As an instructor and user of Natural Family Planning, I strive not only to find ways to make charting more reliable and easy for my clients, but also for myself. This is even more prudent concerning confusing cycles, particularly those after a mother heals from birth. Any woman can attest that charting her return of fertility and following cycles after birth are the most challenging for most NFP users. Even instructors get a headache!
It was no different this time around in my own experience. After the birth of my second child in December of 2016, I experienced many months of confusion. I was able to use early breastfeeding rules to discern infertility, but after those rules no longer applied I knew it was time to step up my game. I had continuous fertile-quality mucus and could not reliably take my waking temperature for various (baby related) reasons.
This is where this product review comes in. My periods did eventually return, but as I was relying on my cervical mucus alone and was unable to use temperature readings, I needed something to confirm for me whether or not I actually ovulated.
For months I had known about a handy urine test that could do just that: MFB Fertility's very own at-home progesterone test! Called the Ovulation Double Check, this handy test works similar to the more well-known ovulation tests. You urinate in a cup, dip in the test stick, and the stick will show whether the hormone is present. For ovulation tests, they test for the ovulation hormone, LH (which is released whether or not an egg is actually released). Ovulation Double Check, however, tests a different hormone, one that occurs when ovulation is successful: progesterone!
The ovaries produce progesterone when the egg is released. Progesterone prevents further ovulations from occurring, thickens the uterine lining, and holds off period bleeds for about two weeks in the event there is a fertilized egg to support. A presence of progesterone means that ovulation, for sure, happened, and one can assume post-ovulation infertility for the rest of the menstrual cycle.
With this new tool on the market, I knew right away that I had to give it a try in my own uncertainty. My goal was to confirm ovulation while carefully following mucus-only rules for my charting, and boost my confidence for days available for intercourse. How well did this work? Let's find out.
In this review, I will go over directions for use of the test, the design and use of the test stick, and eventually discuss my experience.
The physical test stick:
The test used is very small and skinny, so it is discreet when thrown away or recycled. For me personally this was important, as I currently share a home with three other male family members; I don't want people coming to me with questions about "pregnancy tests" they found in the bathroom garbage can! There is a protective layer of plastic on one side, which is used to lay the test down on a counter without contaminating the tested urine.
The directions were clear and easy to follow. Part of this may have been due to the fact that I have used similar tests for measuring estrogen and LH with the ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor. If you use such tests already, then adding in the Ovulation Double Check into your charting routine will be a breeze. Even if you haven't used tests before, the directions are straightforward to follow; read over them several times before use and you should be good to go!
Use of stick:
Very simple to use. All I had to do was urinate in a cup, dip the test in the urine for five seconds, and then lay the test flat on the bathroom counter. For those new to at-home hormone testing, you may have a hard time urinating in the cup at first. Those who are more squeamish may dislike the idea of possibly touching urine.
The first time I used the Ovulation Double Check test stick, I was on my fifth day past Peak Day (the last day of fertile-quality mucus produced in my cycle, indicating ovulation may have occurred; by the fourth day after the fact, she is considered infertile again. I tested on the fifth day after because the tests did not come until the afternoon before!). I technically received a positive result, but because I wanted a clearer result, I tested again on the sixth day past Peak Day. By then, my test was undeniably positive for progesterone in my system!
As you can imagine, knowing that I had, in fact, ovulated, was a very reassuring answer to have. I plan to use this test until I can rely on temperatures again, after baby is older. However, that does not mean there are no "downsides" to the Ovulation Double Check:
- You can only use first morning urine to test. If a woman forgets to test her urine after she wakes up, she won't be able to test at all until the next day.
- 5%-7% of women will not produce enough metabolized progesterone in their urine to show positive test results. If all other signs on your chart show that you have ovulated for sure but your tests come up negative, you can not benefit from Ovulation Double Check.
- This test can be unreliable if you use progesterone supplements after ovulation. Even supplements used in the previous cycle may potentially give a false positive in the cycle after.
Thankfully, none of the downsides of Ovulation Double Check have affected it's reliability for my own charting. I truly enjoy using it, and I will recommend it to other NFP users who would like the objectivity this test provides. If you feel the test is right for you, you can buy them here on Amazon!
Have you tried MFB Fertility's Ovulation Double Check tests? Did they work for you? Comment below!
Note: This is not an endorsed post; no one paid me to write for this product. This post is not meant to replace medical advice from healthcare professionals.