Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Do ovulation trackers really work? Here’s what parents have to say

For people hoping to become parents, trying to conceive can be an extremely frustrating process. All kinds of products, from phone apps to fertility crystals claim to help. Ovulation trackers claim that they can pinpoint the days a person is likely to be most fertile and increase the likelihood of pregnancy. But do they really work?

What are ovulation trackers?

There are two main indicators that your body is ovulating. The first is your temperature: if you’re ovulating, you will typically see your temperature rise between 0.4 degrees to 1 degree. Therefore, if your normal resting temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, your temperature when ovulating will likely be somewhere between 99 to 99.6 degrees.

The second indicator is the presence of a substance called the “luteinizing hormone” which is released into your bloodstream 24 to 48 hours before ovulation and can be detected in urine. An ovulation tracker is a device that uses temperature readings, urinalysis, or both to determine which days within a month you are most likely going to be able to conceive. A temperature-only based ovulation tracker works by analyzing your temperature each day after the first day of your period to determine what your typical temperature is and when you are likely ovulating based on a rise in your temperature. A tracker that analyzes urine requires the user to use dipsticks to get a sample of their urine and insert those sticks into the device, which can detect the presence of the luteinizing hormone.

Mart Production / Pexels

Are ovulation trackers accurate?

Aaron Styer, an OB-GYN, reproductive endocrinologist, and co-medical director of a Boston-based fertility clinic, told Women’s Health magazine that trackers which analyze urine and temperature (or those that only use urinalysis) are more accurate than temperature-only trackers. First, not everyone’s body temperature rises when ovulating. Second, as a team of doctors detailed in a paper published in Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, there is a long list of factors that can cause your temperature to rise that have nothing to do with ovulation, including “alcohol, emotional or physical stress, sleep disturbance, change of room temperature, change of waking time, change of climate, and recent start or discontinuation of birth control pills”. Therefore, trackers that analyze urine are more likely to be accurate than those that only use temperature to predict ovulation.

What do users say?

In a review of various methods of ovulation trackers, the group of doctors who wrote the above-mentioned paper concluded that an ideal ovulation tracker would be noninvasive, inexpensive, easily available, precise in determining ovulation, and precise in determining fertility window. Unfortunately for users, the doctors found that none of the methods they reviewed met every feature. In other words, would-be parents are still waiting for the perfect ovulation tracker.

But some are better than others. Julia Malacoff, a writer in the process of trying to conceive, reviewed various ovulation trackers for Insider and ranked them by various metrics, including best overall and best budget tracker. She rated ClearBlue’s fertility monitor as “best overall” and many parents agree: 76% of users gave the device a five-star review on Amazon. But at $115, with test strips sold separately, its price makes it out of reach for many, and some parents found that their device didn’t give them accurate readings.

Couple hugging after looking at pregnancy test result
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

An important caveat with any review of an ovulation tracker is that it can be hard to determine whether the reviewer would have gotten pregnant without the tracker’s help or whether the tracker actually helped with the process. One woman in a Facebook group of parents who are doing IVF, noted that she “wasn’t a huge fan” of a certain tracker but also that her fertility issues “went way beyond ovulation tracking so it was never going to help”.

A subset of those trying to conceive will be unable to conceive without further medical interventions. Even taking that fact into account, the data is clear: a recent study of 844 people trying to conceive published in Journal of Women’s Health found that “for women using a home ovulation test with the connected app, the odds of becoming pregnant were twice those for women not using ovulation testing in the first cycle of use.” That significant difference suggests that ovulation trackers, even though they’re far from perfect, are a good tool to use for those who may be struggling to conceive.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Jaffe
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Sarah Jaffe is a former lawyer and parenting writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and four-year-old…
Glass vs. plastic baby bottles: Here’s what doctors have to say
How to choose the best bottle for your little one
A cluster of different baby bottles in a bowl.

Having a baby can be overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. It means making endless decisions about day-to-day activities and how they can impact the baby's safety. Even something as simple as choosing the type of bottle to use becomes an important decision. Glass vs. plastic baby bottles: Which is a healthier choice?

A baby's bottle is a vital purchase, and it's certainly worth exploring all the factors when it comes to glass or plastic baby bottles for health, convenience, and cost concerns. There are trade-offs to consider with each. So, here's what parents need to know when it comes to glass vs. plastic baby bottles.
The scoop on plastic baby bottles
With all the concerns around chemicals in plastics, it's natural for parents to wonder if anything from a plastic baby bottle might find its way into their baby's milk.

Read more
What is a baby sprinkle (and how to plan a great one)
Why you should at least have a baby sprinkle even if you already have a child
Cake for a baby shower.

We all know the standard pregnancy celebrations. We've seen gender reveal photoshoots all over social media and have been invited or know someone who has gone to at least one baby shower. But what about when someone is having a second baby? Or is having the first girl after two back-to-back boys? Well, that's where having a baby sprinkle comes in handy. Whether it's been a few years since the last little one or you're having one of the opposite gender and only need a few items, here's why a baby sprinkle is the perfect way to welcome this new addition.
What is a baby sprinkle?

If you don't know anything about pregnancy parties, think of it in scientific terms. What is a shower versus a sprinkle when it rains? Not as much water for one as the other, right? Take that and apply it to a baby shower versus a baby sprinkle. Think of a baby sprinkle as that grocery trip where you only need the fillers, and you're not restocking the whole kitchen.
If you already have a baby
If you are parents to one child (or two or three), you probably have most of the stuff you need from the last child. But if there were items you wish you would have grabbed for the first one or you have a list of needs for this next baby, a sprinkle is the perfect forum to get those goods.
If it's been a few years since you've had a baby
Even if you already have a child, maybe this next one is a few years further away than you wanted or planned. A baby sprinkle is the best way to get those items you may have donated, lost, or broke with the first kiddo.
If you have only one gender but find out you are having the other
Have all boys? You will want a sprinkle to get some girl items. Have only girls? You might use a sprinkle to get at least one item that isn't pink. Not that certain colors are meant for boys or girls, but maybe you had a Minnie Mouse-themed nursery, and you'd like your first boy to have a new theme for their nursery.
Let's sprinkle the details
A baby sprinkle isn't going to be exactly like your baby shower. It's more of a low-key event, should be less stressful, and is less formal.

Read more
What it means if you lose weight during pregnancy – and when to worry
What causes a pregnant woman to lose weight?
A pregnant woman holding her belly in a bathroom

Weight gain is a very real, very normal, and very expected part of pregnancy. Most people are prepared to see the scale going up as their pregnancy progresses, but sometimes they may notice it going down, which can cause some anxiety. Pregnancy requires extra calories and extra nutrition to feed a growing baby, which is why it can be very concerning when a pregnant person notices they are losing weight.

Weight loss during pregnancy may be more common than you think. It isn't necessarily cause for alarm unless it's a consistent pattern throughout the pregnancy and not just a short-lived dip on the scale. Many factors can cause a pregnant person to lose weight, but that doesn't mean it can't be concerning when it happens. You should always consult your doctor if you're concerned about your weight gain or loss during pregnancy, but if you've found yourself asking, "Why am I losing weight while pregnant?" here are a few possible explanations.
It's not uncommon

Read more