Ovulation Test: When Is The Right Time To Do It?
Are you interested in tracking your ovulation by ovulation test? When you track your ovulation, you might be able to maximize the chances of conceiving. But before you start using the ovulation testing kit, you must understand some basic things so that you can use it correctly. Except you use the kit correctly and at the right time, your efforts may go down the drain. That is why we have put this article together to help you. But before anything, what are ovulation tests? Some prefer to call it OPK. OPK means ovulation predictor kit. The kit helps to detect whether LH (luteinizing hormone) is present in your urine. The presence of this hormone indicates ovulation.
Averagely, between about 12 to 48 hours before your ovulation, your LH levels are going to spike up briefly. This LH surge is what signals your ovaries to release eggs. In other words, the time that your ovaries release eggs for fertilization depends on the signals sent to them by the luteinizing hormone. This means that if your OPK comes out positive, ovulation is most likely imminent. Take note of the word, “most likely”. That means there’s a higher probability. It’s not definite proof that you’re ovulating. What ovulation tests detect is that you’re preparing for ovulation. Sometimes, you may not go ahead to ovulate.
When is The Right Time for Ovulation Test?
Let’s start with what time in your cycle you should start testing. This would depend on the type of testing kit you’re using. Some digital LH kits measure hormonal changes by what your baseline levels are. So if such digital tests will give accurate results, you should begin testing before the LH surge occurs.
The package usually contains directions for you to follow. These directions will help you determine what time in your cycle you should take the test. This would depend on the average length of your cycle.
But avoid the temptation to make use of fewer sticks. Don’t wait till later to start your testing. If by any chance, you miss testing on your non-fertile days, you may not have accurate results in identifying your fertile days. It is, therefore, very important to use a single test base for each cycle.
Some cheaper tests, such as Wondfos, do not use your baseline. And because they don’t establish any baseline whatsoever, you may not need to test early on with these kits. Instead, they look for absolute thresholds of LH inside your urine. For these tests, you may not need to begin testing early on but of course; you should still start early enough not to miss the surge of your LH.
Now, what time of the day should you use your OPK? Some tests will require that you test with the first urine you pass in the morning. But other tests will require that you use afternoon urine. The best thing is to follow the guide on the particular brand you’re using.
But to be honest, LH surge typically occurs in the early morning hours. However, the hormone may not appear in your urine until after several hours. This explains why most OPK brands will ask that you wait until the afternoon before taking the test.
You should also consider how long your body sustains the LH surge. In some women, LH surge can last for days. But some other women’s surge doesn’t last for more than some hours. Both are okay, though. It’s just that it’s more difficult to detect the latter with a single test.
Many women, only get positive OPK results when they do the test twice daily. They do it once during the morning and once more during the afternoon.
Is OPK Accurate?
OPKs can indeed help you know your fertile days. Experts tell us that from studies, OPKs accurately detect ovulation like 97% of the time. With 97 percent accuracy, there is no other ovulation test as accurate as using OPKs.
There are, however, some key things you should bear in mind. The most important of all is that OPKs show when your hormones peak for ovulation. They are, therefore, good for predicting the perfect time for attempting conception.
But don’t make the mistake of that they guarantee conception. You may ovulate, have sex, and still not get pregnant. While ovulation is essential for conception, many more things go into conception than ovulation.
Another thing to bear in mind is that some women find OPKs more accurate than others. Generally, the test will be more accurate when a woman has a relatively predictable cycle.
But if your periods are very irregular, it may be quite tough to know the time you’re supposed to be ovulating. And you may end up using the kit too late or too early. You are more likely to miss your ovulation window in such cases.
Health conditions like PCOS might also make a woman experience LH surges many times in a month. However, they don’t ovulation with every one of these surges. As such, test results are quite unreliable in such women. Also, if you are taking some medications, such as fertility drugs, antibiotics, or hormones (like pills for birth control), they can make OPKs inaccurate.
Once every month, one of your ovaries will release an egg, which becomes available for fertilization. This leaves a window of 12 to 24 hours when fertility would peak. This window is the best time for sex if you want to get pregnant.
Typically, ovulation occurs midway into your menstrual cycle. But then, each woman has a slightly different cycle. And your ovulation may even vary from one month to the other. While an ovulation kit is the best way to know when ovulation occurs, there are other several ways to find out. But make sure you use them well and at the right time.
To use an ovulation test, you only need to pee on the strip or stick. You can also pee inside a cup, and then dip the kit stick in the cup. After 2 to 3 minutes, the indicator will appear. A darker line means you’re soon to ovulate.