Monday, September 6, 2010

If It Changes Colors, I'll Pee On It

As promised, a POAS (pee on a stick) gallery!

Quick Aside: The poop came back, not anywhere close to as bad as last time, but still. Nobody in the house can smell the sewer but me, I wonder if it is the hCG still in my system from the shot? Odd. If you are really confused, you'll need to see this and possibly this.

Ok, SO I use two different types of urine OPKs. The Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor, which looks like this --------------------------------------------------->

And the Clear Blue Easy Digital, which looks like this ------------------------------------------------------->

The monitor is a long term process, it takes the first morning urine and tests for both estrogen changes and LH changes. It also stores your data each month and therefore gets more accurate to your individual cycle the more you use it. The picture above shows three things: 1. It's cycle day one 2. It's at "low" fertility 3. The "M" means it's a menstrual cycle day. Every morning you turn it on and it shows the cycle day, and then tells you whether it's a test day or not. During your period it doesn't ask you to test, and then starting CD 6 or 7 (depending on previous cycles) it starts giving flashing the "test" sign. You pee on a stick, insert it into the monitor, and in about 5 minutes it gives the result. One bar = Low, two bars= High, three bars (with a little egg in the middle) = Peak. There are two test lines on the stick, and though they say that it can't be read by the human eye, it can. With the wick end to the left, the LH line is the first one, and gets darker for your surge. The estrogen line is the second one and starts out dark to get lighter as your estrogen rises. Here is an example of a "low" stick.

As the estrogen line gets lighter (meaning higher levels) the monitor switches from "low" to "high". Here is an example of a "high" stick. The LH line is still non-existent, but the estrogen line has faded just a little. 

Anyway, you can see on this one that the estrogen line is almost all the way gone, but there still isn't an LH line.

(Aside: I'm not real sure WHAT happened with the boy/girl background colors, but I swear it was not intentional.)

And then FINALLY (after the trigger shot)

We get a "Peak".  See how the LH line is finally there, and the estrogen one isn't? Three bars AND an eggy is a happy, happy thing to see. 

Mmmkay, on the the smiley face one. This one doesn't store your information, nor does it test estrogen levels. It can *only* detect an LH surge. Again with the wick to the left, it has a test line (first) and a control line (second). You get a positive when you get two lines (just like with a pregnancy test). Once again, you are not supposed to read them with the naked eye, but I've found you *can* see subtle changes in the lines as the test gets closer to positive. Once your LH surges you get a smiley face, which again, is a great thing to see and is usually followed by a run around the house happy dance. Here's a positive stick followed by the much coveted smiley face.


The smiley test does not have to be first morning urine, and since A) I have to hunt my LH surge like Wiley Coyote hunts that RoadRunner and B) Sometimes a surge can be short, and if you only test in the morning there is a change you could miss it, I usually use this test in the afternoon, and sometimes even two times a day if I think I'm close to ovulation. Even with ALL of this peeing on sticks, there have been plenty of months that I never get a peak, or a smiley. I can't give you a good explanation, and it's infuriating and stressful, but the months I do get a positive OPK, it's cause for a party, or at least a happy dance for sure. 

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