So you want a baby. You spent your younger years on it not to get pregnant, and now that the time has come, you are trying to make the mental and physical transition to make it happen. Where to start?
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“Getting pregnant is the best thing women can do, using ovulation strips,” says Ob / Gyn Laura Detti, managing director.
What are ovulation kits?
These over-the-counter kits, sometimes called ovulation predictor kits, are ovulation slips that are up to 99% effective at identifying when your body is most fertile – and ultimately increasing your chances of getting pregnant.
The ovulation strips track your body’s production of luteinizing hormone, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries. In the 24 to 48 hours before you ovulate, the amount of luteinizing hormone in your body rises – or “rises”, as doctors call it. This LH surge causes ovulation, when the ovary releases the ovum.
It is during this boom, in the one to two days before ovulation, that your body is most fertile. Ovulation slides tell you when you are in the middle of a boom and therefore when you need to have sex to maximize the likelihood of conception.
“Not only do ovulation slips tell you whether you ovulated or not, they also tell you before ovulation that you are going,” says Dr. Detti. “So you have a few days to have intercourse before the egg is actually released.”
Ovulation sets against basal body temperature tracking
Another popular way to identify your fertile window is basal body temperature tracking, in which you take your temperature orally every day and plot it on paper or in an application to see when your temperature rises.
A sustained increase in temperature indicates that you have ovulated. But dr. Detti says this method is both cumbersome and not particularly helpful for most women because it does not tell them that they have ovulated until they have already done so, at which point it is too late to get pregnant.
“The lifespan of an ovum once it ovulates is only about 24 hours, which is why it is so important to have intercourse during and even before ovulation,” says Dr. Detti, “because sperm survive for about 72 hours in the genital tract.”
How to use ovulation strips
This one is easy: just open the package, stick out the ovulation strip and pee on it for the time as set out in the instructions that accompany the product (usually about five seconds). Alternatively, you can dip in a cup of pee and the strip in it, again according to the instructions that come with your ovulation kit.
Although each product is different, most ovulation strips respond to your urine to display one or two lines: One line means you are not fertile, and two lines mean you are.
If you see those double lines, it’s time to get started … in bed, that is. You are inside your fertile window when you are likely to get pregnant. Strength!
Once you have ovulated, your strip will again show only one line. If you are not pregnant, expect your period within the next two weeks, and then the cycle will start again.
Identifying fertility problems
Using ovulation predictor kits can help you better understand the trends in your own menstrual cycle – and even identify areas of concern.
“If you do not ovulate, your ovulation set will not become positive,” says Dr. Detti. If you never see two streaks on your ovulation strips, make a doctor’s appointment to investigate any fertility issues further.