For some couples, trying to have a baby is a fairly straightforward (and dare we say old-fashioned) process: Throw away the birth control and get busy.
But others decide to track their body’s cues to predict ovulation. For some couples, that’s because of fertility struggles: Around 1 in 10 women in the United States struggle to get pregnant (or stay pregnant).
Other couples simply want a little more control over the TTC process, whether that means maximizing the odds of conceiving as soon as possible or trying to plan a new addition during a certain time of year.
So how can you use fertility tracking to your advantage?
Types of Fertility Trackers and Tests
Ovulation Test Strips
These handy strips work a lot like pregnancy tests: You dip them in urine and they detect the level of luteinizing hormone (LH). The LH rise is what tells your ovary to release an egg, so seeing the surge means you will likely ovulate within the next 36 hours.
Wondfo One Step Ovulation (LH) Test Strips
These test strips make it easy to identify your “LH surge”: the time when you are likelier to conceive. The company promises the earliest detection with the greatest sensitivity as well as 5-minute results.
Cost: $14.95 for 50 test strips
This digital test strip option offers 3-minute results with an easy-to-read smiley face symbol. It will also show an error symbol if no result appears. Plus, Clearblue offers a helpline to answer questions and concerns.
Cost: $29.29 for 20 ovulation tests
Want to track your period and ovulation without using paper and pen? There’s an app for that—several of them actually!
With this handy app, you simply need to look for and record certain signs of fertility (such as Basal Body Temperature and cervical mucus), and the app will crunch the data for you. Then it can show you your most fertile days, help you notice signs of pregnancy, and tell you when you should take a test.
Cost: Free for 30 days and then a choice between a free membership or a VIP membership ($25 for 90 days).
With the Ovia app, you input data (such as your period dates and symptoms), and the app can provide accurate predictions for ovulation and periods. You can also get advice, facts, and personalized summaries about your fertility, as well as connect with a community of (anonymous) women.
App + Ovulation Test Strips
The first of its kind, this hybrid option transforms your phone into a “modern fertility guide.”
With this unique option, you snap the ovulation test strip into the phone scanner and line up the result window how the app shows you. Your phone’s camera will gather the data and update you virtually instantly. Then the app provides info on your most fertile days.
These sturdier options are suitable for couples looking to spend a little more.
The Mira Fertility Testing system tests, displays, and tracks your hormone concentrations and then sends the information to the tracker app on your phone. The company says it’s easy to use. You just dip the test wand in your urine and insert it into the analyzer. The resulting ovulation prediction is highly personalized.
Here’s a snazzy wearable option. This fertility-tracking bracelet can be worn while you sleep and synced with the app while you’re awake. It predicts your five most fertile days based on five of your body’s signals. It also features a 12-hour rechargeable battery and a vibrating alarm.
Books on Fertility
Want to try a low-tech method for fertility tracking? Read the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health” by Toni Weschler, MPH. Affectionately known as the fertility bible in the birth-savvy circles, the book breaks down how to get pregnant, avoid pregnancy, and simply take ownership of your reproductive health.