Ovulation Tests

Image of woman taking an ovulation test

You may find it unappealing to track your basal body temperature and cervical mucus on a daily basis, but you still want to know when you are ovulating in order to maximize your chances of getting pregnant. You may consider using an ovulation predictor kit, if you have been trying to conceive for a few months without success.

Ovulation tests are used to determine your fertile days so you can maximize your efforts in trying to conceive. These tests detect a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which occurs a day or two before ovulation. This can be helpful to know when determining the best time to have intercourse.

Most ovulation predictor kits come with a number of tests you can take to determine if ovulation is approaching. Also, although more expensive, some women use fertility monitors so they can track their ovulation month to month.

However, there are a few words of caution when it comes to ovulation tests:

  • While ovulation tests detect a surge in the LH hormone, they cannot confirm whether ovulation actually takes place a day or two later. In some cases, women may have a surge in the LH hormone, but an egg is not released. This is known as Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS).
  • Ovulation tests are only accurate when taken around ovulation. Ovulation kits typically only come with about a week’s worth of tests, which may not be enough to cover the time frame during which you could ovulate. Furthermore, it may be more difficult to know when to begin taking ovulation tests for women who have irregular cycles. As such, it is best to wait to being testing until you notice fertile-quality cervical mucus.
  • Some women experience false LH surges during which the luteinizing hormone has small peaks before it fully peaks. This could lead to you to time intercourse too early. Such false LH surges are common in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • While ovulation tests can be relatively inexpensive and effective, it is still money out of your pocket.

If you have used ovulation predictor kits for a few months and are still having difficulty conceiving, you may consider charting your basal body temperature and cervical mucus either exclusively or in combination with ovulation predictor kits.  Your body provides valuable insight into your fertility. An awareness of these signs can promote your efforts to conceive. Read more about fertility charting and how it can help you identify your peak fertile days.

Nonetheless, you may prefer the ease of using ovulation tests. These fertility kits and monitors can help take the effort and guess work out of predicting ovulation. Whether you decide to track your ovulation using ovulation tests, natural methods, or both, an awareness of when you ovulate will optimize your chances of conceiving.

Check out these articles for related information:

Weschler, T. (2002). Taking charge of your fertility. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Last Updated: 09/2015