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Fertile Ground – Tempdrop Blog

Fertile Ground

Drop in and explore Tempdrop’s fertile ground of science-backed insights covering a wide variety of women’s health and fertility-related topics, from menstruation and mental health to PMS, PCOS, and perimenopause.
A woman with chronic abdominal pain.
Menstruation cycleDoes PID Affect the Menstrual Cycle? An Expert DiscussionPelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a complex condition that involves inflammation of the pelvic area, including the upper genital tract, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It's characterized by swelling, heat, and redness, although these signs are internal. In 85% of cases, this infection is caused by sexually transmitted pathogens and bacteria, but only about 10-15% developed PID from gonorrhea and chlamydia. Numerous other bacteria may also lead to PID, such as streptococcus or certain influenza strains. Due to the location PID affects, menstrual cycle awareness is crucial. Overall, PID can impact the cycle in negative ways, particularly causing chronic pain and irregularity. This, in turn, affects fertility and conception. To better understand the true correlation between PID and the menstrual cycle, we spoke to Natasha Hogan—an experienced healthcare professional, infertility expert, and author of Pregnancy After Infertility: A Guide to What’s Next & What’s Different. She shares her wisdom on the effects and treatment options women should know when dealing with PID. PID: In-Depth Though the incidence of clinically diagnosed acute PID has decreased, the condition remains complex and requires careful consideration in both diagnosis and treatment strategies. What Causes PID? Various factors could increase susceptibility to PID, such as: Multiple sex partnersSexual practices, including oral sexPleasure toys, especially if not kept properly cleanDouching, which alters the vagina's microbiological environment, potentially flushing bacteria into the uterusProcedures like IUD insertion or dilation and curettage (D&C), sometimes performed after an abortion or miscarriageLower concentrations of protective chlamydial antibodiesLarger cervical ectopy in younger age groups (this is when the cells inside the cervix are visible outside of it)Smoking increases the chance of developing PID Tip: To guard against getting the infection repeatedly, it's advised to abstain from sex until your partner or partners have had treatment for any STDs or if PID has been previously diagnosed. Make sure you take precautions when conducting any oral, physical sexual pleasure. It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to understand personal risks and to take appropriate precautions and treatments tailored to individual needs and medical history. PID Symptoms The symptoms of PID can vary but generally include: Deep discomfort or pain during sex, felt inside the pelvisBleeding between periods and after sexHeavy and painful periodsUnusual vaginal discharge, particularly if yellow, green, or smellyFever and pain during urination Connected Issues Some other issues highlight how PID and infections are connected: Tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA): This condition can be polymicrobial, meaning it is caused by multiple and various pathogens. And this study shows that 13.9% of those in hospital for PID have TOA, which is more prevalent among those with chlamydia too.Dyspareunia: This primarily concerns insufficient lubrication. "If you don't have what you would consider natural feelings when being sexually aroused or going into the motion of having intercourse, everything can pull and hurt," explains Hogan. PID can become an irritation because of constant infection, making sex painful. This pain is not limited to initial intrusion; it can be felt in various ways, even hindering full orgasms since there may be no fluid in the area.Endometriosis: While there are similarities pathogenically, the two conditions occur in different locations, so they are not likely to increase the risk of each other. "From the standpoint that PID is related to intrusion within the uterus and endometriosis occurs on the outside of it, they are two distinct things," says Hogan. Detection Methods Current knowledge on PID detection emphasizes broader screening and diagnostic approaches. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to avoid chronic concerns, and a broad spectrum of testing methods is available, such as: BiopsiesSwab culturesPelvic examsImaging (ultrasound)Laparoscopy Note: Negative results from testing don't necessarily exclude a PID diagnosis. PID and the Menstrual Cycle PID can significantly affect the reproductive system, including changes to menstrual cycles, hormone levels, and physical structures within the system. Let's look at the different aspects of menstruation and the reproductive system and how PID can impact them: Cycle Length It can sometimes increase the length of a period due to the inflammation that irritates the reproductive organs. In some extreme cases, PID can make it nearly impossible to conceive because irregular ovulation or anovulation are harder to track. "This underscores the importance of not adhering too rigidly to textbook expectations about menstrual cycles. Variations can occur, and something unusual, like a cycle lasting up to 62 days, might indicate a problem," explains Hogan. Can PID cause a missed period?Some people may find that their cycle length gets a bit shorter. However, PID usually leads to longer cycles. Because of this, your period can sometimes be delayed and irregular, not necessarily skipped. Ovulation Some ways your ovulation may be impacted are: PID can affect hormones such as the luteinizing hormone (LH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), throwing the entire system out of balance. This hormonal disruption can cause irregular ovulation or even no ovulation.The inflammation associated with PID can irritate the reproductive organs, leading to disruptions in the normal ovulatory cycle. The general illness caused by PID, including symptoms like increased white blood cell count and lethargy, can interfere with the body's normal processes, including ovulation. Bleeding With PID, bleeding may be heavier during periods, and the blood may even appear darker as white blood cells try to combat the infection. This could be because the body is trying to rid itself of the bacteria present. Some may report their menstrual blood as more "stringy" or "gummy." Understanding your bleeding patterns can help you identify when there's a change that could be symptomatic of an infection, which you can address with your doctor. Reproductive System and Fertility PID can disrupt the entire reproductive system, potentially even leading to infertility. There may be less chance of getting pregnant due to: Fallopian tube damage: PID can lead to scarred or blocked tubes, which can prevent the egg from meeting the sperm for fertilization in the uterus.Abscesses: If these are in the reproductive tract, they can obstruct the normal fertilization process.Lowered sexual desire: Pain and discomfort can lead to a reduced interest in sexual activity, lowering the chances of conception. Also, any infection will raise white blood cell count and affect other markers, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), draining energy from the body and potentially leading to lethargy.Implantation disruption: Sometimes, PID's effect on the reproductive system's internal environment can potentially interfere with egg fertilization in the uterus. But this is a complex issue with less research on it in relation to PID. Tip: If you're trying to conceive and are concerned about PID, it's essential to work with healthcare providers who specialize in fertility and reproductive health. They'll be able to guide you based on your specific situation. Some options they might discuss with you are in vitro fertilization (IVF), surgery, fertility medications, intrauterine insemination (IUI), lifestyle changes and supportive care, and surrogacy or adoption. » Check out these 5 steps to repairing your period How Is PID Treated? PID is usually treated with a combination of approaches, and early treatment is essential to prevent complications. Unrecognized or "silent" PID may still lead to tubal factor infertility, so seeking treatment within 3 days of noticing lower abdominal pain can reduce risks. However, any treatments should only be implemented under the guidance and monitoring of your healthcare professional. Here's a general outline of how it's treated: Antibiotics Since PID is often caused by bacterial infections, antibiotics are the primary treatment. The specific antibiotics prescribed may depend on the suspected bacteria causing the infection. Sometimes a combination of antibiotics is used to cover a broader range of bacteria. This approach is most effective when implemented early on. Hospitalization In more severe cases or when complications are present, hospitalization may be required. Intravenous (IV) antibiotics might be administered, and close monitoring will ensure the best possible care. Surgical Options Surgeons may offer procedures to address abscesses or adhesions, but these come with added dangers and can result in trauma. "You have to weigh the risks with the benefits, particularly if you're keen on having a natural birth and want to explore different surgical interventions," advises Hogan. Each time surgery is performed, the risk to the uterine wall increases, and it may become so thin that it could rupture. » Are you having irregular periods? Find out some surprising causes of this here Decode Your Body's Rhythms With Cycle Tracking While PID has a clear impact on numerous stages of the menstrual cycle, from length to fertility, there are different options you can explore to help treat the infection under medical professionals' care. Ensuring your knowledge of the condition is up-to-date and comprehensive can help prepare you should you get PID, as well as help you take precautionary lifestyle changes that can lower your chances of the infection. Then, easiest of all, you can take your cycle and fertility tracking into your own hands with tools like Tempdrop's wearable tracker. This device monitors your basal body temperature (BBT) while you sleep and the app enables you to track additional fertility symptoms which will help you notice patterns, better understand your body, and be a crucial first data-gathering step should you wish to try and conceive.
