Using Ovulation Tests to Predict When You Will Ovulate
Ovulation test kits are a valuable tool for your “getting pregnant” toolbox. They are easy to use and reliably let you know when you are going to ovulate. This is important due to the fact that you need to have sex relatively close to the time you ovulate so you have a chance of getting pregnant in any given cycle.
You can purchase ovulation test kits in your local drugstore and grocery store. If you are trying to save money, you can get hospital / clinic grade tests from many online retailers. They are the same types of tests you get from your Doctor’s office but don’t carry the cost of the brand name tests. BabyHopes.com carries these type of ovulation test strips for a very reasonable price with free shipping.
The ovulation kits detect a hormone, LH or luteinizing hormone, which peaks right before you ovulate. They are simple to use and said to be more accurate than the BBT method and can predict ovulation 24 to 36 hours in advance.
They are not, however, without incorrect readings. Women with irregular periods or with PCOS usually run the risk of inaccurate readings. While ovulation tests do detect your LH surge, they cannot indicate whether you did ovulate. LH levels are known to peak either with, or without, the actual release of your egg. For these reasons, following the directions included with the ovulation test kit cannot be stressed enough. If your tests give you positive results from month to month, but you are not getting pregnant, you may want to discuss this issue with your doctor.
Things to keep in mind when using ovulation tests:
- Keep testing each day until you detect the hormone surge with a positive result on your test.
- Have sex within 36 hours of the time your test shows an increase – that’s your best bet for getting pregnant.
- Use the test at the same time each day, and avoid drinking water in the hours before you test.
- If your cycle is extra long, you might need more than one ovulation test kit per month.
A large percentage of the ovulation test kits on the market utilize a two line result area – one like that is a control line, which always has a uniform color when urine crosses it, and the other which is the test line. The test line will vary in color depending on how my of the luteinizing hormone (LH) it is picking up. When the test line is the same darkness or darker than the reference line on the ovulation test, it means a LH surge has been detected and the test is positive. When the surge has been detected, you will want to have sex as soon as possible if you want the chance of getting pregnant. A positive result on an ovulation kit means ovulation will occur in 24 to 36 hours. Sperm can survive up to 5 days after ejaculation so having sex at the point when you get a positive result will make sure the sperm is ready and waiting to fertilize the egg once it is released.
Different Formats of Ovulation Tests
Midstream Format – These tests are the ones you typically find in the drugstores. It looks like a plastic wand with a testing area typically at the bottom. You urinate directly on the testing area with this test format. These tests are typically more expensive as they require more materials in the manufacturing of the ovulation tests. Most of the brands you can purchase at the grocery or drug store, will be this type of test.
Test Strip Format – These ovulation tests are typically found in your doctor’s office or you can purchase them in online stores. You may be able to find this format in the drugstore, but they aren’t widely available there. You need to collect your urine in a clean cup and then dip the strip into the urine. This format of test is usually quite a bit less expensive than the midstream variety.
Cassette Format – Again, these can be found at your doctor’s office or online. You have to collect your urine in a cup and then use a dropper to transfer some of the urine into a well in the ovulation test.