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Comparison of hormone monitors

A detailed comparison of the hormone monitors Clearblue and Persona which are designed to analyse the fertile days to plan a pregnancy naturally.

These two contraception monitors determine fertile days and ovulation purely by measuring the sexual hormones LH and E3G in first void urine.

Using the calendar method, hormone contraception monitors calculate the days within a cycle when a test is required. A disposable test stick is dipped into the first void urine. The tip of the stick is covered with a cap before inserting the stick into the monitor. The monitor reads the stick's coloration using a photometric method. After 5 minutes measurement is complete and the stick should be disposed of. Now the contraception monitor indicates the level of fertility for the next 24 hours: red = fertile, green = probably infertile, yellow = test required.

Persona is sold as a contraceptive, but many couples use it for pregnancy planning like the ovulation monitor Clearblue.

Persona (1)Clearblue (2)
Pearl Index (3)6 (4)
Certified as a contraceptive (5)nono
Suitable for pregnancy plannungyesyes
What is analysed?urine (6)urine (6)
When is the measurement taken?in the morningin the morning
Where is the measurement taken?on the toileton the toilet
How long does measuring take?5+ minutes5+ minutes
When is fertility shown?after 5 minutesafter 5 minutes
How often is the measurement taken?8x per cycle (7)10-20 x per cycle (8)
Identifies fertile days6 - 22 days6 days
Identifies days of high fertility1 to 21 to 5
Identifies non-fertile days at beginning of cyclefrom the sixth cycle onwardsfrom the sixth cycle onwards
Suitable for cycles of23 - 35 days21 - 42 days
Use after pill / pregnancyafter 3+ cyclesafter 2+ cycles
Shows previous cycles6 cycles6 cycles
Cycle data saved6 months
Cycle prediction1 to 2 days (9)1 to 2 days (9)
Integrated alarm clocknono
Period of measurement6 hours exactly (10)6 hours exactly (10)
Start usingat beginning of cycleat beginning of cycle
Initial cost80 £62 £
One-off additional costs0 £0 £
Consumption per month8 test sticks10+ test sticks
Cost per month (11)10 £8 £
Cost after 1 year200 £158 £
Cost after 3 years440 £350 £
Cost after 7 years920 £734 £

Notes on the footnotes:
  1. http://www.persona.info/uk/using_persona_animation.php provides detailed instructions on daily use
  2. clearblue .com/uk/clearblue-fertility-monitor.php
  3. The Pearl Index is the number of unplanned pregnancies if 100 women use a method correctly for one year.
  4. Manufacturer information
  5. Medical Product 2b according to the Medical Devices Directive 93/42 EEC
  6. Only first void urine can be used.
  7. Tests are done on Day 6 and between Day 9-23 on 7 consecutive days. From the second cycle onwards a maximum of 8 tests can be carried out, even if ovulation is delayed - in which case the rest of the cycle will have a red light.
  8. On average 10 sticks are needed - up to 20 for long cycles.
  9. Only ovulation and menstruation.
  10. Set by the time of the first reading of the cycle; can only be changed at the beginning of the next cycle.
  11. Current market price 20 September 2014