Advice on using ovulation kits to predict when you are most fertile, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of ovulation tests and calculators.
An ovulation test kit detects the increase of the hormone LH (luteinising hormone) that occurs naturally approximately one to two days before your ovary releases the egg. The LH hormone triggers ovulation and therefore is a key signal that a 'fertility window' has arrived.
A small amount of LH is always present in your blood and urine. During the days before ovulation the amount increases by about two to five times. The 12 to 36 hours between the beginning of the LH increase and the time when your egg is actually released is considered the most fertile part of your cycle and the most likely time for conception.
Depending on the kit, you will either collect your urine in a cup or hold a stick in your urine stream. Then coloured bands will appear on the test card to indicate whether or not the LH increase is occurring.
Instructions may vary slightly depending on what kit you use but in general, you should try to collect your urine between 10am and 8pm - the best time is supposed to fall between 2pm and 2:30pm. Try to collect your urine at about the same time every day, although this is not absolutely necessary. Do not test your urine as soon as you wake up as you may miss the first day of your LH surge.
If you have a 28-day cycle, start the test on day 11 and use it for six days. If your cycle is longer, for example 35 days, start on day 14 and test for nine days. Ovulation kits generally provide five to nine days' worth of tests.
Try to reduce the amount of liquids you drink for about two hours before you collect your urine. Too much liquid could dilute your urine, which could cause you to miss a result. Diet, aspirin and other common drugs do not affect the test, although you should contact your doctor if you are taking hormonal medication, as medications containing hCG or LH can affect the test result.
The test should be read within 10 minutes for best results. A positive surge result will never disappear but some negative results may later display a faint second colour band. You should therefore get rid of the test card once you have read the result. The tests are generally 99 per cent accurate. But they are not foolproof. They can measure LH but since LH can surge with or without the release of an egg, they cannot indicate whether you have definitely ovulated after a positive response. False LH surges can take place before the real one. You should never use a kit as a contraceptive, since you can still become pregnant after ovulation.
Most ovulation kit brands offer the same level of reliability, so pick the one that offers you the most days' worth of tests for the least amount of money. All kits come with a list of commonly asked questions and answers about performing the test, making them extremely easy to use.
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