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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.
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.
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.
Fertility devices5 Best Fertility and Ovulation Trackers for a 2024 BabyOn average, only 30% of women can accurately identify the optimal time to get pregnant. That leaves a huge percentage of the population who aren't able to. Studies show that many women are actually misinformed about the exact timing of their fertile window, which can make getting pregnant harder to achieve and take longer than expected. It's been demonstrated that wearable trackers can be more sensitive and, therefore, more accurate than other fertility tracking methods. Let's dive into which trackers you should use to have the highest likelihood of having a baby in 2024. Our Top Picks for the Best Fertility and Ovulation Trackers Best Overall Fertility and Ovulation Tracker: TempdropBest App for Symptom Tracking: ClueBest Thermometer Fertility Tracker: DaysyBest App for Fertility Awareness: Natural CyclesBest Wearable Fertility Tracker: Ava 1. Best Overall Fertility and Ovulation Tracker Tempdrop is FDA-registered, and its unique AI technology and continuous temperature monitoring while you sleep, make it the most accurate fertility monitor on the market. Tempdrop takes into account your individual temperature patterns and adjusts its algorithm accordingly. Tempdrop encourages the use of the Symptothermal Method, an evidence-based method. Research shows Symptothermal Method to be 99.6% effective with perfect use. Cycle tracking: Tempdrop tops the charts by accurately helping you to identify your unique fertile window and confirm that you did, in fact, ovulate through BBT monitoring. This information also tells you when to expect your next period so you know when to test for pregnancy. Plus, you can track how you feel, any bleeding, spotting, or discharge, and the app will analyze the symptoms.Effective for irregular cycles: Tempdrop is hands down the best fertility monitor for irregular periods. Tempdrop uses sophisticated algorithms to analyze your temperature data and identify patterns in your cycle. It can detect changes in your BBT that indicate ovulation, even if your cycles are irregular. By tracking these patterns over time, Tempdrop can provide insights into your menstrual cycle. Fertility cycle report/statistics: The app provides a detailed chart of your menstrual cycle by combining temperature readings with other fertility symptoms. Tempdrop can also plan six cycles ahead with advanced period predictions.Pregnancy tracking: The app allows you to go from fertility to pregnancy tracking. By tracking ovulation using BBT, you can know if you got pregnant and how far along you are for accurate pregnancy dating. This can help you to be proactive in seeking prenatal care from your provider. Additionally, lower BBT can be a sign of lower levels of the hormone progesterone. If you think this may be happening, you can work with your provider for early intervention strategies to sustain the pregnancy.Price: $159-$199. Tempdrop premium monthly app subscription is $4.49/mo or $35.99/yr. ProsSuperior accuracy and efficacyAccurate for irregular cyclesConvenient wearable deviceMeasures your BBT while you sleepTracks the quality of sleepLearns your unique fertility patterns12-month satisfaction guaranteeExport data to review with medical providerConsMust be manually turned on 2. Best App for Symptom Tracking Clue utilizes algorithms and data analysis to provide predictions about upcoming periods, fertile windows, and ovulation. These predictions rely on you to input your data into the app, such as cycle length, period duration, and symptoms. Cycle tracking: You can track how you’re feeling, your bleeding, spotting, and discharge, and Clue will analyze the symptoms. Clue also allows you to input details about your moods throughout your cycle. This feature can help you identify patterns and better understand how your emotions and physical symptoms may be related to your menstrual cycle.Effective for irregular cycles: Clue is not my first choice for people with