A woman holding her stomach due to chronic pain.
Health conditionsGetting Pregnant With PID: What You Need to KnowPelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is the inflammation of the pelvic area and lower tummy, specifically by the upper reproductive organs. It generally entails pain from internal tissue swelling, fevers, and sometimes unusual discharge and vomiting in extreme cases. The infection isn't visible but like other inflammatory responses there is increased redness and heat internally. PID occurs when pathogens are admitted via the lower genital tract causing irritation and infection in the upper genital tract consisting of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This upper tract is imperative when trying to fall pregnant and keep a pregnancy to term. Studies estimate that it's most common between ages 15 to 25 and often occurs in sexually active individuals. So, if trying to conceive, managing PID and understanding your fertility is crucial. To better grasp the connection between PID and fertility, we spoke to infertility researcher, healthcare professional, and author of Pregnancy After Infertility: A Guide to What’s Next & What’s Different, Natasha Hogan, to learn from her insight and make navigating PID and pregnancy easier to follow. Understanding PID Typically, PID may cause generalized discomfort, bloating, bleeding between periods or after sex, heavy periods or painful periods, or unusual discharge. Sometimes discharge can even be a different color or have a distinct smell. PID can also sometimes feel like a really full bladder. PID Causes There can be more than one pathogen that can lead to PID. Previously, it was associated with two major diseases, gonorrhea and chlamydia. But now, in addition, anything that can use or uses pressure that moves fluids (that could contain pathogens or bacteria) into the pelvic area can be linked to causing PID. This also associates PID with sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Some other causes include: Infections after contraceptive IUDs are placed in the uterusInfections after gynecological procedures, such as D&C for an abortion or miscarriageGastrointestinal and respiratory infections, such as streptococcus, E. coli, and certain influenza typesPathogens carried through water streams for bidetsHigher susceptibility if you have other health conditions or complications, especially if your immune system is compromised When it comes to PID, more research is needed on various levels. Therefore, screening, diagnostics, and treatment strategies need to be considered early on. Some people may simply experience fatigue or not even know they have PID as no other clinical symptoms are presenting, so testing is important. Diagnostics include swab cultures, biopsies, pelvic exams, and laparoscopic procedures. Negative results from swabs or ultrasounds don't exclude a diagnosis as other factors can point to PID. Another tool for potentially detecting PID is a tubal examination. Many women who have not fallen pregnant may undergo a tubal flush test. This test involves injecting a fluorescent dye and using ultrasound to visualize the flow of the dye through the fallopian tubes. It helps determine if there are blockages that could be preventing pregnancy. How long does it take to develop PID?Because PID's an infection, it can develop and build significantly within 5 days. But testing and treatment as early and as often as needed are crucial to avoiding any long-term effects. However, timelines can differ since some cases develop in a couple of days or weeks and others take up to a year. Effect on the Reproductive System Inflammation in any part of the body creates stress and pressure on the nearby tissues, and therefore the rest of the organs, nerves, and anything in the general area of the infection. This can result in increased pressure on all cells, leading to pushing and pulling, which creates scar tissue, adhesions, and obstructions, especially in the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are quite intricate, fine, and detailed, so they can be easily obstructed. This obstruction can create issues for anything trying to get through, such as the egg being released. You may also lose a lot of the delicate tissue, like the little hairs (cilia) along the fallopian tubes that help push the egg further into the uterus. Once the cilia are lost, they don't necessarily regrow. Effect on Fertility and Pregnancy With PID Many PID symptoms have an impact on fertility and the likelihood of pregnancy. So, can you get pregnant with PID? Simply put, yes. However, there may be complications. For instance, women with PID may experience ectopic pregnancies (fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube) due to obstructing scar tissue. Does PID cause infertility, and if so, how long does it take?The uterus has a remarkable regenerative capacity monthly to differing degrees, but the delicate tissues along the fallopian tubes don't recover in the same way. In fact, tubal factors account for 25-35% of female infertility, with PID being a major causative factor. The time it takes for PID effects to lead to infertility can vary. "Having PID, especially more than once, significantly increases the risk of infertility, sometimes threefold," explains Hogan.Can PID cause miscarriage?PID is known to cause damage to the fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs, leading to infertility or reduced fertility and potential complications with childbearing in general. Because the chance of an ectopic pregnancy is six times more likely with PID, the likelihood of a miscarriage is much higher. So, if pregnant with PID, it can be very dangerous to your life and requires urgent monitoring. PID and Fertility Treatments Missed Diagnoses Concerns Any in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic will likely accept you for treatment if you have PID. Although the risks may be higher, and it may take longer to conceive, most people don't often hear about a diagnosis of PID if it has been asymptomatic. Instead, clinicians may find another reason, like tubal issues or the presence of an abscess. Hogan expresses the issue with this: "There's a need to have more focus on PID classification. Doctors may say, "You have this in your uterus, and we need to clear it up," followed by a course of antibiotics. They usually assume that the antibiotics will resolve the problem. This is great if the pathogen is eradicated, but not if there are existing abscesses and growths, or if the body's immune system has already become accustomed to an inflammatory situation. It can set off a process that resembles an autoimmune disease." Fertility Treatment Options Some possible treatment options, although not necessarily designed for PID exclusively, can help. But ultimately, all treatment plans should be made under strict advisement and monitoring of your doctor and fertility specialist. Observation of certain cells: Cells, such as CIN2, and growths like tumors or abscesses should be checked for STDs, HPV, and more, which can affect fertility. These observations also help monitor intrauterine cancers. Ensure you have all your regular checkups and request these for yourself for your future fertility precautions if needed.IVF: IVF is a medical procedure where an egg and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. This process takes out the issues related to fallopian tube damage or other PID-related problems, and the fertilized egg can be implanted directly into the uterus.Fertility medications: These can stimulate ovulation, potentially improving the chances of conception.Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This assisted reproductive technique involves sperm being placed directly into the uterus, making it easier timing-wise for the egg to release hopefully without traveling up through the fallopian tube.Surgical procedures: If surgery is required, it's crucial to research your surgeon, looking at their recommendations, past cases, and experience level. Because of possible complications and irreversible damage to the reproductive system, such as non-pliable uterine lining due to scar tissue or excessive thinning of the lining, surgeries to remove abscesses or adhesions should be approached with extreme caution and not as a first resort. But for women who may have more extensive fertility-related issues due to PID that prevent them from carrying a baby, there are other options for motherhood, such as: Surrogacy: This offers the possibility to have a biological child. A surrogate carries the baby on behalf of the intended parents, and IVF may be used to facilitate the pregnancy.Adoption or fostering: For those who find that biological parenthood is not an option, adoption and fostering present opportunities to build a family. How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Treating PID? Some IVF clinics may suggest that it's possible to conceive within a couple of months after treatment. However, the timing can vary significantly and depends on multiple factors, such as the severity of the infection, the symptoms presented initially, and the response to treatment. Before attempting to conceive, it's advisable to look for signs of recovery and stability, such as: Reduced painFewer interruptions or irregularities with menstrual cycles (Unexpected menstrual bleeding might indicate the condition is