Study finds ovulation tests can help with fertility issues.

Study finds ovulation tests can help with fertility issues.

Timing is Key: Using Ovulation Tests to Boost Fertility


Are you struggling to conceive? A recent review of clinical trials reveals that timing is of utmost importance when trying to get pregnant. The study highlights the positive impact of using urine ovulation tests to determine the best time for intercourse, significantly improving birth and pregnancy rates in women under 40.

The Power of Timing

The review, based on seven controlled trials involving over 2,000 women or couples, found that timing intercourse around the fertile period using urine ovulation tests increased the chances of pregnancy and live birth by 20% to 28%. In contrast, without using these tests, the success rate was only 18%.

Lead author Tatjana Gibbons, a researcher at Oxford University’s Nuffield department of women’s and reproductive health, emphasizes the significance of these findings. She explains, “Many couples find it difficult to achieve a pregnancy, which can lead to concerns about their fertility.” The discovery that a simple and easily accessible urine test can enhance a couple’s chance of successful conception is not only exciting but also empowering, as it allows couples to have greater control over their fertility journey. Moreover, these tests may potentially reduce the need for invasive infertility investigations and treatments.

Understanding Ovulation Tests

Every month, the window for conception is limited due to the lifespan of sperm and the release of the egg. Ovulation tests, which are dipstick devices detecting changes in hormones released into the urine, can help women identify where they are in their menstrual cycle. Other methods include calendar tracking, monitoring changes in cervical fluid and body temperature, as well as ultrasound examination to determine when an egg is released.

Impressive Results Backed by Evidence

The study, published as a Cochrane Review on September 15, highlights its high threshold of evidence, making the effectiveness of urine ovulation tests even more impressive. Dr. Christian Becker, from Oxford University’s Nuffield department of women’s and reproductive health, notes, “Considering how long these tests have been available, their moderate quality evidence for effectiveness is quite surprising.”

However, it is important to interpret the study results with caution as many of the reviewed studies were funded by test manufacturers. Insufficient evidence exists to determine the effectiveness of alternative methods.


The review, conducted jointly with researchers from Oxford University, the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, and the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, confirms the significant impact of timing on successful conception and emphasizes the potential benefits of urine ovulation tests. By empowering couples with greater control over their fertility journey, these tests offer a simple and accessible solution in the quest for parenthood.

For more information on infertility, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


QUESTION: Are men and women equally likely to have fertility problems?