irregular cycles. Fertility cycle report/statistics: Clue can plan six cycles ahead with advanced period predictions.Pregnancy tracking: Clue provides users with content and insights specific to their pregnancy, such as information about fetal development, common pregnancy concerns, and self-care tips. I appreciate the self-care tips most of all. Price: $9.99/mo or $39.99/yr. ProsAffordableHelps you track your moodsConsCan't track your BBT, cervical mucus, or OPK resultsNot as effective for irregular cycles 3. Best Thermometer Fertility Tracker The independently reviewed result shows that Daysy has an overall accuracy of 99.4% in differentiating not fertile days versus fertile days. Cycle tracking: The Daysy thermometer can be connected to the app that measures morning basal body temperature, and monitors your cycle and ovulation history. Effective for irregular cycles: I haven't worked with many women who use Daysy with irregular cycles, primarily because I don't usually recommend it. Those who do, tend to get more red and yellow days than women with regular cycles and regular ovulation.Fertility cycle report/statistics: The key feature of Daysy is easy color coding for informing you about your fertility status. Yellow—learning phase/caution day, red—fertile day, green—infertile day, purple—menstruation days. Pregnancy tracking: You can use Daysy to continue recording your temperature data during pregnancy, but it is important to remember that its primary function is fertility tracking rather than pregnancy monitoring. Price: $249-$319. ProsEfficacyData exporting for medical guidanceConsNot ideal for pregnancy trackingUsers may forget to take tempsMore expensive 4. Best App for Fertility Awareness Natural Cycles relies on the Symptothermal Method, an evidence-based method, and research shows it to be up to 99.6% effective with perfect use, and 98.2% effective with typical use. Cycle tracking: Natural Cycles helps you familiarize yourself with your body’s signs of fertility (fertile and non-fertile days are clearly noted) and learn the unique pattern of your cycle.Effective for irregular cycles: Natural Cycles relies on accurate and consistent BBT measurements to track your fertility. BBT can be affected by a variety of factors, and irregular cycles can make it more challenging to pinpoint the exact timing of ovulation. Fertility cycle report/statistics: The app shows your cycle data in charts and graphs, allowing you to track trends and patterns over time. This can help you identify ovulation and track changes in your cycle length and regularity. Pregnancy tracking: Natural Cycles' Pregnancy Mode allows you to switch from fertility tracking to pregnancy tracking within the app. It also offers content related to pregnancy, such as fetal development, and changes in your body during pregnancy.Price: $99.99/yr or $12.99/mo + the $49.99 thermometer. ProsGreat app for FAMHigh efficacy with perfect useConsExpensive for long-term useRelies on manual data entryNot as effective for irregular cycles 5. Best Wearable Fertility Tracker Ava fertility tracking wearable is worn on your wrist only during sleep and uses algorithms to extract the 5 most fertile days of your cycle. Cycle tracking: Ava is convenient and provides personalized data based on your own physiological signs.Effective for irregular cycles: Ava is not best for people with PCOS or irregular periods, which are often the people who have the most difficulty getting pregnant. Pregnancy tracking: You can continue using Ava for week-by-week content for your whole pregnancy. Price: $279-$359. ProsTracks temps while you sleepRefund if you are not pregnant within 6 to 12 monthsMore sensitive than oral BBTConsMost expensiveNot as comfortable to wear during sleepNot as effective for irregular cycles Tempdrop Reigns Supreme! If you're looking for the best wearable and overall fertility and ovulation tracker for a 2024 baby, you can't go wrong with Tempdrop. As a personal user and a fertility coach, I recommend this product above all others. I find it easy to use and accurate, which is key for being successful with any fertility tracker.
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.
