Have you been trying to get pregnant for a while? Is your social media newsfeed driving you insane because literally, the entire thing has become photos of babies? Look, your friend had a baby! Their friend had a baby! Their friend’s baby inexplicably gave birth to another baby! The doctor who delivered the baby’s baby did it while simultaneously giving birth to a baby!
Stay strong. You are not alone.
Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)
Ovulation predictor kits, or OPKs, help women identify when they’re ovulating. Used together with the Glow app, an OPK can pinpoint the ovulation window and help maximize a couple’s chances of conceiving naturally. OPKs, look and work like pregnancy tests (so if you like to pee on things, boy are you in luck) by detecting a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which tends to occur roughly 36 hours prior to ovulation. If you have sex just as LH surges, then you greatly increase your odds of having sperm present in time to meet the egg and fertilize it–leaving you pregnant. This helps you have sex strategically, as opposed to just having sex every time you check your Instagram feed (causing you to have sex 400 times a day, which is tiring).
OPKs can help teach you a lot about how your body works. Do you ovulate late? Ovulate too early? Don’t ovulate at all? OPKs will help you answer these questions, and the results can be an important starting point for any conversations you may start with a fertility specialist down the line.
OPKs can be purchased at your local drugstore or online; it’s ~$40 for 20 tests, but varies by brand. Digital OPK tests tend to be more expensive.
Fertility Friendly Lubricants
Fact: The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that normal lubricants, like the KY Jelly you have on your nightstand right now, could be killing up to 60% of your partner’s sperm. Talk about a buzz kill! (Although this is really good information to pass along to your friends who are trying to avoid becoming pregnant, maybe?)That’s why when you’re trying to conceive (TTC), you should only use fertility friendly lubricants, such a Pre-seed (which, agreed, sounds like you’d find it in the lawn and garden section of Home Depot) and Astroglide. Other natural lubricants like mineral oil or canola oil can also be conducive to fertility, canola oil being particularly useful for any woman who was hoping to have extremely fertile sex but was also hoping to stir fry vegetables later. Any local drug store should carry fertility friendly lubricants, you can also buy them online for ~$20 per 9 applications.
Your basal body temperature (BBT), which is the temperature when your body is completely at rest, rises ever so slightly just after ovulation. Three days of a continued rise in BBT confirms that ovulation did indeed take place. Knowing when ovulation is likely to occur is key to maximizing your chances of conceiving. If your BBT drops you are either not pregnant this month (booo) or are Elsa from Frozen (yaaaaay!) with the power to build elaborate ice castles/freeze huge swaths of Scandinavia by taking off your gloves.To measure your BBT, you’re going to need a BBT thermometer. This is simply a very sensitive thermometer that is able to identify even the tiniest temperature changes, usually to the one-hundredth (0.01) of a degree Fahrenheit. A BBT thermometer can be purchased at your local drugstore or online for around $15.
This is a really smart in-home insemination device. Here is how it works: The male partner wears a condom-like collector to contain the semen in a cervical-cap-like repository. Then the couple uses a neatly designed applicator to insert the cap with the semen all the way into the vagina and up to the cervix. Next the woman keeps the cervical cap there for about 6 hours.
It’s like a DIY IUI. The Stork OTC can be purchased online for around $150 for 2 applications and is way more effective and less hassle than buying/caring for an actual stork.