Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)

August 18, 2010

Added Dimension To Predicting Ovulation

Timing ovulation can be a complex endeavor since it takes some serious self-study to understand how your particular body's cycles work. The best way is to use a combination of different methods, one confirming the other, to determine your specific ovulation period. By using cervical mucus, basal body temperature and tracking your periods you will learn fertility awareness. Then, combine that knowledge with ovulation predictor kits to best know and understand when you ovulate.

Ovulation predictor kits are excellent tools for predicting ovulation by detecting a surge in the Luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs when ovulation is about to take place. The pituitary gland releases LH and this hormone is in the bloodstream at all times in small amounts. The function of LH is to stimulate the ovaries into producing and releasing eggs. The LH surges lets you know that ovulation will take place in 24 to 36 hours. The day of and the day after the detection of the LH surge are prime time for conception.

How OPKs Work

The ovulation test detects the elevated quantities of LH in the system through anti-LH antibodies that are contained in the sensitive testing membrane. They are more effective than basal body temperature testing because the OPK will tell you when you are ovulating rather than letting you know that ovulation has already occurred. Since the egg is only viable for a mere 24 hours, if you want to conceive, you need to know when ovulation is happening, not after the fact. Ovulation tests allow an accurate prediction and a positive result on an ovulation test indicates probable fertility over the following three days with peak fertility at 36 hours following the LH surge.

Using An OPK to Determine LH Surge

Ovulation tests are available in test strips and midstream tests - both are equally reliable. To use an ovulation test strip you simply fill a container with urine and hold the test strip in the urine for several seconds. The midstream test is done by holding the strip in the flow of urine. Most of these tests will give you the results in about five minutes and then you can interpret the test. All of tests have a control color band, or a color line, that shows you whether the test is working or not. There is also a color and intensity baseline to help read the test results with the color band telling you whether the test is positive or negative.

Positive or Negative Ovulation- How to Tell

A positive result, meaning there was an LH surge, will show up as a test band that is at least the same color or darker than the control band and a negative result will be lighter or not even visible when compared to the control color. A negative result simply means there was no LH surge and the urine sample is normal. Since there is always some LH in your system remember that a light color indication does not mean you have had an LH surge.

The LH surge occurs very quickly so it is important to test at the right time of month and the right time of day. The best times to test are between 11am and 3pm and between 5pm and 10pm. To be sure you catch the surge, test during both time frames and at the same times each day you test.  Track your ovulation times over a period of months to determine if you are ovulating at the same time during your cycle to enhance your chances of conception.

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