Using Ovulation Tests to Predict Fertility

Using Ovulation Tests to Predict Fertility

Ovulation tests - or ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) - are excellent tools for predicting ovulation, a woman's most fertile time during her menstrual cycle. Unlike BBT charting, ovulation tests anticipate ovulation - not just confirm that ovulation has taken place.

Ovulation tests work by detecting luteinizing hormone (LH). Just preceding ovulation, women experience an "LH surge" - a sudden, dramatic, and brief rise in the level of luteinizing hormone. Ovulation tests detect this LH surge, allowing you to accurately predict when you will ovulate. A positive result on an ovulation test means that the woman will most likely become fertile over the next three days - with peak fertility at 36 hours following the LH surge.

How do OPKs Work? Luteinizing Hormone, the LH Surge, and Ovulation 

At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the body begins to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH facilitates the formation of a follicle on one of the ovaries. The follicle contains and nurtures the egg. When a follicle has adequately matured, a surge of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) causes the follicle to burst and release the egg into the fallopian tube - the moment of ovulation.

Throughout the menstrual cycle, a small amount of LH is produced - but during the middle of the cycle LH briefly and dramatically increases. Elevated quantities of luteinizing hormone facilitate ovulation - and OPKs detect this LH surge through anti-LH antibodies contained in the sensitive testing membrane of the test.

The LH surge is, alas, very brief - and in order to detect the LH surge, a woman needs to test at the right time of the month - and the right time of day. As LH is produced by the body in the morning, mid-afternoon is considered the ideal time to test.

Once the LH surge has been detected, successful fertilization is most likely to take place one to three days following the LH surge - with peak fertility at 36 hours post-LH surge. Since this ovulation "window" only opens once per month (and the unfertilized egg has a short 24-hour life-span) predicting ovulation accurately is very helpful when trying to become pregnant. Below, you will find information on getting the most out of your ovulation tests (and visit our Ovulation Test FAQ for more testing tips).

Advanced Testing Tips and Facts: Answering Common Questions about OPKs

 

Using OPKs and Interpreting Ovulation Test Results

Ovulation tests come in two formats: test strips and midstream tests. To use the ovulation test strip, you fill a container with urine and hold the test strip in the container for several seconds. With midstream tests, you hold the test in your stream of urine. Both test formats are equally reliable. Always read ovulation test kit instructions carefully.

With most home ovulation testing products, the "reaction time" of the test is five minutes. At five minutes, you can interpret the tests. All tests have a "control" color band (or color line) that indicates whether the test is working or not. Also, the control band provides a color/intensity baseline by which to interpret the "test" band results. The "test" color band indicates a positive or negative result (please refer to the graphic below).

A positive result (indicating an LH Surge) is indicated by a test band that is of equal or greater intensity (equal or darker) than the control band. A negative result for the LH Surge is indicated when the test band is of lesser intensity (lighter) than the control band or cannot be seen. A negative result means the LH level of the urine sample is at or near its normal level and that the LH surge is not in progress. Remember, there is always some quantity of LH in your system, so a light color band in the test region is NOT an indicator of a positive result.

 



How do I Determine when to Begin Testing?

To determine when to start testing for ovulation, you must first do a little calculating. Use the Cycle Chart below to figure out when to begin testing for your LH surge.

First, determine the average length of your menstrual cycle. The length of the menstrual cycle is the number of days from the first day of menstrual bleeding to the day before bleeding begins on the next period. Determine the usual length of the menstrual cycle over the last few months. Then, refer to the Cycle Chart to determine on which day of the menstrual cycle to begin testing.

Your Cycle Length

Day to Begin Testing

21 days Day 5
22 days Day 6
23 days Day 7
24 days Day 8
25 days Day 9
26 days Day 10
27 days Day 11
28 days Day 12
29 days Day 13
30 days Day 14
31 days Day 15
32 days Day 16
33 days Day 17
34 days Day 18
35 days Day 19
36 days Day 20
37 days Day 21
38 days Day 22
39 days Day 23

Read More About:

> Ovulation Test FAQ: Testing Tips and Tricks
> Saliva Based Ovulation Predictors
> Ovulation FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Ovulation
> Pregnancy Testing
> OvaCue Product Review


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If i got my period on april 4 and had sex on april 11 can i get pregnant

So confused. TTC for a longtime now and using clearblue advanced opt and got the high fertility for a week straight then peak fertility on cd 23. Then started period next day. I have a cycle of 28-30 days this does not make sense, how can u ovulate the day before your period???

I have be married for nine years my husband and i where living happily and just two months ago my husband ment his ex girl friend whom he had in school days and all of a sudden he started dating her again and he never cared about his family again all he does is to stay late at night and when he come's back he will just lie to me that he hard some fault with his car,there was this faithful day i caught the both of them in a shop,i walked to them and told the girl to stay of my husband and when he came home that evening he beat me up even despite the fact that i was pregnant he was just kicking and warning me to never point a finger on his girlfriend again,i have suffered too much in the hand of a cheating husband but thank to Dr.Okalo whom i got from a blog site after a long search for a real spell caster i was so happy that he fufilled all what he said in just less than three days after the spell was casted they quareled and he broke up with the girl and his senses are fully back and he now care and love me like he have never done before and if you are their suffering from a broken marriage or your husband or ex cheats? you can email (Choosenlovespell@gmail.com) his spells are pure and very powerful without any doubt.

Hi ladies-
I'm confused about the results from my Clearblue Easy OPK. I've been testing since CD 9, got a High Fertility reading on CD 11 and a Peak Fertility on CD 12 (did an insemination). Out of curiosity, I kept testing. CD 14-15 were negative, but just yesterday (CD 16) it read as a High Fertility again. Took a HPT because I've heard OPK can sometimes read HCG, but it came back negative. Can anyone offer insight into what is going on?

Thanks! vs

Ok, now I know how this thing works. Very valuable information that you shared with us.

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Ovulation Calculator

Format: 7/24/2014
Increase your chances of getting pregnant! Our Ovulation Calculator will help you predict when you ovulate - your prime time for becoming pregnant.

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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.