Ovulation Predictor Tests

At-Home Fertility Tests

At-home fertility tests are becoming increasingly available for both men and women. Most at-home tests consist of a do-it-yourself fertility test kit, which gives a 'positive' or a 'negative' reading of the factor being tested. While the results are not conclusive, at-home fertility tests offer several benefits: They are relatively inexpensive (compared with other testing options); they can be easily purchased online or increasingly found in pharmacies; they can be used in the privacy of one's home; they are an early diagnostic tool in the process of being tested for infertility; they are non-invasive and painless; they come with clear instructions and are simple to use.

Predicting Ovulation

During a woman's menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone (LH), which induces the ovaries to release an egg. A day or two (24 or 48 hours) before ovulation, an increase in LH levels occurs, known as an "LH surge." Women who are trying to get pregnant or couples who are having difficulty conceiving may want to predict when ovulation will occur. Towards this end women can now purchase an at-home ovulation predictor test.

Ovulation Predictor Test

Also known as a Luteinizing Hormone Urine Test, Ovulation Prediction Test, Urinary LH Immunoassays, and At-home Ovulation Prediction Test, ovulation predictor kits measure LH levels in a woman's urine. A positive test result indicates that an LH surge has been detected and that the ovaries will soon be releasing an egg; thus a positive test result signals that it is a good time for a couple to try to conceive.

How Do At-Home Ovulation Predictor Kits Work?

The time of month women should test themselves depends on the length of their menstrual cycle. For example, in a 28-day cycle, women begin testing on day 11 and should continue to test daily until the end of the cycle. Missing a day of testing could result in missing the surge.

Ovulation predictor kits come with five to seven strips or sticks that are dipped into a woman's urine or they can be urinated upon directly. Depending on the specific test kit, the test strip or test stick will turn a certain color that is compared to a color code in order to determine the LH level, or it will display a positive sign if an LH surge is detected. The instruction booklet included in each ovulation predictor kit explains how to properly interpret the results. Following a positive result, most women can expect to ovulate in the next 24 to 36 hours.

More advanced ovulation kits are called Home Fertility Monitors and are digitalized handheld devices that read the test strip or stick results electronically. The results are based on either electrolyte levels found in saliva, LH levels found in urine, or a woman's basal body temperature. These fertility monitors cost hundreds of dollars, however an advantage of these high-end fertility monitors is that they can store ovulation information over the course of several menstrual cycles.

Ovulation Predictor Kit Disadvantages

At-home ovulation test kits can falsely predict ovulation (known as a false positive result). Testing also needs to occur frequently - i.e. once or twice a day for several days - in order to detect an LH surge or the onset or ovulation. Finally, these kits may not be the best fit for women with irregular menstrual cycles, who might miss the recording of a surge.


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