18 Weeks: Ova Ova

April 6, 2012

After stumbling upon BERF a few weeks ago and reading my conception posts, the owner of Ova Ova contacted me to share her website, which is a fertility tracker much like Fertility Friend. Ova Ova has a modern, fresh look and a more conservative ovulation predictor software than FF, which is good when you’re trying to ensure you “catch” ovulation for both family planning and trying to conceive.

I used Fertility Friend for a few months while trying to conceive and found it easy to use. I loved having the knowledge of my temperatures on a graph. Having the Android app was very important since I was entering data from bed most of the time. Note that I did track more information – but I kept it private because it was intimate! FF did feel old school at times, and it was confusing to figure out why the program was changing my ovulation date or when ovulation would be confirmed. But overall, it worked for me.

You can see my posts about using Fertility Friend here: Cycle 2, Cycle 3, Positively Pregnant.

Pregnant

There is now an alternative!

Ova Ova can be used for both natural family planning and trying-to-conceive cycles. The Ova Ova software uses temperatures and cervical mucus to pin-point ovulation with a bulls eye.

Chart (580x472)

The bar colors make it easier to see at a glance when you are most fertile. Green bars on your chart mean you’re potentially fertile, blue bars mean you’re infertile, bulls-eye shows your ovulation day. Once ovulation is confirmed, all but the day of ovulation and the 5 days prior turn blue since these are the only days sex can result in a pregnancy. Here is a link to tons of additional information on charting!

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You can also add in more details like prenatal vitamins, exercise and ovulation predictor kits. It’s great for tracking all-things-womanhood.

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Amanda took my actual Fertility Friend chart and entered the data (minus the CM text for privacy Smile ) Here’s what it looked like:

no cf (580x433)

Compared to FF, there was a small change in ovulation date (which I’m pretty sure was accurate due to my ovulation predictor and my baby’s conception date based on ultrasound!)

Pregnant

For those of you interested in details, Amanda included the following explanation on why my ovulation dates were different on the charts. The simple answer is to be more conservation and not assume ovulation has occurred until you can be SURE it has:

Something you may notice that’s different between your Ova Ova chart and your Fertility Friend chart is that your ovulation date was pegged as December 12th (cycle day 27) on the Ova Ova chart instead of cycle day 24 like it was on the FF chart.

Although a combination of temperature and cervical fluid are very accurate methods of identifying your most likely ovulation date, most research shows that the very moment of ovulation could be plus or minus two days in either direction.  At Ova Ova, we’ve made a conscious choice that we’d rather identify your ovulation date once we are 100% sure that it has occurred rather than possibly identifying it early. This is obviously very important if you are going to use this method for birth control, but also for women that are trying to get pregnant.  We definitely don’t want our users to give up on sex too early before ovulation has occurred (you might just be missing prime time if you do), and you may start taking pregnancy tests far too early.

We use the most conservative rules of the symptothermal method before we identify ovulation.  So on your chart, you’ll notice that you were still identifying peak cervical fluid on cycle day 25 (normally cervical fluid dries up before ovulation occurs), also your temperature shift on day 25, 26, and 27 wasn’t as strong as is recognized by the Fertility Awareness Method rules.  Most traditional Fertility Awareness Research suggests that you should look at your highest temperature in the previous 6 (so in your case, 96.6), then draw the coverline .1 degrees higher (97.7), and if three temperatures exceed the coverline (97.7 in your case) and you don’t experience any peak cervical fluid, you can confirm ovulation.  After cycle day 25, your temperature on cycle day 27 (the supposed third day of rise) did not exceed 97.7, so I would be apprehensive about confirming ovulation for you on cycle day 24.  Our method uses an average of all your pre-ovulation temperatures and looks for a shift of .3 degrees above the average.  In an 8,000 woman study this was found the most accurate method of identifying the coverline, although the pre-shift six rules are also considered very conservative.  Fertility Friend gives no explanation, or has any published research about how they came up with 97.6 for the coverline.

Both FF and OO cost a fee for use after a 30-day trial, but it hardly costs much: Ova Ova is $36/year and Fertility Friend is $45/year for a VIP membership (I think – it’s hard to find this info on their site!)

FF has an app that was SUPER helpful for early morning data entry from bed. OO does not have one yet, but it’s in the near future and will be free for members.

