000 mg £16.49 for 2 months supply (120 capsules).

Amazon rating: 90% of customers give 4 or 5 stars.

 9. Borage oil and fertility.

Borage seed oil is high in omega-6 essential fatty acids. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), the precurser of prostaglandins (which may increase fertile cervical mucus). It not only increases cervical mucous but it can balance out hormone levels but as it works in a similar way to evening primrose oil, it should not be taken together. The recommended dose is 1000mg daily.

Price: Borage Oil 1000 Mg (Yielding 240 Mg of GLA) – £13.99 for 3 months supply (90 capules).

Amazon rating: 50% of customers gave 5 stars.

10. Red Clover and Fertility.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) has been shown to increase cervical mucus and therefore aids vaginal dryness. It does this by increasing the blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries. It can be taken in tea form or in capsules and tinctures. Red clover contains compounds similar to phystoestrogens which help to increase levels of estrogen before ovulation. Estrogen not only helps to stimulate the maturation of an egg on the ovaries but it also stimulates the production of cervical mucus.

Capsules: High Strength Red Clover 1000mg – £16.09 for 3 months supply (120 capsules).

Amazon rating: 74% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Tea: Neuner’s Organic Red Clover Tea 40 tea bags – £9.72 for 10-20 days supply (if drinking 2-4 cups a day).

Amazon rating: 93% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Tincture: Viridian: 100% Organic Red Clover Tincture 50ml – £6.70 – Dose is 60–100 drops one to three times a day.

Amazon rating: only has two reviews but 100% gave 4 or 5 stars.

Antihistamines and cervical mucus.

If you suffer from allergies like hay fever or pet allergies then you may be taking antihistamines such as piriton daily. These medicines are great at drying up your runny nose but sadly they could be having a negative effect your fertility.Although they are designed to help dry up mucus in your nose, they may also be causing your cervical mucus to dry up too. If you take antihistamines regularly and you find you are having problems with vaginal dryness then it may be worth investing in some sperm friendly lubricants such as Pre-seed or Conceive plus. You may also ask your doctor for advice on this matter.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear about anymore natural ways to increase the amount of cervical mucus. Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is sperm friendly lubricant? And how can it help you conceive?

What is sperm friendly lubricant?

A common mistake women make when trying for a baby is to carry on using their normal lubricants such as Durex, KY jelly or baby oil. Such lubricants can reduce a sperms motility greatly and can negatively effect their passage through the cervix so they must be avoided. If you want to use a lubricant when trying to conceive then you need one that is sperm friendly which actually supports sperm rather than inhibit or damage it.

Do sperm friendly lubricants work?

Yes! Sperm friendly lubricants or fertility friendly lubricants are clinically proven to work and over 80% of customers have given Pre-seed a 4 or 5 star review rating on Amazon.

As I didn’t always get egg white cervical mucus every cycle and the months I did get it I didn’t have very much, a lubricant was a must have for us. I wanted to give myself an edge and do everything I could to ease the passage of sperm to the right place. After doing some research, I knew fertility friendly lubricants existed and worked well although they can be a bit more expensive. Despite this I am very glad I invested as I managed to conceive 4 times while using it.

What is the best Sperm friendly lubricant on the market?

I have tried and tested most of the most popular sperm friendly lubricants you can buy online and I have also recently found a new one which has just been put on sale. There are probably a lot more brands and will be in the future but I will review the ones that are readily available to you. It all depends on your budget really and what you prefer to use i.e. self filling applicators, individual pre-filled applicators or just a tube you can apply yourself as and when you need it.

Pre-Seed:

Pre-Seed Fertility – Friendly Vaginal Lubricant Multi-Use Tube with 9 Applicators 40g.

Price:  £14.95 (RRP £19.99).Amazon Rating: Over 80% of customers have given Pre-seed 4 or 5 stars.

