Best Ovulation Tests in 2022

Who should use an ovulation test

There are a few reasons why you might want to use a home ovulation test.

1. You are trying to get pregnant.

Although this is the most common reason to use OPKs, it is important to note that you do not has to use ovulation predictor kits to get pregnant. Most couples who have unprotected sex without timing it after the LH surge will still get pregnant within a year, according to Dr. Jackson Bay.

Couples who are having trouble conceiving often think they should try COCs before seeking treatment, but that’s simply not true, Dr. Jaime Knopman, MD, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at CCRM Fertility told Insider.

However, using an OPK is a cheap and easy way to confirm that you are ovulating if you have been trying for several months without success, or if factors such as work and long distance relationships affect how often you are able to to try and you have to narrow your window, dr. Jackson-Bey added.

Since the tests tell you approximately when you will start ovulating, you can then have intercourse at the right time for maximum chances of conception. “Essentially, the egg can only be fertilized for about 24 hours after ovulation, so ideally you want the sperm there first so it’s just waiting for the egg to be fertilized,” Dr Jackson-Bey explained. (Fun fact: Sperm can live in the cervical mucus or upper genital tract for three to five days.)

2. You want to avoid getting pregnant.

This is not the most common use for OPKs, but just as it can help you limit the days you have unprotected sex to get pregnant, it can also help you determine which days you absolutely must not have unprotected sex if you do not want to get pregnant Most often, people who use the fertility awareness method to avoid pregnancy are the people who include LH testing in their family planning efforts.

3. You are looking to identify problems with the menstrual cycle.

For those with irregular periods or who have been trying to conceive without luck, ovulation predictors can provide some insight into what’s going on with their menstrual cycle.

“Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can actually have a higher baseline LH, which means they’re always going to show positives,” Dr Jackson-Bey explained. In this case, a positive result does not necessarily mean that you are ovulating. On the other hand, women who do not ovulate at all may never get a positive result.

“One thing I always tell patients is that you have to see a negative consequence through a positive one,” said Dr. Jackson-Bey. In other words, if you test every day during the period between periods and you never get a positive result followed by a negative result, it’s time to see your doctor to see what’s going on. (Learn more in our FAQ.)

4. You’re just curious to learn more about your cycle.

OPKS can also be useful if you just want to see if you are ovulating or not. “There’s no harm in it, it’s very low risk,” Dr Jackson-Bey said.

She recommends starting by tracking your period and seeing how long your cycles are. Sometimes people are surprised to learn that they have a shorter or longer cycle (anything between 24 and 38 days is normal, according to clinical guidelines). Jackson-Bey added that it’s helpful to have this basic information first. Then, if you want to add OPKs to see when you ovulate and see if it’s consistent from month to month, that can be something that’s helpful in learning more about your cycle, she said.

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