Fertility devicesTempdrop vs. Natural Cycles: Which Is Best for You?There are many cycle tracking devices out there to choose from, making it challenging to know which one to invest in, and, more importantly, rely on to help you achieve your goals of trying to conceive and plan your pregnancy. Practicing fertility awareness will help you know which days you're the most fertile. Your fertile window is usually a few days before or during ovulation and can be unpredictable. This study showed that 68.2% of women believed they had timed intercourse mainly within the fertile window of the menstrual cycle in their attempts at conception, but only 12.7% could accurately identify this window. It's important you find the best fertility tracker to suit your needs to increase your chances of getting pregnant when you're ready. Take a look at these fertility trackers to decide which is best for you. Tempdrop vs. Natural Cycles at a Glance FeaturesTempdropNatural CyclesFSA/HSA EligibleYesYesUser Experience- Convenient - Easy-to-navigate app - BBT measured automatically- Easy-to-navigate app - BBT measured orallyMain Features- Tracks fertile and non-fertile days - Accurately measures BBT - Tracks sleep quality - Filters out daily temps - Learns unique cycle patterns for accurate results - Tracks PMS pain, sex drive, mood changes - Premium includes cervical mucus interpretation, temperature data interpretation, ovulation day indication, fertility window insights- Tracks fertile and non-fertile days - Stores entered BBT data - Learns unique cycle patterns - Tracks PMS pain, sex drive, mood changesBest forWomen who have irregular schedules and/or irregular sleep patterns; those who want to track their sleep qualityWomen who prefer oral temperature trackingPriceOne-time purchase: $199*Annual membership: $99.99* *Including Tempdrop's wearable sensor and two months free premium charting app. After that, the premium subscription is available at $4.49/mo or $35.99/year. *Including NC BBT oral thermometer. The oral thermometer is $14.50 as a stand-alone product. Tempdrop is an FDA-registered, wearable monitor and app that tracks your core body temperatures while you sleep via a comfortable and adjustable armband. Natural Cycles is an FDA-cleared app with an accompanying basal body oral thermometer that also uses your temperatures to help you track your cycles. Temdrop and Natural Cycles are both FSA/HSA eligible. Tempdrop measures your basal body temperature while you sleep and tracks your sleep quality, while with the Natural Cycles app, you have to measure your BBT orally and enter data in the app. » Here's how to have Tempdrop covered by HSA or FSA Tempdrop Fertility Tracker What is Tempdrop?Tempdrop is a smart wearable thermometer and charting app combo that helps you easily and conveniently track and monitor your fertility window. The sensor is worn on the upper arm during sleep to accurately measure your basal body temperature (BBT). It also enables you to track additional fertility data to help you identify your fertile window, in real time. The Tempdrop Fertility Tracker uses AI technology and a patented algorithm to learn your temperature patterns on a nightly and monthly basis by measuring your basal body temperature (BBT) while you sleep. It syncs this data to your phone to help you track your fertility each day and each cycle. You have the option to choose from three paths: Get PregnantPractice Fertility AwarenessKnow My Body In addition to these three paths, there's also the added feature of selecting Irregular Cycles or Pregnancy Mode. Wearable fertility monitors help you confirm when ovulation has occurred by identifying the temperature spike that's a result of an egg being released and your body secreting the hormone progesterone. Tempdrop makes ovulation tracking easy with digital cycle charting and is ideal for people who have an irregular schedule and/or irregular sleep patterns. "As a mother of young children who often wake me up at night, I have found Tempdrop to be the perfect solution for tracking my cycles. The traditional BBT thermometers are just not feasible, and I rely heavily on Tempdrop's ease and convenience." In terms of the added app features, it doesn't get better than the Tempdrop Academy and the built-in community feature. ProsEase of use and comfortTracks irregular periods and sleep cyclesWorks while you sleepSensor syncs with the appAccurately identifies the fertile windowFilters out disturbances based on your unique nightly and monthly temperature patternsConsYou have to remember to turn it on Natural