Conception on a Budget

{Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby}

The sad realization that you love peeing on test strips while trying to conceive can also go hand-in-hand with spending a pretty penny on all of the available brands at your local drug store. This post will explain what is available to purchase, and how to do it on a budget, so read on!

{Photo Credit: The Memoirs of Megan}

Ovulation Sticks (OPKs):

Every woman’s cycle is different, and as you may have learned from this post about charting your cycle, ovulation predictor tests are 90% accurate in determining ovulation.

But what are they?! 

As you know, ovulation is where your ovaries release one (or more) eggs. If your egg(s) are not fertilized within 12-24 hours, the egg will not survive. When your ovaries push the egg out into the fallopian tubes it is known as ovulation. Knowing when your body ovulates is important to plan intercourse (romantic, huh?) to assure your greatest pregnancy chances. Approximately 12-24 hours before you ovulate, your body will show increased levels in luteinising hormone (lh.) Ovulation strips measure that chemical level in your urine, and will give you an accurate depiction of when ovulation is approaching.

Ideally, you will not want to test your urine first thing in the morning, as studies have shown that tests will give false negatives. The best time to test your urine for an lh surge is between 10am-8pm, with 2-2:30pm being the sweet spot. You will also want to start testing as close to the end of your last period as possible. Many kits come with only 7 tests available, however. The more tests in the package, the better.

Where can I get them?!

OPK’s are sold at most drug stores, and can range in price and fanciness. This test from Clearblue is completely fool proof with reading. It will give you a smiley face when you are reading an lh surge. It is a bit pricey however, typically around $36 for a one month’s supply of tests. If you love this type of test, you can save 5% by subscribing to Amazon Subscribe & Save Program. You can cancel the subscription at any time, and an added bonus is that Amazon will email you a reminder prior to shipping your item, so if you’re like most busy women and forget to cancel it, they give you a second chance. The more subscriptions you have running per month, the more you save, so you can save 15% on the total cost.

If you’re looking to use OPK’s but don’t want to put that much money down initially, these generic tests bought on Amazon are a steal of a deal! They come with 50 ovulation tests, as well as 10 pregnancy tests. They are a bit trickier to read, and have more room for error, however, with some practice, you’ll be able to easily tell the difference. This kit is sold for $17.00 on amazon, and has received many positive 5 star ratings.

{Photo Credit: The Memoirs of Megan}

 Pregnancy Tests:

Most everyone knows what pregnancy tests are. They measure the level of  human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is produced by the body right after a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of a uterus. Typically, hCG will start to show around 6 days after fertilization, and the amount of hCG doubles every two to three days. Pregnancy tests will test for the hCG in your body, and the sensitivity depends on your tests.

Pregnancy tests are most accurate in reading hCG levels starting on the first day of your missed period. Certain tests like this First Response say that it can detect hCG levels 5 days sooner. They are typically around $15, either at a drugstore, or Amazon, but, like the digital OPK’s, you can subscribe and save 5-15% by purchasing them on Amazon. You can also use the hCG pregnancy tests in the same kit as the ovulation tests mentioned above (remember, it came with 10 pregnancy tests!) or purchase that same brand of pregnancy tests on Amazon for $8 for 25 of them.

Cell Phone Apps:

There are many different app options on the market today, that will help you in many different ways. Using a cell phone app is a great way to get a rough estimate of when you may be ovulating, as well as a great place to input all your data that you’re doing outside of using the app, such as recording your basal body temperature, cervical mucus notes, and any notes on lh surges. For a list of amazing apps, check out this post. For all our Android using sisters, check out the app called WomanLog. There is a free version that works great, or you can upgrade to the “Pro” version for $2.99 (it has some extra features, and no advertisements.)

Basal Body Temperature Taking:

Once you have learned all about how and when to properly take your basal body temperature by reading this post, you will want to find a thermometer that best fits your needs, and also importantly, your budget. It’s important to buy a specific BBT thermometer, because most over-the-counter everyday ones do not measure your temperature very precisely.

This thermometer by FairHaven can be purchased on Amazon for $6.99, and ships free if you purchase it as an “add on item.” It even comes with an ovulation chart! If you’re going to make a purchase on Amazon already for any of the above mentioned items, add this thermometer in to your cart as well to utilize the free 2 day shipping. An added bonus of buying items on Amazon is you do not have to pay sales tax.

Pre-Natal Vitamins:

If you’re in the market for some prenatal vitamins, the best thing to do is check with your doctor first! At your preconception examination, tell them you are interested in starting a prenatal vitamin regimen. Many times, they can prescribe you a generic brand vitamin. Depending on your prescription health insurance coverage, it may be way cheaper for you to use your prescribed vitamins, compared to over the counter ones. You may be able to score a 30 day supply of prenatal vitamins from your pharmacy for just a few dollars in co-pay. If they are lacking other items such as DHA, you can always supplement just that ingredient. Check out this great deal on a high dosage DHA vitamin by Nature Way that can be purchased on Amazon, and you can subscribe to receive it regularly to save 5-15%.

If utilizing your insurance will not be the cheaper route, subscribing to this Rainbow Light Multi-Prenatal Vitamin on Amazon will also save you money in the long run. Sometimes, breaking apart the Multi-Prenatal vitamin, and buying the DHA separately will save you quite a bit of money, and allow you to take a higher dosage of DHA, compared to the 200mg that are usually in multi-vitamins.

For more information on taking prenatal vitamins and active ingredients, check out this post. For more information about taking a higher dosage of DHA and breaking apart your prenatal vitamin supplements, click here.
For more helpful posts about trying to conceive or pregnancy, check out out EXPECT section!

This post is meant for educational purposes only.
It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

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Megan

Megan lives in Michigan with her husband, daughter, and son. Her days are spent hanging out and doing family projects on her real-life farm, and spending time on the Great Lakes. She loves swimming, celebrity gossip, University of Michigan and Denver Broncos football, trashy reality TV, and writing. In addition to being a Mommy and self-proclaimed urban-farmer, she owns a photography business located in Southeast Michigan, Memoirs Photography.

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