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Making Ovulation Tests: Things You Should Know

Tracking ovulation is crucial if you and your partner decided to conceive a baby. There are various ovulation tests/kits that help identify the best time for fetation. By predicting the most fertile days of your cycle, you will increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Types of Ovulation Predictor Kits

  • Urine-based kits

Most ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) predict ovulation by identifying the amount of luteinising hormone (LH) in the urine. This hormone is always present in the urine, but its quantity significantly increases one or two days before ovulation. The amount of LH may increase by about 5 times.

  •  Salivary ferning kits

This type of ovulation predictor tests saliva instead of urine and helps identify the presence of fern-like pattern. Before the ovulation the women experience surge of oestrogen which leads to the increase of salt in saliva. When the salt dries it turns into a fern-like pattern. A small portable microscope helps detect if fern-like pattern is present in your saliva. If ferning is detected the woman is extremely close to ovulation.

Both types of OPKs help identify fertile window and therefore increase your chances of getting pregnant in the nearest feature.

 Predicting Ovulation with Ovulation Kits

Urine-based ovulation predictor kits are available in two types: those that require collecting urine in a cup and then checking the amount of luteinising hormone (LH) by placing a special indicator in it, and those that you need to wee on. If the LH surge is detected, two or one colored bands (depending on the type of OPK) will appear on the stick. Digital tests use various symbols (as for example a smiling face) to indicate you are about to ovulate.

Before using any OPK it is necessary to learn the instruction provided by the manufacturer. If you’ve  decided to make an ovulation test and want to get accurate results stick to the following recommendations:

  • Collect urine at the same time every day. The best time for doing this is between 10am and 8pm.
  • Do not use the first morning urine, as you may miss the LH surge
  • Reduce the amount of water you drink for about 1-4 hours before testing. Excessive amount of liquid dilutes the urine and you may get wrong results.
  • Check the results within 10-30 minutes after testing. Waiting longer is not recommended.

Using salivary-based kits is much easier. You just need to put a sample of your saliva on the slide (lick it, spit or use your finger). Doing this is recommended before breakfast. Do not eat or drink before making a test. You need a small sample which is free of air bubbles. When saliva dries examine it with a microscope to see if there is a fern-like pattern. To identify ferning compare your sample with examples provided in the instruction.

 Are OPKs Accurate?

Modern OPKs are 99% accurate and help identify the most fertile days of your cycle  However, you cannot rely on any of such tests if your menstrual cycle is not regular. Using urine-based tests is useless if you take drugs containing LH.