Looking out for a positive ovulation test can feel like trying to find a bottlenose dolphin in your local pond.
You might pee on those sticks twice a day and still not see the result you want. This can cause you to think that you’re not ovulating and there is an issue. However, it’s not always the case. Sometimes you are just missing the LH surge (that makes two dark lines appear).
What is an ovulation test?
An ovulation test measures the amount of luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine. The LH surge triggers the ovary to fully mature and be released. This surge happens about 10-36 hours before you ovulate and it can be easily missed, even if you are testing a few times a day.
One study involving 155 cycles from 35 women showed that the LH surge typically happened between midnight and early morning, giving a positive OPK by lunchtime.
You can get fancy ovulation tests that give you smiley faces when you are ovulating, or you can get the basic strip ones that just show two lines.
How can I tell if I have a positive ovulation test?
The basic strip ones can be a little tricky to understand. Thing is, there is always a small about of LH in your system, so it is always going to show up a faint line. It will be positive when the test line is as dark, or darker than the control line.
The posher and more expensive ones are easier to read. They give you smiling faces when it is ovulation time.
Why would I use an ovulation test?
The obvious reason to use an ovulation test is when you are trying for a baby. It means you can take some of the guesswork out of when you are fertile and save your energy to only have sex during ovulation days.
However, you might also use ovulation tests for other reasons.
If you are not wanting to get pregnant, you might combine fertile signs and positive ovulation tests to know that you need to use protection during this time.
Or, if your cycle is very long, or very short, you might want to do some home tests to see what’s going on. However, your doctor will be best off doing blood tests if you think there might be an issue with your hormones and periods.
How long after a positive ovulation test are you fertile?
Now, there’s a question. Thing is, you can actually have multiple positives during your cycle. It just says there has been a surge and your body is trying to ovulate, not that the egg has actually been released.
If you want to get deep into it then you’d also want to start tracking your body temperature each morning. When you see your temperature spike, after having fertile signs and a positive OPK, then it would suggest you have ovulated.
Typically, you ovulate 10-36 hours after you get a positive ovulation test. This can vary between women though.
Should I try an ovulation test?
I’m sharing my own experience here, ovulation tests can be stressful. Trying to get a positive ovulation test can feel almost impossible! They don’t give the whole picture either. They tell you your body is trying to ovulate, not that it has.
If you do use OPK tests, use them with other signs like body temperature, changes in cervical mucus, and mood tracking.
When your concerned about whether or not you are ovulating, book an appointment with your GP who will be able to run some tests.
Don’t forget, we are always here to answer any questions – @itsourremedy