Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: OvaCue II Fertility Monitor
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on June 20, 2010
OvaCue Fertility Monitor / B002YDUSQW

I feel that I should apologize in advance, as this will probably be the longest review I've ever written, but at a current two-fifty for the monitor, another hundred for the extra vaginal attachment, and an extra twenty-five for the graphing software, I feel that the investment warrants a close look at the pros and cons of this sensor system.

First, a little background: my husband and I are actively trying to conceive (TTC), but this monitor is also useful for women who are seeking more information on their fertile cycles, and would also serve well as a aid to contraception. Before we were TTC, just for my own information I basal charted with various thermometers for months which was thoroughly frustrating - finding an accurate, precise, rechargeable, *silent* thermometer was in itself almost impossible. Add to that the struggle to find one with a memory and a backlight so that I could just roll out of bed in the morning at 4 am when I naturally wake to use the restroom, take my temperature, and then roll back into bed without waking fully - ah, the whole thing was terribly frustrating. That's not even getting into the problem that on sick days, or "unexpectedly amorous" days, or even just days when the temperature in the house fluctuated wildly, my temperature counts would be almost meaningless.

So I gave up on thermometers and started looking for a solution that would monitor my whole fertility for me, and after a long search, it came down to a choice between OvaCue and BabyComp. I decided on OvaCue, mostly on virtue of the lower price and the fact that I liked the user interface a little better.

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Now that you've got the background, feel free to watch the video which is basically me taking the OvaCue monitor out of the box for the first time. I hate reading user manuals, so I basically just skimmed through the literature, set up the video to record, and then turned everything on - I was hoping to show how easy or hard the monitor is to use fresh out of the box, and I was impressed by how easy it is to use the monitor.

Which leads me to the pros and cons of this system. It's important to note, right off the bat, that this isn't a binary "fertile / not-fertile" system like, say, those ovulation sticks at the supermarket. Like basal charting, the system makes a ovulation prediction based on two major trends being fed in as data: (1) the first trend being the cycle start date and cycle length, and (2) the second trend being the oral sensor readings. Just like in basal charting, there isn't a set temperature that means you're ovulating - the ovulation date is predicted based on the behavior of your temperature over time. Similarly, here, the date of ovulation is based not on a specific oral reading that you hit, but rather based on the behavior of the oral readings over time.

What this can mean is that if you incorrectly input the length of your cycle, or the start date, or if your cycle goes abnormally long, then you MAY see your ovulation date retroactively hop around. I noticed this happen when my first cycle with the OvaCue went abnormally long - my previous cycle had been 34 days, so I input "34" as cycle length, but my actual cycle went 40 days, which caused my ovulation date to move retroactively. Because of this abnormality on my part, I went ahead and purchased the vaginal sensor to add a third trend for the system to analyze, but it's important to note that this is apparently (according to the OvaCue folks I spoke with over the phone) yet one more trend to analyze, and not a magic binary solution to the "when am I ovulating" question. As such, if you are like me and have variable-length cycles, you may get extra satisfaction out of using over-the-counter ovulation analysis tests the first couple of times you use your OvaCue monitor, just for your peace of mind.

Continuing in this vein, I should note that while the system lets you set the cycle length and cycle day manually (again, this will matter more to women with variable-length cycles than to women with same-length cycles), it's frustrating that there is no way to simply select a date (like, say, 5/11) and designate that date as, say, "Cycle Day 1", without having to delete and retake any readings. When the readings are taken, the reading is stamped with the cycle day AND the date, and if the cycle day is wrong - for instance, if the system says "Cycle Day 1" but it's REALLY "Cycle Day 39" because your dratted period is refusing to start, then you have to remember to change the system CD number BEFORE taking the reading, or the system will get a bit confused with you and you'll have to delete and retake the reading. Overall, this was an annoyance, but with a workaround - and this annoyance was basically the main reason I docked a star from this otherwise excellent monitor.