Hope this information will be helpful to those of you interested in charting. Ova Ova has a free 30 day trial and Amanda has offered to giveaway free memberships to the first 15 readers to sign up : ) The first 15 people to email amanda@ovaova.com will be the winners.

 

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly @ RDexposed April 6, 2012 at 8:08 am

I should have been more careful with ready this. I took a drink of coffee as I read “cervical musus.” I otherwise found this interesting!

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2 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

Okay I so hope I was one of the first people to email her. I use FF but I think it’s hard to read. I’d much rather have a fun bar graph that is color coordinated (type a much?).

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3 Jennifer April 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thanks Kath, I just emailed her and I hope I’m one of the first 15 too! I’ve been intimidated by the whole temperature taking thing for some reason, but Ova Ova seems a little more user-friendly so I will give it a shot! :)

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4 KERF April 6, 2012 at 8:57 am

Yay!

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5 Sarah April 6, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thanks for mentioning this site! I have been using FF for a couple of years (the free version) and I think this is one I might feel better about investing in. Although, I do hope I’m one of the 15 ;)

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6 Jennifer April 6, 2012 at 9:24 am

I used Fertility Friend with two of my three pregnancies, however, I LOVE the look of Ova Ova. It’s much easier to understand.

Darn, if only I were planning to get pregnant again. (haha) I do miss those charting days. :)

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7 Alanna April 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

I love the look of Ova Ova! I’ve had some difficulties with FF in the past and would love to try this one. I emailed her so i hope I’m one of the 15! I loved reading about how it works and all that!

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8 Claire April 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

I just emailed her! I have been a long time reader but don’t comment much :) I started charting right around the time you shared your news. Fingers crossed this works! Ova Ova looks so much more user friendly!

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9 Allison K April 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

Cool giveaway. I looooove FAM for birth control. So much better than hormonal for me. Although all the years I did NOT want to get pregnant under any circumstances, hormonal was great. I charted to avoid pregnancy and tried using FF just to see what my chart was supposed to look like, but I didn’t really like how if made assumptions on my ovulation. I used the most conservative rules in combo with cervical fluid and sucessfully prevented with paper charts. The only draw back is all the paper one accumulates!

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10 Ali April 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

I believe FF over ova ova for your chart, since it would be exceedingly rare to get a BFP on 7DPO (as ova ova implies). Your FF chart gives you your BFP at 10DPO which makes perfect sense.

Signed, a former infertile who charted for 2 years.

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11 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

Hey Ali- Awesome job analyzing the charts. You’re totally right – it retrospect (since Kath is pregnant – yay!), it is likely that the actual moment of ovulation was closer to cycle day 24. However, at Ova Ova, we’ve made a conscious choice that we’d rather identify your ovulation date once we are 100% sure that it has occurred rather than possibly identifying it early. Kath’s temperature shift was not strong enough to identify ovulation on cycle day 24 using the well researched FAM rules.

Making absolutely certain not to identify ovulation early is very important if you are going to use this method for birth control, but also for women that are trying to get pregnant. We definitely don’t want our users to give up on sex too early before ovulation has occurred (you might just be missing prime time if you do), and you may start taking pregnancy tests far too early.

Would love any other opinions you would have to share. Shoot me a note at amanda@ovaova.com.

Thanks :)

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12 becky April 6, 2012 at 10:19 am

