I was excited when I first learned about the Mira Fertility Monitor specifically because I want to be able to check my own hormone levels without having to see a doctor. There are currently a lot of at-home options for hormone testing but most of them involve sending off your sample to a lab. The great thing with the Mira Fertility Monitor is that you get your results within ~15 minutes without having to leave your house!
What is the Mira Fertility Monitor?
Well, I guess we should start from the beginning. Mira launched in 2018 offering at-home quantitative testing of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the signal your brain sends to your ovaries to let it know that it’s time to release the egg. And quantitative testing means that you’re not just getting a positive (+) or negative (-), you’re getting your actual level numbers. So using the Mira Fertility Monitor you can track your actual LH levels and estimate when you’ve ovulated. Studies show that ovulation follows the peak of LH within about 48 hours.
In 2020 Mira launched Mira Fertility Plus. Fertility Plus offers the combination of LH testing and E3G, a metabolite of estradiol, a form of estrogen. In the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle estradiol begins to rise with the development of the follicles and eggs within your ovaries. This typically happens within 1-2 weeks of the start of the cycle but can be longer for some people. Shortly after estradiol levels peak, LH will peak, signaling to the dominant follicle to release its egg at ovulation.
Mira Fertility Plus gives you an earlier warning of upcoming ovulation. The benefit of adding E3G testing along with the LH is knowing your fertile window. And then you can estimate when you’ve ovulated and when your fertile window has closed.
My Experience with Mira Fertility Plus
Purchasing the Mira Fertility Monitor
The Mira Fertility Plus Starter Kit includes the monitor and 10 Fertility Plus wands (E3G + LH) and costs $199. I really didn’t have the money to spend so I found a used one on eBay for about $85 total. And then I purchased the 20 pack of Fertility Plus Wands for $59.
How I used Mira
Since I chart my cycle with the Billings Ovulation Method and use basal body temperature as a cross-check to confirm ovulation, I managed to stretch the 20 wands over 3 cycles, using about 5-7 wands per cycle. I did this by waiting to start the wands until I saw a change in my cervical mucus pattern. I am generally dry before my fertile phase begins so I started testing at the first sign of cervical mucus. Since I have PCOS, it can sometimes take a while for my cervical mucus to really ramp up into that slippery, wet and clear mucus we know to indicate that ovulation is near. So at first, I tested only every 2-3 days until my mucus was noticeably transitioning. And then I tested every morning, trying for about the same time every day.
My Cycles with Mira
My first cycle using Mira was my worst PCOS cycle in over a decade. It lasted for 78 days and ultimately was part of the reason I decided to try out Mira. I wanted to know what was going on with my hormones. I could tell from my charting that my body was trying and failing to ovulate throughout my cycle. When I started to use Mira, I caught my final attempt and successful ovulation. Using only 5 wands in that first cycle.
In my third cycle with Mira I had a failed ovulation attempt that wasted my last wands before my successful ovulation a week later. I knew it was a failed attempt because despite the rise in LH and E3G seen with Mira, it was not as high as what I’d seen with my 2 previous successful ovulations. AND it did not line up with my cervical mucus or basal body temperature.
My Thoughts After the Fact
Ultimately, I have really mixed feelings about the Mira Fertility Monitor. Mira confirmed for me what I suspected was happening in my failed ovulation attempts. My estrogen was rising, my LH was even slightly rising, although not enough for a standard LH strip to pick it up. But it wasn’t enough for a successful ovulation.
The thing is though, I already knew that’s what was happening, I just wasn’t trusting myself. You see, the Billings Ovulation Method teaches us to read what our hormones are doing by following our cervical mucus patterns. We know there is a scientific basis to it because the Billings Ovulation Method was built on 800,000+ hormonal tests using very similar methods to the Mira Fertility Monitor. You can see in this Billings article, the chart at the bottom with the hormone levels corresponding to the cervical mucus pattern.
Trying to Conceive
For me, the bottom line is that the Mira Fertility Monitor is actually not necessary. You could spend less money to work with a Billings Ovulation Method teacher and get the same information. If your goal is trying to conceive, then working with a Billings Ovulation Method instructor is my first recommendation. Research shows that 63% of women who were trying to conceive using the Billings Ovulation Method conceived successfully. This includes a large proportion of women who had been classified as subfertile. And 35% of couples who had not had success with IVF/ART were also able to conceive. As well as about half of women over the age of 38.
Cervical mucus is vital for sperm survival and recognizing your patterns of fertility is really more important than identifying that LH peak. While Mira can be helpful as a secondary tool, if finances are a concern I definitely recommend reaching out to a Billings Ovulation Method teacher. I am a certified teacher myself so feel free to contact me if you’re in the US. If you’re outside of the US you can contact the organization closest to you.
