Fertility Awareness Kits
If you are aware of your cycle you can make sure that you have intercourse at the most appropriate moment in your cycle to get pregnant. The best way to do this is to chart your cycle every month. There is a lot of equipment out there these days to help you discover your optimum fertile time.
To chart you need to get a fertility chart or 'natural family planning' chart. You can get this from your GP, a family planning clinic, chemists, download one from the internet or even make one yourself. You need to use a new chart each month starting with day 1 of your cycle which is the first day of your period and record a variety of information on your chart. This information will help you to recognise when you are about to be fertile and enable you to time your intercourse accordingly.
To help you to do this accurately you need an ovulation thermometer also known as a basal body thermometer (BBT) to take your temperature every day. You can either get a digital one with accuracy to 2 decimal places, or a mercury one, which is harder to read but doesn't need batteries. Boots has an excellent digital ovulation thermometer kit for around 13 pounds. It comes with full instructions on when to take your temperature and how to chart your cycle.
Some women use urine ovulation predictor kits to find when they are going to ovulate. These testers look for the surge of the LH hormone that triggers ovulation. These tests are useful but if your cycle is erratic, one kit of five to seven tester strips may not be enough. This can become expensive if you don't get pregnant straight away, unless you buy in bulk. Also, as you have to test your urine either in midstream or by dipping the test stick in your collected urine, it may not always be convenient to do this.
Another type of tester you can use is a special ovulation microscope which can look at your saliva to see when you are ovulating. There are several designs available on the internet and elsewhere from about 15 pounds upwards. They usually have a 60x magnification. One advantage of these microscope kits is that it is a one-off expense as you can use them as often as you like. They are extremely easy to use and because many of them look like a lipstick you can just pop it in your handbag.
As you approach ovulation your body registers the change in your hormone levels. This change shows up in your saliva under a microscope. You just smear a bit of saliva on the microscope slide and look down the viewer. As you approach ovulation each month you will see a beautiful fern like pattern appearing. This fern like pattern also shows up in your cervical fluid but it is a lot easier to use your saliva! If you aren't ovulating that particular month you will just see mishmash instead. Full instructions of course come with the kits.
When you know your cycle well, you can even time intercourse to increase your chances of getting a boy or a girl!