Trying to conceive? Need birth control? OvaOva is the shit, either way

This business paid a fee to be listed on Offbeat Home & Life because they feel their products and services are a great fit with offbeat philosophies… and we agree. Learn more about our ads.
Yay, charting! OvaOva makes it all easier.
In September 2011, when we talked a little about Fertility Awareness Method many of you mentioned you'd love to hear more about alternative birth control/fertility tracking on Offbeat Mama. We do our best to give you what you want, so let me introduce you to our sponsors OvaOva, an interactive website you can use for all of your charting needs.

Before we get too deep in it, I do want to be clear: OvaOva is not claiming they'll get you pregnant — they're offering a way to track your fertility. Knowing when you are and aren't fertile (assuming there are no infertility issues) can make it easier to know when you're more likely to get pregnant โ€” which is super convenient no matter if you're baby-making… or avoiding baby-making.

The idea for OvaOva was hatched when founder Amanda realized that she cared a lot about what was in the food she was eating… but didn't mind using birth control that contained synthetic hormones. Interesting paradox, no? She started investigating the Fertility Awareness Method, and those investigations laid the groundwork for what would become the basis of OvaOva's mission: to educate women and men about fertility and how to track it.

The two big foci of OvaOva are pregnancy and birth control. Here's how the service helps you with either/both:

Natural Pregnancy

OvaOva claims that the combination of using Fertility Awareness Method and having sex during your fertile days can give you an 80% chance of getting pregnant.

OvaOva also connects you with other women who are trying to get pregnant. As many of us know, millions of woman struggle while trying to conceive. It's often frustrating when trying to discuss this with people who have no idea what it's like, but OvaOva's network will put you in touch with other women in the same boat.

Natural Birth Control

Depending on your cycle, there are only a few days each month you can get pregnant. OvaOva helps you keep track of the signs your body gives you (think cervical fluid and resting body temp) so you know when you are and aren't fertile. Basically… there are a handful days of the month you might want to check out condoms or avoid sex completely, and (assuming your cycles are regular) OvaOva can help you figure out which days those are. There's more info in their Education Center.

Bonus: Fertility Awareness Method is 98% effective (so, two women out of 100 will experience an unexpected pregnancy — for comparison, birth control pills are 99%, or one out of 100) when practiced correctly. YEEEAH!

What you really get from OvaOva

And here's the big reveal: compared with how much people spend on average for synthetic birth control ($240) and ovulation kits ($288), OvaOva is a HUGE deal. For $36 you get:

  • A custom, easy-to-use fertility chart
  • Identification of your most fertile days
  • Interaction and support from the OvaOva network of women
  • The ability to email your chart to your doctor, midwife, partner, etc. No more having to scratch your head every time your OB/GYN asks when your last period was!

Best of all: you get a FREE 30 day trial! So head over and get tracking. Who knows what you'll discover? I learned things I didn't know just by reading the For Men section of the site!

By the way: how fun is it to say their name? OvaOva. Ova-Ova. Ova! Ova! Ahem.

Join our community!

  1. So I used a program like this (taking charge of your fertility) when we were trying to make our Sweet G. It took a month. Just sayin. Oh, and I don't chart right now, but I still use the info re cervical fluid to let my husband know when it would be a good time to wrap it up.

  2. I've been using Ova Ova for about a week in their free trial period and it rocks! It is so easy to use and the education center is very informative. It's really interesting to see the chart and then how your body sort of syncs with it. Great site!

  3. I'm a huge proponent of charting, and though I used a different site than Ova Ova I think it's a great way for women to plan or avoid a pregnancy, but I do have to take issue with comparing it to the pill for contraception.

    Charting and the pill have similar idealized success rates, but the "typical" failure rates are very, very different. The biggest reason for this is that it's a lot easier to tell when you're messing up on the pill – you've got an extra pill still in the blister pack for the day you missed. Depending on how your body does things it can be hard to identify anomalies in your cycle, and you only really know you've ovulated after the fact – not everyone has the telltale dip when they're getting ready to. There's also a lot of room for error in taking your temperature, e.g. if you were up late or slept badly.

    Again, I think it's a GREAT option for anyone who is trying to get pregnant or maybe wants to space out their kids, but if staying baby free is critically important to you I would suggest something easier to manage or use it in combination with something else.

    5 agree
    • Hi Kelly! Thanks for your feedback! I totally agree that this method is not for everyone. It does take daily dicipline. I would argue that even the pill is not a good method if you can't handle daily dicipline. The 3 recalls of millions of packs of birth control pills in the month of February ALONE should also be some-what alarming to women. Irregardless, we think different options are right for different women. If you are at a point in your life where you cannot risk a 2% chance of pregnancy we recommend using the FA method combined with condoms, or using some other method.

