Fact of the Week
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Ovulation Predictor Kit
We live in a wonderful age we're easy to use at-home tests help us to predict ovulation, and confirm pregnancy easier and faster than in our mother's time.
No method is perfect.
We recommend that you begin tracking your cycle a few months before you wish to begin trying to become pregnant, so that you may become familiar with your own body pattern.
- OPKs predict that you are about to ovulate by detecting a surge in Lutenizing Hormone (LH). LH will surge approximately 36 hours before ovulation, and peak at about 12-24 hours before ovulation.
- Your most fertile time is the 2 days prior to ovulation to the day of ovulation. This is because a man's sperm may survive in fertile cervical mucus for up to 72 hours whereas a woman's egg will survive for only 12-24 hours without being fertilized. If you wish to become pregnant, now is the time to begin having unprotected sex.
- OPKs are shaped like large pencils, have a soft wick at one end and a thumb indentation on the other so that you can hold it easily. They also have two small windows. One window is a reference line and is usually oval. The other window is the result of your test and is usually square.
- The test works by exposing the soft wick side to your urine either by holding it in your urine stream or collecting your urine in a cup and dipping the wick in. If the result of your test is a line which is as dark in color or darker than the reference line, then your LH surge has been detected.
- It is important that you pick the right day to begin testing and keep testing until you see your surge, in order to not miss it. Please follow the OPK instructions to determine the best day to start testing. As a rule of thumb, you can determine the best day to start testing by taking the shortest period from your last few, divide the number in half and subtract four.
- Intake of fluids prior to testing will dilute the hormone in your urine. For best results, you should limit your fluid intake and refrain from urinating for about four hours prior to collecting your urine.
- You should test once a day, at about the same time every day preferably between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. First morning urine may be an acceptable option for women who find it difficult to do a 4-hour hold, although some think that this is a bad idea because you produce hormones in the morning and it may take a little while to show up in your urine. Please follow the OPK instructions to determine the best time of day to test.
- Some women have a quick LH surge, or are a bit irregular, causing them to miss the surge. As with any of the other methods mentioned, it is best to try this out a few months before trying to conceive and comparing your results to other data like a BBT chart to see if everything matches up as expected. If it does not, you may need to change to a less or more sensitive brand, or test more frequently than once a day as you near your fertile period.
- The tests vary in price and sensitivity. Clear Blue seems to be very reliable, but other name brands and store brands as well as the cheaper strips all seem to be fairly reliable.
- You may find that the OPK tests positive for more than one day. You will ovulate within 12-36 hours of your first positive result.
- Medications and medical conditions such as PCOS may give misleading results. This is also true if you are pregnant or in menopause.
- In order to ensure that your test works within the 99% reported accuracy, make sure to follow all directions when testing.