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  • Ovulation Test Kit: What Is It, How It Works, How To Use Them For Accurate Results

    Women who want to get pregnant and have an irregular menstrual cycle will find it useful.
    by Rachel Perez .
Ovulation Test Kit: What Is It, How It Works, How To Use Them For Accurate Results
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  • If you're trying to conceive, you should know that the highest chances of you getting pregnant are when you have sex during your ovulation and fertile days.

    Your ovulation day is when your ovary releases an egg and is ripe for sperm fertilization up to 12 hours. Fertile period are the days leading or after your ovulation day, since sperm can live in the woman's reproductive system for at least five days. 

    One way to find out when you're ovulating is by using an ovulation calendar. You only need to input the first day of your last menstruation and the number of days in your cycle. But it only works accurately if you have a regular period. 

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    What are ovulation predictor kits and how do they work

    Ovulation predictor kits or ovulation test strips can help identify a woman's fertile window. It measures the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in a woman's urine. A rise in this hormone signals the ovary to release an egg. Typically when your LH hormone levels are at its peak, expect that you will ovulate within the next 12 to 36 hours, sometimes 48 hours.

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    That's a window of a day and a half or two days to get busy under the sheets if you're aiming for a positive pregnancy test a few weeks down the line. Note, however, that a study has yet to show that using ovulation kits can help improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally. There are many other factors involved in baby-making other than ovulation.

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    Who should use ovulation test kits

    There are other ways of determining a woman's ovulation and fertile days when you're ovulating apart from using an ovulation calendar. Ovulation test kits are often recommended for women who have irregular cycles and are trying to get pregnant because it's trickier to predict their ovulation day.

    Some doctors advise these couples to have regular sex throughout the woman's cycle, which may not be possible for some couples. These couples may want to time their sexual intercourse if one of them works away from home a lot or both have hectic schedules.

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    When to use an ovulation test kit

    Ovulation test kits can be pricy, and you may have to use one every day until you get the result you want. One kit comes with only a week's worth of tests or strips, so it's best to time when to start using it, so you don't use up a lot of strips. 

    Other symptoms of ovulation can help you determine when to use your ovulation kits. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you can check your cervical mucus before using ovulation strips. Mucus that's clear, slippery, and raw-egg white consistency is a sign that you're about to ovulate. 

    Can you do your ovulation test at any time of the day? According to What To Expect, most women have a surge in LH in the morning, which can reflect in the urine about four hours later. Don't worry if your schedule doesn't allow that. For more accurate results, try to test for ovulation at the same time each day and reduce your liquid intake for four hours before taking the test.

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    How to use ovulation predictor kits or test strips 

    Ovulation kits or strips come in two variants: one that looks like a pregnancy test kit and another with a strip that works like a litmus paper. Always read the instructions that come with the pack first. 

    If you have one that works like a pregnancy test, all you have to do is pee in a cup and place droplets of your urine in the specified slot. Just wait a few minutes until the indicator appears. If you have the strips variant, you can pee in a cup, dip the strip in your urine, or place the strip in your urine line as you pee. Then, wait a few minutes for indicator lines to appear. 

    Some ovulation kits have digital screens. It will show a smiley face if your LH hormone levels are high enough, indicating you're about to ovulate. Other ovulation strips have test indicators and a control line. If your test shows a darker line than the control line, it means you're about to ovulate. If it looks faint or lighter, then you're not near ovulation yet. 

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    How accurate are ovulation test kits

    If used correctly, ovulation tests are approximately 99% accurate in detecting the surge in a woman's LH, preceding ovulation. But don't take it as confirmation that you are going to ovulate 12 to 48 hours later. 

    Some women have a surge in their LH, but their ovaries don't release an egg, a condition called Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS). Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may see several false small peaks in their LH before it reaches the maximum levels, which could mislead the timing of sexual intercourse. 

    Some women do not see a surge in their LH hormones at all. It's a condition that's called anovulation, where a woman ovaries don't release an egg. These are concerns that you should bring up with your doctor. 

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