Ovulation tracking involves conducting blood tests at specified times during the menstrual cycle to pinpoint the time of ovulation so you know the best time to have intercourse to facilitate pregnancy.
The hormones that we monitor include:
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) – Follicles are small fluid-filled cysts on the ovaries containing an egg. FSH is the hormone responsible for stimulating follicular growth, so that one follicle grows to approximately 2cm in diameter in the middle of the month, ready for ovulation.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) – There is a sudden surge of LH in the middle of the menstrual cycle (around day 14 in a 28 day cycle). The surge of LH causes the egg inside the large follicle present on the ovary to mature, and triggers ovulation to take place approximately 36 hours after the peak of the surge.
- Oestrogen – oestrogen is released by the ovaries. As a follicle develops, oestrogen levels in the blood increase. Monitoring your oestrogen levels, gives us an indication of the growth of follicles in the ovaries, allowing us to predict when the LH surge and ovulation are likely to occur.
- Progesterone – Progesterone levels remain low throughout the initial stages of the menstrual cycle, rising only after ovulation. By taking a progesterone level a week after the LH surge, we are able to confirm that ovulation has occurred.
Sperm will stay alive inside the female pelvis for 2-3 days after intercourse. Eggs will only survive for 12-24 hours after ovulation. Therefore, it is ideal if you have intercourse immediately prior to ovulation. By detecting the LH surge, we know that ovulation is about to occur, therefore we can advise you to have intercourse within the next 24 hours in order to optimise your chance of conception.
Ovulation tracking can also identify ovulation issues which require further investigation and treatment to facilitate pregnancy.
Three free cycles of ovulation tracking can be arranged through Genea, with blood tests conducted at our Genea CBD premises (Level 2, 321 Kent St, Sydney). Your GP can refer you for ovulation tracking. Download the referral form for your GP to fill in and email to Genea at ovulationtracking@Genea.com.au
If you do not conceive after three cycles of ovulation tracking, in which ovulation has been demonstrated, make an appointment to see me. If ovulation tracking indicates that you are not ovulating, you are likely to require ovulation induction in order to conceive. Make an appointment to see me so I can arrange this for you.