Ovulation test: when should you take one

Ovulation test: when should you take one

Sharmista Chatterjee

Are you planning to have a baby? If yes, then an ovulation test will be of great help to you! Why? It helps determine the time in the menstrual cycle when you are most likely to get pregnant. The test will check if there is a rise in the level of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in the urine sample provided. When the level of this hormone rises in the bloodstream, it signals the ovary that it's time to release the egg.

Here’s all you need to know about the process to better predict your fertility.

Ovulation tests: How do they work?

Understanding how the ovulation test works can help you use it correctly. At the start of the menstrual cycle, the FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates multiple ovarian follicles to grow. These ovarian follicles soon increase the production of estrogen, which surges for almost four or five days, causing ovulation. Right before ovulation, usually within 12 hours or a full day, the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) surges sharply, and stimulates the ovary to release a matured ovum or egg. What these ovulation kits do is measure the level of the rise of LH in the urine and give out information on when ovulation is about to occur. Knowing the right time to test for ovulation matters a lot. It will help you in getting the best results from your chosen test.

When should you take the test?

Ovulation detection works best early in your menstrual cycle, usually, a few days before you expect to start ovulating. The Luteinizing Hormone will be at the highest level between 12 pm and 8 am, so it’s better if you can schedule the test within this period. For best results, refrain from using the restroom for 2 hours before the test and drink lesser fluids to avoid dilution of the hormone. You have to test every day until a positive outcome is visible.

What should you do when your cycle is irregular?

If your cycle is irregular, and you are trying to conceive, the ovulation testing will be a bit different. Firstly, check which monthly cycle was the shortest in the last 6 months. You must then assume that your present cycle is the shortest and predict your ovulation day accordingly. Start taking the test 3 days before the expected date of ovulation.

How accurate are ovulation tests?

Variation of the levels of LH can significantly impact the test results. You might also get negative results if the hormone is diluted in the urine sample or the test is taken too early. The inability to ovulate due to low levels of LH is also another probable cause of negative outcomes. However, you can resort to ovulation induction in this case, for stimulating the release of ova. It is a preliminary stage of IVF or in-vitro fertilization. You can go for IVF treatment if natural ovulation and conception pose problems for you. 

The knowledge of how an ovulation test works, and the correct time to take the test is very important. It will help you to improve your odds of conceiving and will make your journey towards parenthood much easier.