not resolved)Return to normality in terms of sexual function (Persistent pain during intercourse could be a sign that the condition is not fully cleared) Given the complexity of the situation and the potential risks, a cautious approach is recommended. A waiting period of at least 3-6 months post-treatment may provide a safer window to attempt conception. "Close monitoring and possibly more extended treatment or follow-up care may be required if symptoms don't clear up, so consultation with healthcare providers and adherence to their guidance is essential," says Hogan. » Curious about other conditions that also impact fertility? Check out the difference between endometriosis and PCOS Safety Measures to Lessen PID Development Sex education: This is especially important before women become sexually active. Examples include discussions about avoiding multiple partners, wearing condoms, and understanding the potential risks and benefits of different contraceptive methods, such as IUDs.IUD awareness: While IUDs may have been promoted more casually in the past, now it's recognized that they can lead to complications like PID. Due to heightened awareness and education, women are now better informed. Lessen smoking: This is particularly true if other risk factors are already in play, such as having multiple sexual partners or underlying health conditions, since the risk of infertility increases and will only worsen if PID also develops. "When individuals know that they are clear of PID and understand the importance of precautionary measures, they become more resilient in adhering to safety practices. This includes being mindful of their future plans, such as having children and avoiding behaviors that might increase the risk of infection," explains Hogan. » Discover how charting your cycle can help identify pregnancy concerns early Understand Your Body to Help With Pregnancy Reducing the risks of PID and preserving fertility involves more than just lifestyle choices. It's a complex issue that demands a careful balance between medical intervention and natural healing, always keeping in mind your unique circumstances and desires. Further education and research on PID, including on individuals who aren't necessarily sexually active, is needed. Luckily, comparisons with swabs and pathology might help in understanding and preventing PID for now. And consultation with experienced medical professionals is key to making the best decisions for your reproductive health. To start small but impactfully, you can utilize tools like Tempdrop's wearable fertility tracker to pinpoint your basal body temperature (BBT), track cervical mucus, and identify your optimal fertility window.
A woman learning about thyroid issues from a doctor.
HypothyroidismHypothyroidism & Fertility: The Impact on Reproductive HealthHypothyroidism is a health condition where the thyroid gland—a gland at the back of the throat—doesn't produce enough hormones. These hormones are essential messengers that relay information to the organs and tissues of the body, controlling various functions, including metabolism, heart rate, and basal body temperature (BBT). The condition went from affecting 9.5% to 11.7% of people between 2012 and 2019 in the United States. Despite hypothyroidism's prevalence among older adults, it has a significant impact on reproductive health because the thyroid forms part of the endocrine system—a gland network that produces hormones. We spoke to Natasha Hogan—a healthcare professional and author of Pregnancy After Infertility: A Guide to What's Next & What's Different—to gain valuable insight into hypothyroidism and its impact on fertility and reproductive health. Hypothyroidism: Causes & Symptoms Hypothyroidism can stem from two main issues: Iodine deficiency: Low iodine can be damaging to thyroid hormone production and reproductive health.Hashimoto's disease: This autoimmune disease causes the immune system to mistakenly attack and destroy the tissues of the thyroid gland. Some signs of hypothyroidism include constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain. In relation to the two conditions that can cause hypothyroidism, some specific symptoms are: "Iodine deficiency's signs are less obvious and often lead to misdiagnoses," says Hogan. When severe, a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland that forms a noticeable lump in the neck) can develop.Hashimoto's disease can cause fatigue, cold intolerance, and joint and muscle pain. Hypothyroidism and Ovulation Hypothyroidism can significantly impact fertility by causing irregular menstrual cycles and often leading to heavier menstruation. This irregularity can disrupt the usual patterns of the menstrual cycle, including the luteal phase which follows ovulation and precedes menstrual bleeding. Some ways hypothyroidism affects ovulation are: Hormonal imbalances: Low progesterone levels and irregular periods (for instance, every 6 months or longer) can lead to nutrient deficiencies, particularly zinc and iron, which can cause fatigue and harm fertility.Ovarian cysts: Hypothyroidism and ovarian cysts correlate. Because hypothyroidism can interfere with sex hormones, cysts can form that cause irregular ovulation.Trouble determining ovulation: In a regular cycle, most women ovulate around day 14. But with prolonged bleeding and irregular cycles, ovulation can be delayed until between days 16 and 21, leading to a shorter luteal phase. So, pinpointing the best time to conceive can be challenging.Metabolic issues: These can affect the BBT, which is often used for fertility tracking. Hypothyroidism makes it difficult to measure this temperature increase indicative of ovulation.Hyperprolactinemia or high prolactin levels: The prolactin hormone impacts menstruation and fertility. When levels are elevated, it can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, decreased fertility, and lactation of milk production in the breasts unrelated to pregnancy. Those experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or who have a family history of the condition should start monitoring their cervical mucus and doing BBT tracking within the first six months of trying to conceive as these are easier to maintain and more affordable than ovulation tests. "Tracking hypothyroidism can indicate poor BBT and ovulation. These indications can help doctors determine the right tests to run, as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have different impacts on fertility and require different treatment approaches," explains Hogan. Impact on Conception Hypothyroidism and getting pregnant don't always mix well. The condition can interfere with both fertilization and implantation, posing challenges to conception. Some complications include: Delays in natural conception for those quitting birth controlHeavy bleeding, leading to increased sick days and discomfortVaginal dryness, which can make conceiving difficult due to reduced natural lubricationLow testosterone levels in men, reducing sexual drive and sperm functionalityUnsuccessful egg attachment to the womb due to insufficient estrogen levelsWeak placenta formation Does Hypothyroidism Cause Infertility?In short, yes. But are you wondering how thyroid issues can cause infertility? When thyroxine levels are low and body functions are slower due to an underactive thyroid, the placenta can be compromised from implantation. Therefore, pregnancy may not take, even after an embryo is developed. So overall, reproductive wellness can be affected. » Find out how to recognize happy and healthy hormones with charting Impact on Pregnancy Even while pregnant, hypothyroidism can cause complications. Many of these extend past fertilization to the development of the embryo and the mother's health. Some risks include: Miscarriage, especially around the 12-week markPotentially compromised fetal brain developmentPreeclampsia (characterized by high blood pressure)AnemiaPostpartum hemorrhageMuscle pain and weaknessCongestive heart failureThyroid effects on the uterus, such as the placenta prematurely separating from the uterusHeightened anxiety "Despite the critical role that thyroid function plays in pregnancy, many people undergoing infertility treatment may not receive adequate education on the importance of these tests and why they're being done," says Hogan. "Hypothyroidism can affect not just physical health but also mood. This influence can extend to a child's development, implying a need for thyroid function evaluation if there are growth concerns." Treatments to Help Improve Reproductive Health With no definitive way to prevent hypothyroidism, early detection and management are key, particularly for individuals with a higher risk of thyroid problems due to a history of autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy in the neck, or certain medications. Hypothyroidism infertility treatments can be managed through bigger-picture measures that target the symptoms leading to conception troubles. Some approaches include: Thyroid Medications Any thyroid medication should be administered by a medical professional as each person's medical history can affect which medications are appropriate for them. Regular monitoring is important to ensure the correct dosage, avoid complications, and keep your healthcare provider informed of any side effects. Some side effects occur when the medication leads