Your Handbook to Ovulation Tracking and Prediction

Eloise Edington  |   23 Mar 2022

At The Ribbon Box, we know that when we’re TTC, ovulation predictor kits become our best friends and our worst enemies. Sex, which used to be spontaneous and fun, is now dictated by urine strips, saliva samples, and basal body temperature checks. And then there’s the logging, the tracking, and the pattern-spotting. Do you scribble the results in a fertility journal (hoping you won’t lose it), keep a running note on your phone, or use a glitchy app?

However you decide to track your fertility, there are simple tools and methods available for all budgets to help you conceive faster – so you can go back to having the spontaneous sex you love.

Fairhaven Health (see their profile here) has a range of ovulation predictor tools for US readers to suit all budgets and tracking preferences. Continue reading for a discount code to use many products across the Fairhaven Health website, and find out how different ovulation predictor kits work as well as tips to improve ovulation prediction. 

Words by Holly Pigache

Check your fertility in multiple ways

Firstly, how do ovulation predictor kits work?

When you’re about to ovulate, hormonal levels in your body change and it is these changes that are detected by fertility tracking devices. Some ovulation predictors measure the luteinizing hormone (LH) while others measure changes in electrolyte levels affected by the hormone estrogen.

You could buy one type of ovulation predictor and trust in its accuracy, or you could purchase a device that:

  • Is easy to use
  • Takes two different measurements
  • Can predict ovulation up to a week in advance
  • Automatically uploads your results
  • Allows you to easily share your data with your fertility specialist.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

The OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor measures changes in your saliva and cervical mucus and (with the free companion fertility charting app, OvaGraph) monitors your fertility and shows you how fertile you are on any given day during your cycle.

There’s no need to manually input temperature readings or decipher urine stick results as the device automatically uploads your results to OvaGraph via your smartphone’s Bluetooth. The app also allows you to share your fertility charts with your OBGYN and fertility specialist so they have all the information to help you when TTC.

The OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor

Using the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor is easy, just remember to begin using it at the start of your cycle (on the second full day of bleeding). Each morning, place the saliva sensor on your tongue and the OvaGraph app records a reading of the electrolyte resistance in your saliva. The vaginal sensor detects when your body switches from being dominated by estrogen to progesterone as this indicates ovulation may have occurred.

Many women with PCOS or irregular cycles, find tracking and predicting ovulation a particular struggle. Unlike other ovulation predictor kits, the OvaCue doesn’t rely on statistical averages. Instead, it assesses the trends that are unique to your body, so ovulation can still be predicted in women with irregular cycles.

At $229.00, the OvaCue has a higher price point than other ovulation predictor kits but not only is it reusable, it will ultimately save you money compared with buying monthly urine-based monitors. 

However, if you’re looking for cheaper, more simplistic ovulation predictor kits, you could track your basal body temperature or measure hormones in your urine or saliva. Bear in mind it can be helpful to use a variety of ovulation prediction tools because if one suggests you are ovulating, fertility specialists recommend you plan intercourse to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

US readers receive an exclusive 15% off Fairhaven Health’s entire website when using code FHH15 at checkout.  (Includes the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor for a limited time from 29th March to 12th April 2022.)

How to check your basal body temperature:

Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) can be an effective way to monitor and predict ovulation, so you can time sex for your most fertile days and improve your chances of conception. Checking and charting your BBT is rather easy, you’ll just need a BBT thermometer and a tool to chart your temperature.

It’s important to use a thermometer specifically designed for fertility charting, such as Fairhaven Health’s Digital Basal Thermometer ($10.95). This oral-use, mercury-free thermometer has a large, easy-to-read display and is accurate to a tenth of a degree. It also has a digital memory recall function to display your most recent reading and emits a “beep” sound when peak temperature is taken. 

Once you’ve taken your temperature (it only takes about two minutes), plot your temperature on a chart. You can use a free online BBT charting service like the OvaGraph website or app if you’re based in the US (learn more here). Whether you input your ovulation tracking information yourself or rely on the OvaCue to automatically upload it, using the OvaGraph app means all your fertility tracking data is stored in one place, accessible on your phone, at any time. 

