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Tracking Ovulation with PCOS

If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome then getting pregnant can be more challenging – this is well known. The extent to which it places a challenge in the path of your fertility, and how you can address that challenge are less well known, which can lead to some people seeing a diagnosis of PCOS and ‘infertility’ as synonymous, but this is not the case!

It’s only in the most severe cases of PCOS that ovulation is halted altogether – for the majority of women with the condition, ovulation still happens, but it’s less frequent, less regular and harder to spot. That means less chances to conceive, not none at all. The key to getting pregnant when you have PCOS is tracking when you ovulate, learning when it’s going to happen as early as possible and ensuring you are targeting the days surrounding the event, when you have the best chance of getting pregnant (what’s known as your ‘fertile window’).

Tracking ovulation with PCOS is also a challenge, as it’s especially important that people with PCOS keep track of when they’re fertile to improve their chances of pregnancy. The most common and widely available method of tracking when you ovulate is the ‘ovulation predictor kit’ or OPK. These work like a pregnancy test – by immersing the tester stick in your urine, you give it the chance to check for the hormones associated with ovulation, in the same way a pregnancy test looks for the hormones associated with a developing embryo. The hormone in question is LH or the Luteinising Hormone, a surge of which causes your ovaries to release a fertile egg.

Unfortunately, because PCOS is caused by hormone disturbances – your body produces too much insulin, oestrogen and testosterone – it makes hormone-based tests ineffective. The same hormone interactions that produce the symptoms of PCOS also cloud the results of those tests and prevent that giving you an accurate notification of when you’re ovulating.

Logging your core body temperature can give you a more accurate measure of your fertility – it’s not affected by hormone changes, and it responds directly to your menstrual cycle. If you take your temperature every morning, before you get up and before your metabolism speeds up, you can spot the pattern that reveals you are preparing to ovulate. OvuSense can make this prediction easier to access. Our specialised sensor takes your temperature overnight, to ensure you’re getting the right reading. Our clinically tested algorithm then processes your results into a prediction that’s increasingly tailored to your body over time, so you have the best possible chance of getting pregnant with PCOS.