Home Fertility Tests
Deciding to start a family can be one of the biggest and most exciting steps that you will ever take. But trying to conceive can also be very frustrating, particularly if you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully for a long time. But before you head off to a fertility clinic for testing, you may want to do some testing of your own. A number of different male and female fertility tests are now available to couples that are trying to conceive. These tests allow you to test your fertility in the privacy of your own home.
Female Fertility Tests
There are a variety of female fertility tests that can you use when it comes to planning conception and determining overall fertility.
Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation predictor kits are becoming very popular amongst women who are trying to conceive. Available from your local pharmacy or online, these kits help to tell you when you are going to ovulate. This will allow you to plan intercourse with your partner at a time that will offer you the best chances for pregnancy. Ovulation predictor kits can also help you determine if you are experiencing any menstrual cycle irregularities that may be inhibiting conception. Most kits cost between $20 and $50, and are 95% accurate.
How Do Ovulation Kits Work?
Ovulation predictor kits work by measuring the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH is secreted by your pituitary gland, signaling to your ovaries to release an egg once every month. Approximately 24 to 48 hours before ovulation, your body will experience a surge in LH. Ovulation predictor kits work to detect this LH surge.
How do You Use Ovulation Predictor Kits?
Ovulation predictor kits are fairly easy to use. You simply place a special test strip into a sample of your urine, or hold it under your urine stream while you are urinating. When exposed to LH, this strip will change colors, indicating that you are about to ovulate. There are also electronic kits that will read your test strip for you, but these tend to be quite expensive.
The OV Watch is a special watch-like apparatus that can be used to detect times of ovulation and other fertile days during your cycle. It is a popular alternative to ovulation kits that detect LH surges. The watch can also function to help provide you with detailed information about your menstrual cycle. Available online, the OV Watch costs around $200.
How Does the OV Watch Work?
The OV watch works by detecting sodium chloride ions on the surface of your skin. Throughout your menstrual cycle, your body releases fluctuating levels of these sodium chloride ions. About six days prior to ovulation, a surge in these ions occurs, making it a useful indicator of your fertile days. The watch, which is worn close to the skin on the wrist, detects this ion surge and informs you of four fertile days prior to ovulation, and of the days on which ovulation is actually occurring. Because the OV watch provides you with more fertile days in your cycle, it can help to increase your chances of pregnancy considerably.
How Do You Use the OV Watch?
The OV Watch needs to be worn snugly against the skin for at least six hours a day. It is recommended that women wear the watch at night, while they are sleeping. Every 30 minutes, the watch takes a reading of the ions released by your skin. The watch then stores up to 12 of these readings, and provides you with information as to which days in your cycle are your fertile days. Begin wearing the watch on the first day of your menstrual period and continue until your fertile days are detected. Every month, you will need to replace the sensor pad on the OV watch to ensure that it is working properly.
Cervical Mucus Tests
Cervical mucus tests are designed to analyze changes in your cervical mucus. Throughout your cycle, the texture and consistency of your cervical mucus changes. Prior to ovulation, cervical mucus becomes thin and stretchy. This test helps to determine when your cervical mucus reaches this state, predicting ovulation. It can also help to determine if you may be experiencing cervical mucus problems. Cervical mucus tests are widely available and cost between $30 and $200.
How Do Cervical Mucus Tests Work?
Cervical mucus tests actually work by testing a sample of your saliva. As your cervical mucus changes, so does the make-up of your saliva. Some tests monitor the way in which your saliva dries: prior to ovulation, your saliva should dry in a fern-like pattern. Other mucus tests work electronically, by measuring the electrolytes in your saliva: as ovulation begins, the electrolytes in your saliva will change, and this is recorded by an electronic monitor.
How Do You Use Cervical Mucus Tests?
Cervical mucus tests are very easy to use. All you need to do is take a sample of your saliva and place it the provided slide. You then look at this slide under a microscope that comes with the kit. If your saliva dries in a fern-like pattern, you are about to ovulate. Electronic tests come with a special probe, similar to a thermometer, which you insert in your mouth. This probe will then measure your electrolytes to determine whether your mucus is thinning and if you are ovulating.
Ovarian Reserve Tests
Ovarian reserve tests have just become available on the market. They help to determine whether or not you have a good ovarian reserve at the time of the test. Some can also help to predict your future ovarian reserve. This can aid you in planning conception as well as signal a possible fertility problem. Ovarian reserve tests are currently only available in select countries and are quite expensive: most tests cost around $400.
How Do Ovarian Reserve Tests Work?
follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Inhibin B, and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH). As menopause approaches, the amount of FSH in your body increases, while the amounts of inhibin A and AMH decline. This test measures all three hormones and plots results on a graph, helping to predict future ovarian reserve.
How Do You Use an Ovarian Reserve Test?
Ovarian reserve tests are performed on the third day of your menstrual period. A blood sample is taken by your health care professional and is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will examine your blood for FSH, Inhibin B, and AMH. A graph of the results will then be produced and mailed back to you.
Male Fertility Tests
There are a few fertility tests that are now available to men who wish to find out more about their fertility.
Sperm Count Tests
Sperm count tests measure the amount and concentration of sperm that is present inside a sample of semen. In order to have the best chances of conception, men need to have a sperm count of at least 20 million per milliliter. Amounts that are less than this may indicate a fertility issue. Sperm count tests will tell you whether or not your semen sample has a sperm count of at least 20 million per milliliter. Most kits cost around $40.
How Do Sperm Count Tests Work?
Sperm count tests work by identifying all of the sperm cells inside a sample of semen. A special dye is used to color these sperm cells so that they can be counted by the test.
How do You Use a Sperm Count Test?
To use the test, you first need to produce a semen sample. This semen sample is then placed inside a test well provided with the test kit. Next, the semen sample is mixed with a dye solution that will help to mark each sperm cell. After approximately 15 minutes, the color of the semen sample is compared to a control color provided with the kit. If this color is darker than the control, then your test is positive for having healthy sperm levels.
Sperm Motility Tests
Sperm motility kits have just become available to couples in Britain. These kits measure the ability of a man’s sperm to penetrate his partner’s cervical mucus. In order to fertilize an egg, sperm must be strong enough to swim through a woman’s cervix and cervical mucus. Sperm motility kits cost approximately $160.
How do Sperm Motility Tests Work?
Sperm motility tests work by forcing sperm to swim through a special barrier. This barrier is designed to replicate a woman’s cervical mucus. The test then measures the number of sperm that make it through the barrier.
How Do You Use a Sperm Motility Test?
Sperm motility tests are very easy to use. All you need to do is produce a semen sample and place it inside the main compartment of the test kit. You press an activation button and leave the test for one hour. After an hour, the kit will tell you if a satisfactory number of sperm have passed through the barrier.