As you track your temperature each day, you’ll notice a shift of at least 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit after ovulation. Ideally, you’re looking for a biphasic chart: your body temperature will be lower before ovulation (during the follicular phase) than after ovulation (during the luteal phase). By inputting your temperature each day, the OvaGraph algorithms will help pinpoint your ovulation date and fertile days, based on your thermal shift. Over a few months, you can review your fertility tracking chart and look for patterns.

If your cycle is irregular, you can still chart your BBT and track your ovulation. The likelihood is that the greatest variation between your cycle lengths will occur in the follicular phase and the luteal phase should be relatively consistent (with a variation of only a day or two). Say your cycle ranges from 28 to 34 days, and your luteal phase is 14 days. Ovulation occurs somewhere between days 14 to 20, not the middle of a cycle. This is a common mistake women with long cycles make when trying to conceive. 

If you’re wondering when to start charting your basal body temperature, fertility specialists advise you to start charting at the beginning of your cycle so you can better understand your body temperature and fertility. (The first day of your cycle is the first day of full menstrual bleeding.)

When is the best time to check your basal body temperature?

It’s very important to take your temperature at the same time each day, so consider setting an alarm. Try to stay within half an hour of your average time to take the most accurate reading and make sure you’ve had a minimum of five hours of sleep. It’s good practice to take your temperature before you get out of bed or even speak, so do it first thing in the morning. Leaving the thermometer at your bedside will help you remember!

BFP Ovulation Test Strips

Accurately predict ovulation with a urine test

Ovulation test strips can also be an effective way to track ovulation when trying to conceive. Urine-based ovulation tests work by detecting the surge in LH that occurs just before you ovulate. Typically, women ovulate within 24 to 48 hours of their LH surge, so you can plan intercourse for your most fertile time of the month.

BFP Ovulation Test Strips by Fairhaven Health ($0.80) are designed to be dipped in collected urine and show your result within minutes. It is best to check your LH levels between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm and not in the first urine of the morning as this may lead to an invalid result.

Based in the US? Benefit from 15% off the Fairhaven Health website when using code FHH15 at checkout.  (For a limited time from 29th March to 12th April 2022, this 15% discount includes the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor.)

If the test line is as bold as (or bolder than) the control line, this suggests a positive result and that ovulation will occur within 24 to 48 hours. As BFP Ovulation Test Strips are wider than standard ovulation test strips, making it easier to interpret your result (which is over 99% accurate). What’s more, they are also very affordable, costing a fraction of the price drugstore brands charge.

Predict ovulation with a saliva test

Did you know your saliva changes throughout your cycle? Just before ovulation, women experience a surge in estrogen causing the saliva to change in appearance which is visible under the microscope. 

The Fertile-Focus Saliva Ovulation Microscope ($19.95) is a powerful 50x magnification lens that can help you check your saliva for fern-like patterns, indicating the approach to ovulation. The microscope is small and discrete and can be reused as many times as you like, making it the perfect method for those seeking an affordable, reusable ovulation predictor kit. Using the Fertile-Focus Microscope also avoids the risk of mess from testing your urine.

This high-quality saliva fertility test predicts ovulation up to 72 hours in advance and is 98% accurate, so you can plan intercourse to boost the chances of getting pregnant.

Using a saliva fertility test is easy:

  1. First thing in the morning, place a drop of saliva from under your tongue onto the lens
  2. Within minutes, the saliva will have dried
  3. Press the LED light button and assess the pattern through the lab-quality magnifying lens

A “ferning” crystal-like pattern suggests you’ll ovulate soon.

Top tip for saliva-based fertility testing: Test first thing in the morning (before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth).

Tracking your ovulation doesn’t need to be a headache and Fairhaven Health has a tracking tool and device to suit your needs, budget, and preferences.

For a limited time between 29th March to 12th April 2022, US readers can benefit from an exclusive 15% off the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor. Outside of these dates, US readers can receive 15% off Fairhaven Health’s entire website  (excluding the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor) when using code TRB15 at checkout.

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