Pregnancy and Ovulation Testing Tips

Pregnancy and Ovulation Testing

are, in principle, easy, do-it-yourself affairs. However, with both types of tests, there are a number of key tips to help you get the most out of these diagnostic (HPT) and predictive (OPK) tools. Sidestep common and frustrating testing mistakes! By adhering to the tips below, you will:

  • Get accurate, valid results sooner.
  • Avoid common mistakes that interfere with tests results.
  • Learn proper procedure for using OPKs and HPTs.
  • Learn tips for optimizing predictive and diagnostic value.

Testing Tips for HPTs and OPKs:
Getting Accurate Results with Pregnancy and Ovulation Testing

> Back to Pregnancy Testing

Tip 1: Pregnancy Tests and Ovulation Tests are not the same! Read the Instructions...

One common mistake many novice home testers make is generalizing the procedures of one test to the other. Ovulation tests and home pregnancy tests are qualitatively different types of tests. For optimum results, they should be used at different times of day and the interpretation of results requires a very different approach. Where a "faint positive" test line on a HPT may indicate pregnancy, on a OPK this is clearly a negative result.

Tip 2: Do Not try to Interpret the tests after the allotted Test "Reaction Time"

Even the home testing veterans are prone to make this mistake - but with most tests, results should not be read after the allotted test "reaction time" - usually between five and ten minutes. Yes, the temptation is there to keep reading the test until it gives you the result you want, but remember: HPTs and OPKs are diagnostic products designed to be used within strict clinical guidelines. For best results, follow the instructions carefully and methodically as if YOU were a doctor in a clinic.

Tip 3: HPTs and First Morning Urine

Because home pregnancy tests detect hCG, it is best to collect urine samples containing the highest amount of the hCG hormone. Diluted samples (from drinking high volumes of water / frequent urination) can diminish test accuracy. Instead, first morning urine is considered the ideal sample as it contains the most concentrated presence of hCG. If you test later in the day, make sure that you do not urinate at least 3 to 4 hours before testing.

Tip 4: OPKs in the Afternoon.

Unlike pregnancy tests, ovulation predictor kits should not be used with first morning urine. LH - or luteinizing hormone is - is synthesized by the body in the morning, but it does not show up in your system (urine) until afternoon. Most manufacturers recommend taking ovulation tests between 10AM and 8PM - though afternoon is considered the ideal testing time. Also, it is recommended that you test at the same time every day.

Tip 5: Aim or Dip With Precision (Or Toss the Test)

Frequently, home test takers assume that getting urine on the "test area" by any means possible is the right move. Therefore, on midstream tests, women will urinate directly into the test window - or test strip users will dip the entire test strip into the urine. In both cases, this procedural error will invalidate test results and both control and test bands will probably not appear at all.

Both HPTs and OPKs function by allowing urine to pass from the bottom of the test and up through an absorbent medium - allowing the urine to pass through anti-LH or anti-hCG antibodies and the accompanying color dye. For best results:

1) Allow sufficient urine saturation of the test strip or midstream tip as per test instructions.

2) Do not allow liquid to touch the test area (where you read results). Allow the urine to pass through the test as per instructions.

3) For test strips, do not dip the strip below the submersion marker or arrow line.

4) For midstream tests, hold the test so the test area (window) is facing away from your stream of urine.

Tip 6: Avoid "Evaporation Lines"

Evaporation lines can appear on any home urine diagnostic test. The composition of the urine itself can be responsible for the development of an evaporation line - and there is only one sure way to avoid an evaporation line: read test results within the allotted reaction time (see tip 2) before this phenomenon can take place.

Tip 7: Hold Your Urine!

Diluted urine samples can delay the detection of pregnancy or "wash away" the presence of LH. Make sure that you "hold it" several hours before collecting a sample. For pregnancy tests, first morning urine is ideal - given that you have not urinated frequently throughout the night.

