Compare fertility products | OvuSense
Ovulation Predictor Kits
  • Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) provide a positive test for Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which peaks up to a day in advance of ovulation. However, OPKs can only provide a snapshot at one point in time in your cycle, meaning you have to use a minimum of 2 tests a day over a 10-20 range in each cycle to monitor what your cycle is doing. This is messy, impractical and the cost soon adds up.

    Added to this, if you have Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) and/ or Polcystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) you are likely to have high levels of LH at other times of the month and this produces 'false positives' leading to confusion over when to try and get pregnant. The high levels of LH are reported in this study - Robinson et al. (1992) – study size 63.

    If you have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (the other most common ovulatory issue), an LH peak doesn’t necessarily result in ovulation, and ovulation generally takes place at a slower pace in the cycle meaning the prediction is not reliably a day in advance, again leading to confusion over when to try and have a baby.

    These ovulatory issues are much more common than you might think. Find out more about the clinical background to ovulation and OvuSense here: view clinical information

    LH strips have been widely documented to produce 'false negative' results - meaning you get no indication of ovulation even though you are about to ovulate:

    • 9% Lloyd R et al. (1989) – study size 33
    • 20% Irons DW et al. (1994) – study size 25 cycles
    • 35% Arici A et al. (1992) - study size not available

    This paper explains the 'false positive' results - meaning you get an indication of ovulation at the wrong point in your cycle: 7.7% McGovern PG et al. (2004) – study size 706,

    These findings are supported by the leading paper on various methods of cycle testing: Freundl et. al. (2003) - study size 122 cycles from 62 women

    Finally, it's important to note that OPKs cannot be used to detect if you actually ovulated in a cycle, or the date of ovulation. Again, this makes them far less practical for monitoring your cycles over a number of months because they provide little reassurance that you are capable of getting pregnant.

    In contrast, OvuSense monitors your 'core temperature' constantly, giving a true indication of the Progesterone level on every day of your cycle and a clinically proven 99% accurate detection of ovulation. Progesterone rises during ovulation, and the unique OvuSense method means it's able to 'look up' the curve and predict ovulation up to a day in advance - just like an OPK - but with the added benefits that it works for all women regardless of whether you have an ovulatory issue, and it shows you the complete curve not just a single result at a time. Papaioannou et. al. (2012) - study size 26 cycles from 18 women; Papaioannou et. al. (2012), (2013), (2014) - study size 81 cycles from 26 women

Other Temperature Based Systems
  • No temperature based system other than OvuSense can predict ovulation up to 24 hours in advance in real time like an OPK, so they are of little practical use if you have an irregular ovulation timing or cycle lengths.

    Clinical studies show that other temperature systems are also considerable less accurate than OvuSense's 99% for detecting the date of ovulation after it occurs, with the majority of other products getting it wrong once in every five cycles. That means even if you have regular cycles, you will still find it difficult to know whether you ovulate at different times in each cycle using them, and they cannot be relied upon to predict a fertile window for the following cycle. Freundl et. al. (2003), Rollason et al. (2014) – study size 16 included cycles

    This is true for standard basal body temperature (BBT) charting, as well as products which measure temperature orally, or on the skin, armpit or wrist. That’s because there is too much variation in the temperature signal to produce an accurate representation of the action of progesterone on the ovaries – which is the signal that needs to be measured to see whether ovulation is about to occur or has occurred.

    In contrast, OvuSense monitors your 'core temperature' constantly, giving a true indication of the Progesterone level on every day of your cycle and a clinically proven 99% accurate detection of ovulation. Progesterone rises during ovulation, and the unique OvuSense method means it's able to also 'look up' the curve and predict ovulation up to a day in advance - just like an OPK - but with the added benefits that it works for all women regardless of whether you have an ovulatory issue, and it shows you the complete curve not just a single result at a time. Papaioannou et. al. (2012) - study size 26 cycles from 18 women; Papaioannou et. al. (2012), (2013), (2014) - study size 81 cycles from 26 women

    It is important to be aware that vaginal temperature generally reads 1.0-2.0 degrees Celsius (1.8-3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than an oral temperature reading, and higher still than other external temperature readings (such as those taken under the armpit or on the skin).

    As a result of measuring in the vagina and the filtering by the algorithm, the OvuSense temperature reading will therefore very rarely be the same as any other device temperature device.

Fertility Tracker Apps
  • The recent emergence of a host of fertility tracker apps which accept manually entered oral temperatures, and in some cases automatically entered oral or external temperatures, has revived interest in traditional basal body temperature charting. In addition, these apps also accept manually entered information about your menstruation and Luteinizing Hormone strip results.

    So they certainly make life easier than manual charting but it's very important to understand they have done nothing to improve the accuracy of the measurements they use for calculation.

