There are two types of ovulation testing kits to track your ovulation day and help you get pregnant:
- Urine testing kits, which test your urine for luteinizing hormone levels
- Saliva kits, which test your saliva for the ferning appearance
Knowing how to use an ovulation check kit is important as it will help you to become pregnant quickly.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of the ovum or the egg from the ovarian follicle into the fallopian tube, which connects to the uterus at its other end.
During the menstrual cycle, small amounts of LH hormone are made and present in the body. Just before ovulation, there is a surge in the levels of the LH hormone produced by the gonadotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland.
The urine ovulation kit helps to detect the LH surge by its increased levels in urine, which is followed by the release of the ovum in the next 36 hours or so. It can be 12 hours or even 48 hours (max).
To round things up, you can safely say that if and when the test shows a positive result, you will ovulate within the next 36 hours.
Those 24 hours after ovulation will be your most fertile and favorable hours to conceive and become pregnant.
If the egg is not fertilized by the sperm during those hours, it will die and wither away as its life span is of 12 to 24 hours only.
To increase the chances of conception, you should have sex on the day of the LH surge shown by the positive result and the following three days.
How do ovulation predictor kits help?
The ovulation test predictor kits (OPK) help you to predict your ovulation day and this becomes of great importance if you are planning to conceive and become pregnant. You should know when and how you can get pregnant.
The ovum that is released from the ovarian follicle of the ovary has a very short lifespan of 12 to 24 hours and if it is not fertilized by the sperm during that short time, it withers away.
You, therefore, have a very short fertile window period to conceive during the menstrual cycle.
The ovulation kit helps you identify your ovulation day so that you can have sexual intercourse 3 to 5 days every day before that day because the sperm can live inside the woman’s tract for 3 to 5 days.
Most conceptions occur because of sexual intercourse during the two days leading to ovulation.
With this information in mind, plan your sexual activity during that time. It will effectively help you get pregnant quickly.
However, it is still recommended that you have sex throughout the cycle to maximize your chances of conception.
Ovulation kits can be a great help if:
- Your partner works away from home or travels a lot for work. With this kit, you can plan to be together during your fertile days and indulge in lovemaking.
- You are busy both working and having children which, makes it difficult to have regular sex.
- You have irregular menstrual cycles, which make conception difficult.
- Ovulation kits are more accurate than guessing the release of the ovum day by identifying ovulation symptoms such as an increase in basal body temperature and observing the changes in your cervical discharge.
When to test and start using the ovulation kit?
If you have a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, you should start using the ovulation kit from the 11th day of the cycle, the first day being the first day of your menstrual bleeding.
But, menstrual cycles are known to vary in different women. Women with irregular cycles may not know when to start testing.
Take the average number of the last three cycles and use the chart below to start testing.
Number of days in cycle Day of the cycle to start testing
As explained below, the right time to test is between 10 am to 8 pm and to repeat at the same time during the recommended days.
The reason being the luteinizing hormone (LH) is synthesized by the body early in the morning. Morning samples, therefore, should be avoided if you have to catch the surge, which can come on suddenly.
The early morning sample could miss out on the first day of the surge and possibly your immediate pre-ovulation day.
However, recommendations on this differ. It is best to follow the instructions provided with the kit and by your doctor.
Urine ovulation test kits
The urine ovulation kit is a simple test, which is carried out by using the ovulation predictor kit or OPK test kit.
This test requires you to urinate on the end of a special test stick or alternately, dip the special strip of paper vertically with the arrows pointing downwards in a container with your urine.
This is done once every day for a week before your expected ovulation day. Urine-based OPKs usually provide five to nine strips.
The strip contains two lines of which one is a control line. If the other line, the surge line, turns the same darkness or darker in color than the control line then it indicates a positive result, meaning an LH surge has occurred.
A faint test line does not indicate a positive result in the ovulation test. But, in the pregnancy test, it will indicate pregnancy.
The positive result indicates an LH surge and that ovulation will occur immediately within 24 to 48 hours. This works by detecting the higher luteinizing hormone levels in urine because of the surge in LH blood levels and which triggers ovulation.
The recommended time to perform the test is 10 am to 8 pm and you are advised to perform the test at approximately the same time every day.
The urine ovulation kit is the best way to test for ovulation and has an accuracy of 99%.
Can you test twice during the day?
If you have missed out on the LH surge during a few past cycles, then you may test twice during the day on your present cycle – the disadvantage being the cost incurred.
Pregnancy is a milestone in your life and you should feel a little more generous toward it. You could use more economical kits rather than go in for big brands. So many are available online.
Most popular urine ovulation kits
Ovulation test kits are available in major drugstores, grocery stores, and retailers.
- Clearblue fertility monitors and Clearblue digital ovulation test. The Clearblue digital ovulation test is one such popular brand, which gives the result in three minutes. Always follow the instructions on the label of the kit carefully to get the correct results. The instructions tell you how to perform the test and for how long to hold the stick (about 5 seconds) and the time needed to read the results (3 to 5 minutes). According to the manufacturer, this kit identifies up to 4 fertile days and is 99% accurate. The price is about $30 for 10 sticks.
- First response ovulating kit. Boasting of being more than 99% accuracy, the first response ovulation kit is another brand to test for ovulation and provides seven test strips to be used over the week prior to your expected ovulation day. The kit provides detailed and easy-to-understand instructions on how to use the kit and obtain the result within five minutes.
- First response daily digital ovulation test. This is a digital reader, which comes with 20 sticks. Each day you will insert a stick into the reader and you can then compare the results of the twenty days at the end of the cycle. A “YES +” reading indicates an LH surge and that is when you start working towards conception (start having sex). The price is $40 for one digital reader and 20 test sticks.
Saliva Ovulation Test Kit
The saliva ovulation kit tests your saliva to detect a ferning pattern, which occurs in your saliva at ovulation time. Your saliva exhibits a ferning pattern, which looks similar to the frost on the window during a cold winter day.
This can be detected by examining a drop of your saliva under a microscope every day during your menstrual cycle and as ovulation day approaches, the ferning pattern of your saliva becomes apparent.
This kit is nothing but a portable magnifier to see the pattern in your saliva after it has dried up. As ovulation day approaches, estrogen levels rise. This causes the salt content in your saliva to rise which forms a ferning pattern in your saliva after drying up.
This is seen under the magnifier (microscope) and indicates your approaching fertile period.
- Certain hormonal medicines can interfere with the test results. If you are taking such medications, consult your doctor.
- Foods or diet do not interfere with the test results.
- Do not drink water for at least four hours before doing the test to maintain concentrated urine.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks as caffeine has a diuretic effect making you visit the washroom more often.
- The control band color may vary in the shade of red color in different kits. Always compare with the control band color of the kit you are using.
- Read the instructions provided with the test kit carefully before proceeding with the test.