The purpose of fertility tracking is of course to “predict or pinpoint” ovulation. This can not always be done with complete surety. Only an endometrial biopsy or a powerful microscope can tell if ovulation has occurred, and an ultrasound if follicles are maturing. Therefore pregnancy is the only way to know if one has ovulated at the time ovulation was believed to have happened.
There are many helpful methods of documenting ovulation but just a few are listed here. They include:
Taking Basal Body Temperature before rising
Recording basal body temperatures is a very reliable source, most agree the most accurate in determining ovulation has occurred. The problem is of course that a shift in temperatures occurs too late to prevent pregnancy and in many cases too late to have intercourse when TTC – trying to conceive. Unfortunately, up to 10% of women may not have temperatures showing the truth regardless of the fact that they ARE in fact ovulating regularly.
Here are a few facts that may help you to determine what is called a coverline for temperature taking and TTC. It is the presence of progesterone which affects the hypothalmus, the body’s temperature regulator, to show a rise in temperature.
- Identify the first day your temperature rises at least 2/10 of degree higher than it had been the previous 6 days.
- Highlight the last 6 temps before the rise.
- Locate the highest of those six highlighted temps.
- Draw the coverline 1/10 of degree above the highest of that cluster of six days preceding the rise.
- High temps during your period are irrelevant.
- Once you see a third high temperature above the coverline (the 3/10 higher than 6 preceding days) you know you have ovulated.
Special note: For daylight savings time, take your temperature 20 minutes earlier. Saturday 4/3, 20 minutes later Sunday 4/4 and then take temps normal time on Monday.
Coverline temperature information taken from Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Tony Weischler. This book is offered as a special with The Fertility Tracker below.
Second note: Most NFP books will tell you that when you see above coverline temps for 18 consecutive days you are pregnant.
We highly recommend anyone considering NFP to prevent OR to encourage pregnancy purchase the book TCOYF. No book on the market can compete with the information Toni Weischler has included and developed.
Billings method: Cervical mucus and changes
Cervical mucus is yet another noteworthy pre-ovulation sign. The cervical in the body and the saliva as well are strongly influenced by progesterone and estrogen. Experiencing stretchy, stringy and clear mucus from the cervix can be a good sign ovulation is eminent. The problem with this is that many women are not willing to check there cervix on a regular basis for several of the signs it gives. Checking the cervix for changes in position is part of this method. We have also found that women who have pcos or just do not ovulate regularly may have these signs several times before ovulation occurs.
Ovulation Predictor Kits – aka OPKs
This method depends on the detection of the LH surge. The presence of a chemical in the urine suggests that ovulation will occur within 24-48 hours. Other LH fertility monitors often falter in that just as with cervical changes many mini surges may take place before ovulation occurs. While the makers of these kits would have us believe that this is a very accurate scientific approach, this is not entirely true for many. Among the infertile it is not uncommon to get false positives several times before a true reading. If there is not a sufficient LH surge a woman may believe that she has ovulated when in fact if she were to do another test she may find the same results several days and even weeks later for those with hormonal imbalance. The draw to this product is that it is used before ovulation in the follicular phase. This is helpful for planning intercourse if the reading is accurate. LH is processed by the kidneys and then shows up in the urine. In order to track these changes, in the urine, many use OPKs. Using these type of products to track LH changes is not only expensive but can be messy and undesirable for women, as well. The fertilitytracker costs less than 3 opk’s but lasts a lifetime! All that without the mess.
The Saliva Ferning Method
Now we come to the salvia ferning method. Just as blood changes can be monitored from the endometrium so can saliva changes during a women’s cycle. When a women approaches a more fertile time in her cycle the level of the salt in the body rises with the presence of higher estrogen. This is explained in the “history of saliva ferning”. A woman merely needs to lick a slide first thing in the morning and leave it to dry. Crystallization will then form according to the fertility of the woman. It is individual to each woman, what will be seen on the slide. This crystallization is very similar to frost on a window or the appearance of ferns from the garden. This is where the name ferning comes from, of course. There is so much more to be told from these patterns than from just a line on a stick.
Here is one of many examples you will find in our booklet. This is what one might see duringa time of peak fertility.