      With the traditional fertility tracking resources, it can be confusing to use this method for birth control, especially if you missed temperatures and/or had outlying temperatures during your cycle (you are right on this J) . Here comes the sales pitch for Ova Ova, our charting application is EXTREMELY conservative from a birth control perspective. We do not confirm ovulation until there is a sustained rise in temperatures (at least .3 degrees) for three consecutive days with no peak cervical fluid during these escalated days, but with peak fertility sign (peak cervical fluid, peak opk, etc) within the purported day of ovulation or the three days prior. These are all rules that are incorporated into our charts automatically so users don't have to carefully remember these rules. They can simply plug in their signs and see "infertile" or "fertile".

      If ovulation cannot be confirmed by these two conservative fertility signs used in conjunction, then our charting rules assume that ovulation may be right around the corner. This means any day of cervical fluid will be considered potentially fertile. Also, if you forget to record your cervical reading on a given day, the Ova Ova charts will interpret this as peak fertility, and consider you fertile for three additional days. Moral of the story is that if you don't do a good job charting, you will be considered fertile a lot of days (big bummer), but you will no unknowingly have sex on fertile days. The good news is that if you record your cervical fluid and temperature daily then you will only be considered potentially fertile for about 1/3 of your cycle, and can either use condoms during this period or abstain. The rest of your cycle you can enjoy condom-free, hormone-free sex and learn a lot about your body in the process.

      You still need discipline to record your observations and abstain or use protection on fertile days, but with our resource, at least there's no room for confusion of the rules.
      That was probably a longer response than you wanted, but I'd love to chat some more with you regarding the topic if you were interested! Thanks again for the feedback!

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

      3 agree
      • So true! We have been doing NFP for years and were able to postpone pregnancy when we wanted to and got pregnant the first cycle when we were ready to ๐Ÿ™‚ this looks like a great site!

    • Also, I feel the need to add that if you abstain when fertile the "general use" rates of effectiveness are still at 99%+ (including in the India study where it was taught to the poor/uneducated women in the slums with no access to nifty programs for charting and the 99% rate of the pill is with PERFECT use. It's success rate is actually much lower, According to the Guttmacher Institute's Facts on Contraceptive Use in the US press kit; effective rate of the pill is 91%.

  4. I just signed up for the free trial. We've been using the "stop birth control and see what happens" method for a while, and still no baby. After spending so much effort to NOT get pregnant, its funny to realize that I won't get knocked up right away without any sort of prevention. To the charts!

    3 agree
    • Evee,

      Thank you so much for giving Ova Ova a try. If you have ANY questions about the charting, need any advice, or have feedback for us, please shoot me an email anytime. We would love to help out!

      Good luck with your charting!

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

  5. i wish i had found this site when i was trying for number baby two last year. i was using another charting site and, even after their redesign, it looked like something created 15-20 years ago. my main complaint was just how archaic that site was. thank you for making a charting site that's easy on the eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ooh, I KNOW you're talking about Fertility Friend, and seriously: I swear they've been using a version of the same design since 1998. It's almost amazing how little it's changed.

      5 agree
      • I've been feeling the same way about TCOYF, which I do love, but it isn't very user friendly. I'm going to give Ova Ova a try.

        1 agrees
        • Thank you for trying us out! Please let me know if you have ANY questions and/or feedback.

          – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

      • none other! yeah, i cringed when logging on. it actually took me a while to get past the appearance. my husband is a software developer and he was in awe that something like that still exists AND they want you to pay for premium memberships. i'd like for them to hire a fresh design team.

        anyway, i will share ova ova with my friends doing NFP.

        1 agrees
        • That's the only thing that bothers me about that site, is how much they charge considering how stripped down it is. I have been using it for almost a year now while trying to get pregnant so know it a lot better than I should. One benefit though is they do have a free version available. Think I'll have to give OvaOva a try to see how it compares.

          1 agrees
          • KM,

            We would love if you gave us a try. We contemplated a free version, but ultimately felt a "stripped down" version of the site was not the best option for users.

            We wanted to be up front on what the annual cost will be after the free trial, with the goal that users will have a great experience during the first 30 days.

            Again, would love if you gave us a shot, and would be interested in hearing any feedback you'd be willing to try.

            Thanks Again!

            – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

        • Marissa,

          Thank you for helping to spread the word! We really really appreciate it.

          Take care,

          – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

  6. This looks great! I have been using the Lily app on my phone but it's not very easy to use.

    I have successfully been using FAM to avoid pregnancy for the past 4 1/2 years. I temped for the first year or so, but have only been tracking my CM since then. I got pregnant on my first cycle trying, so I know it worked! Unfortunately I lost the pregnancy, but it's reassuring to know I can use the same techniques and–hopefully!–get pregnant again quickly.

    • Hi April!

      We'd love if you gave us a try. If you sign up, feel free to send an email my way if you have any questions. Also, just wanted to let you know we hope to have a mobile app available within the next month or so, which will be free with your annual subscription. We are going to make it very easy to use (that's the goal anyways).

      We would love to hear any ideas you have for the mobile version before we start development!

