Interpreting OvaCue Readings
There are many reasons why the OvaCue is the ideal fertility monitor for trying-to-conceive couples: it provides greater advance notice of ovulation than any other method – up to seven days – giving you more opportunities to conceive each month; it’s ideal for women with regular cycles as well as women with irregular cycles or ovulatory disorders such as PCOS; it’s over 98% accurate in predicting ovulation; it provides you with a color-coded calendar of your fertile status each month. But now OvaCue has another advantage over other methods of ovulation prediction – OvaGraph! OvaGraph was specifically designed to complement the OvaCue Fertility Monitor and provide users with a comprehensive view of their monthly cycle. OvaGraph allows you to plot and graph your oral and vaginal sensor readings, and record your OvaCue color status.
The OvaCue Fertility Monitor makes pinpointing your fertile window easy by colorfully displaying your most fertile days on the calendar screen. As you become more familiar with your monitor, you might realize that there is a wealth of information to be gained by looking at the actual data produced by taking oral and vaginal readings. Trying to make sense of these numbers might seem like a daunting task at first, but with a few clues about what to look for you will be on your way to becoming an “OvaCue expert”.
To begin, let’s talk about the how a “textbook” OvaCue cycle might proceed. In the first phase of the cycle, the monitor will track trends in the oral readings, looking specifically for what we refer to as the Cue Peak. The Cue Peak is a high oral reading followed by two lower oral readings (a trend spanning three days), which coincides with the selection of the dominant follicle in the ovary. Research shows that, for most women, ovulation occurs 5-7 days after the dominant follicle is selected. Therefore, once the monitor detects this Cue Peak, it will then predict out your fertile window, turning your calendar varying shades of blue (from light to dark blue) over a range of days, and predicting a peak fertility day (darkest blue). This peak fertility day is the day before the monitor is expecting ovulation to occur.
As you move through your fertile window and approach ovulation, you will typically see a downward trend in your vaginal readings. This downward trend indicates that estrogen is surging and ovulation is just around the corner. It is important to keep in mind that relatively low vaginal readings indicate high estrogen levels, which often indicates high fertility. Let’s repeat that: Low vaginal readings = high estrogen levels = high fertility. Your monitor will be watching this downward trend, and will be looking for a subsequent rise in the vaginal readings. This vaginal rise will indicate to the monitor that the switch to estrogen dominance to progesterone dominance has occurred. Remember that relatively high vaginal readings indicate high progesterone levels and/or low estrogen levels, which often indicates low fertility. To repeat: high vaginal readings = high progesterone levels = low fertility. When the monitor detects this shift (a solid indicator that ovulation has occurred), it will display a pink box: “ovulation confirmed”. In the textbook cycle, once the pink box is displayed, the vaginal readings will remain elevated throughout the luteal phase of your cycle. If we were to graph this cycle, we would see a prominent peak in the oral readings followed by at least two days of lowered readings, and a “V” pattern in the vaginal readings ending on the pink box day, followed by a relatively flat line through the rest of the cycle.
But, who wants to be “textbook” anyway? Textbook is so boring! All of the trying-to-conceive women we talk to are far more interesting than textbooks . . .some women have multiple Cue Peaks, some women have “unexpected” ups and downs in their readings, some women end up with both a pink and purple box, and some women have vaginal readings that drop during the luteal phase. With these types of cycles, we find it especially helpful to graph the actual readings so that we can visually see the trends, in addition to noting the color predictions and confirmations that the monitor produces. The OvaCue is so beneficial for these “non-textbook” women precisely because of the information it yields about their cycle.