When you're trying to conceive, timing is important. That's where ovulation tests can help. Ovulation tests can let you know when ovulation is likely to occur so you can time your sexual activity accordingly. With ovulation tests you can see when you're most fertile, instead of just guessing. Plus you can perform the test in the comfort of your home. If you're trying to get pregnant, ovulation tests can help you time your efforts in order to increase your chances.
How Do Ovulation Tests Work?
When you ovulate you release an egg from your ovaries. This egg survives for a limited amount of time if it's not fertilized, usually between 12 and 24 hours. The time just before and up to the day of ovulation is when you're the most fertile. Urine ovulation tests detect a hormone produced just prior to ovulation called luteinizing hormone or LH. Women are generally considered most fertile when LH rises. Urine ovulation predictor tests use test strips to detect the rise in LH that occurs before ovulation. These tests are designed to identify your two most fertile days. Other urine ovulation predictor tests can identify your four most fertile days by measuring LH along with another hormone, estrogen. This may give you more opportunities to conceive. For convenience, some ovulation tests use a digital device you place in your urine during mid-stream to measure LH. The results are easy to read and interpret.
Another at-home test measures another hormone produced by your body called follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH. This test gives you information about your ovarian reserve or the quantity of the eggs you have available to be fertilized. When your ovarian reserve is low, FSH levels rise more than normal and the test can detect this. If the test indicates a high level of FSH, you may have more difficulty becoming pregnant and should consult a doctor for additional testing.
Combination Ovulation/Pregnancy Tests
Also available are ovulation test sticks combined with an at-home pregnancy test. With this test kit, you can find your most fertile days and then see if you were successful getting pregnant. Once you think you're pregnant, you might want to find out how far along you are with another type of advanced pregnancy test that estimates the number of weeks you are into your pregnancy.
How do Saliva Ovulation Tests Work?
Saliva ovulation tests may help to identify your most fertile times using a saliva sample. How do they work? Your estrogen level increases as you approach ovulation. As a result, your saliva becomes more salty. This salty saliva forms a characteristic pattern under a microscope called ferning. To use this test, place a drop of saliva on the lens enclosed in the kit and let it dry. The kit comes with a mini-microscope. Once the saliva has dried, use the microscope to look for a fern-like pattern. If you see this pattern, it may be the ideal time to conceive. Once you have the kit, you can perform the test as many times as you want. It's a quick and convenient way to test your fertility.
The Convenience of Home Testing
While they are not 100% accurate, home ovulation predictor tests are a fast and convenient way to get an idea of when you're most fertile. That's important to know when you're trying to get pregnant. If you are having problems conceiving, talk to your doctor.