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

  7. Yay for no synthetic hormones! Although I just need to remind ladies out there who want to use this as a method of birth control…although it can be awesome just make sure not to trust it too soon. I started a program like this and got all cocky about it way to early and dun dun dun I now have a toddler! I must say it all worked out well for us and he is a blessing and we have since had another baby but if you really really don't want to get pregnant then I'd give it at least a few months of being absolutely sure about it before giving it a go. ๐Ÿ™‚

    4 agree
    • Hi Annie,

      Thanks for your feedback! I agree, this method is not for everyone and all birth control methods come with some risk.

      We strongly feel that our charting application provides women with a resource (unlike any other that we know of) to practice this method effectively. We are extremely conservative in the rules we've programmed so women will not unknowingly have unprotected sex on ANY day that is considered potentially fertile. For example, if a woman forgets to record a cervical fluid reading pre-ovulation, she will automatically be considered fertile for three more days because the rules of the fertility awareness method state that if a woman observes cervical fluid pre-ovulation, she is potentially fertile for the following three days regardless of the next days observations. Again, it is a very conservative rule, but it is why the FAM is 98% effective when used correctly.

      One last note, from my experience, other available resources require memorization and interpretation of the many complex rules each day, especially for birth control users. We take this part of practicing the method out of it by automatically applying the rules for you. You can customize your profile to indicate you are using the chart for birth control. When you do so, you will receive automated reminders each day after inputting your day, telling you when to be careful of unprotected sex, when to continue observations, etc.

      Again, in our experience, we are the only resource available that customizes our fertility charting application for birth control users OR women looking to achieve a pregnancy.

      Sorry for the long message!

      Thanks,

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

  8. I love the design of this site! I'm ten weeks pregnant now thanks to using Fertility Friend, but if I had found out this one first… I wouldn't have thought twice about choosing it!

    1 agrees
    • Thanks Gracia and congrats on your pregnancy! We would love if you gave us a try once you start charting again. Take care!

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

  9. Charting/FAM is certainly nothing new, but the design for OvaOva is certainly a nice change. I've been using two other sources to chart; one looks like it was designed in the dark ages of the Internet and runs slowly and almost never puts my additional symptoms on the right day (a "bug" they've been trying to fix for over a year), the other's an app that looks nice but an app is so damn tiny and I can't print that stuff out.

    I'm quite pleased with the design here and the not-slow-as-molasses-runtime for updating a day. Giving it a test run next to my other charts to compare for a while.

    • Hi Hayley,

      Thanks for trying us out! I'd love to get any feedback from you regarding our charting application, especially since you are using a couple other resources at the same time. If you have any ideas and/or have questions about our charts, please feel free to send me an email anytime.

      Also, as an fyi, we are hoping to have a mobile app available within the next month or so which will be free with your annual membership.

      Thanks Again!

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

      1 agrees
  10. I'm curious as to how this works for a breastfeeding mother's weird cycle, or if it works at all. My little one is 9 months old, and I've had the return of my cycle, but that was 2 months ago. So who knows when it will be back. Anyway, just wondering if charting would work in those kind of cases, or if it's more for normal cycles.

    • Hi Heather,

      I'm not sure how I missed this, and apologize for the delay in response. I want to provide some facts to you in my response, and need to double check a couple things first. I'll get back to you soon!

      Thanks for your interest,

      – Amanda, Founder Ova Ova

        • Hey Heather! So sorry! Someone else from our team posted that reply and we dropped the ball in getting back to you. Thanks for following up. The short answer is yes, you can use fertility charting when breastfeeding.

          If you wouldn't mind, shoot me an email at amanda@ovaova.com and I'll send some more detailed information. We're also planning on writing an article in our educate section soon, but in the meantime I have some information I can share with you. Talk to you soon!

          Amanda, Ova Ova

  11. Really loving OvaOva. It's got a great GUI and I appreciate the opportunity to chart lots of different information.

  12. Does this only work with women who have regular menstrual cycles? I have PCOS and can go months without a period when I'm not on the pill (and celibate so I know I wasn't pregnant) but now that I'm married if I go a few months without a period then I get a little worried…

    • Hey there! Yes, it works for all women, regardless of their cycle length because it is customized each day based on your readings. It applies the most conservative rules of the Fertility Awareness Method to identify whether you are fertile or infertile. We've had women chart with Ova Ova with ovulatory charts whose cycles have been well over 50 days. Depending on your cervical fluid pattern, you may have more days that are considered fertile than the typical user, but all the rules applied are very conservative. You will only be considered infertile if you've been doing a good job with your observations and no signs indicate you might be fertile.

      What's right for every women is different, and if it provides you a lot more relief to get your period every month, then the pill or another hormonal option might be the best option for you. But if you're ok with using a barrier method during your fertile days, and want to learn more about your body, and if and when you ovulate, I think charting your cycle is a great option. My sister-in-law has PCOS, and only ovulates a few times a year. But since she was tracking her cycle, she knew right when to have sex, to achieve a pregnancy. It took them 2 years, but without such a keen awareness of her body it might have taken much longer or required more interventions.

      Do what feels right to you. Please feel free to reach out to me at amanda@ovaova.com if you have any other questions!

      Amanda, Ova Ova

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.