Moving on, actually using the monitor on a daily basis is everything I had hoped for. The system boots up quickly and silently, the morning oral readings are exceptionally easy to take - just press a button, stick on your tongue, press another button, and wait no more than 5 seconds. Press "save", and you're done - go back to sleep. As long as you don't drink anything or brush your teeth beforehand, it's pretty much impossible to mess up the reading. I take the vaginal readings in the evening, before bed, but that's just a personal choice on my part, since I'm more awake then. Again, it's super easy, super quick, and very much NOT a chore or a bother. I've yet to forget to take a single reading, which is a miracle in itself.

On the subject of readings, I'm on the fence about whether or not to recommend the optional graphing application. I did finally get it set up on my Vista computer after about 30 minutes of coaxing, so that I could take my readings to my doctor when I go in for my next visit. However, there's no "extra" information that gets downloaded from the monitor to the computer, and the graphing is pretty rudimentary - simple colors to indicate the difference between readings and the levels of fertility implied therein. Basically, then, you could get the same effect by just going through the list of readings in the monitor and manually typing them into Excel - sure, that would probably take you 15 minutes to input a full cycle manually into Excel each time, but you could save money that way if you wanted.

If there's anything else to say about this, it's that I love the actual unit - the monitor is very small (slips easily into my purse for doctors visits) and made from very sturdy plastic - this doesn't feel cheap or easy to break. Even the battery door is nice and solid. The attachments are quite good - the cords are the right length, and are nice and thick (my cats chew cords). The sensors are well made and comfortable to use.

Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase - I feel as though I'm getting value for my money. For future improvements, I would like the ability to manually set the exact cycle day of a given calendar date (to avoid any erroneous back-filling, should my cycle go long) and I would like the readings to include the "technical" term for what is being measured every time, so that I can converse with my doctor more easily when the time comes (as it is, I shall have to dig out the manual or once again call the excellent folks at Zetek).

~ Ana Mardoll
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on November 21, 2011
We've been trying to get pregnant for 2 years after a miscarriage. We're both a little older - I'm 48 and my wife is 36. Whether or not it is due to the OvaCue monitor might be up for debate, but she got pregnant the 2nd month she used it. Here's hoping the rest of the pregnancy goes as well as the conception.
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on December 24, 2013
I used the Ovacue fertility monitor for quite awhile, around a year. I bought a Clearblue monitor and only used it a month before deciding I should take the plunge and buy this gadget which is just one flat cost. Having been trying for almost 3 years I was sure the time I used this would eventually outweigh the cost of sticks if I had stuck with the Clearblue monitor.

Pros-
Quick testing results.

Confirms ovulation (IF you have a vaginal sensor, I also had that sensor)

Predicts fertile times

No test sticks to buy

Cons-

Can only test at certain times

Confirms ovulation, but can go back and say you never ovulated

For me I have a very textbook cycle. 28-32 days with O on days 14-16. This Ovacue would predict my fertile window, and then confirm ovulation. However later on it would change my ovulation day and confirm it! This takes away the whole point of this monitor which is to confirm Ovulation, and tell you when it's supposed to happen. My regular OPKs were just as accurate as this $300 monitor which couldn't seem to make up its mind.

I don't really recommend this or a Clearblue fertility monitor. Even if you have regular, or perhaps erratic cycles, I can say this monitor has a good chance of getting confused, and mislabeling everything.
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on August 4, 2010
This monitor worked great for my wife and I. We used it for 2 months after trying for 8 months without a monitor. This monitor is very easy and not invasive at all. You just stick the monitor in your mouth and it takes like 5 secs to check your enzyme count. There is an optional vaginal sensor that can be used which actually tells you when you ovulated, which is probably pretty invasive, but it is only needed if you think you are not ovulating or hasn't worked for 8 months. I believe the book said that it takes like a month or two for the machine to "really" read your enzymes and be able to calculate your results. My wife is irregular so we had to adjust the number of days to fit her cycle for the second month, but we just went by the last months cycle days.
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on September 28, 2011
I bought this based on some reviews I read, and I wish I hadn't now. While it first seems user friendly and simple to use, if you have irregular cycles it can get complicated and confusing pretty quickly.