Health Monitoring with Mira
The main benefit that I see to Mira is being able to monitor your hormones for health reasons. For me it was helpful to identify that failed ovulation. But ultimately I could have recognized that with my fertility charting without the need for Mira. There are definitely some situations where I think Mira could be particularly helpful. If you’re concerned that your estrogen levels are too low or too high then Mira could be helpful for you. Estrogen Dominance is a real concern when it comes to managing your cycle health. Mira can show you if you have the form of estrogen dominance where your estrogen levels are too high. You’ll be able to see specifically which form of estrogen dominance you have once the new progesterone wands are available. You do this by calculating your estrogen to progesterone ratio.
Mira now has progesterone wands available for pre-order. These test PdG, a metabolite of progesterone, and can help you confirm ovulation. They do, however, cost $65 for a box of 20. If all you’re looking to do is confirm ovulation with a simple urine test then I’d recommend using Proov instead. Proov tests for one cycle only cost $29.99.
If you’re looking to monitor your progesterone for health reasons or make sure that it’s getting high enough to support a pregnancy then I would recommend using Mira. Low progesterone can lead to a lot of health and fertility issues so being able to monitor levels at home is really helpful. Also, having too high progesterone before ovulation can impact egg health and the success of ovulation, so Mira could be helpful in identifying that as well.
Mira Fertility Pros and Cons
- Monitoring hormones for health purposes – This is the main reason I would recommend use of the Mira Fertility Monitor. If you have any concern about your hormones being out of balance, Mira can be a great way to verify your levels at home without having to do more invasive testing outside of the home. Of course, if you find an imbalance in your hormones while using Mira, it’s a great time to reach out to your doctor for verification.
- Quantitative results – Really, this goes hand in hand with the above pro. Having actual numbers to look at means having more information about your hormones. This is in comparison to the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor, which is qualitative. Meaning, you really only get a positive/negative result.
- Not necessary for most people – Most Mira Fertility Monitor users are trying to conceive and don’t care about the exact hormone levels. They just want something accurate and precise. Charting with the Billings Ovulation Method can give you just about the same amount of information for the purposes of trying to conceive. And it is much more affordable!
- It’s pricey $$$$ – There are lots of users who use Mira every day, every cycle. Sometimes even multiple times a day. That really adds up. If you want to use a fertility monitor to tell you when you’re fertile but don’t necessarily need all the extra information of exact hormone levels, then I’d recommend the ClearBlue monitor over the Mira for affordability.
- It’s sometimes inaccurate – Mira’s website states an accuracy of 99%. Which is wonderful. Except that a lot of users in the Mira Fertility Club have found out through customer service that their results were invalid. People have had to throw away entire boxes because of invalid wands and not all of them have gotten their money back. And without contacting customer service, how would you know when your results are invalid?
Another problem with inaccuracy that I’ve experienced is with the home screen of the Mira app. I started using Mira during a long cycle and even though I put in my last period date, it decided my cycle should be shorter and set it’s own cycle days. It was telling me I wasn’t as far into my cycle as I actually was. Others have experienced this frustration as well, and as far as I’ve seen there’s no way to fix it. The “fertility score” also changes frequently and is often wrong compared to what the hormones are actually doing. It’s not very reliable, so I would say to ignore it altogether and focus on the hormone curve itself.
- It gives TOO much information – This might be a weird one after saying how great it is that they give quantitative results. But after spending a lot of time in the Mira Fertility Club I can say for certain that for a lot of people it’s just too much information. They don’t know how to read the results, they don’t know what the fluctuations in the hormones mean. As I said before, the majority of users are trying to conceive and don’t necessarily need the quantitative results. So all the extra information can just be really overwhelming. In which case I’d recommend avoiding Mira and hiring a fertility awareness instructor or using the ClearBlue monitor instead.
Trying to Avoid Pregnancy with Mira
While most users are trying to conceive, Mira also advertises its ability to be used to avoid pregnancy. But, as a certified fertility awareness educator I have to give the warning that there are not yet any established protocols for avoiding pregnancy with Mira. At least, none that have yet been proven effective. There is, however, a protocol for using the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor to avoid pregnancy that has been proven effective through studies. You can learn more about those methods here.
The Bottom Line
In summary, the Mira Fertility Monitor is great for monitoring the health of your hormones from home. But if your goal is natural family planning, whether trying to conceive or trying to avoid, then there are better and more affordable options.
Charting your menstrual cycle with evidence based methods can give you a ton of information about what your hormones are doing and when you’re the most fertile. I teach two methods of natural family planning/fertility awareness that have each been proven effective. Contact me or schedule a free consultation to see if charting might be a good fit for you!