Planning for a baby is one of the most exciting things a couple can do together. When it doesn't happen straight away, that excitment can pretty quickly turn to real disappointment.
An ovulation test system can help, because it can identify when-abouts (is that a real word??) in the woman's cycle she is at her most fertile. By understanding this, you can create more of "those opportunities" to get pregnant naturally, at the right time.
You can only conceive on a few days each cycle and every woman is different, so knowing in advance the days when you personally have the best chance of getting pregnant can make all the difference.
Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System
The Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System claims to presently be the only ovulation test system that typically will identify 4 or more fertile days. It does this by being the only brand that detects the rise in 2 fertility hormones [Estrogen and Luteinising Hormone (LH)] before ovulation.
The theory naturally goes that you should have sex on your 'High Fertility' and 'Peak Fertility' days - to maximise your chances of getting pregnant naturally. Clearblue simply tells you when those days are - the days leading up to and including the day of ovulation. It accurately identifies your personal fertile days, using your hormone data.
Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System syncs results directly to your phone (via Bluetooth). The app clearly displays your personal fertility information; and you can set up personalised reminders to prompt you to test.
It's easy to say that linking this ovulation test system with an app is a gimmick. However, it's the app that makes it really stand out from other ovulation tests. Let's face it, your phone goes pretty much everywhere with you anyway. You can view your own results in a clear, straightforward way, and better understand your cycle. The calendar and reminders features help you stay on top of testing. It just makes it so much easier to follow and track, and to ultimately know when you're at your most fertile.
And - because it's right there on your phone - it's an easy way to share that info with your partner. Perhaps with a subtle hint to not work too late...
Does the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System work?
It's shown positive results in several trials:
It's been proven to be over 99% accurate at detecting the LH surge, and proven to be twice as accurate as calendar methods (in a study of 101 women in the UK comparing a simple calendar method to likelihood of conducting a test on LH surge day - 2011).
It can identify 4 or more fertile days (in a study of 87 women in the UK, 4 or more fertile days were identified in 80% of cycles using actual cycle length - 2012).
Not your typical product review...
Usually when we at Gordons Chemists are reviewing a product, we take it home and try it ourselves. In this case, (primarily for reasons of gender) that wasn't an option for me.
I have read as much as I could find about the app, and about setting up the test system, and it all seemed straightforward. I did also read a lot of reviews left by people who had used it - with most being positive - for example:
"The accuracy of the test, paired with the convenience of an app, makes maximizing the chances of conceiving like nothing else out there. Plus, it is SO user-friendly!"
"Clearblue Ovulation was such a big help with figuring out my cycle and helping me realize my monthly cycles were longer than most... makes it so easy to know when you’re ovulating and that is so helpful when you’re trying to conceive!"
These positive reviews, coupled with the clinical trials that Clearblue have mentioned, would lead me to believe that the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System is a great piece of kit.
I appreciate that at least some of the reviews/blogs that I've read about the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System may be sponsored, or that (at the very least) the blogger will have been provided with a test kit free-of-charge. In these cases, the blogger is a bit less likely to leave a negative review. There are also some negative reviews out there too.
The negative reviews seem to centre around 2 main complaints -
1) the results are inaccurate;
2) connection to the app wasn't as straightforward as it should have been.
As I've said above, there are several clinical trials that back up Clearblue's claims about this being a product that really does predict when you're at your most fertile. I've found several reviews that were left by users who were using both Clearblue Connected alongside another fertility test, with different results being shown. This has led to them suggesting that Clearblue isn't accurate, when it's very possible that the other test (i.e. the test that they've been using for a while, which hasn't helped them get pregnant so far...) isn't quite so accurate... There are plenty of reviews left that were full of praise about Clearblue Connected, and that it did help them to conceive.
As for the connection issues - there are a lot of reviews left by users who've said they didn't experience any problems at all. I've looked fairly closely at the user instructions for this - and it all seems quite simple. It is also a bit different to how other ovulation tests are done. Perhaps if you don't read the instructions fully you might experience an issue? I can't say for certain.
With reviews and blogs, it can be difficult to get a totally clear understanding of how good a product is (or isn't). I think for something like an ovulation test kit, how good or bad a person finds it will ultimately be based on whether or not they are successful in getting pregnant. And while Clearblue Connected can help with that, it isn't necessarily to blame if you don't. (If you're reading a blog about an ovulation test kit, you will no doubt understand that fertility is a lot more complicated than that...)
From what I can see, overall - a good review is left when the user gets pregnant; and a bad review is left when the user doesn't get pregnant...
On balance, we have to consider that some reviews will have been left by people who don't want to complain about the product; and that some will be disappointed by the end result - rather than with the actual product. However in amongst all of this there are a lot of results left by people who've genuinely used Clearblue Connected, found it to be easy to use, and were delighted with what it has done for them.
Trying for a baby, and fertility
It's important to remember that for most couples, it usually takes a lot longer than you'd imagine, once they begin trying. For the majority of people, it can take 6-12 months to successfully become pregnant. For plenty of others, it can take a lot longer.
Your actual fertile window doesn't last for very long - a few days each month only. Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System can more accurately predict when those days are. And if it does this, then it can't be anything other than a great help.
Fertility isn't an easy subject for many to talk about. For many couples, not being able to have a baby can cause unspeakable anguish. Trying to conceive at the right moment is only one part of it, and while we believe that this Clearblue Connected system can help with that particular aspect of trying for a baby, there is so much else that's involved.
If you're trying to conceive and aren't having success, there are options available. A good place to begin is by visiting your GP, or making an appointment to see a fertiilty specialist.