What is Ovulation Tracking?
Ovulation tracking is a service provided by Monash IVF to assist couples in timing intercourse to maximise their chances of natural conception. This is achieved by pinpointing ovulation, the monthly process of releasing a mature egg. From puberty to menopause most healthy females mature and release one egg per month. The egg and its coverings are called a follicle and the growth of the follicle can be measured using ultrasound and blood testing (oestrogen or “E2”). About midcycle and when the follicle reaches a diameter of 20mm a second hormone is released by the pituitary gland called LH. This LH “surge” causes the final maturation and release of the egg (ovulation). This surge can also be measured with blood testing. Once the surge has occurred ovulation takes place about 24 hours later. Therefore, the optimal timing of intercourse is the day of the surge and the following day.
After ovulation there are changes in the function and appearance of the follicle and so it is now called a corpus luteum (meaning ‘yellow body’). The corpus luteum produces a second hormone in addition to oestrogen called progesterone. By measuring progesterone (“P4”) one week after ovulation a fair idea of the confirmation and quality of ovulation can be made. The gold standard test of ovulation is of course pregnancy.
Who needs ovulation tracking?
- Females with regular menstrual cycles, who have tried to conceive for a few months but do not wish to undergo infertility investigations and treatment.
- Females who have irregular menstrual cycles which makes timing of intercourse difficult to determine.
- Females who want to have a better understanding of their natural cycle
How is ovulation tracking done?
- Your GP can provide a referral for you to one of our specialists who will oversee your treatment which will be done through the NSW Monash IVF clinic of your choice.
- Once you have a referral from your GP please phone Monash IVF: 1800 628 533 on Day 1 (first day of your period). A Nurse Coordinator will advise when to begin the tracking process.
- At your first appointment you will have a blood test.
- Based on this result you will be advised which day further testing is needed and if required you will be given a booked time for a pelvic ultrasound. Once an LH surge is detected you will be informed and can plan to have intercourse that day and the following day.
An ovulation confirmation check is done by measuring a blood progesterone level, seven days after ovulation.
Seven days after your ovulation confirmation check a pregnancy test is completed. If you have a period before this date, please contact your nurse coordinator to commence a new cycle.
What does it cost?
For all patients with a valid Medicare Card the service is bulk billed, so there are no out of pocket costs. Monash IVF offers three bulk billed cycles.
For non Medicare eligible patients, please contact Monash IVF for more information.
Role of the Male Partner
If you have experienced difficulty achieving a pregnancy it is necessary for your male partner to have a semen test. It is also advisable for your male partner to ejaculate every 2 to 3 days to improve his sperm quality.