Clinical studies and research show that the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor is accurate, reliable and able to predict up to six days of a woman's fertility window. In addition, recent research indicates that using it can increase a woman's chance of pregnancy by more than 50 percent. The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor works much like other urine ovulation tests, but instead of measuring just luteinizing hormone (LH), it also measures estrone-3-glucuronide (E3G), a form of estrogen. For the first month, a woman tests for 20 days to create a baseline of her cycle. The battery-operated monitor then tells her when to test over the next month, often 10 to 20 days, and informs her if she's at low, high or peak fertility. Although users say the initial setup is a bit tedious, the machine is very easy to use. One drawback is the high initial cost, $170 for the monitor, and the monthly cost of the test sticks, $38 for 30 tests. Urine LH tests, such as the Clearblue Easy Ovulation Test (*Est. $21 for 7 tests), are as accurate and much cheaper, though they can be harder to interpret and pinpoint only the two most fertile days in a woman's cycle.
We found the most thorough testing of the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor in the medical journals Human Reproduction, Contraception and Fertility and Sterility. Comprehensive reviews of ovulation predictors and fertility devices in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Annals of Pharmacotherapy and a University of Montana presentation provide more information on the monitor and compare it to other devices. In addition, ConsumerReports.org tests the product's sensitivity to LH. Finally reviews at JustMommies.com and About.com, and user reviews at Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Diapers.com provide good perspective on the usability of the monitor for average consumers.
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1. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy
This review article compiles data from articles, textbooks and studies from the past 40 years to provide a comprehensive look at home ovulation prediction and pregnancy tests. Urine luteinizing hormone (LH) tests are found to be more accurate in detecting ovulation when compared to other fertility methods, such as following changes in basal body temperature or vaginal or cervical mucus, salivary ferning or calendar calculation. Monitors that detect urine LH and estrone-3-glucuronide (E3G), such as the Clearplan Easy Fertility Monitor, now Clearblue, are accurate at detecting not only ovulation but also the fertile window. The greatest drawback to the fertility monitor, however, is its high initial cost.
Review: Urine-Based Ovulation and Pregnancy: Point-of-Care Testing, Samantha F. Eichner and Erin M. Timpe, Feb. 2004
This in-depth clinical review describes various ovulation testing methods and how they work. Benefits and limitations of each are listed as well as the results of several medical studies. The urine LH and E3G monitoring, the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, is chosen as a favorite because it is easy to use, has clear results and provides more information for the patient, despite its high cost.
Review: Devices for Home Evaluation of Women's Health Concerns: Ovulation Prediction, Kelly L. Scolaro, et al., April 30, 2008
Editors of ConsumerReports.org evaluate both pregnancy tests and ovulation test kits in this informative report. Eleven well-known ovulation predictor kits are tested, with one outperforming the rest and one that performed very poorly. Although this report is quite dated, all of the products tested are still available.
Review: When the Test Really Counts, Editors of Consumer Reports, Feb. 2003
4. Fertility and Sterility
This scientific study looked at the effectiveness of the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor (CEFM) in helping couples to conceive. More than 300 women were provided the CEFM, while another group of over 300 women were not; --this latter group served as a control group. Both groups were allowed to use any other methods they wished to increase their fertility. After two cycles, the cumulative pregnancy rate for the CEFM group was 22.7 percent while for the control group it was 14.4 percent. Even women who had been trying to conceive for more than a year had an increased rate of pregnancy. No other fertility device, such as basal body temperature, cervical mucus or the calendar method, was shown to increase the chance of conception. The only other factor apart from the CEFM that significantly predicted an increase in the rate of pregnancy was how long a woman had been trying to conceive. A woman who had been trying to conceive for fewer than six months was more likely to conceive than a woman who had been trying for more than six months. Of note, the authors of this study work for Unipath, the manufacturer of the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor.
Review: Increased Pregnancy Rate with Use of the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, Janet E. Robinson, Melanie Wakelin and Jayne Ellis, Feb. 2007
5. Human Reproduction
This study evaluates the ability of the ClearPlan Easy Fertility Monitor, now known as Clearblue, to determine ovulation when compared with hormone measurements and vaginal ultrasound scans. During the two peak fertility days listed by the monitor, ovulation occurred 91.1 percent of the time. Peak fertility never occurred after ovulation. Of note, Unipath Ltd, the manufacturer of the ClearPlan Easy Fertility Monitor, supported this study.
Review: Prediction of Ovulation by Urine Hormone Measurements with the Home Use ClearPlan Fertility Monitor: Comparison with Transvaginal Ultrasound Scans and Serum Hormone Measurements, H.M. Behre et al., Dec. 2000
This study compares the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle as estimated by the Clearplan Easy Fertility Monitor, now Clearblue, and self-assessment of cervical mucus. Each method provided similar results, though the fertility monitor was found to underestimate the fertile window, while self-assessment of cervical mucus overestimated the fertile window.
Review: A Comparison of the Fertile Phase as Determined by the Clearplan Easy Fertility Monitor and Self-Assessment of Cervical Mucus, Richard J. Fehring, Kathleen Raviele, Mary Schneider, Jan. 2004
7. The University of Montana
Studies quoted by Genine Thormahlen, a doctor of pharmacy at the University of Montana, find that results from the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor coincide with estrogen and LH laboratory measurements. The monitor is effective for women with both regular and irregular cycles, and is able to predict ovulation five days in advance.
Review: Advice and Devices: Fertility Monitoring Update for the Practicing Pharmacist, Genine Thormahlen, Pharm. D., April 17, 2005
This website details five fertility gadgets on the market: the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, Maybe Mom Mini Ovulation Microscope, the OV Watch and the Optimus Petit Sophia Fertility Monitor. Though no comparison testing is done, this article offers detailed reviews on each gadget, information on how each works and their pros and cons.
Review: The Best Fertility Gadgets, Editors of JustMommies.com
Robin Elise Weiss, About.com's pregnancy guide, used the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor to successfully conceive her own child. She reports that it is easier to use than a pregnancy test but warns that testing must be done within a relatively small window of time each day. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor Review, Robin Elise Weiss
A quick search of ovulation tests at Amazon.com brings up several ovulation kits, pregnancy tests and fertility remedies. While most are not reviewed often, there are a handful of tests that receive excellent user reviews from dozens of consumers. The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor and Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test get the highest ratings by far, however, with hundreds of positive reviews. Several users report that they were able to conceive within one to three months of using the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, even after trying for several months prior.
Review: Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, Contributors to Amazon.com
The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor is the ovulation test reviewed most often, and it receives a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many users report conceiving within the first few cycles of use and say the monitor is easy to use and easy to read. One major drawback cited is the high price of the monitor and the test sticks.
Review: Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, Contributors to Drugstore.com
The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor is one of the most reviewed products on this site, and it receives 4.6 out of a possible 5 stars. Many users report that it is easy to use, easy to read and very accurate. Despite the hefty price, most say they would recommend the product to a friend. Some warn that it doesn't work for those with especially long cycles.
Review: Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, Contributors to Diapers.com
This forum is a bit cumbersome to search through but may be a great support for those trying to conceive. There is abundant information about fertility and ovulation issues, including recommendations for various products. The Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test and the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor are both mentioned frequently and receive praise.
Review: Ovulation, Testing & Tracking, Contributors to FertilityForums.com