Ovulation Test Strips: how they work, when to use, how to use, recommendations

The functioning of fertility tests is based on the evaluation of the presence of some hormones responsible for ovulation; thanks to them it is possible to identify exactly the days that coincide with ovulation

Ovulations Strips are tools widely used by women who wish to become pregnant (or who want to avoid it!). Ovulation Strips are used to calculate fertility days.

The functioning of the ovulatory strips and tests is based on the evaluation of the presence of some hormones responsible for ovulation; thanks to them it is possible to identify exactly the days that coincide with ovulation . In USA the most popular tests are the Clearbule tests and Easy@Home strips . But how are these tests used?

These are tests that allow you to predict the moment of ovulation by identifying the two hormones involved in ovulation in the urine , namely estradiol and especially LH, the luteinizing hormone whose peak triggers ovulation. When the test is positive it means that the LH has reached a high concentration and that ovulation is imminent. Ovulation occurs on average 24-36 hours after the LH surge, so if the test is positive in the morning it can be calculated that ovulation will occur during the day or within the next day.

However, if the urine used for the test is too diluted, for example from a previous high fluid intake or if the woman has undergone ovulation stimulation treatment, the result is no longer reliable and can lead to false positives.

Approximately 90% reliable, these tests are easy to perform, and are absolutely painless.

How to use the Ovulation strip:

One pack should be enough for one cycle so don’t be paranoid about using more than one strip a day with the hope that it will give you the desired results. In order not to waste too many strips, it is advisable to start using them only 3-4 days before the expected date of ovulation, based on the length of your cycle and other ovulatory signals (in particular on the presence of mucus). 

The tests should be done in the morning with the first urine of the day. Nothing prevents you from performing the test at other times of the day, but the result may not be reliable.

The strip consists of a part that displays the result and a part with a pad covered with a cap.

To perform the test, you can hold the ovulation strip under the urine stream for a few seconds (3 are enough) or collect the urine in a clean, dry paper cup and then dip the ovulation strip pad in it for 15 seconds. The result is instantaneous and must be read immediately, because over time the coloring of the lines changes and is no longer reliable.

Ovulatory Strip test is the most reliable home method to monitor ovulation: unlike the basal temperature, which records ovulation only after it has taken place, they allow you to predict it. However, two things must be taken into account:

  •  The LH surge that ovulation strip record in morning urine may have started the day before, so ovulation may occur earlier than expected. So it is advisable to have intercourse on the day of the peak (and possibly the day before) rather than waiting 24-36 hours from the peak. And then the more they have the better, both before and after, and during the peak.
  •  The fact that the tests are positive does not guarantee 100% that there is ovulation. The LH surge is a necessary but not sufficient condition for ovulation to occur, and it may happen that the tests are positive but the cycle is anovulatory. To be sure that your cycles are ovulatory, you need to use other tools, such as ultrasound monitoring and / or hormonal assays.

Which Ovulation Strips to choose?

The most preferred ovulations strips in USA, we have already said at the beginning, are Clearbule tests and Easy@Home strips.  

Clearblue ovulation test, reviews

On Amazon you can find the product you are looking for and read the reviews of customers who have purchased it. This is the case of the Clearblue ovulation test, one of the most purchased on Amazon.

Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test

This ovulation test identifies the 4 fertile days of the month , in fact, it monitors the level of 2 key fertility hormones in the body. In addition to identifying peak fertility days, it also identifies high fertility days, giving you more opportunities to get pregnant. On fertile days the smiley face is displayed so it guarantees a clear result. It is easy and intuitive to use and has a reusable reader and 20 ovulation test sticks included.

PROS : According to Amazon customers who have used it, this test is great for accurately calculating the days of ovulation and getting pregnant. It is important to follow the instructions carefully.

CONS : Some have had difficulty interpreting the smileys.

Other Recommended Ovulation Tests:

When to use the Ovulation strip:

The Ovulation Strips have a high reliability of about 99%, but for a correct use it is recommended to use them with the first morning urine (which are more concentrated), avoiding in any case an excessive ingestion of liquids in the previous hours.

They can be used about 3-4 days before the date on which ovulation is expected (for example if the cycle is regular, ovulation will presumably be on the 14th day, so you will start using them around the 10-11th day) and must be done for a few days in a row, until the outcome is positive. The remaining strips of the package can be used to possibly monitor the next ovulation.

You should know your cycle length in order to use the ovulation strip on the correct day.