to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). These include: Rapid heart rateNervousnessIrritability "Despite potential side effects, maintaining appropriate thyroid hormone levels is important for the health of both the mother and baby," says Hogan. Dietary Changes Certain dietary changes can have potential benefits. For instance, adopting a plant-based diet can help with symptom alleviation as thyroid issues can exacerbate inflammatory responses in the body. However, it is important to keep in mind that dietary changes may not necessarily resolve hypothyroidism completely, but they can potentially help manage symptoms. Note: Regardless of the dietary approach, hypothyroidism should be managed and implemented under the guidance of a healthcare professional regularly. Food and Supplements Certain foods and supplements should be regulated due to their potential impact on thyroid function. Soy products and iron supplements can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption, particularly for those with an iodine deficiencyKelp and other seaweeds with high amounts of iodine (Tip: iodine intake should be moderate even if you have a deficiency)Certain vegetables—such as cauliflower, kale, and cabbage—contributing to goiter development when consumed in large quantities Emotional Support As thyroid hormones play a crucial role in mood regulation, achieving a balance is beneficial not only for physical health but also for emotional well-being. By managing hypothyroidism, particularly because of decreased mood regulation, anxiety levels can be decreased. This is especially helpful for women who have undergone infertility treatments and are now pregnant. Tip: "Women planning for pregnancy should be assessed for thyroid hormones and serum prolactin," advises Hogan. Untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy can lead to various complications, including subfertility, fetal death, premature delivery, and spontaneous abortion. » Want to know more? Discover the connection between ovulation and mental well-being Take Charge of Your Fertility "There is no sure-fire way to prevent hypothyroidism. But if early signs of the condition are detected, measures can be taken to prevent the disease from progressing," says Hogan. With this condition having a direct impact on ovulation, metabolism, conception, and healthy pregnancies, bolstering your fertility health is crucial. This includes professional medical monitoring, hormone management, and dietary adjustments. But to start, you can better understand your body and how it reacts to hypothyroidism symptoms. With Tempdrop's hassle-free BBT monitoring armband and cycle charting app, you can learn your body's rhythms for more informed fertility planning.
A woman holds a bowl of salad and  a box of fried food.
Health conditionsFood & PCOS: What to Avoid and What to Enjoy Guilt-FreePolycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder—It is the most common one among reproductive-aged women, affecting roughly 8-13% of women. PCOS affects hormone balance, fertility, health, and appearance as it can increase the likelihood of obesity, metabolic syndrome, or diabetes. There are four types of PCOS: Insulin resistantPost-pillInflammatoryAdrenal Not all types are treated in the same way, and some (like post-pill PCOS) are temporary and reversible. The most common type is insulin-resistant PCOS, and the information in this article is mainly geared toward that type. Although, those with other versions may also benefit from the advice. PCOS can be largely managed through diet and lifestyle changes. So, let's go over some diet changes that can help you! Disclaimer: The advice in this article is generic. You should consult with your medical provider before making any changes. » Struggling with PCOS? Find out more about unusual signs and symptoms of PCOS Worst Foods for PCOS If the foods on this list are your favorites, it's totally okay—any food is fine in moderation. However, for those with PCOS, inflammatory foods can exacerbate symptoms. So you should enjoy these as a special treat rather than on a daily basis: Fried Foods Foods fried in oils are high in saturated and trans fats, which are particularly negative for those with insulin-resistant or inflammatory PCOS since it can fluctuate your blood sugar. Some examples include french fries, potato chips, fried chicken, and tempura. These fats can have the following effects: Raises the LDL cholesterol (the "bad" type) in your blood, which can increase the risk of heart diseaseIncreases inflammatory responses within the body and can cause weight gainSpikes your blood sugar, causing an energy rush followed by a crash Many fried foods can be alternatively cooked in an air fryer, which is a much healthier option. The final product will contain a much smaller amount of these fats but generally will be crispy and flavorful. Processed Meats Common examples of processed meats are deli cuts, hot dogs, bacon, and any preserved meat, most of which are high in saturated fats and sodium. If your total intake of sodium is too high, it increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize that less than 2,300mg per day is optimal. Alternatives for these largely depend on what it is you're eating, but you can switch them out for peanut butter, hummus, and homemade burgers. Alcohol Alcohol affects the body in numerous ways: Increases inflammatory responseDecreases blood sugar levels (and the ability to regulate them if often consuming alcohol)Boosts testosteroneLowers nutrient absorptionAlters body temperatureIn terms of trying to conceive, it can decrease blood flow to reproductive organs and delay ovulation If you enjoy social drinking, try alternating between virgin and regular drinks to keep your alcohol consumption moderate. Refined Carbohydrates Refined carbs, which are stripped of most nutrients except simple carbs, are not an ideal energy source. Eating more than the occasional item with refined carbs can lead to weight gain or inability to lose weight, increased insulin production, and inflammation, worsening PCOS symptoms. Try making treats at home using whole grains when you do have a craving or find a local bakery with these options. Sugary Foods Many women with PCOS crave sugary food and beverages—like energy drinks, sodas, and pastries—throughout the day. But consuming too much sugar will spike insulin levels and increase the risk of diabetes. In general, natural sugars from fruits, honey, and maple syrup are considered healthier options than sugars in processed and refined foods. Try getting your sugar allotment (usually around 100 calories per day) in with fresh fruits and berries. PCOS Fruits to AvoidWith PCOS, there are fruits to steer clear of, including overripe bananas, dried fruits (like apricots and figs), and canned fruits. » Check out these nutrition tips for people with PCOS Best Diet for PCOS The best low-carb diet for PCOS offers the right nutrients. With fewer carbs, your blood sugar spikes less and you have improved weight control since carbs impact hunger hormones. On top of minimizing the foods above, you should make sure you are eating varied types of fruits, vegetables, and meat (or other full proteins). A PCOS insulin-resistant diet should prioritize stabilizing blood sugar levels since high insulin levels lead to inflammation and weight gain. This includes eating low glycemic foods in smaller amounts throughout the day, rather than large meals a few times each day. Low GI Diet for PCOS The best diet for high cholesterol and PCOS is a low GI diet, which doesn't have any refined carbs. This shouldn't be confused with no carbs at all, as carbs are an incredibly important energy source. Some examples to incorporate into your diet are: Fish: Is tuna good for PCOS? Yes, and so are salmon and sardines. These are all full of vitamins and help decrease insulin resistance.Whole grains: These healthy carbs include steel-cut oats, quinoa, and barley. Ingredients like this contain important nutrients and fiber that their counterparts lack and can be used to make the best bread for PCOS.Lean proteins: Lean proteins are packed with nutrition, will help you feel full longer, and reduce inflammation. Some to include are eggs, poultry, and lentils.Healthy fats: Necessary for a balanced diet, these fats won't spike your blood sugar or slow down digestion. These include avocados, walnuts, cheese, eggs, and full-fat yogurt.Non-starchy vegetables: The best vegetables for PCOS include spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas, which are full of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Plus, they promote healthy gut bacteria for better digestion. » Take a look at these Instagram accounts to follow for PCOS recipe ideas Making Changes It's completely understandable that these diet changes may seem drastic. However, they're also incredibly helpful in managing unpleasant PCOS symptoms and preventing long-term health problems. Making little changes over time—rather than trying to go cold turkey—can make you feel better and get pregnant faster (if you're trying). Overall health and vitality impact fertility, so establishing fertility awareness and tracking your ovulation can help you understand your body better for increased chances of conception. Tempdrop makes it easy with their wearable device and intuitive app. So, why wait? Start making changes today for a healthier tomorrow.
