For many people, a major deterrent of fertility awareness methods is the amount of work involved. Taking temperatures, recording bodily changes, calculating cycle days and then interpreting everything so that you can know when to avoid having sex it's enough to make you just want to avoid sex all together. If you want to simplify your natural birth control methods, then consider investing in an electronic fertility computer.
The Simple Life
An electronic fertility monitor is a handheld device that will indicate just when you are fertile and when you are not. Some models, like the popular LadyComp, only measure your basal body temperature and will immediately tell you whether or not you are fertile that day.
Others are more sophisticated and ask for urine tests (like the Persona which is not currently available in US). The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor uses both your basal body temperature as well as urine tests to determine how fertile you are during your menstrual cycle. However, this device is not yet approved to be used as a birth control method, only as a fertility aid.
Although you still need to take your temperature or other tests, you no longer need to spend any time interpreting the results the fertility monitor will do it for you. The need to record your bodily changes throughout the month is also eliminated. Most electronic fertility computers use a system of red, yellow and green lights to indicate your level of fertility (red meaning that sex should be avoided while green denotes that your chances of pregnancy are low). Not surprisingly, these monitors can also easily be used to help you get pregnant.
The biggest disadvantage of electronic fertility monitors is the cost. Prices range from $100 to as much as $700 for one device. For those monitors that analyze your urine, you will also need to regularly buy urine sticks. However, while the initial cost is quite substantial, these devices are designed to last for many years.
The LadyComp, which comes with a price tag of close to $500, can last as long as 10 years. Although it is an investment, purchasing one of these devices can save you money in the long run when compared to buying other types of birth control, like condoms or the birth control pill, over the same time period.
Another drawback to these devices is that they are not made for every woman. Women whose menstrual cycles are longer than 35 days or are irregular may not be able to use an electronic monitor as most are designed for those with regular cycles between 23 and 35 days.
Average failure rates of fertility monitors vary according to which brand you use. Persona has been shown to have a failure rate of 6% while LadyComp has a failure rate 0.6%. However, these devices have not been widely tested and more research is needed to effectively establish the failure rates for the typical user.