  • Cycle length 21 days First day of using ovulation strip is Day 5
  •  22 days Day 6
  •  23 days Day 7
  •  24 days Day 8
  •  25 days Day 9
  •  26 days Day 10
  •  27 days Day 11
  •  28 days Day 12
  •  29 days Day 13
  •  30 days Day 14
  •  31 days Day 15
  •  32 days Day 16
  •  33 days Day 17
  •  34 days Day 18
  •  35 days Day 19
  •  36 days Day 20
  •  37 days Day 21
  •  38 days Day 22
  •  39 days Day 23

If you get the positive ovulation result the ovulation strip, you don’t need to keep testing further !!

These calculations can be unreliable if your menstrual cycle:

  •  Lasts more than 35 days or less than 21 days;
  •  It is very erratic.
  •  If you do a ovulation strip test and put it aside, and after a few hours the result is different, it is not valid: the result is instantaneous and must be read immediately, because over time the coloring of the lines changes and is no longer reliable.
  •  In the case of polycystic ovary the strips can be unreliable. The characteristic of the polycystic ovary is to produce several follicles which then fail to burst, and in these cases the ovulation strip can create confusion because, for example, they can be positive without actually ovulating.

How does the ovulation test work ?

The test is able to detect in a few seconds the increase in the luteinizing hormone LH secreted in the days of ovulation and responsible for the release of the egg. This increase usually occurs around 24-36 hours before ovulation. In this way the test allows to find out which are the two most fertile days and increases the chances of conception.

 Is the ovulation test really reliable?

An ovulation test is approximately 99% reliable in detecting an increase in LH. It is therefore extremely reliable. But to ensure maximum effectiveness it is still necessary to use it every day at the same time. It is also important not to urinate at least four hours before taking the test. Traditional ovulation tests are for single use only.

 What is the price of an ovulation test?

Prices vary greatly depending on the brand and type. It should be around $15 to $40

What is the difference between the basal temperature calculation and the Ovulation Strip?

The basal temperature measurement must take place every day at the same time; generally on fertile days the temperature rises above 37 degrees. Obviously the digital strip is more effective and accurate.

 If the ovulation test is positive, what is the fertile period?

The fertile period is the best time to get pregnant and it is during ovulation. An egg only survives 24 hours while sperm can survive for several days. Knowing exactly what the day of ovulation is maximizes the chances of conception.

The ovulation test is negative, can I get pregnant?

It is quite normal to have to wait several months before becoming pregnant and this should not cause concern. The time between wishing to have children and being able to become pregnant varies between 6 months and 1 year of unprotected intercourse for 9 out of 10 couples. However, after a year of regular intercourse without contraception, do not hesitate to consult the your gynecologist.

 Is the ovulation test reusable?

Some ovulation tests can be reused indefinitely: these are ovulation tests with saliva . These tests detect estrogen levels that rise in conjunction with ovulation. However, it is good to know that they are a little less effective than the other tests.

Where can I find cheap ovulation tests ?

There are some low priced ovulation tests on the market. Beware, however, of their quality, especially if they are sold on the Internet. Do not hesitate to ask your gynecologist for advice before purchasing

How ovulation strips work

Ovulation tests work a lot like pregnancy tests , since they use strips that you put under the stream of urine (or dip into a container of urine, as you prefer) for a few seconds.

When the LH concentration reaches certain levels, a symbol appears on the ovulation strip (which can be different depending on the type of test used, but usually it is a colored stripe): these are the right days to conceive . “Even if there are still 24-48 hours to ovulation, in fact, the chances of becoming pregnant are already high 3-4 days earlier, since in this period the spermatozoa are able to survive in the crypts of the glands of the cervix” underlines the gynecologist Rossana Sarli.

Positive text and anovulatory cycle

Keep in mind that a positive test does not indicate that ovulation will occur, since, despite the LH surge, anovulatory cycles (ie without ovulation) are also possible, especially if you are no longer very young.

What are the symptoms of Ovulation

Knowing your body is the first way to try to get pregnant. Ovulation is generally accompanied by quite specific symptoms which include:

  • cervical mucus : in view of ovulation the cervical mucus becomes more stringy, abundant, liquid because it is functional to create a more favorable vaginal environment for spermatozoa and for the possible implantation of the embryo.
  • Basal temperature: our body temperature rises by 02, -0.5 degrees at ovulation,
  •  Tense and sore breasts
  •  Pain and cramps in the lower abdomen

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