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Fertility and Pregnancy Tests

You've had the familiar pang of longing while looking at the babies of friends and family. Heck, diaper commercials may even bring a tear to your eye. But it's not all emotions; you've done the math, weighed your options and decided: it's time to have a baby.

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Women of childbearing age today have quite a few advantages that didn't exist a generation or two ago. We have the choice of whether and when to have children. We can postpone childbearing until our educations, careers, and relationships are settled. While there's still some pressure about having children at the right time and beating the biological clock, our options are many.

Another way in which we're lucky is that today's women know far more about how our bodies work. Thanks to an increased focus on women's health and a more open attitude about reproductive science in general, many of us grew up being educated about female anatomy. This knowledge can come in very handy when planning for a baby. A woman who knows what her body needs to do in order to conceive is better equipped to get pregnant when she's ready.

There's a wide range of fertility-related products on the market, and not just for couples who have trouble getting pregnant. The trend toward individuals taking control of their own health has led to a new crop of home fertility detectors and pregnancy tests you can order online or pick up at your local drugstore.
Each of these fertility and pregnancy tests are advertised as having unique, high tech features, and more accurate results. But which are the best? When you're setting out to do something as important as conceiving a baby, you don't want to waste time with inferior products or waste money for something you don't need. While these tests are accurate, nothing beats the expertise of a medical professional. Whatever tests you use at home, be sure to consult your doctor to confirm the results.

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Ovulation Predictors

If you want to get pregnant, you need to be able to track your ovulation. Ovulation is the fertile period of your menstrual cycle. During ovulation, a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (egg). If a sperm fertilizes this egg at the proper time, the conception process is underway.

It's important for women to know when they're ovulating, so they can time their procreative evening of romance with the prospective dad. It isn't always easy to know for sure when you're most fertile, so many women find ovulation predictors to be very useful and efficient tools in their conception arsenal.

Ovulation predictors detect the presence of leuteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. LH is one of the primary hormones responsible for ovulation, and a surge in LH indicates that ovulation is taking place.

First Response 1 Step Ovulation Predictor Test

The First Response Ovulation Predictor Test is a quick and easy-to-read ovulation predictor. The kit includes test sticks for 7 days of testing, along with clear directions for use. Like most home ovulations tests, the First Response Ovulation Predictor is used in a similar manner to a home pregnancy test. Tests conducted by Consumer Reports found that the ovulation predictor may require higher than average levels of LH before producing a positive result. However, customer reviews for this product have been excellent, with most couples saying that it's simple to use, quick, and accurate.
Fertile Focus

The Fertile Focus is an ovulation monitor that stands apart from the rest because it doesn't require urine. This product uses saliva instead of urine to detect hormone levels. You need to use small slides and a microscope to read your results, which might be a bit involved for some women. If you enjoyed science class and want a low mess, accurate result, the Fertile Focus might be for you.

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ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor

ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor is an ovulation tracker with a high-tech twist. It includes a small digital monitor and testing sticks that resemble digital thermometers. ClearBlue measures both LH and estrogen hormones. Women who used this product say that it is accurate, but some found it a bit confusing. The unit needs to be programmed to be in line with your menstrual cycles in order to work efficiently. The price can also be a drawback. This product is quite expensive compared to other ovulation tests. While the unit comes with testing sticks, these need to be refilled when they run out, and they're not cheap either.

Pregnancy Tests

If you have good luck with your home ovulation predictor, you may find yourself in the market for a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests have been around for years, and although the method and marketing of these products have evolved a lot since they were introduced in the 1970's, their function remains basically the same: to detect hCG, the hormone that is released in a woman's body during pregnancy. The hormone is detectable in the urine from very early in pregnancy, so if you want to know whether you're pregnant as soon as possible, you need a pregnancy test that's both sensitive and accurate.
ClearBlue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test

It must be the trend toward anything electronic that makes digital pregnancy tests so popular. The ClearBlue Easy Digital Pregnancy Test is quick, accurate, and easy to read. Traditional pregnancy tests usually give results in lines, which can be hard to decipher, especially if they're fine or light. With the Clearblue Easy, the words "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" appear in the window.

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Equate Pregnancy Test

Wal-Mart is known for great deals, and many savings-minded women find the superstore chain's Equate brand to be a great alternative to more expensive brand name personal care products. It's not surprising to learn that Equate pregnancy tests are a big seller at Wal-Mart, but can a budget-priced brand really be trusted? Customer reviews and independent laboratory testing suggests that it can. Equate pregnancy tests have one of the highest sensitivity levels available in a home pregnancy test. They're able to detect pregnancy hormone in very low concentrations. This can mean a positive result very early in pregnancy. Fact Plus

Fact Plus pregnancy tests are another high-rated, reliable test. This brand uses a plus sign to signify a positive result, which is convenient and easy to read. The sensitivity of the Fact Plus is well within the acceptable range, and most women who used this product had a good experience.