Before I start this review, let me be honest about it. I’ve agonised over this review. I have wondered whether to post it. I have given it plenty of thought. However, the conclusion I have come to is that I’m not about to doubt my integrity as a blogger by posting a review that is not true. So, here goes!
Some of you may remember my review of Ovusense Realtime Fertility Monitor back in January. If you need a refresher, click HERE. I have now used Ovusense for four cycles in total and here is my honest opinion of a product that I believe promises the Earth and delivers absolutely nothing. It has earned the dubious nickname of “ovunonsense” with me.
Cycle one, as I’m sure you all remember from my original blog, Ovusense predicted nothing and didn’t confirm ovulation until three days after it happened. I thought this was a blip as sometimes these things don’t catch on right away. The spiel on the Ovusense website promises “OvuSense predicts ovulation in real-time in each cycle, and detects the
exact day of oulation with 99% accuracy. In just two weeks, OvuSense can tell you when you are going to ovulate, and then calculate the exact day for you with 99% accuracy. Only OvuSense can calculate this much personal information about your cycle with this much accuracy.” So, how did it do the following cycles? Cycle two -no prediction. Confirmed ovulation five days after it happened. Cycle three – no prediction. Confirmed ovulation SEVEN days after it happened. Cycle four – PREDICTION! Machine wiped all of my data one day after I ovulated. The prediction was six days out and it never confirmed it. The reason it didn’t confirm it is because I stopped using the thing and got out my £3 thermometer.
During my time using the machine, it broke twice. On the second cycle of using it, it just wouldn’t switch on. The Ovusense team got me a new machine within forty eight hours (Which I thought was fab!) and I sent back the old one to be analysed. I’ve never heard anything about what went wrong with it. Cycle four, the (new) machine got an error and wiped all of my data. That’s two breaks in four cycles. This machine is THREE HUNDRED POUNDS. New products have blips, yes, and this product is very new to the market, but two breaks in four cycles?! The team are generally very good at dealing with breaks, but don’t mention it on the group. Oh no. Don’t mention it on the Facebook group.
More about the Facebook group. Ovusense run a Facebook group that is misleadingly called “PCOS Fertility Support”. I say misleading, because really the whole group is one big sales pitch for Ovusense. The main admin is on there almost 100% of the time, offering “support” and “bumping” posts that help show the machine in a good light. There’s lots of pregnancies in the group at present, but only those achieved with the help of Ovusense get mentioned and the ladies congratulated. Dare to say that you got pregnant without the help of Ovusense and you’re not important. Say anything negative about the machine and your post will be deleted. Myself and another member were called “bullies” on the group for pointing out some flaws with the machine. One particular admin on the group is so adamant that the machine is perfect that she just will not hear anything else said.
Ovusense state they are 99% accurate with predicting ovulation, but many women on the group get no prediction at all or confirmation despite proving that they ovulate. Ovusense’s own paperwork quotes a study that says they are 94% effective, so not sure where the 99% figure comes from. Frighteningly, I know of two occasions where Ovusense has “confirmed” ovulation that was proven to not have happened. In one of the cases, they persistently blamed the user, telling her that she must be using it incorrectly or it must be something wrong with her. Telling her that it might be the vitamins that she was taking, despite her only taking what the group’s nutritionist had recommended. Eventually, she grew tired of the machine and its drama and got her money back. Funnily enough she, like me, is blocked from their Facebook empire.
More on the group. Generally, it is a great group with a wonderful group of admins. It’s a very supportive group and an interesting one too as there are lots of women with lots of very complex health conditions. However, it is also very heavily administrated. No one can give out medical advice except for their fertility nurse, who is hardly ever there but is always contactable by email. However, the main admin and Ovusense saleswoman doles out bad advice like there’s no tomorrow. Just a few wonderful snippets of advice that I have heard on there – “if it says you ovulated – you have! Congratulations!“, “why not get bloods done on the day of ovulation to confirm that it happened?“, “I don’t think you have to be that accurate about which days you take clomid” and my personal favourite, which seems to be being bandied around a fair bit at present “after having a baby, you can use Ovusense to prevent pregnancy” – fat lot of good that would do with it telling you ovulation has occurred several days later! I envisage a fair few whoopsie babies in the future of Ovunonsense users. Another “great” piece of advice is “wait until 20 days post ovulation to test so you limit the chance of a chemical pregnancy“. That made me sad, as a chemical pregnancy, or early miscarriage, will happen whether or not you know about it and surely it’s better to know if you keep having them, so that you can do something about it?
After saying something on the group regarding the inaccuracies of Ovusense, I received the following email from their main admin and salesperson on the group.
Your comments really aren’t helpful in our group. The negativity you seem to have towards our product is really surprising. This is purely a business relationship we have and I’m sorry that you don’t seem to value the opportunity.
