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Blog :: February 2020

Blog :: January 2020

Ovulations kits vs ovulation apps

9th January 2020

When deciding to bring a new baby into the world, whether that means starting a family or trying to get pregnant again, you may find it helpful to chart out your ovulation to see when you are most fertile. By delving into your fertility, you will become more in tune with your body whilst increasing your chances of conceiving.

These days the amount of options for charting your ovulation can be overwhelming, so the question remains which option has the most benefits? Early Bird Swift, the award-winning pregnancy test brand, shares insights into the great debate of home ovulation kits vs ovulation apps.

The pros and cons of ovulation apps

Technology has brought a great deal of innovation to the healthcare industry and fertility apps are at the heart of this. There are so many apps to choose from, that you are truly spoilt for choice! Most of the apps tend to track your period and ovulation and use this information to show you your cycle, when you can expect your period and favourable days for conception. Although ultimately the question remains, how effective can an app be for plotting ovulation?

Researchers at the Stanford University in California analysed over 200,000 users of two well-known ovulation apps and found that, whilst the data they returned was fairly accurate, they were not exact. The study concluded that the apps didn’t tend to work as well for anyone who did not have regular ovulation.  So, when using any ovulation apps, it is worth viewing them as a supportive assistant that helps you to get better in touch with your reproductive system. Using an app isn’t going to help you get pregnant overnight, but it certainly helps you to make sense of what is happening in your body. By being mindful of all the factors that play a role in getting pregnant your chances of getting pregnant will certainly increase.

The pros and cons of ovulation predictor kits

Ovulation predictor kits are a popular way to track your ovulation to see when you are most fertile. These prediction kits work slightly differently to apps, as they detect a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which generally appears 24 to 36 hours before ovulation.

There are many pros of ovulation predictor kits, including how easily accessible they are as you can purchase them at your nearest pharmacy without a prescription. Another positive is how easy they are to use, as they simply require you to urinate on the test stick. It is possible to say that ovulation kits may be more accurate than apps, as it is said, that if used correctly, ovulation kits are around 99% accurate. Although, it is worth keeping in mind that the kits are only measuring the LH surge that takes place before ovulation begins.

So, which one should I use?

Fertility tracking is not a perfect science, the information available to you from both an app or kit will help you to understand your body and your fertility in more detail. Whether you choose an app or kit comes down to your own personal preference and your fertility needs! If you are struggling to conceive then it is always a good idea to visit your GP for a check-up.

Managing pregnancy the second time round

Finding out that you are pregnant for the second time is an exciting time! After all, you have the benefit of experience and knowing the changes your body will go through. It’s natural to also feel apprehensive, as you’ll now be learning to care for your first born whilst coping with your own physical and emotional needs during pregnancy. HILDA (The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) researched the effect of mental health in second time pregnancies and found that a mothers’ mental health can decline after giving birth for the second time, so it is important to make your self-care a priority at this incredible time.

Worries are completely normal, and you should not feel alone in your journey. Early Bird Swift, the award-winning pregnancy test brand, shares advice on managing pregnancy the second time round…

Will there be any differences from my first pregnancy?

It is hard to say whether there will be large differences from your first pregnancy. Some second-time pregnancies tend to have the same symptoms as the first, but some expectant mothers end up having a different range of symptoms.

You are likely to be in a different mindset than you were during your first pregnancy, as your life mostly revolves around your first child, naturally as they depend on you. Therefore, you likely have less time for yourself than with your first pregnancy and could feel more tired as a result of it.

It is completely natural to feel guilty about the upcoming birth of your second child and how this will affect your first born but try to remind yourself of all the positives. Your first born will adjust from the experience and once they have an understanding, they will love their new sibling. It is said that some siblings tend to encourage empathy in one another, and the other obvious positive is that they will always have a trusty companion!

Looking after yourself and your first child

As you’ll remember from the first-time round, pregnancy is a life changing experience, but you have every right to feel apprehensive about juggling between looking after yourself and your first born. It is important to ask for support from friends and family if possible to ensure you try to have more ‘me time’, like doing a yoga class, going out for a date night with your partner or catching up on some housework (this can feel very therapeutic without a toddler around!). Relax and look after your body as much as possible.

Pregnancy can be emotionally challenging, so it is important to be kind to yourself. Unlike your first pregnancy you have more to manage at home. So, when you are feeling tired when trying to achieve the things you used to easily do, let it go. If your laundry piles up, then it really isn’t the end of the world!

Involving your first born in your pregnancy

Involving your first born during your new pregnancy is key to helping them get excited about the birth of their new brother or sister. When telling your first born about the new pregnancy, let their questions guide the amount of detail you go into. The most natural question will probably be around where the baby is coming from and when it will arrive. If they are asking more questions and seem very interested, then it’s a great idea to encourage them by asking for their ideas on baby names – this will make them feel more involved. Furthermore, you could ask them to help you pack a bag for the hospital (even as a roleplay scenario) to get them excited for your new arrival.

Tips for boosting fertility

When you and your partner have made the choice to try for a baby, it is the start of a life-changing journey. Naturally, some couples conceive quicker than others and lots of variables can affect this. Whilst there is no rush, as nature will take its course if both you and your partner are fertile, there are actions you can take to enhance your fertility levels. Early Bird Swift, the home pregnancy test brand, shares its advice…

Timing is everything

A lot of couples assume that the more they are having unprotected sex, the more likely they are to conceive. Whilst there is some truth to this, a woman’s monthly window of fertility is affected by their ovulation cycle. Ovulation takes place around two weeks before your period, which makes your most fertile time the seven days before your expected ovulation. Having unprotected sex during this time may help increase your chances of conceiving, but couples shouldn’t feel limited to setting calendar schedules!

Healthy lifestyle

Before pregnancy, you should start as you mean to go on, beginning with a healthy lifestyle. From reducing alcohol consumption and caffeine, to eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep, your body will thank you ahead of conception. The more relaxed and healthier your body feels, the better your hormones will react, improving the quality of your menstrual cycle. The same advice applies to men, as a healthy lifestyle can enhance sperm count and quality.

Exercise and mindfulnes

It has been scientifically proven that being under or overweight can have negative effects on ovulation and fertility. Establishing a weekly routine of moderate exercise will benefit your health and body prior to, during and after pregnancy. Furthermore, exercise is not only great for physical health, but mental health too. Yoga and mindfulness classes can help reduce stress and tension which are again factors that can disturb the regularity of women’s menstrual cycles.

The above advice can enhance fertility but cannot guarantee conception. If you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year, you may be best to visit your GP to investigate if there are any underlying medical conditions affecting conception.

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