Being able to correctly identify your most fertile period is essential for timing intercourse for conception. Many women become stressed when trying to determine their most fertile days. They become worried that if they do not time intercourse just right, then their chances of having a baby is greatly reduced – which it is.
While this is true, there are ways to track your fertility so that you will be able to better time sex. One of those ways to use an ovulation predictor kit or test, often referred to as an OPK.
How an OPK Works
An ovulation test works by determining your expected ovulation by identifying the increased presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your body. Although this luteinizing hormone is always present in your urine, it does increase 24 to 48 hours right before ovulation occurs. In fact, according to the American Pregnancy Association, the luteinizing hormone actually triggers the release of the egg from your ovary and ovulation tests can detect the LH surge with 99% accuracy.
When to Start Testing
Although the majority of ovulation tests can be used at any time of the day, there are very sensitive ones that do require you to test with your first morning urine. Typically, it is recommended to test after 10am so the lh surge can reach your urine. Be sure to read the instructions on your OPK carefully. Regardless, it is best to test at the same time every day and make sure that you have not had anything to drink for at least four hours beforehand.
You should not be too concerned if you have been taking an ovulation test for a few days straight and they have all been positive for each of those days. This is because you should only rely on the first positive test. Once the ovulation test tests positive for the LH surge, it will continue to test positive throughout the surge. If your surge is two days long then you will have a positive ovulation test for 2 days in a row. After that first positive test, you can stop testing if you like. One true positive is all you need to know that you will be ovulating within 24 to 48 hours.
One caveat here, make sure that you are actually reading the test correctly. A true positive result is where the test line is as dark as, or darker than the control line. If you are not sure, then test again in a few hours. Ideally, test at 10am and 8pm each day.
In some situations, a woman might have an increased amount of LH in her body before she actually surges, and an OPK may notice this and display a positive result. Double-check the results by charting your basal body temperature and checking your cervical mucus.
By tracking your fertility and menstrual cycle every month, you will better understand how exceptional your body is. This will help you to determine your fertile phase as well as know what nuances are unique to you. Some women will have an LH surge twice in one month; others will not have a surge at all. By paying attention to your cycles, you will be able to be better in control of your fertility.