The Marquette Method utilizes the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor cross-checked with mucous observations to help a woman identify her fertile time. The monitor measures estrogen and then luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in your urine.  When using the Marquette method, the woman’s first order of business every morning from about day 6 until the day she ovulates is to test her first morning urine (FMU) using test sticks and the monitor.When a woman’s body is gearing up to ovulate, often her estrogen levels rise.  When this happens, the monitor will detect it and record a HIGH reading (which is up to two bars in the picture above).  At the time that a follicle is ripe and ready to release from the ovary, there is an LH surge that can be detected in the urine.  When the monitor detects this LH surge, the monitor will yield a PEAK reading (or, like the picture above, three bars with an egg in the top bar).Scientists have discovered that most women ovulate only one egg each cycle.  The egg lives for 24 hours and if it is not fertilized will die.  Additionally, sperm will die if they are in a hostile environment.  A woman’s body is actually a hostile environment most of the cycle.  But in the days and hours leading up to ovulation, the woman’s body provides a very welcome environment for sperm and therefore, in a healthy, hospitable environment, sperm can live up to 5-6 days.

After the monitor has detected the LH Surge and recorded a PEAK reading, no more tests are needed.  The monitor will automatically record a second day of PEAK, then an automatic reading of HIGH will occur the day after that and then the monitor will automatically move back to the LOW reading.

The ClearBlue fertility monitor helps couples identify their “peak” day of ovulation by monitoring the estrogen level and identifying the LH surge.

One big thing to note…the monitor might still ask for a test the next morning after a PEAK was recorded, but no test is needed (save those sticks!)

When trying to avoid pregnancy, depending on the desire to avoid, a couple might abstain until they receive the PEAK reading and wait three days.  from PEAK + 3 going forward in that cycle, all days are infertile and for the avoiding couple, here is your “honeymoon.”  Anytime a couple has intercourse before a PEAK reading is recorded, there is a chance they might become pregnant, which is why I noted that it depends on the desire of the couple.  A couple with a very strong desire to avoid, would most likely always wait until a PEAK reading has occurred and wait the three days after.

All the while, in the evenings, mucous recordings can be made.  The Marquette Website has online charting available with pictures that help show what LOW, HIGH and PEAK mucous might look like.  It’s up to an individual woman how she might take her mucous observations, whether external or internal, but this information can be logged on the chart along with the monitor readings.

The online chart has an algorithm installed that will help determine the start and end of fertile days based on cycle history and current cycle information.  For example, I have a history of ovulating day 18-22, so my algorithm starts my fertile phase on day 9 (as opposed to day 6 for someone who might have a regular ovulation on day 14-16).  Once a PEAK reading is noted on either the monitor or the mucous readings, the algorithm adds three days and closes out the fertile period on the chart.