How to detect ovulation?
There are several different types of ovulation trackers out there, and they each work differently. Some applications and devices rely on one criterion only to predict and track ovulation, while others use a combination. The main types are below.
It is noteworthy that when you compare all the possible criteria for the prediction and detection of ovulation, BBT and urine hormones are the most well studied and well accepted, according to Belinda Coker, MRCGP, MBBS, DRCOG, DFFP, an obstetrician and gynecologist. trained GP, and founder of Your Trusted Squad, a fertility and IVF porter.
Of the two, urinary hormones are considered the most reliable and accurate, adds Aaron Styer, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, OB-GYN, and founding partner and co-medical director of fertility and IVR clinic CCRM Boston.
Basal body temperature (BBT): As body temperature rises 0.5 to 1.0 ° F after ovulation, taking your temperature daily can help you estimate your ovulation period. If you measure your temperature orally, it should be done just after you wake up (ideally after you have slept for at least 4 hours), so some of the portable fertility tracers make this process easier. Your BBT can also be measured vaginally (commonly called core body temperature) or via your skin at certain parts of your body, such as your armpit.
However, this method cannot predict the window of ovulation ahead of time, as temperature changes are usually only detected after ovulation, said dr. Styer said. This means that when you use temperature alone, it takes several months of data to accurately predict ovulation, according to dr. Steer – and this is only if your cycles are consistent.
Most tracers and applications that rely on BBT have their own algorithm that helps predict your ovulation dates, but many of these also measure or ask for additional input for more accurate predictions, such as ovulation test set results.
Urine hormone: Several hormones rise and fall around ovulation, and some ovulation trackers measure its presence in your urine to make a prediction. The hormone most commonly measured is luteinizing hormone (LH). “The pituitary gland [a gland in the brain] will release LH into the bloodstream to indicate the ovary to release an ovum, “Dr. Styer explained.” This hormone release is called the ‘LH surge’ and usually occurs about 24-48 hours before ovulation. “LH can be detected in your urine, and that’s what these devices are testing for.
As detection devices become more advanced, some of them have also begun to measure other hormones involved in the ovulation process, such as estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Algorithms: Some applications and trackers use proprietary algorithms to predict your ovulation window. If you use an application, you need at least one additional data point in addition to the algorithm, such as BBT or urine hormones, to accurately predict and detect ovulation, said dr. Coker said. This is because algorithms are based on the average cycle in research (or on the application or device’s user base), and many people have longer or shorter cycles than average.
Other criteria: Some detection devices use metrics that are less well recognized, such as pulse rate, respiratory rate, and cervical mucus. It’s very exciting to see new types of data being used to detect ovulation, Coker said, but it’s important to know these statistics are not as scientifically validated as BBT and urine hormones.