I used FF too, for other medical reasons, but ended up using it to get pregnant when the time came. I’ve done a lot of research on charting and fertility and have read all the big books, so while I’m not an expert, I consider myself a bit of a fertility guru.
I understand the more conservative methods if you’re chart for birth control, but I think there are some errors in that info above. Cervical mucus will be fertile until your temperature shifts upward (after you ovulate). One of the sure fire ways to know you’ve ovulated is if your CM has dried up and gotten sticky (a sure sign you aren’t fertile anymore b/c your hormones have shifted). SO you could still have fertile CM on the same day that you ovulate (I personally did), but she mentions above that CM dries up before ovulation, which is misleading.
Also, the only actual way to know if ovulation has occurred is by your temperature shift up. It doesn’t have to be drastic. I do agree with Ova ova that you ovulated on the 12th, mostly because your temp on the 10th isn’t confirmed, and because of how light your initial pregnancy tests were. The temperatures themselves don’t actually matter, just the pattern. Coverlines don’t really mean anything. They’re just there to help you observe the shift better. FF doesn’t explain it there because it depends on the method of analysis that you have your chart set to. If it were set to FAM, it would be different. FF explains it here: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/Faqs/Coverline-calculation-method.html
I actually think the Ova ova chart is much harder to decipher in terms of a temperature shift.
I think Ova ova sounds interesting, and I would probably check it out if I were still trying, but one of the BEST things about FF is the forums, where you can get tons of advice and support. Not to mention the chart gallery, where you con look at other charts, and the photo gallery where you can compare opks (SO helpful because they can be very tricky to read) and pregnancy tests.
I also find it a bit disconcerting that you are writing a review on Ova ova even though you haven’t actually used it. The experience of using programs like these over time is really the best way to understand it, and give the most accurate review. Just my 2 cents.

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13 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Hi Becky!

Thanks for the feedback about Ova Ova! You are right, you can definitely have cervical fluid the day of ovulation. I guess I should have said that it CAN dry up leading up to ovulation, or you can experience fertile-type cervical fluid on your ovulation day. You are also right that after ovulation cervical fluid typically dries up, which is a great indicator you have indeed ovulated.

I totally agree with you about temperatures. It’s one of the reasons we designed the chart the way we did. We wanted the emphasis to be placed on cervical fluid observations, not temperatures. Cervical fluid is the key fertility indicator, and temperatures merely confirm ovulation retroactively. Our goal was to clearly display fertile days (green bars on your chart) and infertile days (blue bars on your chart).

Fertility Friend is an awesome resource. They provide a ton of information, and you’re right the forum is super super helpful for women. We essentially have a forum “mccked up” but are waiting on some more funding before development starts. We hope to do a mobile app then the forum. In the meantime, I’ve been reaching out to users and answering questions, chatting, and helping them get started with Ova Ova.

I very much respect the way Kath wrote the review. I don’t think it was a recommendation, as much as informing her readers on a new fertility charting resource available.

Thanks again for the feedback, and if you have any questions about Ova Ova, please feel free to shoot me an email!

Amanda

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14 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

Kath – Thank you so much for the review of Ova Ova. You were incredibly generous to take time to inform your readers about the various fertility charting options available. Very, very cool of you.

Thank you for everyone’s kind words and interest in Ova Ova. We’ve already had overwhelming response for the first 15 free memberships. By 9:01 EST we had received over 15 emails! I’ll be emailing all the winners shortly, but, we’d love to give away some addition free memberships to those of you that weren’t in the first 15 to sign up. Based on all the emails we get today (April 6th), we’ll choose a random 1 in 5 of you to also receive a FREE MEMBERSHIP!

If you have any questions about the Fertility Awareness Method, our charts, or just about anything, shoot me a note and I’d be happy to help!

Amanda

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15 Sarah April 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

Question for Amanda if she is still reading these comments–I emailed Amanda at 8:12 am (a minute or two after Kath posted), and didn’t get a response. Had you already reached #15 by then?

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16 Elizabeth April 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

I like the OO site, but have been using FF for the last few months– wish there was an option to import historical data!

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17 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hey Elizabeth!

Thanks for the compliment! We’ve had a lot of users ask about a way to import historical data. It’s a great idea. We have it on our development list, but plan to invest in a mobile app before adding other features like this.

You can manually go back and enter each data, but if you’ve been charting for a while, that would take some time! We’ve had a lot of users go back and plug in the previous 1-3 months worth of data, which isn’t bad.

We’d love for you to give us a try, but completely understand if you’re vested in another fertility charting application. Also, would love to get anymore feedback you have for us!

Thanks Again,

Amanda

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18 Sarah April 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

I’m confused as to how the Ova Ova method is better for pregnancy prevention when they say things like “we definitely don’t want our users to give up on sex too early before ovulation has occurred” (for people trying to conceive). Since sperm can last in a woman’s body for days, isn’t that the opposite of what you’d want for prevention? It seems to me you can only take a more conservative route to ovulation prediction from one perspective, either conception or preventing conception, not both.

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19 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the question – it’s a good point. You are right, if a woman is experiencing fertile-type cervical fluid, sperm can survive for days.

