Ovulation Predictor Kits-Everything You Want to Know
Ovulation predicting is a big darn deal in the Creating a Family community. We buy ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) in bulk and use them frequently. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about ovulation predictor kits (or everything you should know).
Those of us in the Creating a Family community are big users of ovulation predictor kits, but often we know very little about how these OPKs work and how they differ. Most important, which one is best?
3 Types of Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation predictor kits work by measuring the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. You always have some LH in your pee, but a day or two before ovulation, the amount of LH increases significantly, and these OPK detect that increase. When the test is positive it usually means that you will ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
There are several brands, but most work by having you urinate of a test strip or dip the test strip in your urine. You test for several days in a row about 13 to 16 days before your period will begin. This is the time when you think you should be ovulating. They include several test strips in each kit. Most recommend that you test at the same time each day and refrain from drinking lots of water in advance so that your pee will be more concentrated.
Daily Fertility Monitors
Another method of predicting ovulation requires daily testing throughout your cycle. These tests are usually called “fertility monitors”, and they work by tracking two key fertility hormones–estrogen and luteinizing hormone to help you identify when you are likely to ovulate.
Saliva Ovulation Prediction Test
You can also determine when you will ovulate by testing saliva rather than urine. Saliva fertility tests track the levels of estrogen in your system. Generally, estrogen rises before ovulation and before the LH surge. The test works by having you place a small amount of spit (before you eat, drink, or brush your teeth) on a slide that comes with the kits. When it dries you look through a lens at the pattern. When your estrogen has reached the level indicating that ovulation is soon, the dried spit will make a pattern that resembles the leaves of a fern—thus you are told to look for “ferning”.
Which Ovulation Predictor Kit is Best?
According to Dr. Andy Toledo, a reproductive endocrinologist with RBA in Atlanta, when interviewed on a Creating a Family show (How to Get Pregnant When It’s Not Happening Fast) it somewhat depends on the regularity of your menstrual cycle. If you are fairly regular, the OPK that require you to test your urine several days in the middle of your cycle around the time you expect to ovulate is best because these tests are
less stress, and
He says most of his patients prefer Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test kits because they are easy, very accurate, and reasonably priced.
One of the reasons he recommends the OPKs that require testing only a few days a month is because the daily monitoring kits are cumbersome to use and more expensive. Plus, the daily focus on your fertility is bound to increase stress levels when trying to get pregnant. If you are infertile there is no way to avoid this stress, but when you are first starting out trying to conceive, why add more stress than is absolutely necessary.
P.S. Don’t scrimp. According to Dr. Toledo, the cheapo off-brand ovulation predictor kits really aren’t as accurate as the name brand kits.
Other Creating a Family Resources You Will Enjoy
Image credit: geervannesmeed