Having irregular cycles has been the bane of my life. Since I was 13, my natural cycles have always varied from 30 to 100+ days. Irregular periods are one of the most common symptoms of PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) and unless you know your ovulation symptoms really well it’s easy to miss the best time to have sex. Not knowing when or if you ovulate can be one of the most frustrating parts about getting pregnant with an irregular cycle.
I recently got in touch with Mira to review the latest way that we can track our ovulation.
Buying a Mira? Use code FATPOSITIVE at the checkout when you buy the starter pack to get $25 off the regular purchase price.
Your Fertile Window
Your fertile window is the days in your cycle when you are able to get pregnant. Contrary to what we are taught in school, for the average person, there are only 5-6 days in each cycles where your body is able to get pregant – four days leading up the ovulation, ovulation and the day after.
When you want to get pregnant, it’s therefore essential to have sex in that window, but this is much more complicated for people with irregular cycles.
Tracking your cycle can be really helpful to ensure you are able to target those days. There are several ways that you can track your cycles and your ovulation but they all have their pros and their cons.
When you go to see your healthcare professional, they will generally do a blood test seven days after estimated ovulation (Day 21 of a 28-day cycle) to test your progesterone levels. If your progesterone is high enough, this will confirm that ovulation has taken place. It is helpful to have that result of if you ovulate or not, but blood tests would be costly to do each month and are not helpful for timing when you have sex.
Ovulation Predictor Kits
The most popular ovulation predictior is the Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK). Each stick measures the amout of Lutenising Hormone (LH) in your urine. This is useful as LH normally peaks just before ovulation. The problem with OPKs for people with irregular cycles is that they can often be unreliable and may not pick up your LH rise, leading you to believe that you are not ovulating.
Basal Body Temperature
Tracking your cycle using your Basal Body Temperature (BBT), cervical mucus and other ovulatation symptoms is a really important way to understand more about what is going on with your hormones and to confirm ovulation. I recommend that all my clients do this for at least three cycles (If you want more information on this, you can access my fertility charting quick guide when you sign up to the Fat Positive Fertility Hub). Again the big problem is that it isn’t always easy to predict when ovulation is coming.
You may notice that your cervical mucus becomes an egg-white consistency, you may find you get small cramps in your ovaries, you might see an increase in your libido or you may see nothing at all, in which case you might miss your fertile window.
If you have an irregular cycle, that becomes even more frustrating because you often have less cycles per year anyway and you have no idea when the next one is coming.
Cue Ovulation Tracking with the Mira Fertility Tracker
Mira is a portable hormone tracking system that you can use at home to measure your levels of Lutenising Hormone (LH). This means that you will be able to see exactly where your LH baseline is and watch it rise before you ovulate, meaning that you will never miss a fertile window again.
I love the idea of this system because it’s simple to use and it gives you actual data about your body so that you can confirm when and if you are ovulating. Having that data is very empowering!
My experience with Mira
I used Mira over a month to see how it worked with my own cycle. I have PCOS and my cycles varies from 29 to 52 days. I have never had my LH tested before so I had no idea what my LH would look like over the month.
My period started on the 23rd August and lasted for five days. The instructions recommend you start testing as soon as your period finishes if you have irregular cycles but as I have been tracking my cycles consisitently for a while now, I was confident that my ovulation window would be later, so I started tracking on day 12.
I tracked pretty much daily from day 12 (although I did miss a couple of days) and was super excited to see my LH jump from none to medium to high!
My baseline reading varied from 0 – 6.90 mIU/ml with my peak reading being 41.24 mIU/ml. The Mira even asked me to measure twice on one day to ensure that it didn’t miss my peak.
Easy to use – The Mira was super simple to use. Although optimal to test with the first urine sample of the day, you can test later on which meant that I wasn’t stressed about remembering to do it first thing.
The test itself was really easy, just dipping a stick into your wee then turning it round to pop into the machine and waiting about 15 min for the result. It syncs with your phone so that the data is automatically inputted.
The app is very easy to navigate with reminders that ping to let you know when it’s time to test.
I absolutely love the Mira device and I think it’s going to be so helpful to people who have irregular cycles and can feel demotivated with other forms of tracking.
The real data that you get from the device is really empowering because you can acturally see what is happening with your LH.
Overall it’s a fantastic device which is simple to use and allows people to be more confident with their fertile window.
Potential drawbacks – The only potential drawbacks to consider are the relativiely higher cost of the Mira and testing sticks due to the fact that it’s a sophisticated device accurately measuring your hormones at home and the plastic waste produced. This is similar to the waste when using OPKs and pregnancy tests but hopefully as you are getting an accurate picture of your fertile window, you won’t need it for too long.
Use code FATPOSITIVE at the checkout when you buy the starter pack to get $25 off the regular purchase price.
**Please note tat I was gifted the Mira Fertility Tracker to review but all the opinions on this page are my own. I receive a small affiliate payment for every purchase of the Mira system using my code. This does not cost you anything but ensures that I can continue to run my business.**