Detecting Ovulation

If you are trying to get pregnant, you need to know when you will be ovulating. One of the easiest ways of figure out when you will be ovulating is to use ovulation prediction tests or OPKs, in trying to conceive speak. OPKs can help you pinpoint when you will ovulate so you can make sure you have sex at the right time to facilitate conception.


What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is when your ovaries release your egg into your reproductive system. One of two things will happen after you ovulate. You will either end up getting your period, or, if you had sex at the right time, possibly getting pregnant.

At the start of the menstrual cycle, your body starts producing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone aids in the formation of a follicle on one of the ovaries, which contains and nurtures the ovum. Once the follicle has developed sufficiently, a surge of luteinizing hormone forces the follicle to burst, releasing the ovum into the fallopian tube. This is the exact moment of ovulation.


How Do Ovulation Tests Work?

The increased amount of LH in your urine is detected by ovulation predictor tests via special antibodies within the sensitive testing membrane of the test. When the test detects a certain level of LH in your urine, typically between 20 to 30 miU/ml LH (That’s a really small scientific measurement that detects minute chemical amounts), the ovulation test will give a positive result. By detecting this sudden LH surge, ovulation tests help you predict, with great accuracy, exactly when you will ovulate. Once the positive ovulation test result is seen, you will ovulate within the following 24 to 36 hours.


Timing Intercourse for Conception

Once you have received a positive result on your ovulation test, it’s time for your to make a baby making date with your partner! The American Pregnancy Association recommends:

The three days immediately after a positive test represent the best time to have intercourse and increase the probability of getting pregnant. The first or second day will account for the day prior to ovulation and the third day should be the day of ovulation.


How to Use Ovulation Tests

Be sure to follow the directions carefully when using an OPK. Some tests require you to hold the test strip in a container of urine for a few seconds. Other tests will instruct you to hold the test strip downward in your urine stream. Both are equally accurate and choosing between the two is just a matter of personal preference. Regardless of the test, the typical reaction time is five minutes. Each test has a control color line that signifies whether or not the ovulation test is working properly. This control line provides a baseline by which to interpret the test line results. If the test line color is darker or equal to the control line color then an LH surge has been detected. If the color is lighter then it signifies that no LH surge is present or that the LH that is present in the urine is at a normal level.

You need to realize that there are certain situations where you will not get accurate results with ovulation tests. If you are taking fertility medications, like Clomid, you may see positive test results even though the LH surge has not been detected.

Medications that contain FSH, LH, or HCG, antibiotics that contain tetracycline and hormonal methods of birth control can also cause inaccurate test results.