Cycles App What is Natural Cycles?Natural Cycles is an app that uses an algorithm to track your fertility based on body temperature. You can track your fertility status by measuring your temperature, entering it into the app, and letting the algorithm handle the rest. Natural Cycles is an FDA-approved app + oral BBT thermometer that analyses your basal temperature readings and your menstrual cycle information to let you know when you're fertile or less likely to be fertile. There are three plans to choose from: Birth ControlPlan PregnancyFollow Pregnancy You need to download the app, select your plan, input your menstrual cycle information, and enter your temperature (measured orally after waking up). The app algorithm will learn the pattern of your cycle to work out your fertility status. ProsSome users prefer oral temperature trackingHelps you identify fertile windowConsYou have to manually enter your temperaturesNot reliable at tracking irregular cycles or sleep patternsMust be used at the same time every morningDoes not filter out the outlier temperatures Tempdrop vs. Natural Cycles: Efficacy The efficacy of the symptothermal method is evidence-based and research shows it to be up to 99.6% effective with perfect use, and 98.2% effective with typical use. Tempdrop takes thousands of measurements during your sleep and analyses the data with its algorithm to get an accurate BBT reading. The Natural Cycles app informs you whether and when you can become pregnant based on the information that you enter into the application. Efficacy is also informed by user consistency, which for most women comes down to how convenient the product is to use and how well it analyzes your data. Products that are more manual and have stricter rules of use become less effective for the average user. Winner: Tempdrop Tempdrop vs. Natural Cycles: User Experience From a user perspective, both apps are easy to navigate, but with Tempdrop, you just need to make sure the sensor is turned on and placed correctly on your arm before sleep. How does Tempdrop work? When it comes to how to wear Tempdrop—simply place the sensor over the axillary artery area below the armpit. To find the correct position, flex your arm and find the soft area between the bicep and triceps (curvier women may need to wear Tempdrop closer to their armpit over the thinnest skin). Take the Tempdrop off in the morning and place it near your smartphone to download the information you need. With Natural Cycles you have to manually record your daily basal body temperature (BBT) and enter into the app in the .morning. Then, you need to wait for the algorithm to calculate your fertility. This can often lead to missed days and missed data. Winner: Tempdrop Tempdrop vs. Natural Cycles: Main Features Thanks to Temprop's ease of use and AI technology, you can trust that it will analyze your data accurately. The app filters out the outlier temps that can happen from stress, disturbed sleep, or a glass of wine before bed, so you can avoid any confusion on whether or not you have ovulated. No matter what happens in your life, Temdrop's patented algorithm learns your unique temperature patterns. Plus, Tempdrop's premium option includes cervical mucus interpretation, temperature data interpretation, ovulation day indication, and fertility window insights. You can also track PMS symptoms and add personalized notes. Natural Cycles' main feature is storing your last temperature, so if you do forget to enter it in the app when you wake up, you can catch up later on. There is also space for you to add information about any PMS, pain, sex drive, or mood changes and a graph feature you can use to see patterns. Winner: Tempdrop Tempdrop vs. Natural Cycles: Price The Tempdrop's full price is $199, but there can be promotions that bring it as low as $159. You can use the app for free or upgrade to the premium version for $4.49/mo or $35.99/year. Tempdrop also has a 12-month refund and extended warranty. The Natural Cycles thermometer is $14.50 as a stand-alone product. To use their app and algorithm, however, you would need to invest in the Natural Cycles annual membership of $99.99, which includes the cost of the thermometer. Both are FSA/HSA eligible. Winner: Tempdrop Final Thoughts As you can see, Tempdrop is the hands down, clear winner for a multitude of reasons. If you are someone with irregular periods and/or sleep cycles, have struggled with temperature tracking in the past, want more bells and whistles with app features, and want to save money in the long run, Tempdrop is the way to go.