    Wise et al. (2015) – study size 1,238, conclude in their randomised trial, that in a population of women who had been trying to conceive for =6 cycles at study entry there is 'little evidence that randomization to the Fertility Friend menstrual cycle charting software program influenced fecundability.' It does go on to say that 'among those who had already been trying to conceive for 5-6 cycles at enrolment, assignment to Fertility Friend was associated with faster conception.' The study showed a ~15% improvement in that group, which is almost certainly down to the charting creating a better overall understanding of their cycles.

    Setton et al. (2016) – study size 20 websites and 33 apps, conclude that 'electronic apps used by the general public to predict fertile windows are generally inaccurate'.

    In contrast, OvuSense monitors your 'core temperature' constantly, giving a true indication of the Progesterone level on every day of your cycle and a clinically proven 99% accurate detection of ovulation. Progesterone rises during ovulation, and the unique OvuSense method means it's able to also 'look up' the curve and predict ovulation up to a day in advance - just like an OPK - but with the added benefits that it works for all women regardless of whether you have an ovulatory issue, and it shows you the complete curve not just a single result at a time. Papaioannou et. al. (2012) - study size 26 cycles from 18 women; Papaioannou et. al. (2012), (2013), (2014) - study size 81 cycles from 26 women

    It is important to be aware that vaginal temperature generally reads 1.0-2.0 degrees Celsius (1.8-3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than an oral temperature reading, and higher still than other external temperature readings (such as those taken under the armpit or on the skin).

    As a result of measuring in the vagina and the filtering by the algorithm, the OvuSense temperature reading will therefore very rarely be the same as any other device temperature device, and if the OvuSense temperatures are typed into a fertility tracker app that will also produce a different (and most likely inaccurate) result because it is set up to give results based on a different method of temperature measurement.

Ultrasound
  • If you're struggling to conceive, ultrasound is an important clinical tool to help you and your clinician to understand your cycles. 3-4 ultrasound scans per cycle is the suggested requirement of good cycle monitoring. However, because a scan is a snapshot at one point in time in your cycle, timing the scan correctly is essential.

    Your clinician will usually be looking for a dominant follicle (the next one that is most likely to rupture resulting in ovulation) of 20mm or more in size in one of your ovaries. This measurement means that you are likely to ovulate in the next 24-48 hours. Your clinical may also look for evidence that a follicle has recently ruptured, meaning you have already ovulated during that cycle.

    However, ultrasound 'folliculometry' is not always a good predictor of ovulation, and it's not surprising given it assumes that all women of whatever size and shape, or hormonal make-up will have identically sized follicles just before ovulation occurs. Dominant follicle size can vary greatly as is shown by: Vlaisavljevic and Došen (2007).

    It is therefore important to understand the result your clinician provides you in the context of your whole cycle. The best approach rather than estimating when ovulation will occur for you and scheduling based on this best guess, is to use the results from OvuSense to schedule ultrasound scans with your doctor. That way you will get much more accurate and detailed information about that cycle, and probably need fewer scans each cycle, saving time and money.

    No methods other than OPKs, ultrasound and OvuSense can claim the ability to predict ovulation in real time.

Serum Progesterone Testing
  • The value of serum testing has long been established, with a 'serum concentration of greater than 3 ng/ml providing 'presumptive but reliable evidence of recent ovulation.' ASRM (2012) referencing Wathen et al. (1984) – study size 79. In Europe the cut off is generally given in nmol/l where >30nmol/l is regarded as a positive result for ovulation within the past seven days.

    However, blood tests can be quite inconvenient both for you and your clinic. Added to which, the ASRM guidelines state that 'a serum progesterone measurement generally should be obtained approximately one week before the expected onset of the next menses, rather than on any one specific cycle day (e.g. cycle day 21).' This causes a real practical problem if you have irregular cycles or ovulate at a different time in your cycle from this expected 'norm'. Given that a false negative test can occur if the timing of your blood draw is out by even a day, a serum progesterone can also lead to the wrong conclusion - potentially setting you on a course of unnecessary treatment.

    It's really important to understand this in dealing with the results your clinic gives you. Here is a testimonial from an OvuSense user that shows how it can help in practical terms: I just thought you may appreciate some positive feedback. After I used Ovusense, I rebooked my '21 day' Progesterone blood test for the week later and the score has now come back as 50…. I am so pleased I invested in Ovusense because for 5 years I have presumed I have ovulated 10 days earlier than I actually do and have struggled to get pregnant. Thank you." - Alison, October 2014.

    Serum Progesterone is also sometimes used to make further diagnostic interpretations of 'anovulation' (= no ovulation) if the result is negative, or luteal phase defect - an important cause of infertility and/ or habitual spontaneous miscarriage. However, the clinical literature shows that a single serum Progesterone in a cycle is a poor indicator of anovulation and luteal phase defect when used in isolation: Wathen et al. (1984), Jordan et al. (1994) – study size 34.