Fertility Booster No. 6: Conception Kits and Other Tests
A kit that helps predict ovulation may tell you when it's the best time to have intercourse, but most did little else to foster fertility -- until now.
A new kit developed by Conceivex not only offers ovulation prediction, but it also contains a small latex-free cervical cap to actually help you conceive. The idea here is to concentrate an ejaculate into the cap and insert it into a woman's body directly at the opening of the cervix. In a kind of do-it-yourself mini-insemination, it does away with the need for sperm to swim through a sometimes chemically "hostile" vaginal canal, placing them instead right at the palace gates.
Shari Brasner, MD, who has recommended the kit to patients, says it's most useful for women with previous cervical issues or for men with low sperm volume or performance anxiety.
"Short of diagnosing a cervical infection, we don't really have a test for cervical factor infertility -- and it is my belief that this could be the problem for many women with a past history of treatment for an abnormal Pap smear," Brasner says.
Though she says Conceivex won't repair any defects, it is a way around them. "It's also an important aid for men with sperm concentration problems," she says.
Although Conceivex requires a prescription, it can be purchased online after completing a questionnaire reviewed by their medical doctors. The cost is $300.
A second new kit is called Fertell. While the female version is simply an ovulation predictor kit, the male version is an at-home test able to measure sperm motility -- the ability of sperm to reach a woman's fallopian tubes. It sells for $99 and does not require a prescription. Other do-it-yourself sperm motility tests are available.
"There is no harm in trying these kits, or any of the other methods to encourage fertility. But if you don't get pregnant within the suggested time frame, then don't wait -- see a fertility specialist," Pollack says.
Colette Bouchez is the author of Getting Pregnant: What Couples Need to Know.