(RxWiki News) Knowing when to say "now" when trying to conceive a child is step-one to achieving conception. Knowing exactly which day a woman is most fertile is now possible.
Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation, a new ovulation-predictor urine stick test, can accurately identify ovulation in 99 percent of cases. The test stick is simply held in the urine stream and a smiley face appears when luteinising hormone (LH) levels are high. If no spike in LH is detected, the test can be repeated over the next several days until a happy face appears.
"Increase your chances of conceiving with a urine stick test."
Dr. Jayne Ellis, Director of Scientific and Medical Affairs at Swiss Precision Diagnostics GmbH in Geneva, Switzerland, makers of the test, explains that Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation is a digital reader urine test stick designed to detect a main ovulation hormone.
The safety of this new test is similar to that of the calendar method, but Dr. Ellis reports that the urine stick is far superior. It accurately indicates when a woman is most fertile and allows for timely intercourse to maximize the opportunity for impregnation.
The calendar method, which uses the previous cycle length and subtracts 14 or 15 days, can only estimate the day of ovulation. It is the most commonly used technique for predicting fertility, used by 35 percent of people attempting to conceive. Up until now, it had not been subjected to scientific scrutiny, said Dr. Ellis.
In a comparative study of the calendar method versus Clearblue urine sticks, researchers collected urine samples from 101 women over the course of 895 days. Ovulation prediction was confirmed by analyzing hormone markers in the urine.
Using the calendar method, only 25 percent of women trying to conceive would have accurately identified their peak fertile days. Peak fertility was identified by calendar method after it had already passed in nearly 50 percent of cycles.
The Clearblue tests fared far better than the calendar method, predicting peak fertility days in 77 percent of women with a seven-stick pack. In six percent of cycles, the hormone surge occurred before the first test day, while in 17 percent of cycles it occurred after the last test day. However, if the 20-stick pack was utilized, a test would have been conducted on the day of the LH surge in 99 percent of cycles.
Almost half of all women between the ages of 18 and 40 have menstrual cycles that vary by seven or more days on a regular 28-day cycle. This variation increases as a woman ages and approaches menopause.
Today, women often delay starting a family in lieu of establishing a career. The Clearblue ovulation test is a particularly nice option for this group since the likelihood of not knowing an exact period of ovulation is greater. If a woman is still unable to achieve pregnancy after six months, there's a possibility of an underlying problem and she should seek medical advice.
This study's findings will be presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in July 2011. Until published in a peer-reviewed journal, findings are considered preliminary.