How Ovulation Testing Works

Starting a family can be one of the most challenging and exciting steps that a couple can ever take. However, trying to conceive a baby can also be very frustrating, especially if you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully for a long time. But before you attend a fertility clinic for testing, you may want to do some testing of your own. A lot of different male and female fertility tests are now available to couples that are trying to conceive.

The sections below will help you get a better understanding of  how ovulation testing works to help determine your cycle:

What Is Ovulation?

A menstrual cycle starts with the body producing the 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 egg travels down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. At this point, fertilisation of the egg may take place. Understanding the process of ovulation and your particular reproductive cycle can help you plan your pregnancy more effectively.

A pregnancy test is different from an ovulation or fertility test. A pregnancy test kit is associated with the detection of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin (This hormone can be detected in the mother’s urine or blood before the woman’s missed period). HCG is first detectable in the blood as early as seven to eight days after ovulation by very sensitive HCG testing. In real life, blood pregnancy tests will be positive (> 2 mIU/ml) by 10-11 days after the LH surge.

How Ovulation Testing Works?

Ovulation tests identify luteinizing hormone (LH), which is an ovulation predictor. High levels of LH cause a woman to ovulate (egg is released from the ovarian follicle). Most women will ovulate within 24-36 hours after a short-lived LH surge; therefore detecting LH by a fertility test is an effective method in anticipating a fertile period.

Statistically, there are around five fertile days in a woman’s cycle because sperm can survive in the female body for up to 72 hours. Sexual intercourse up to three days prior to ovulation, the day of ovulation or the day after may result in a pregnancy.

Ovulation home kit is a tool for fertility testing that pins down the surge of luteinizing hormone, which helps predict ovulation. It’s important to note that it may not improve your chances of pregnancy, as it is designed to identify sign of ovulation only. The best way to conceive is regular sexual intercourse throughout the cycle – your chances of pregnancy will increase if you time intercourse based on the identification of the LH surge.

 Ovulation detection is also useful if:

  • You have an irregular cycle that makes it more difficult to get pregnant
  • You suspect that you are not ovulating and want further information before seeking medical advice
  • You want to avoid pregnancy, so it can be used to inform when to abstain from intercourse.

When To Take An Ovulation Test?

It is important to determine your cycle length (the number of days from the first day of your period to the day before your next period). If you don’t know your regular cycle length, you should start testing nine days after the first day of your period. The average cycle length of a woman is 28 days.

Perform the ovulation detection test each day within a five-day period or until the luteinizing hormone surge has been identified.

Ovulation Testing Kits Precautions:

  • Follow all the instructions on the packaging before performing the test
  • Do not open the protective pouch until you are ready to perform the test
  • Store the test at room temperature
  • Check the expiration date
  • Do not re-use the test
  • Keep out of reach of children.

How To Perform Ovulation Test Properly?

The ideal time to test for LH is in the afternoon, at around 2pm. Though testing may still be performed from 10am to early evening because ovulation will take place 12-48 hours after the LH surge is first detected.

Urine Collection:

  • Collect your sample between 10am and 8pm, at the same time each day for the most accurate results
  • To avoid dilution of LH in the urine sample, reduce your fluid intake two hours prior to testing
  • Collect urine mid-flow to avoid contamination
  • Prepare a clean dry container for the urine sample and keep it at room temperature.

Other Natural Methods Of Ovulation Prediction

Cervical position – Observing the position of your cervix is a key element in predicting fertility. During your menstrual cycle, there is a change in the position and feel of the cervix (located at the lower part of the uterus) which can be measured and charted. During the examination, observe the following:

  • The cervix is position is difficult to reach
  • The cervix should feel soft and wet
  • The entrance of the cervix should feel like it is opening

Cervical Mucus – The amount of cervical mucus will increase as you enter your most fertile stage. The mucus will have the appearance of raw egg white. The texture will become increasingly slippery and stretchy. The overall sensation is extremely wet.

Basal Body Temperature – For most women, 36.2- 36.5 degrees is considered normal during the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, prior to ovulation. After ovulation it will increase to between 37 to 37.5 due to hormonal changes.

Check the links below to learn on other ways to test ovulation:

How Long After A Positive Ovulation Test Will You Take A Pregnancy Test?

Once you have performed an ovulation test and reveal a positive result, you will need to have more sexual intercourse over the following days to increase the chances of conception. It is best to wait for at least the day that your period is due or until it is a few days late. Otherwise you may test too soon and receive an inaccurate result.


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