How do you use ovulation test strips? This was a reader-submitted question. To have your question answered for free, read through this post to the end!
Finding it hard to track your fertile days? If you’ve been trying to get pregnant but seem to have no luck for a couple of months, using ovulation test strips can help. Here’s the detailed information about how to use and interpret ovulation test strips.
How Do Ovulation Test Strips Work?
If pregnancy strips can track the hCG hormone, ovulation strips can trace the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. But what’s so important about this hormone?
Luteinizing hormone can help predict when your ovulation is approaching. This hormone usually spikes up a few days before ovulation because it triggers the release of an egg from your ovary. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the increase in luteinizing hormone typically happens at around 12 to 24 hours before ovulation. Ovulation marks the most fertile period in your menstrual cycle.
Ovulation strips can trace the presence of luteinizing hormone in your urine. By using them, you can discern when are the most favorable days to have sexual intercourse to increase your chance of getting pregnant.
How To Use Ovulation Test Strips
1. Check the packaging.
The first thing you need to do is to check the integrity of the packaging and it’s the expiration date. You wouldn’t want to use a damaged or an expired ovulation kit for it may alter the results of your test.
2. Read the instructions.
The appropriate way of using an ovulation test kit may slightly differ per manufacturer. Read the instructions that come with the kit to make sure that you’ll be doing the right procedure. Deviating from the procedure may affect the accuracy of your result.
3. Check your kit.
An ovulation test kit often comes with several testing strips or sticks. A kit may contain 5 to 10 strips. These strips allow you to test for several days before your predicted day of ovulation.
4. Test your urine.
Depending on the type of ovulation test strip you bought, you can either directly urinate at the end of the strip or use a cup to collect your urine and carefully submerge the end of the strip.
5. Wait for the result.
The result is often revealed after a couple of minutes. For the common ovulation strips, it will reveal two lines. For the digital variety, the strip will be inserted into a monitor that will reveal if you are fertile or not.
How To Read Ovulation Test Strip Results
The common ovulation test strips will reveal two lines: one of these is the control line and the other is the test line. The control line tells that the test strip worked properly. The test line will reveal if you are about to ovulate or not.
Reading ovulation test strips is more challenging than interpreting a pregnancy test. In an ovulation test, you’ll need to compare the color of the test line to the control line. If the test line matches the color of the control line, or is darker than it, the interpretation will be positive or fertile. This may sound easy, but since the variations in color comparison is a bit vague, you might find it hard to decipher if you got a positive ovulation test strip or a negative result.
Another challenge that you might encounter is how to read ovulation test strips faint line. Faint line may indicate that your luteinizing hormone levels are not that high or it may indicate a negative result. The darker the line, the greater is the presence of this hormone on your urine.
These are the reasons why many women are investing in the digital variety. It can be a bit more expensive, but the interpretations of the results are also easier and clearer. If you used a digital ovulation kit, it will instantly reveal if you’re fertile or not fertile, saving you a lot more time and patience in comparing the lines on the strip.
For example, the advanced clear blue ovulation test strips simply reveal a smiley emoji on the screen if you’re fertile. What’s more interesting with the clearblue advanced ovulation test strips is that they also detect the presence of estrogen in your urine. Estrogen surge comes before the rise of your luteinizing hormone. This way, this ovulation kit can give you a wider range of your fertile days and you can begin trying with your partner for up to 4 days before your ovulation.
Evaluating ovulation test strips results
You can either get a positive or a negative ovulation test strip result. So what does each of these results mean?
Positive ovulation test strip
If you get a dark test line or a smiley on the monitor, this means that you are positive for the pre-ovulatory hormones and you might ovulate anytime.
If you used the common ovulation strip that detects the luteinizing hormone, your ovulation will more likely happen within 2 days. However, if you used the digital variety that also detects the estrogen hormone, then your fertile days may peak up to the 4th day from the time you tested positive.
Once you get a positive result, you can begin to spend some intimate time with your partner and try to get pregnant.
Negative ovulation test strips
If the test line in your ovulation strip is not dark enough to match the control line, it may indicate a negative result. This means that you’re not fertile at the moment and it is not too favorable to get pregnant.
So what if you’ve used up all the strips and all of them revealed negative?
If you keep on having negative ovulation tests, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not ovulating. Negative test results may also be due to the following:
You tested too early in your cycle.
Timing is important in using ovulation test strips. For example, if you test yourself a week early than your ovulation using a regular test strip, you might not get a positive result for 5 consecutive days because your LH levels are still low during that period.
You tested too late in your cycle.
Similarly, if you have already ovulated before you decided to test yourself, you’ll also get a negative result. This is because the hormones that you’re trying to detect are no longer present in your urine.
You have an erratic cycle.
This is experienced by women with PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome. Since their ovulation is unpredictable, it would be harder to decipher the best time to have an ovulation test.
How Accurate Are Ovulation Test Strips?
Ovulation test strips can offer high accuracy rates of up to 99 percent. This makes them an effective tool in predicting fertility for women who are planning to conceive.
However, it is important to note that these devices only detect the pre-ovulatory hormones and not the ovulation itself. It is common for some women to have a high presence of these hormones without releasing an egg during their cycle. This normally happens from time to time. But if you’re trying to track your fertility for a couple of months and you still find it hard to conceive, you can always seek help from a doctor. Your doctor can teach some additional techniques to effectively find your fertility window and achieve your goal of conceiving sooner.
Ovulation test strips are helpful in predicting your fertility. In using your ovulation test strip, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to get the most accurate results. If you are having problems in predicting your ovulation, it’s best to verify it with your doctor.
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