In order to get pregnant, you need to ovulate. Women can ovulate anywhere between day 11-21 of their cycle and it may not be consistent month to month. If you are trying to conceive, knowing when you are ovulating helps you have intercourse on the right day. In the fertility world we often refer to this as ‘timed intercourse’.
Many couples use different ovulation kits and the market is flooded with them. Like a pregnancy kit, these ovulation kits test pee. While pregnancy tests check for a rise in human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), Ovulation kits test for another hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH), a hormone that peaks before ovulation to signal to your maturing follicle that it’s time to release an egg.
Around 24-48 hours before the egg is released, there are large surges of LH and FSH which will trigger the follicle to release an egg. As the egg heads into the fallopian tubes, it has the best chance of meeting a nice sperm and being fertilized before it gets to the uterus. If the egg is fertilized by sperm along the way, it will hopefully attach to the lining of the uterus (implantation) and begin developing into a fetus. If that doesn’t happen, the uterine lining sheds and you get your period.
Some of our patients, like those with PCOS, just need help ovulating and we can do that with medication. Then we send them home with an ovulation kit and tell them to have intercourse once the ovulation kit says it’s GO time. We are super happy if that works and if it doesn’t, we can try something else.
We also use ovulation kits for our IUI patients. We’ll have our patients buy the 9-test pack and start using them on Day 10 to catch the right day for IUI treatment. Or, if needed, we’ll add a trigger shot on day 12 and then have them stop the ovulation tests (because the shot will make them positive). The trigger shot helps grow, mature, and release multiple eggs, instead of the normal one per month as part of ovulation. Additional eggs increase the chance of fertilization, of course they also increase chances of multiples. Then we’ll closely monitor your follicles with ultrasounds to get the right moment to inject ‘washed’ sperm. Washed sperm has been spun in our laboratory machines to eliminate impurities. Spinning has also been shown to agitate sperm and make them more likely to swim faster and fertilize eggs.
So which ovulation kit do we think is the most accurate? We use Ovuquick Ovulation predictor 9-Day because we’ve found it to be the most reliable. And we have our patients NOT use their first pee in the morning because that can produce a false positive. Pee from 10am -8pm is more reliable because it won’t have a nocturnal rise of LH and is more likely to show the real surge of LH.
If that kit is out of stock, ClearBlue makes a Fertility monitor that is higher priced but also tends to be accurate. Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test Sticks need to be purchased separately.
We aim to get our patients pregnant with the least invasive way possible – which is also usually the least expensive. Ovulation test kits are a reliable tool that we use to make that happen.