Menstruation cycle4 Surprising Causes of Irregular Periods in Your 20's & OnwardsWhile irregular periods can be expected and are considered to be normal for the first few years of menstruating, after this point, if you are still experiencing irregular cycles, you should consider a visit to your medical provider to discuss things further. As you age, your period will change because of hormonal changes and experiences like pregnancy or breastfeeding, but once we are two years into our cycles and until we begin to enter peri-menopause, we should expect to see fairly regular cycle patterns with only a few shifts here and there. Irregular Menstrual Cycle Length The length of a normal menstrual cycle varies from person to person and can range from 21-35 days in length, according to the American College of Gynecology. They define an irregular cycle as a cycle length that varies by more than 7 to 9 days from cycle to cycle. There are variations in what is considered an irregular period or normal based on which organization you look at and the training of the provider involved. From a holistic hormone health perspective, I personally like to see cycle lengths of 24-36 days that do not vary by more than 2-3 days per cycle. When we are talking about irregular cycles, the concerns come when it is something that is happening consistently. If you have just one sudden irregular period but this is not a pattern for you, this can be normal and is likely nothing to worry about. However, if it continues to be a regular pattern, then check with your medical team. Below I'll share some common symptoms and possible causes of irregular periods. But first, here are some additional symptoms that would be considered abnormal when it comes to bleeding and things that should prompt you to see your medical team: Bleeding or spotting between periodsBleeding that lasts longer than 7 daysHeavy bleeding during your periodBleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hourBleeding more heavily than usual during your periodBleeding or spotting after sexBleeding or spotting between periodsMenstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days“Irregular” periods in which cycle length varies by more than 7 to 9 daysNot having a period for 3 to 6 monthsBleeding after menopause 4 Possible Causes of Irregular Periods 1. Stress2. Medications3. Changes in Weight or Diet4. Medical Conditions 1. Stress Stress (emotional, nutritional, and physical) affects your hormones. There is just no way around this, and whether it is good or bad stress, it doesn't matter. Stress increases our cortisol levels which can have negative downstream effects on our menstrual cycles, affecting ovulation and when your period comes. Prolonged stress can delay ovulation or cause you to skip it for long periods of time, which means your period will be delayed or skipped for long periods. In fact, chronic stress can sometimes cause the lack of a period for months (amenorrhea). High levels of stress can also trigger inflammation and more painful periods in the body. Overall, the more we can remove and properly support good stress management techniques, the more our cycles and hormones will thank us. 2. Medications If you find yourself asking why your menstrual cycle is getting longer or why your periods are getting heavier or longer, it can be worth looking at your medications and discussing this with your medical provider. Commonly used medications that can affect your menstrual cycle include: Hormonal birth control: this is one of the most common causes of irregular cycles. Though often, it is also suppressing ovulation as part of how it works to prevent pregnancy.Antidepressants: anti-depressants can lead to absent or infrequent periods with a longer cycle.Steroids: long-term use of steroid medications can make periods heavier and longer.Chemotherapy: certain cancer treatments can significantly affect the body, stress, and hormones or even lead to premature menopause and no periods (though this is not always a long-term effect). This is an in-depth discussion that should be had with your medical provider prior to starting chemotherapy. 3. Changes in Weight or Diet Our diet and weight are deeply tied to our hormonal health and our cycles. Strict or limited diets or those lacking in nutrients or calories can lead to PMS, painful periods, or non-ideal cycles. Not getting adequate calories or over-exercising are some of the main causes of amenorrhea because our body is under stress or not getting enough cholesterol or other nutrients necessary as the building blocks for healthy hormones. Similarly, taking diet pills or eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating can cause irregular or missed periods or other menstrual cycle disturbances. 4. Medical Conditions Some medical conditions can disrupt your hormones and menstrual cycles, and may have irregular menstruation as a symptom. For example: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome): is a complex endocrine and hormonal disorder that often includes excess androgen (typically thought of as a male-related hormone) and/or insulin resistance, both of which affect the ovaries and adrenals and can lead to irregular periods.Thyroid disorder: hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) can both affect your period, causing them to become irregular or infrequent.Diabetes: similar to PCOS, because insulin is not working properly, we can see longer or irregular cycles. Know Your Cycles + Know Your Hormones The beauty of tracking our cycles and seeing if they are regular or not is that we can see the health of our hormones and know when we may need to seek further support. I personally love using Tempdrop for myself and my clients when looking to understand cycles and hormonal health because: It helps to show if cycles (ovulation, followed by a period) are regular.It gives us insight into other symptoms, which is helpful in addition to cycle data, especially when we are talking about PCOS or stress.It helps give us vital information about the health of our cycle phases so we can see if it would benefit us to have some additional holistic support or medical workup.
