Testing for Ovulation

Testing for ovulation is a good way to determine when it is the best time for intercourse. Each woman is born with millions of immature eggs. Generally one egg is released each time of ovulation and lives for 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary. During ovulation some women may experience some light blood spotting. Implantation of a fertilized egg normally takes place 6-12 days after ovulation. If an egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining.

It is important to note that ovulation can be affected by stress, illness or disruption of normal routines. A menstrual period can still occur even if ovulation has not occurred and vice versa. Some women can feel a bit of pain or aching near the ovaries during ovulation called mittelschmerz, which means “middle pain” in German.


Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Chart

The BBT chart helps to monitor different phases of your menstrual cycle. You need to take your temperature in the morning when you wake up at the same time each day. During ovulation there is rise of 0.5-1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. An increased body temperature usually indicates ovulation has occurred. Basal body temperatures cannot be used to predict ovulation because the temperature rise occurs after ovulation. However, it can confirm that ovulation has occurred, which is helpful in planning for the next cycle.

Urine Test Kits aka Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)

These kits measure the luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. A rise in LH is usually takes place 12 to 44 hours later, so you can use this test to time intercourse.

Vaginal/Abdominal Ultrasound

This test is useful for timing intercourse or insemination. The follicle can be measured to see if it is ready for fertilization which his between 1.8 and 2.5 cm.

Endometrial Biopsy

And endometrial biopsy is an in-office procedure which is performed prior to the expected menstruation. It can determine if ovulation has occurred and if the endometrium has been stimulated with progesterone. It can help diagnose luteul phase defect (if progesterone changes are less than expected). A sample of the uterine lining is swabbed and checked under a microscope.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are used to:

  • Measure hormone Levels.
  • Check elevated progesterone levels associated with ovulation.
  • Check LH levels which surge just before ovulation.
  • See whether estrogen levels rise just prior to ovulation.
  • Measure hormones present with some fertility disorders.

NOTE: If no ovulation is detected in 2 or more consecutive cycles, it may be indicate an ovulatory problem exists. Occasionally, you may miss one cycle. So if you do not detect ovulation in only one cycle, this may not be a problem or you may have miscalculated.