While I have received compensation for this post from Fertility Planit, all opinions are my own.
While many people seem to get pregnant easily, there is actually quite a significant percentage of the population that have difficulties in this arena. There is a lot of emotional, mental, and even physical turmoil that goes into trying to conceive for couples who have fertility issues. Between jealousy and anger over the fact that it seems like everyone around you is getting pregnant at the drop of a hat and the ups and downs that come with each month of trying for a baby, it is definitely a roller-coaster of emotions. Not to mention the added financial strain that expensive, invasive treatments such as IUI and IVF can cause, if you decide to go that route.
While my husband, John, and I never went to such extreme measures to conceive a baby, we did face our own struggles. It definitely took longer for us to naturally conceive our first daughter than is typical for most otherwise healthy, young adults. Much longer, actually: A little over three years. I was 25 years old by the time we finally got pregnant and my husband was 30. We were almost to the point where we were just going to give up. John never got tested, but neither one of us ever did get any answers as to why we had such a hard time getting pregnant with our first daughter.
Our second daughter was a whole other story. It only took us a few months of really trying to conceive her. After the trouble we had with our first, though, I could not help but worry it would take what felt like forever again or not happen at all, not to mention the jealousy I felt towards all of my friends and family who were announcing their pregnancies during the time we were trying. If you have been there yourself, I am sure you can relate to the ugly thoughts and emotions that can rear their ugly head when you get yet another negative pregnancy test when everyone around you seems to get pregnant just by thinking about it.
Now that you know a little about our trying to conceive (TTC) journey, I am sure you will understand why I am so excited to share with you the Stork OTC. The Stork OTC, by Rinovum Women's Health, is a simple device to help you conceive naturally at home. In a nutshell, the man will collect his semen in a cervical cap with a condom-like sheath (yes, you can have intercourse to do so) after which the woman uses the applicator to insert the cervical cap near her cervix, similar to how a tampon would be inserted. After that, you go about your business and simply remove the cervical cap after 4-6 hours. Easy enough, right?
There are so many perks of the Stork OTC. For starters, it is the first over the counter (OTC) cervical cap conception aid available on the market. That means you do not even need to visit the doctor to start using them. This makes it a great option if you are wanting to try more natural methods first before possibly resorting to more invasive and/or costly measures, such as hormone therapy, IUI, and IVF.
I believe there is something to be said about not being stressed out while trying to conceive. Everyone always says “it will happen when it happens and stressing out about it will only make it harder” and I think they are actually on to something. With that being said, you will be much more comfortable and relaxed using the Stork OTC in the privacy of your home. Thus, in theory, helping to increase your chances of conceiving even more.
The Stork OTC retails for $79.99. While the price may be daunting, especially considering it is a one time use product, consider this: IUI averages $865 per cycle and IVF averages a whopping $12,400 per cycle. Even if you end up doing some type of hormone therapy, you are still likely to be saving money by trying the Stork OTC first.
Since our second daughter is only five months old, we are definitely not planning on trying to conceive again any time soon, if at all. With that being said, when offered, I decided to check out the demo model of the Stork OTC.
Overall, I think the design of the product is good and fairly straight forward to use, which is good since you will be doing it yourself. (I still definitely recommend watching the videos on their site in conjuncture with reading the directions, of course. You do not want to mess something up on accident since this is a one-time use product.) My husband and I noticed the collection condom is made to be sturdy, so you may lose some sensation due to its thickness. If you are concerned about this, another option may be for the man to collect it by himself. It also might be easier to just pour the semen from a sanitary collection device and pour it into the cervical cap. Otherwise you will need to be very, very careful to remove it from the rest of the condom-like sheath without spilling any or accidentally dumping it. I am pretty sure it is just because mine is a demo model, but pulling down on the first “button” hard enough to get it to click into place was kind of hard. Not that you would not anyways, but basically just be very careful while getting this product ready to use. Despite the items mentioned above, I would still give this a try if you are having trouble conceiving. I would not consider them “deal breakers”, just things to be aware of.
I did like a few particular things about the StorkOTC. As I mentioned above, it seems fairly easy to use and the overall size of the product is not intimidating. The cervical cup really is designed to be like removing a tampon with the long string that is attached, which is handy. (Especially if you have a high cervix. Trust me on that.) Plus, if you are already using menstrual cups for your cycle, this is very similar. You are just not leaving it in as long and have a device to help insert it instead of doing it completely manually.
You can learn more, read success stories, and find out where to purchase your own Stork OTC on their website. Stay up-to-date with them on Facebook and Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, be sure to join us this Thursday, June 16th, at 9pm EST for the #StorkStories Twitter chat where you will have the chance to win your own Stork OTC. See you then.