A man feeding a woman chocolate on a bed.
Ovulation5 Best Foods to Boost Libido During Ovulation: Make that Baby, Baby!Fertility is so much more than conception. It also reflects your overall health and well-being. Like fertility, libido is also a good barometer for overall wellness and vitality. Factors like diet, body weight, and genetics can affect libido. Understanding when conception can and can't occur can enable you to know when it's possible to get pregnant if that's your goal. Your fertility window is comprised of the days leading up to and including your ovulation day, which is a period of approximately 6 days (5 days prior to ovulation day and 12 to 24 hours after ovulation). Here, Ivy Joeva—fertility coach, doula, and birth educator—discusses how various natural aphrodisiacs can help with your libido and achieving your fertility goals. Impact of Health on Libido A strong libido depends on a delicate balance of sex hormones. A simple way to support hormonal health is to maintain blood sugar balance. Managing blood sugar levels is important to hormonal health because erratic levels cause more cortisol secretion, which competes with hormones like progesterone and testosterone. Many women have estrogen dominance—depleted progesterone and too much estrogen. This is where nutrition can support fertility. A healthy diet can help you eliminate endocrine-mimicking toxins. Also, healthy fats and balanced macronutrients play a role in hormone production. Some factors to consider to help ensure your diet is balanced are: Food sourcing: Desertification (a typical result of industrial agriculture) strips the soil of its nutrients. By prioritizing locally-made, fresh produce, you're still getting fertility-friendly superfoods that are full of phytonutrients, which promote good health.Gut microbiome: Toxic chemicals, like pesticides and the overuse of antibiotics, can deplete the healthy bacteria in your gut, impeding digestion and reducing nutrient absorption. A healthy gut is one of the foundational pillars of good health and fertility.Food variety: A diet rich in plant foods gives you the variety of prebiotic fibers you need to feed a diversity of healthy gut bacteria. Varied plant-based foods offer different fibers that nourish the strains of probiotics needed for your gut microbiome to thrive. » Find out the top tips for preconception 5 Best Foods to Boost Libido During Ovulation OystersWatermelonDark ChocolatePomegranatesAlmonds There are not a set number of specific foods that are aphrodisiacs. Any plant foods vibrant in color, including dark greens, bright reds, purples, yellows, and oranges are rich in phytonutrients that support fertility and sex drive. And to help improve your chances of pregnancy, it's important to include a good variety of these foods daily at each meal. Some examples of foods you can enjoy during ovulation to help boost libido include: 1. Oysters Oysters are high in zinc, which supports healthy testosterone levels. Men and women rely on testosterone for libido, and balanced sex hormones support fertility. But do oysters get you in the mood? "Since zinc helps modulate dopamine, which increases sexual desire, eating oysters can help get you excited about sex," Joeva explains. 2. Watermelon Watermelon is good for fertility and egg quality since it contains glutathione, which boosts egg quality. This fruit also has citrulline, which converts into the amino acid arginine in our bodies. Arginine promotes blood flow, which enhances sexual arousal and satisfaction. Watermelon's high water content also increases sex drive. Hydration can help prevent poor blood circulation and vaginal dryness, which can hamper libido. 3. Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate enhances our body's production of serotonin, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. This feel-good chemical—in addition to dopamine—can increase your sexual desire. Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which can help counteract oxidative stress. This type of stress can deplete testosterone, so dark chocolate may indirectly support testosterone levels. The theobromine in chocolate also has a stimulating effect, which can further increase pleasure. 4. Pomegranates "Pomegranates are a star when it comes to antioxidants," says Joeva. They boost blood flow to the uterus which helps maintain a healthy uterine lining. Pomegranates also have a more direct sensorial impact on sexual desire. On the level of our senses, our bodies connect with messages from nature. Pomegranates are also a metaphorical representation of fertility. Its juice resembles menstrual blood, and when you open the fruit, the abundance of seeds resembles the multitude of eggs in an ovary. So, pomegranates allow you to sense desire with your eyes, taste, and touch. 5. Almonds Almonds are a great libido-boosting snack that helps balance your blood sugar. They're high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Plus, almonds are an aphrodisiac full of healthy fats to assist with the production of sex hormones and boost sexual desire. As a good source of magnesium, they also help lower high blood pressure. This is especially important if you have chronic hypertension, which can lower egg quality and make conception more challenging. Other Fertility-Friendly Foods Have fun making your own superfoods list when trying to conceive based on your preferences. A few more ideas include: Avocados: These are high in monosaturated fats, which, according to this study, can increase your chances of conception for women undergoing IVF treatments. These pregnancy-safe libido boosters for females also contain magnesium and boron, which have a positive impact on testosterone levels.Sweet potatoes: "These are one of my favorite foods, and they're a wonderful source of carbohydrates, beta-carotene, and potassium," says Joeva. Beta-carotene is used to make vitamin A in the body, which can facilitate reproduction and embryonic development after conception. » Unsure about your ovulation days? Find out the reasons to start tracking ovulation Monitor Your Fertility While Eating Right "I recommend you check out your local farmer's markets and try new foods to help keep things fresh and exciting." By avoiding the instant gratification of processed, packaged foods that aren't especially helpful for vitality, libido, or fertility, you can improve your chances of conceiving. To help you track your ovulation so you can plan intercourse around your fertility window, Tempdrop's fertility tracker is a great choice. It's flexible to use, so you can choose which cycle and health factors to analyze to help you meet your fertility goals.
A woman in bed wearing a BBT thermometer on her arm.