Our charting application is customized based on the intented use you indicate when signing up. By holding off on confirming ovulation until certain it has occurred, it can make for more days of abstinence and/or protected sex for birth control users. This can be a bummer for birth control users, but we’ve taken a very conservative approach to make sure users aren’t having sex on potential fertile days.

Hope that helps clarify your issue! Thanks for the perspective!

Amanda

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20 Sarah April 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Yes it does clarify it. The customization feature sounds great, that would definitely set a worried mind at ease. Thanks!

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21 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Cool! If you have any other questions about it let me know. I’d be happy to chat!

Amanda

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22 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

Great info and resource, Kath! It’s cool how something so old school as our bodies and charting has been taken new school and it’s all at the touch of our fingers and on apps!

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23 Amanda April 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Hi Averie!

Thank you for the compliment! We’d love if you tried out Ova Ova. We had 15 women email us within about 10 minutes of the article being posted. :)

However, for the rest of the day, we are going to randomly select 1 out of 5 people that sign up for the free trial and email us for the lifetime free membership.

If you do sign up, and have ANY questions, please feel free to send me an email directly.

Thanks Again!

Amanda

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24 CF April 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hey Kath! I’m confused, I’ve been using FF for a few months and it’s still free? Does Ova Ova have that option?

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25 KERF April 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hmmm…maybe you got a special deal? I can’t remember the details of membership, but I paid $45 for mine

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26 CF April 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Oh, it looks like they have a free version that doesn’t give you all of the features. That’s what I have!

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27 Ali April 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

FF is free for the basic membership, but you need to pay for the VIP (which has many extra features). There are often very cheap sales on their facebook page (can’t remember what I paid for a year…$20 maybe?). I wouldn’t pay though unless I knew I was in it for the long haul.

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28 CF April 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’m also wondering if you were paid for this review? You are usually so good about letting us know when you receive payment or products for free, but you didn’t mention it here! Or did you do it for the free membership opportunity for your readers? That seems like something you’d do! :-)

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29 KERF April 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

No payment! Wouldda said if so :) Just sharing information!

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30 Angel7 April 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Tracking ovulation seems somewhat confusing to me. But I am sure that if I ever wanted to do it, I would catch on.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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31 Brooke April 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

It seems like more and more alternatives to Fertility Friend are being developed. I use Ovuview as an application onmy android phone. It has a free version that is packed with features.

Just wanted to mention another alternative that has worked well for a reader!

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32 Cortney April 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Kath, a question out of curiosity. Why do you feel that CM is any less private than, say, some of the subject matter you bring up in posts such as ‘Breastful Dreams’ and ‘Husband Aversions?’ It seems as though most of the pregnancy-related privacy has gone out the window by now.

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33 KERF April 7, 2012 at 5:59 am

Just personal preference… Don’t want to talk about “down there” on my blog

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34 Kate April 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Hi Kath,

I like your blog and have been reading for over a year. However, your new sponsor ads are really distracting. You have to X out of the Hidden Valley one just to be able to read through the whole page and you can’t turn the sound off on the dishwasher one (well, there is an icon but when you click on it, there’s still sound). It is kind of annoying :(

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35 KERF April 7, 2012 at 5:58 am

I’m very sorry… I will try to have the sounds one removed ASAP

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36 jane April 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

i have been meaning to mention, whenever I try to read your blog on my phone (which is often), the picture of the cookie cake with RD written in frosting completely blocks the page on both sides. hard to explain, but needless to say, I cant read the page. wondering if anyone else has had this problem?

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37 KERF April 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Jane, This happened to someone else last week (on an iPhone?) and apparently you have to clear your cache. It should fix the problem

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38 Jules April 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Thanks so much for this giveaway Kath & Amanda!

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39 Amanda Cowan April 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I used Fertility Friend pretty religiously with all three of my pregnancies (well, 4 actually, but I had a super super early m/c). I loved the software. I also loved knowing so much about my body. I felt like by the time #3 rolled around I knew practically the second I was pregnant! Plus those message boards and forums are full of such great gals. Some of them I’m STILL friends with from my first pregnancy!! Ova Ova wouldn’t work for me so much because my cm never gave me any kind of indication of ovulation or anything..

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