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Home > Learn > Ovulation Tests > >Ovulation Tracking Q&A with Dr. Gleaton

Ovulation Tracking Q&A with Dr. Gleaton

Jan 31, 21 4 min
Ovulation Tracking Q&A with Dr. Gleaton - Natalist

Every month, Dr. Gleaton answers all your questions about fertility, pregnancy, birth and more. Follow us on Instagram to ask your questions!

  By OBGYN Dr. Gleaton

Knowing your “fertile window,” those special few days when you’re likeliest to conceive, can help you get pregnant faster. This month, Dr. Gleaton answered all your questions about ovulation tracking. 

I stopped taking BC for endometriosis, my "regular-ish" cycles are back. How can I track ovulation (I have PCOS and can't do cervix checks/mucus as I don't have a lot to track)

I’d recommend investing in a 3-4 month supply of ovulation predictor tests to more accurately predict your ovulation pattern.

It can be tricky and frustrating when your cycles are variable and you could miss your prime window.  For more info on checking for ovulation, click here

Is it possible to never get “positive” results on an ovulation test but still ovulate? 

This would be unlikely and would clearly indicate that you’re somehow missing ovulation or have a hormonal imbalance that is affecting your ovulation predictor tests. Discuss this with your OBGYN provider and see if blood work can help determine if you're ovulating. 

Drinking post ovulation pre-period/positive ovulation pregnant test? Seeing mixed messages. 

If you’re ttc, my general recommendation is to limit drinking in the post ovulatory phase of your cycle since pregnancy isn’t detected until one to two weeks after conception.

Ovulation testing...helpful or more anxiety producing? 

I think ovulation tests are a great way to get to know your cycle and pinpoint your fertile window! But if they are giving you anxiety, then I would talk to your doctor. 

When TTC - if I’m having a LH surge, when should I have sex if “ovulation” is the next day?

Research has shown that having sex during your fertile window significantly increases your likelihood of getting pregnant. Your fertile window is a six day period consisting of the 5 days leading up to ovulation and ovulation day. This period is when you are most likely to get pregnant.

That being said, I recommend having sex every day or every other day during your fertile window and on the day of ovulation when TTC!

Is it normal for BBT to be all over the place? No clear temperature shift this cycle around ovulation. 

BBT tracking is not my favorite tracking method because it is laborious and error prone. Also, your BBT will increase right after ovulation. This means that you can’t use BBT to identify your fertile window for your current cycle. I would suggest ovulation tests as an easier method. 

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What is the best chart to reference when tracking cervical mucus? 

While there’s no chart showing superiority, understanding the changes in cervical mucus can help you identify your most fertile window and capture ovulation. 

Alternative to tracking BBT for those who wake multiple times during the night? 

BBT can be difficult to master if your sleep pattern or night routine is variable. Consider using ovulation tests to identify your LH surge and allow you to take advantage of your most fertile hours/days during the month. Our Ovulation Test Kit even comes with a free tracker so you can see your LH progress!

Can you explain the different ways your cervix changes during your cycle? 

During the follicular phase, your body is preparing for a fertilized egg. Estrogen levels are low now, so your cervix usually feels firmer. Estrogen will make it feel softer as your menstrual cycle progresses.

During ovulation, your estrogen levels start to rise making the cervix feel softer. You’ll also start to notice more mucus coming from your cervix and vagina at this time. The mucus has a thin, slippery consistency.

During the luteal phase, your estrogen levels decrease. Your cervix may still feel soft and your cervical mucus will get thicker and more sticky with a somewhat cloudy appearance.

Your cervix is typically open during menstruation, which allows menstrual blood and uterine tissue to leave your body. The cervix is usually lower in the body and therefore easier to feel while you’re menstruating.

How often should we TTC while ovulating? 

When TTC, it's helpful to identify your LH surge through ovulation tests to increase your chance of pinpointing ovulation. I recommend having sex every day during this time. 

likelihood of conceiving relative to ovulation chart

Chances of getting pregnant during the fertile window

I’ve received 7 consecutive negative ovulation tests for a week. What does that mean?

When did you start testing? You could have ovulated early or late in the cycle and missed your window. Try starting earlier in your cycle next month, and keep testing until you get a positive.  

Does ovulation test sensitivity matter?

Great question! It does, because you want to make sure you don’t miss your ovulation surge. I wrote an article about that here

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