Fertility4 Best BBT Thermometers to Track Fertility & More [2023]Tracking your cycle can dramatically increase your chances of successfully conceiving. In fact, a National Library of Medicine study shows that those who use cycle-tracking systems are more likely to conceive within two menstrual cycles than those who don't. The various phases of the menstrual cycle affect a variety of things used to track the ideal time to try and get pregnant, such as your basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus. Using your BBT, you can look out for a lower temperature pre-ovulation during the fertile window, and a higher temperature during the luteal phase after ovulation. So, let's find out the best way to measure BBT. Our Top Picks for the Best BBT Thermometers to Track Fertility & More We've put together a list of the best BBT thermometers for you and even qualified them for different purposes to meet your specific fertility needs. Best Overall: TempdropBest for period tracking: iFertrackerBest for ovulation symptoms: AvaBest for flexible tracking: Daysy So let's dive right in and review each one! 1. Best Overall BBT Thermometer Tempdrop is the best wearable BBT thermometer since it uses an algorithm to monitor your sleep patterns, identify your true resting temperature (BBT), and track your nightly and monthly temperatures. This helps identify your fertility window and ovulation for each cycle. Cycle tracking: Sync your Tempdrop readings with the app to track your symptoms so you can verify your ovulation and cycle phases.Effective for irregular cycles: Tempdrop is tailored to your sleep patterns and menstrual cycle, so you can still track irregular cycles/patterns.Fertility cycle report/statistics: Combining temperature readings with other fertility symptoms can help identify your optimal fertility window.Pregnancy tracking: To determine a more accurate due date, you can add nine months to your temperature shift date, then subtract 7 days. Price: $215 Whether you have a regular daily routine, work in shifts, are experiencing postpartum, or sleep irregularly, Tempdrop's algorithm learns from you and interprets your data on an individual basis. Unlike a lot of other smart devices and apps that help you track your fertility, the effectiveness is determined by the fertility awareness method you use. Plenty of users have found it useful as they change intentions through trying to conceive, postpartum charting, and even charting for health. Plus, you can choose to sync your data with the Tempdrop app or any other fertility charting app of your choice. ProsNon-invasiveGreat for all sleep patterns and cyclesCan be used with any intentionSeamless syncing with the free appEasy digital cycle chartingBattery lasts 6 months on averageConsMonthly fee for additional app featuresOnly stores a total of 24 hours worth of sleep data (3 x 8 hour sleep sessions) 2. Best BBT Monitor for Period Tracking iFertracker is worn overnight with a patch attached to your armpit and collects data for a BBT reading the next morning. Then, you sync it with their app to get your daily BBT. Cycle tracking: It provides notifications for each phase of your cycle through its app.Effective for irregular cycles: Might not be as effective for irregular periods as it requires you to enter your last period date before tracking can start.Fertility cycle report/statistics: The app converts the daily BBTs into graphics that reflect temperature changes before and after ovulation occurs.Pregnancy tracking: You can use iFertracker to monitor the risk of early pregnancy concerns, like miscarriages.Price: $129 iFertracker helps predict what your cycle will look like. The app notifications can help you learn about your hormonal changes. Using their chart tool can also help you plan ahead. This product identifies any irregular activity during sleep, like if you get up, making it a useful BBT measurement option. ProsWireless syncing to appTurns on/off automaticallyStores up to 10 nights of dataRecords relevant events like sexual activity, etc in-appConsSticky patches require replacingApp only available for iOSBattery lasts 45-60 days » Check out these 10 ways to improve your chances of pregnancy. 3. Best BBT Monitor for Ovulation Symptoms Ava is a device worn on the wrist, also only during sleep. Cycle tracking: You can view real-time insight into your cycle phases for up to 12 previously recorded cycles.Effective for irregular cycles: Ava is not effective for irregular periods as it is recommended for women with a cycle length ranging from 24-35 days.Fertility cycle report/statistics: Using the data it collects, Ava pinpoints the 5-day window that's best for you to try for a baby.Pregnancy tracking: It offers pregnancy tracking, and if you purchase the Plus plan, you get a full refund if you are not pregnant within 12 months.Price: From $279-$359 It captures and tracks physiological signals, your input in the app, and your past cycles to help you interpret and predict your ovulation period and fertility window. Ava is primarily ideal for women trying to conceive as it offers health parameters that can indicate when is the best time to try and get pregnant. These include temperature, physiological stress, sleep, and resting pulse rate. Because of the cycle length parameters, many women with conditions like PCOS won't be able to use Ava to help them get pregnant. ProsApp charts multiple biomarkersMeasures pulse and respirationEasy app interfaceMoney-back guarantee for the Plus and Premium plansConsMust have regular cyclesLimited to those trying to conceiveNot for those with implanted electronic devices 4. Best BBT Monitor for Flexible Tracking Daysy is a BBT thermometer that you use to take your BBT at whatever time you wake up each morning but before you get out of bed. Cycle tracking: Daysy uses a colored-light system to indicate when you are fertile, infertile, and ovulating.Effective for irregular cycles: It is designed with some irregularity in mind. But if your cycle is outside the 19-40 day range, you can contact Daysy's experts.Fertility cycle report/statistics: Using a unique algorithm, Daysy can calculate the fertile days in your cycle quickly. If the device shows a red light, you are currently or possibly fertile.Pregnancy tracking: When your BBT remains high for more than 18 days, Daysy registers a possible successful conception. Then, all three lights will flash, and once Daysy has calculated a more likely pregnancy, all lights will be solid. DaysyDay will then turn your temperature chart blue in the app.Price: $319 Daysy accommodates your sleep schedule, only requiring at least 1 hour before using the device. Its self-learning algorithm is based on 5 million menstrual cycles. It uses this insight along with your menstruation and ovulation data and your past cycles to deduce your peak fertility periods. Daysy's app, DaysyDay, allows you to easily view your temperature curve, so you can make informed choices regarding your fertility, ovulation, and menstrual health. Plus, it offers individualized statistics about cycle irregularities or impacts from your current activities. ProsCalculates fertility status within a single devicePartner app for partner's easy accessCan monitor cervical mucus with free appGood customer supportConsHave to take temperature manuallyApp can be buggyCostly » See how charting multiple fertility awareness indicators can help you conceive. Monitor Your BBT and Fertility With Tempdrop Traditionally, you have to take your BBT when you wake up at the exact same time, which either means you never sleep in or that your sleep is disrupted so you can take your temperature on time. But with modern BBT thermometers and fertility trackers, this is a thing of the past. And look no further than Tempdrop. Overall, Tempdrop gives you the freedom to use your cycle data for whatever your intentions are and can make your fertility journey easy to follow and navigate.
A doctor with a model of the uterus that has uterine fibroids.