On day 2 I started entering my readings, as it suggests. Because my cycle varies between 28 to 40 days, I entered 35 days as an estimate (you must enter your number of cycle days in the settings before you start taking readings). I ended up getting my period earlier, and so on day 2, as required, I changed my cycle day to cycle day 2 again, as it was still counting the days from my first cycle. I also decided I should change the number of my cycle days to the correct amount I had had in that cycle. Everything was going fine until I hit day 5, at which time a yellow error occurred. I then went into my settings to try to figure out what the problem was, only to see that all my settings were completely wrong again, and it was saying I only had 5 days in my cycle! At that point i went back in to try and change my number of cycle days to the number I had had previous month, hoping this would fix the error - I was unable to do so, and i just kept running into more and more problems... i ended up trying to make any adjustment I could so that it would be somewhat more accurate than it was, and finally managed to change the setting so that it didn't show up as a 5 day cycle, but then it started counting my new entries as part of my old cycle again. I was so confused I ended up having to delete everything so I could start again from scratch. But, as I was already on day 5 of my new cycle this means i have to wait another month before i can start doing readings again, and that's provided I don't do whatever it is I did wrong, next time around.

I'm assuming I made a mistake somehow - i'm not saying this product is faulty - but my issue is that it is confusing if you have irregular cycles and there is no detailed help section that goes over common problems people may encounter in my situation, or how to get back on track if you get a yellow (error) reading. I work in the IT profession and am by no means technologically challenged, but i think they need to be more specific about what day you change your setting info on - do you change it on day 2 of your new cycle, do you go back to the previous month's day 2 and change your cycle days, what exactly do you do!!!!?????? If I spent as much time trying to conceive as i did trying to figure out what's going on with this gadget, i think i'd be pregnant already!
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on January 23, 2012
Wildly variant readings from the oral sensor. So inconsistent that it can't be trusted. I ended up just using a basal thermometer instead, which was perfectly consistent.
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on October 6, 2013
Although Fairhaven Health touts this gadget as scientifically based technology, please do not believe their lies when they tell you this is a good gadget for women with irregular cycles. I used a basic ovacue system for over a year and it NEVER was right about my ovulation. sometimes it would tell me I ovulated when I confirmed by ultrasound that I DID NOT. Struggling with fertility is so difficult and lots of us girls don't want to hear the egg donor suggestion. But trust me, you have to listen to it. And it works. After two years of trying with natural cycles, ovacue, stim drugs, charting and all that crap, I finally paid for an egg donor. It worked on the first try and now we have our beautiful baby girl who is 6 months old. Anyway....PLEASE don't buy this if your fsh is sky high...u know who you are. Mine was 29 on CD4!
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on July 19, 2010
This device is great in that it's easy to use and very portable. But I would not recommend it for anyone with even a slightly irregular cycle. I have used it for several months because I hated taking my basal temperature and found the pee strips expensive (and i have a hard time holding it for that long).

But I found that the OvaCue readings were not actually coinciding with when I ovulated. If I followed just the OvaCue readings and not any other system of detection, I would entirely miss ovulation on several cycles.

For the same amount of money I could have bought a year's worth of OPKs with much more accurate results.
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on August 10, 2010
1. The optional Ovagraph software does not work with Windows 7. I found that out after I bought it.

2. Make sure you invest in the vaginal sensor too. This is what tells you whether or not you ovulated.
*You can just use a Basal Body Thermometer(BBT) to confirm the ovulation.*

3. No other cons aside form the time you have to start using it on CD2, then also the time you wait for a fertile day to show up I suspect with us PCOS girls, there is a risk Ovacue will never show a fertile day.
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