Ovulation Testing and Tracking

To achieve pregnancy, you have better chances if you trying during the most fertile times of the menstrual cycle. Because ovulation is the process where one or more eggs are released from the ovaries, testing and tracking can help increase chances of conception.


What is ovulation?

The window period each month when a woman can actually conceive is usually no longer than 4-5 days. Every month, 15-20 mature eggs are inside one of the ovaries. The largest egg is released into the fallopian tube during ovulation. The egg only survives for around 12-24 hours if not fertilized. Sperm can survive inside the female for up to 7 days. Health sperm results from intercourse ever 2-3 days.


Are there any signs or symptoms of ovulation?

If you ovulate regularly, you will have regular menstrual periods, with bleeding occurring at the same time interval each month. A cluster of symptoms occurs around the actual time of ovulation, which include an increase in cervical fluids (discharge) and increase in libido. Just before your period, you will experience pelvic cramps, breast sensitivity, and a drop in mood.


What do ovulation kits do?

Ovulation kits help identify your fertile window to improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally. Regular sex during and before ovulation will maximize chances of conception. To recognize when ovulation is going to occur, an ovulation kit is used. This involves recording your menstrual cycle, documenting your basal body temperature, and looking for changes in the cervical mucus. Kits are available at the pharmacy without a prescription. These include:


  • Urine-based kit – Detects a surge/increase of luteinizing hormone (LH), which occurs 1-2 days before ovulation. This indicates your fertile window has arrived. The amount of LH will increase in the urine, indicating that the egg is about to be released.
  • Saliva-based kit – This test looks for rising estrogen levels, which indicates you are nearing ovulation. Elevated estrogen causes salt content of the saliva to increase as well, and the kit alerts you of this.


How do I use an ovulation kit?

With a urine-based ovulation kit, you collect the urine in a cup, dip the stick into it, and look for colored bands on the stick. Much like a pregnancy test, this indicates whether or not an LH surge has occurred. Instructions vary from kit to kit, but most require you to collect urine between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., with the optimal time being around 2 p.m. It is best if you collect the urine at the same time each day, and do not test the urine in the early morning.

With the saliva-based test, you simply place saliva on a slide using your finger or by licking it. This is done first thing in the morning before you eat or drink. After it dries, you can look under the included microscope to see if you are ovulating. We recommend that you begin testing on day 11 of your cycle, and test for six days, using the ovulation calculator to identify your fertile window.


How do you track ovulation?

Basic tracking of ovulation is an effective way to boost your chances of becoming pregnant. Ovulation patterns often get less regular with pronounced weight loss and decreased ovarian reserve. Stress, too much exercise, and certain medications can change the pattern also.