The Big "O" -- It's not just for orgasm anymore


The instructions suggest you begin testing (a.k.a., peeing on the stick) around day nine, depending on the number of days in your cycle. Expect ovulation 24 to 36 hours after you see a solid blue line that matches the test line of the ovulation stick. This line indicates the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge in your urine and lets you know an egg is going to be released. Sound simple enough? Well, it's not. Van Gogh would have difficulty interpreting the shades of blue hues found on an ovulation stick.

The downside to the ovulation sticks, and their not-quite-clear results, is they often lead to obsessive behavior. You may convince yourself you are missing your ovulation window and began testing twice a day, on day five. This is not recommended! You will waste too much money and drive yourself insane. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. The second is realizing you may need an upgrade '- the fertility monitor.

Fertility Monitor -- the "Uber" Stick

If you can force yourself to read and reread the instruction manual for the fertility monitor, you will save yourself a major headache. You're still peeing on sticks, but this time an electronic monitor will be leading the ovulation charge. Based on the day of your cycle, the monitor will inform you if a test stick is required that day. After receiving your prompt, you have exactly 15 seconds to pee on the stick and insert it properly into the monitor for an accurate reading. If in your haste you (a) insert the stick incorrectly, (b) get the monitor wet, (c) don't pee on the stick long enough or (d) any number of other unforgivable errors, the monitor will definitely let you know by flashing a bold exclamation point! It might as well scream, "You idiot!" If this all sounds demanding and intimidating, rest assured, it is. For the technologically feeble, thank goodness there are other options.

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