Health conditionsUterine Fibroids & Fertility: Important Facts & Conception TipsUterine fibroids can occur in any woman of childbearing age, predominantly those aged 30-40. The root cause is unconfirmed, but most experts think that it's due to hormones or even genetics. Studies show this condition seems more prevalent in African-American women than in other women. These non-cancerous growths develop in the uterus and are sometimes called leiomyomas or myomas. They vary in size, from as small as a pea to masses larger than a golf ball. Michelle Tillman, a fertility educator and the founder of Fertility Freak, provides an in-depth understanding of uterine fibroids. She explores everything from detection and holistic treatments to removal surgery concerns, emphasizing the importance of fibroid education among women. Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids You could experience no symptoms. But more than likely, if you don't have symptoms, you may not even know that you have fibroids if they're present. Symptoms when dealing with fibroids are: Heavy prolonged periods Pain or pressure in your pelvisFrequent use of the bathroomReproductive issues that may interfere with your ability to get or stay pregnantPainful intercourseConstipationBloating » Struggling with a heavy flow? Check out this guide to better understand your bleeding patterns How Fibroids Are Detected During an OBGYN checkup, pap smears are usual but voluntary ultrasounds for fibroid detection aren't. Depending on their location, doctors could possibly detect fibroids through physical examination. "Sometimes the fibroids can be so large that your belly protrudes and you look like you're pregnant," says Tillman. Young women should understand their bodies early. Heavy periods, for example, might be a sign of an underlying condition but often get treated with birth control, despite the cause. But why not be proactive so it doesn't get worse? Advocating for further examination is crucial, particularly if there's a family history of fibroids. How Do Fibroids Affect Fertility? The main question you may have is, "Can you get pregnant with uterine fibroids?" You absolutely can get pregnant. "A lot of clients that I see and work with are actually able to get pregnant even with their fibroids," says Tillman. Can fibroids cause infertility?Which fibroids cause infertility depends on their location, how many you have, their size, and whether it can cause complications were you to try and get pregnant.Can fibroids outside the uterus cause infertility?If the fibroids are attached closer to your fallopian tubes and block where the egg would be released, that can prevent the egg from reaching the lining of the womb. Here, your doctor may recommend working on shrinking the fibroids before trying to conceive again. How Fibroids Affect Pregnancy Fibroids act like a baby—they suck up all the nutrients. But when pregnant, your baby is also trying to get nutrients. People often miss their deficiencies. They might be low on iron or vitamin D or have a lot of inflammation, making it harder for nutrients to absorb. In these cases, you need higher micronutrient levels to have a safe pregnancy. Do Fibroids Grow During Pregnancy? Fibroids can change and grow during pregnancy. "I always recommend a preparatory period of about 90 days before you get pregnant if you know you have fibroids," says Tillman. Your eggs change based on what you're doing in your life—whether it's on purpose or not. The effects of these changes will only show after those 90 days. Why do fibroids cause miscarriages?If it's on the placenta where your baby needs to feed, then the fibroids will be consuming extra nutrients, disrupting your baby's healthy development.Do fibroids shrink after pregnancy?Research shows that fibroids can reduce in size significantly post-partum, and 37.2% of fibroids may no longer be present. » Find out how charting your cycle can help you identify early pregnancy concerns 4 Treatment Options There are holistic ways that Tillman recommends as a first resort. So what happens if fibroids are not removed versus if you have removal surgery? Let's explore some treatments: 1. Diet Often, the importance of a nutrient-dense diet for overall health is overlooked at a younger age. Later on, when considering pregnancy, connections between health and lifestyle become clear, emphasizing the significance of preventive measures. You might only have a certain amount of eggs when you're born, but the quality of those eggs can change with lifestyle changes. Fibroids may worsen in women in their 20s due to lifestyle choices like late nights, unhealthy diets, and convenience eating. Some ways to improve your lifestyle include: Reduce sugarEat nutrient-dense foodsLimit caffeine intakeGet more sleep "A lot of people are drinking caffeine because they don't get enough sleep. So, if you get more sleep, you can reduce your caffeine," explains Tillman. 2. Supplements You can help reduce fibroid-caused inflammation through supplements, like magnesium, but you have to ensure you take it daily. So many people who have infertility issues deal with magnesium deficiency. There are lotions, pills, and other ways that you can get magnesium in your body. Even if you're not trying to get pregnant, magnesium can help eliminate PMS, cramping, and headaches. 3. Vaginal Steaming Some people may be hesitant about vaginal steaming, but it is one of the most natural things you can do. Even if you don't have any special herbs that you add, just the steam in your body can make a huge difference with inflammation. I have seen clients who have steamed every day and the size of their fibroids have shrunk to where the doctor was like, 'What did you do?' Steaming—even without herbs—with diet and lifestyle changes can reduce fibroids if you're consistent for at least 90 days. There are no specific herbs that are recommended, but if you're adding any, here are some to try: Peppermint oilOreganoVitex, which is supposed to help with infertility Tip: Ensure you're not doing vaginal steaming when trying to get pregnant or during ovulation. Only do it before, during the follicular phase. 4. Removal Surgery I don't recommend any surgical options simply because getting them removed can leave you with more scar tissue afterward that can make implantation and getting pregnant harder. But surgery can have benefits, depending on where your fibroids are: Shorter timeframe before your body is in a pregnancy-ready stateCan help with getting pregnant if the fibroid is blocking one of your tubes For example, if you have a softball-sized fibroid and do natural remedies for 90 days, that's going to take longer to shrink than something that's golf ball-sized or pea-sized. You can then work on your inflammation after the surgery. Make sure to ask your doctor the following before opting for surgery: Will this interfere with my ability to get pregnant?Can I still have a safe pregnancy after fibroid removal?What is the success rate after surgery?How long does it usually take to get pregnant afterward?Have you seen any complications? Does fibroid removal affect hormones?Research shows that the follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone levels may increase, which can impact ovulation. It's best to talk to your doctor about this. Tips on Getting Pregnant With Fibroids "With the whole 90-day rule, you need to start making holistic changes now so that your body can be in an optimal condition to get pregnant," says Tillman. "Make sure you know what you're working with too." Here are tips for preconception to help improve your chances of pregnancy: Have an initial exam with your doctor to find the location and size of your fibroids.Seek holistic help from someone who can guide you through the necessary lifestyle changes.Implement holistic changes.Stay consistent for 90 days.Have a follow-up exam to see if there are any improvements.Evaluate the effectiveness of the holistic changes.Ask your doctor if surgery is necessary or if you can wait to see further results.Ensure your mindset is right—seek counseling, spiritual, or religious guidance. "Your mindset affects your body as well. And once you do the steps to right it, you can be prepared to get pregnant even if your fibroids are not totally gone," Tillman explains. Fill the Knowledge Gap and Track Your Fertility Cycle "Fibroids are talked about but it's always reactionary instead of preventative," says Tillman. Quality of life should not be neglected until a woman decides to have a child. Painful periods are often dismissed as "normal," but they could be indicative of deeper health issues, like fibroids. The sooner symptoms are addressed, the better they can be managed or resolved without invasive treatments like surgery. More education is needed to inform young women about what is normal and what isn't in terms of their health. And one way of broadening education is through fertility trackers like Tempdrop's. It allows you to understand your cycle, identify your fertility window, and live harmoniously with your body's natural rhythms.
A woman on a bed with her eyes closed and a BBT armband.