Review: Pre-seed is probably the most popular and well known brand of all the sperm friendly lubricants and they have been prefecting their recipe over many years. I found it to be very easy to use and it was a great lubricant which comes with little applicators/syringes to help you get it where it is needed. I actually conceived twice using this lubricant and I really recommend giving it a go. :

  • Pre-seed is clinically proven to be a sperm friendly lubricant.
  • It allows the free movement of sperm.
  • Its pH is similar to a woman’s fertile cervical mucus.
  • It is used within fertility clinics and was developed by doctors.
  • It’s isotonic formula is less irritating to the genitals than other leading sperm friendly lubricants.

Conceive Plus:

Conceive plus: Conceive Plus Fertility Lubricant, Tube 75ml.

Price: £16.15 (Was £17.33). or

Conceive plus: Individual use applicators.

Price3 pack is £10.84  or 8 pack is £16.97.

 Amazon rating: 75% of customers give conceive plus 4 or 5 stars.

Review: When trying out Conceive Plus I found the 75ml tube was more suitable for me. The pre-filled applicators are very good but I found I would go through them very quickly and needed to buy more. With the tube you can chose how much you need and when you need it so there is less waste. The lubricant is very similar in texture to any other lubricant and I cannot fault it really. I conceived my son using this after 6 long months of trying. It has great reviews on Amazon and lots of ladies have conceived using it. I would definitetly recommend giving it a go.

Ritex Kinderwunsch conception lubricant.

Ritex KINDERWUNSCH Conception Lubricant – 8x4g Pre-Filled Conception Applicators.

Price:14.49.

Amazon Rating: This lubricant has not been rated on Amazon as of yet.

Review: This lubricant is quite new and as I only recently discovered it I have not tried it myself yet. The price seems ok and it has been clinically tested etc. It is sperm friendly and has a natural pH similar to semen and cervical mucus so will support a sperms journey like the other lubricants. It is produced in Germany hense the crazy name and is said to be made with ”state-of-the-art technology”.

Emerita Natural Lubricant

Emerita – Natural Lubricant  – 4oz bottle.

Price: £17.96.

Amazon Rating: 86% of customers give 4 or 5 stars.

Review: Emerita’s Natural Lubricant is not specifically aimed at those trying to conceive but of all the other lubricants, this one is the most natural. It lubricates really well and is free of mineral oil and petrolium. It contains vitamin E and allantoin which help relieve vaginal dryness but as it is sperm friendly it can be used when trying to conceive. If you want to go for the more natural option then this is a great choice. It washes out of bedclothes easily and doesn’t stain. I conceived my daughter using this lubricant so it works extremely well.

Zestica Fertility.

Zestica Fertility Lubricant – 6 pre-filled applicators.

Price: £33.90. Amazon Rating: No rating by customers at present.

Review: I am going to state the obvious here and say it is more expensive than other sperm friendly brands on sale but it contains Hyaluronic Acid which has been shown to increase sperm motility. If your man’s sperm has low motility then it might be a good investment for you. The applicators make it easy to apply the lubricant around the cervix where it is needed and it has been designed specifically for woman with very little fertile cervical mucus. All in all it is a great lubricant although a little pricey. I have seen this on sale at Amazon from time to time so it is worth keeping an eye out for a bargain. I only paid  £8.95 for 6 applicators of Amazon back in March 2018, so there is a great bargain to be had from time to time and for this price I would give 5 stars.

Fertilty packs.

What I did when I first started trying for a baby was to buy a ‘Fertility Pack’ off Amazon which contained the following: 1 x Pre-seed Multi Use 9 + Applications and 15 x 20mIU/ml Ovulation and 10 x 10mlU/ml Pregnancy Tests – all for just £19.99. This way I got a bit more for my money and I got to try out the cheaper ovulation tests before I bought more. If you don’t yet have a thermometer to chart your ovulation and would like one then this ‘Fertility pack with thermometer‘ might be a good option for you at just £22.99.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment if there are any other sperm friendly lubricants you have tried or recommend I put on my review list.