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Documenting Ovulation

There are several infertility tests to document that ovulation will occur or that it has occurred. Ovulation must occur for the egg to be released and fertilized. Ovulation is the culmination of several hormonal events occurring during the menstrual cycle and must occur regularly for fertilization and pregnancy to occur.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

The BBT chart is used to document ovulation and to time intercourse. It is less accurate than some of the newer hormone monitoring kits but is still used by some physicians. In our practice, our infertility patients are advised to utilize the LH monitoring kits which are much more accurate and convenient.

Urinary LH Assay

The hormone evaluation/ test kits (Ovu Quick and others) predict ovulation by monitoring the surge in the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs approximately twenty-four hours before ovulation. The level is monitored by measuring the LH concentration in the urine via a simple home test. Intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be timed to insure the best chance for pregnancy. This test does not rely on historical tracking data unlike the BBT chart and is a much better gauge of the most fertile times.


A direct way to document ovulation is by ultrasound examination of the follicles before and after release of the egg. Ultrasounds are performed sequentially and the growth of the follicles is monitored. This process is most useful in predicting ovulation when the follicles are monitored to a particular size and an ovulation inducing medication (FSH) is given.

Progesterone Levels

An elevated progesterone level indicates that ovulation occurred. Progesterone supports the developing embryo and is produced by the corpus luteum, which is a structure on the ovary that develops from the remaining follicles after ovulation. Progesterone levels decline if fertilization does not occur.

Fertility Tests- Quick Links

Fertility Tests Overview Progesterone  
Male Semen Analysis FSH Levels  
Ultrasound LH Levels  
Hysterosalpingogram Estrogen Levels  
Hysterosonogram bhCG  
Hysteroscopy Prolactin  
Basal Body Temperature Thyroid  
Urinary LH Measurement Androgens  

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