Fertility devicesTempdrop vs. Daysy Fertility Trackers: Which Is Best for You?You may have heard of the "fertility window," which is the time in your menstruation cycle when conception is most likely if you're trying to fall pregnant. This typically encompasses the 5 days before you ovulate, the day of ovulation, and the day following ovulation—7 days altogether. But ovulation happens at different times for everyone, and even at different times for the same person in different cycles. Tracking your cycle, including basal body temperature (BBT), gives you insight into your fertility, which allows you to time intercourse so you can improve your chances of pregnancy. There are plenty of devices out there that claim to be the best or most convenient way to track your cycle. To help you choose the tool that's most suitable for you and your fertility goals, let's compare Tempdrop with the Daysy fertility tracker. Tempdrop vs. Daysy at a Glance TempdropDaysyUser ExperienceWorn on the upper arm while you sleepPlace thermometer under your tongue first thing when you wake up before getting upMain FeaturesContinuously tracks temperature throughout the night while you sleep In-app cycle and fertility tracking Sleep trackingUses a self-learning algorithm to take your temperature Takes your temperature, stores your data, and calculates your fertility from a single device Color-coded lights to indicate different cycle phasesFertile Window InterpretationOption to use fertility predictions or turn them off to interpret your own dataDaysy takes 2-4 cycles as a learning phase. Then, you will see more green lights around your fertile window. The more you measure, the more accurate the resultsSuitable for Irregular Cycles or Changing Sleep PatternsYesYes, but if your ovulation fluctuates by more than 4 days or your cycle length is outside the 19-40 day range, it's recommended to contact Daysy's expertsFDA RegulationFDA registeredFDA registered Price$215$319Insurance CoverageHSA + FSA eligibleHSA + FSA eligible Tempdrop Fertility Tracker You may be wondering, "What is Tempdrop?" It's an overnight wearable BBT sensor that helps track ovulation. It just has to be turned on for at least 3 hours while wearing it to get enough data to determine what your resting temperature is. How does Tempdrop work and give you that temperature? When you wake and remove the device, you sync it with the Tempdrop app, which runs numerous data points through an algorithm that determines your temperature and sleep motions. ProsCan use any fertility awareness methodNo strict waking timeFree app with manual interpretationFertility charting available in appGreat for those who work rotating shiftsConsRequires armband to be worn overnightNot everyone is comfortable having their data tracked in an app Daysy Fertility Tracker The Daysy thermometer requires that you manually take your temperature each morning. It gives you the flexibility to take your temperature at whatever time you wake up. Once it has this data, it requires a learning phase to get to know your unique cycle. It displays a red light to indicate fertility or a green light to indicate infertility. It can also predict your ovulation day (red flashing light) and potential pregnancy (red, green, and yellow blinking lights). ProsFlexibility in BBT timeEasy to useDaysy partner appConsApp is buggyDaysy-funded studies with selection biasTemperature has to be taken manuallyCostly Tempdrop vs. Daysy: User Experience How to wear/use Tempdrop? The Tempdrop armband is worn on your arm near your armpit (over the axillary artery). Ensure the device is on before going to sleep. In the morning, remove it from your arm. At your convenience, you then Bluetooth sync it with Tempdrop's app. You can keep your data in Tempdrop's app or export it to your favorite charting app. How to wear/use Daysy? Daysy is a BBT thermometer that you use each morning when you wake up. It sends the data to your phone, and then tells you your fertility status. It gives you a simple light indicator: red for fertile/possibly fertile and green for infertile. Tempdrop vs. Daysy: Main Features Both devices allow users to track BBT as well as other fertility factors, like ovulation. This helps identify when users are most fertile. Tempdrop learns the more it's used to give you a more accurate overview of your temperature, sleep patterns, and other fertility factors—even if your cycle and sleep are irregular. Personally, I like that Tempdrop lets you choose what sorts of risks to take into account because you can easily follow what the data means for your health and fertility goals. Daysy does all of the work of tracking your cycle and giving you a fertility status daily. But because Daysy relies at least partly on past cycles, it has to be more conservative in the case of irregular cycles and labels more days as potentially fertile than a specific fertility awareness method may determine. Winner: Tempdrop Tempdrop vs. Daysy: Price Is Tempdrop worth it? Tempdrop starts at $215 and has optional additional costs of $40 for a 12-month refund and extended warranty and $89 for a 1-year insurance policy. Tempdrop is also HSA and FSA eligible. Is Daysy worth it? The Daysy thermometer cost ranges from $319 to $546 and is HSA and FSA eligible. The higher-priced options are packages that include educational materials. The Daysy fertility tracker is covered by insurance, depending on your policy, and you get a 2-year warranty with your purchase. Winner: Tempdrop Which Is Better Overall? For me, Tempdrop is overall a more suitable option. I prefer its flexibility when it comes to analyzing and viewing your data to take your fertility and health goals into your own hands. Tempdrop also uses daily data to accurately interpret your cycle within 2 weeks, as opposed to Daysy's two-cycle learning phase, which can give incorrect readings.
A woman laying in bed under a white pillow feeling moody and emotional during ovulation.
Mental healthCan Ovulation Make You Feel Depressed & Emotional? Experts DiscussMany women report feeling "moody" when ovulating—hormone fluctuations occur naturally over the course of your cycle, but they can affect other hormones like dopamine and serotonin (both play a part in depression). You may have heard this referred to as PMS or even PMDD (a more severe premenstrual mood disturbance). PMDD affects 5-10% of women in their reproductive years. Ovulation occurs* when estrogen levels rise and the luteinizing hormone peaks, signaling your body it's time to release a mature egg from the ovary. This hormonal process can cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. In this study, women reported higher symptoms of depression in both early and late follicular phases (before ovulation) compared to the mid-luteal phase (the time after ovulation). Here’s how hormone changes during ovulation affect your mood, and other causes to consider, so you can make any needed changes to support yourself during your cycle. *In a 28-day cycle, ovulation typically occurs about 14 days before the next period. However, the first half of your cycle may be longer, so it's not a guarantee to be in the middle of the cycle. How Does Ovulation Affect Your Mood? Hormonal changes during ovulation can prompt mood symptoms, like depression and irritability. There’s a drop in estrogen after ovulation which can cause a drop in serotonin, the chemical messenger that affects moods and is linked to depression and anxiety. After ovulation, progesterone levels peak in the middle of the luteal phase before dropping back down.* Progesterone fluctuations are also linked to a decline in dopamine, which can make you tired, moody, and unmotivated. Low estrogen can contribute to mood changes as well, including depression symptoms, anxiety, and frustration. Genetics can also affect your sensitivity to hormonal changes, so talking with the women in your family about their experiences around ovulation may help to shed some light on your experiences. *Progesterone levels peak during days 7-10 post ovulation—in a typical 28-day cycle, with ovulation assumed to be happening on cd14, the mid-luteal phase test is cd21, and the peak is at day 7 post ovulation. Does Ovulation Make You Sad? So does ovulation make you emotional? It's complicated. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), sometimes referred to as “severe PMS,” as mentioned above, is linked to the hormonal changes triggered by ovulation. PMDD is a mood disorder that may occur together with other premenstrual symptoms. Factors like cigarette smoking, obesity, and pre-existing anxiety disorders can increase your likelihood of developing this condition. Symptoms usually begin after ovulation and last into the first days of your period. Symptoms of PMDD can include: Depression and despairNo motivation, low energyFeelings of anxiety, with possible panic attacksChanges in sleeping habitsMood swings that may include anger, irritability, and crying Even though there is a link between hormonal fluctuations and conditions such as PMS and PMDD, it doesn't necessarily mean these fluctuations are making you sad. In my practice, I often see women with hormonal imbalances, and I have experienced PMS symptoms as well, but there are many more factors to consider if you're not feeling your best self around ovulation. In addition to the risk factors listed above, poor diet and lifestyle, burnout at work or as a caregiver, and limited access to mental wellness resources are all contributing factors to mood disturbances and hormone imbalances throughout the cycle. Lastly, if you have been struggling to conceive, the time after ovulation may feel emotionally difficult for you to manage and could contribute to feelings of sadness. How Tempdrop Can Help We all need something we can trust and rely on these days, and Tempdrop has earned this badge of honor. Tempdrop tracks your ovulation simply and accurately. By getting to know your cycles, you can take proactive steps to prepare for the time after ovulation when you may need extra care. Proactive support can look like: Scheduling therapy appointments during your ovulation and luteal phase Prioritizing projects at work during the first half of your cycle when you have more to offer Budgeting for self-care activities that fill your cup and set aside dedicated "me time"Reaching out to friends and family for a chat or a walk with you outsideUsing a journal to help you work through your thoughts and feelingsEating nutritious and nourishing foods that support your health and vitality Giving yourself lots of compassion and grace The more you know about your cycles, the better prepared you can be to advocate for support from your medical provider. This helps to ensure your physical, emotional, and mental wellness needs are covered.