Tip 8: Check Your (Fertility) Medications

If you are taking medications, especially fertility medications, consult your physicians to make sure that they do not interfere with testing results. The only medications that can cause a false positive on a home pregnancy test are those than contain hCG itself. If you are taking fertility medications with hCG - e.g. Novarel, Profasi, Pregnyl - please consult your doctor regarding appropriate times and circumstances for testing. In regards to OPKs, medications like Clomid can cause false positives for an LH surge if taken too early in a woman's cycle.

> Back to Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Instructions

Test Instructions are specific to products. They are re-published here as a single example of urine test instructions. These instructions should not be generalized to other brands.

  • Pregnancy Tests

> Pregnancy Test Strips
> Pregnancy Midstream Tests

  • Ovulation Tests

> Ovulation Test Strips
> Ovulation Midstream Tests


I had my period the 5th and stooed on the 9th. When is my ovalating days. I had unprotected sex on the 14 and again on the 17th. Could I have lucked uo.and got pregnant we are teying. I'm not sure when I'm ovalating

Well, I'm not trying to get pregnant, but I'm not on birth control because it makes me really sick and my boyfriends condom broke. We found out about ten minutes in and it was before he ejaculated so I'm wondering what my chances are of getting pregnant. I had my last period on December 14th and have 27 day cycles. The condom broke on either the 28th or 29th... I know, bad timing right. Anyways, today is the 3rd of January and I'm cramping a little, my breasts are sore, and my acne is getting bad, but those things always happen about a week before I start my period. I'm worried I could be pregnant. Help?

I am not on any type of birth control... And we don't use protection.. I am not necessarily trying to get pregnant but if it happens we would be thrilled. I am wondering if makes any difference if we have sex the night before i test or that morning? Will his semen will affect the results of a home test?? Would it be better to not have sex for a few days before i take a pregnancy test?

I follow the manufaturer's directions exactly. Normally I have faint lines that get stronger for a few days around cd10 then I get a positive opk and the next day the line is faint again. This month from cd11 through cd 13 I have had positive OPKs. Has anyone else had three consecutive days of positive OPKs? I'm not on any fertility drugs yet but RE wants to start Clomid with my next cycle. Any ideas why so many? Thanks!

I took a pregnancy kit on the 13th of January is that too soon?My last period was on the 29 of December.I had sex on the 28th of December and the 2nd of January. Am suppose to get my period on the 25 th of January.

I have a very irregular cycle so I started using the ovulation kits. I started three days after my period, which lasted eight days, and four days later I got a positive result. So as indicated in the instructions, my husband and i tried, and I stopped testing. Two weeks later I noticed some discharge that is similar to what is described during ovulation, so just to see, I tried and ovulation test again. This one was also positive, so I have been testing everyday since, and for the last four days I have been getting positive test results. So positive my line is much darker than the test line. What does this mean?

Hello, I took my last depo shot in May of 2008. I finally got my period on August 17th 2009. I was usually a twenty eight day cycle until I had my son three years ago and went on depo after he was born. For some reason I had a dark (old blood) something on Septembe 7th. According to my counting I should of had my period on September 13th. Could I be pregnant? Or does it take longer for fertility to come back once you stop depo over a year ago?

help me!! this is my 1st time taking clomid and provera and i started in my Period on aug.5 and i didnt ovulate until day 23 . went to the doctor for a blood test still waiting 4 the results (no period this month either!) but all this time i have been cramping and my breast hurt now and then and i gained weight. i feel like i am pregnant friends of mine (who have kids) tell me to trust myself that i know my body. but i just really want to know. could i be pregnant

please help me i want to get pregnant this coming october if possible,i been in pills for 6 six and i have already 6 yrs old son so i want to have another baby so im very frustrated coz im trying already for 5 mos with my husband but still i cnt get pregnant so please help me to calculate my ovulation period my 1st day menstruation is on the 6th of september and end up at 9th.what will i do to get pregnant please help. tnx

I am looking to pinpoint when I ovulate in my cycle and plan to use multiple ovulation tests. As I have a longer cycle 33-35 days I was planning on starting one test at day 11 for 7 days and continue with a second test for another 7 days. Is there any problems with doing this? Will I end up with odd results because I'll be using two tests?
thanks for your help

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