Ovulation trackers have taken much of the guesswork out of getting pregnant. These days, the most advanced fertility technologies go way beyond detecting the day of your ovulation, and can even measure your baseline levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), automatically chart your cycle, and more.
Still, it’s possible to get a false-positive result from an ovulation tracker or to struggle to get pregnant even while using an ovulation tracker. Ovulation trackers measure ovulation based on a surge in your body’s LH levels, and can sometimes mistake small surges for the real thing.
The worst ovulation tracking mistake you can make when trying to conceive is not to track your ovulation at all. When you rely on the traditional 14-day model of ovulation, you might be missing your body’s peak fertility.
Ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) and digital fertility trackers go beyond calendar counting to measure ovulation through surges of LH. They test your urine concentration of LH to give you a more accurate model of when you might be ovulating.
Everyone’s cycle is unique, so don’t be surprised if your cycle doesn’t follow the traditional 28-day cycle, with ovulation on day 14. Instead, use an OPK or digital fertility tracker to nail down exactly when that LH surges.
During ovulation, an egg is only available to be fertilized for 24 hours. Because sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days, your fertile window can last up to 7 days. But that’s still not a very large time frame for you to get pregnant!
You’re most fertile for the few days leading up to ovulation. That’s why it’s critical to track at least one cycle to get to know your body’s LH patterns before relying exclusively on ovulation tracking to identify your fertile window.
If you don’t understand the numbers you’re seeing in the context of your unique cycle, you might miss the surge in LH that indicates you’re ovulating. Instead, you might not notice that you have ovulated until after your LH levels have returned to baseline, at which point it is already too late to conceive.
Tracking ovulation on your own can be difficult. It requires you to take your temperature at least twice per day and to get intimate with your cervical mucus. It’s no wonder, then, that so many couples who are trying to conceive rely on fertility trackers.
Still, it’s important to realize that not all fertility trackers are created equal. The Mira Fertility Tracker is the most sophisticated fertility tracker on the market. Unlike other fertility trackers, it provides you with numeric levels of your hormones and uses AI-powered cycle analysis to determine when you are most fertile.
Hospitals have found that Mira’s analysis is equal to that of leading laboratories. So, if you’re ready to get serious about understanding your cycle, it might be time for you to try Mira. (Pst! You can use the code FOODBABY to save $25 off your Mira.)
If every woman’s biological clock followed the 28-day cycle, we could all test on day 14 and find out instantly that we had ovulated. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works — meaning you need to test several times during your estimated fertile window to pinpoint when you’re ovulating.
For the most accurate results, you should test 10-20 times per cycle with a digital ovulation tracker. If you’re using an OPK, you need to start testing five days before you estimate you will ovulate.
Those with irregular cycles can expect to use an OPK even more often. If you have irregular cycles, you will need to test from the earliest to the latest date of possible ovulation to ensure you don’t miss your peak fertility.
Remember those false-positive test results we talked about earlier? Well, you can also get a false-negative result — which is more likely if you test too early in the morning.
Most women’s levels of LH surge in the morning. However, these surges cannot be detected by OPKs until about four hours later. This means that you’ll want to wait until at least 12:00 PM to take an ovulation test.
A woman’s hormones also fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s important to ensure consistency. For the most accurate results, you should test at the same time every day in order to avoid a false-positive or false-negative reading.
If you’ve been tracking your cycles for a while and not making these ovulation tracking mistakes, it might be time to consider how your diet and lifestyle is affecting your fertility. Start by reading up on these Foods For Ovulation Stimulation or check out Foodbaby’s signature program, Optimising Ovulation.
This post was written for Foodbaby by our friends at Mira Fertility.
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Fertility dietitian, ovulation expert, lover of food and squishy newborn baby cuddles. I help people get pregnant (fast) and have the healthiest pregnancies possible.