Health conditions5 Unusual Signs & Symptoms of PCOS You Should Look Out ForPCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is the most common endocrine disorder affecting ~7% of the female population during reproductive years. While PCOS used to be viewed as a gynecologic issue only involving the ovaries, it is now seen as a complex endocrine + metabolic condition. Despite the fact that the condition is called polycystic ovarian syndrome, you can have PCOS without cysts on your ovaries, and you can even have regular cycles but still have PCOS. How Is PCOS Diagnosed? So what are the key things we're looking for to diagnose PCOS? There are 3 international guidelines commonly used to diagnose PCOS. The Rotterdam criteria is what is most commonly used to diagnose PCOS, and requires patients to have 2 out of 3 of the following: Hyperandrogenism (high testosterone) in bloodwork or symptoms of high testosterone such as acne, male patterned hair loss, facial hairIrregular ovulation/irregular cyclesPolycystic ovaries (ovaries with numerous cysts) on ultrasound Again, you need just two of the three to be diagnosed with PCOS based on the Rotterdam criteria, but there are many others, and many consider the diagnosis to be a spectrum rather than a specific set of criteria. When we are looking for signs of PCOS in a child or adolescent, we want to be mindful that irregular cycles are common at the start of cycling years. Therefore, a diagnosis of PCOS should not be given to an adolescent until at least 2 years after starting menses. While you need to meet a specific set of criteria there can also be clues or hidden PCOS symptoms that may be helpful to look for in addition to charting your cycles. It is important to diagnose PCOS because then we can support hormones and the body in the specific way it needs in order to decrease long-term risks such as obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, infertility, pregnancy/birth complications, anxiety/depression, endometrial cancer, and more. 5 Surprising PCOS Symptoms 1. Mood Swings or Notable Mood Symptoms2. Sweet Cravings3. Gut Imbalances4. Elevated cholesterol5. Low vitamin D These 5 surprising signs or symptoms commonly seen in women, combined with at least one of the above Rotterdam criteria, mean you should further look into the possibility of being diagnosed with PCOS. 1. Mood Swings Irregular cycles or abnormally high testosterone are common manifestations of PCOS. Both of these findings can cause there to be more PCOS mood swings or mood symptoms. In fact, depression and emotional distress are commonly reported symptoms in those with PCOS. 2. Sweet Cravings PCOS often involves insulin resistance where our body is not properly responding to insulin, a hormone that helps control our blood sugar levels. While it is not fully understood why, many women with PCOS will have sweet cravings or binge eating behaviors that cause them to eat more carbs or sugars, which worsens the insulin and blood sugar picture. Insulin resistance is also known to cause more weight gain and difficulty losing weight. When PCOS is untreated or out of control we can see a vicious cycle between cravings, eating things that worsen blood sugars, and difficulty losing weight. 3. Gut Imbalances There is increasing research on how connected and important our gut is to our overall health. With PCOS, it is thought the gut could be tied to mood symptoms, eating patterns/cravings, obesity, inflammation, and maybe even insulin resistance. By looking at the health of the gut we may have great potential to improve the symptoms and risks associated with PCOS. 4. Elevated Cholesterol Women with PCOS tend to have abnormal lipid panels (cholesterol) on bloodwork compared to the average population. This too is thought to be related in part to the insulin-resistance. In addition to mood symptoms or irregular cycles, this may be a helpful clue to do a further workup to look into PCOS. 5. Low Vitamin D Levels Like the other more subtle or more surprising symptoms that may be linked to PCOS, it is worth considering vitamin D levels. Studies have shown supporting low vitamin D levels may improve insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and hormonal function in women with PCOS. Understanding PCOS Is Key to Alleviating Symptoms While PCOS is a complex disorder that involves numerous different signs and symptoms, the key is to seek support and speak to your doctor. This can help you improve your hormones and your symptoms to prevent long-term risks associated with PCOS. The above, unexpected, symptoms can be used in addition to criteria (like the Rotterdam criteria) to help you get a diagnosis and the treatment you deserve. Remember that your entire body works together and PCOS symptoms can be improved with the correct approach.