As said, if you are unhappy with our product we will gladly have it back.
I have deleted your comment.”
I spent some time composing my reply to this snarky email. She had sent me a previous one reminding me that their contract with mumsnet was up and I didn’t “have to” blog about the machine any more, but I chose to ignore that. Anyhow, here was my reply, which is copied the CEO of Ovusense into.
The “negativity” comes from use of the product. It is my personal opinion which has been made by how the product works. The information I have shared on the group is factual from my experience of using ovusense,
I’m going to be honest here. After three years of trying to conceive, you had an easy customer here, I wanted it to work. I wanted it to be accurate and I wanted it to help. The original ad says Ovusense will “predict ovulation within two weeks of use” or similar. The fact that it doesn’t do this for all people is disappointing. Believe me, trying to organise a sperm donor with irregular cycles is an absolute nightmare, and I hoped that Ovusense would help with this. As I have reported, it hasn’t helped at all.
In fact, the second cycle I used ovusense, when I got a positive OPK and my body signs said ovulation was imminent, you told me that I should trust only ovusense and that OPKs don’t work for “most” women with PCOS. You essentially told me to stop using OPks and trust the machine. That cycle, it was 5dpo before ovusense confirmed ovulation for me. I would show you the original thread, but of course it has been deleted from the group. At 4dpo ovusense told me “ovulation today” before then telling me the following day “you ovulated on “date five days before” “. As I’m sure you know, an egg only has a 24 hour window to be fertilised, so by the time ovusense told me “ovulation today” it was long gone. The first cycle I used it, it did the same but at 3dpo. The most recent cycle, it didn’t confirm anything until 7dpo…
I am going to discuss this all in a blog as that was what I was provided with the machine to do. As a blogger I do not pander to brands. I’m not a blogger to get “free stuff” or to make business connections. I blog for me. I am not for one moment going to write anything untrue about the machine and I am not about to jeopardise my integrity by claiming it does something that it doesn’t. Yes, the temps are more accurate than “BBT”, but the way I see it is that this machine doesn’t do anything that a £3 thermometer and vaginal temping doesn’t do. Yes, vaginal temping on waking is just a “spot test” but it’s enough to produce a pattern and enough to confirm ovulation.
It upsets me that there are a lot of women in the group who know nothing about their body and they are told “trust the machine” when you all know full well that this machine often doesn’t predict like it should. This means a lot of women may miss their window because they are being told to trust something that might not be accurate for them. Constantly telling people that OPKs don’t work for women with PCOS is very counterproductive to those trying to conceive. Yes, I am aware that they may be inaccurate for up to 75% of women with PCOS, but that means they do work for minimum 25%. So a blanket “they don’t work” policy is unhelpful.
Also, I’ve noticed that any negative feedback or problems with the machine are quickly deleted from the group. This is outrageous. No product is perfect, but sometimes the most important thing is how criticism is dealt with. Sending snarky emails and deleting anything negative isn’t helpful. Ovusense has a great system behind it where if a machine is faulty, a new one will be supplied. Very few companies supply a replacement so quickly. But nobody knows about this because these comments are deleted from the group. It’s very dishonest to try and make the product look “perfect” when in fact it has its problems like all new products do.
I hope that helps. I have no doubt that this email will be ignored or taken as “negative” but it is an honest opinion from someone who has used the product. I haven’t pulled these opinions out of thin air. They have come from using the product for several cycles. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but concerns from others are ignored in much the same way that mine have been up to now.
I think this could be a great product, but at the moment it isn’t worth the money at all in my opinion. Listening to concerns and being open and honest in the group rather than blaming customers would be a good start. I may well send back the product after this cycle. Do not send stamps as you don’t have my current address. Laura
Did I receive a reply? An acknowledgement? Nope. Not a sniff. Nothing from the admin and nothing from the CEO. And THAT is the main problem with Ovusense. No product is perfect. This product is very far from perfect, but a good company is a transparent company and Fertility Focus are anything but transparent. Just a question about how the machine works will get you snarky responses. Saying that it hasn’t worked properly for you will get your post deleted and eventually get you banned from their group. They expect women who have been struggling with infertility for some time to immediately put their trust and (and three hundred pounds) into this machine that does nothing that a three pound thermometer doesn’t do. Yes, it takes your temperature every five minutes, but in my opinion that it totally unnecessary when one temperature on waking will do enough to produce a pattern.
I hope that in the future they develop this product and make it more user friendly and worth the money, but at the moment I genuinely would not recommend Ovunonsense to my worst enemy.
I was supplied this product for the purpose of review. As always, this is my honest opinion and has not been influenced by any payment, promotion or free product.