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