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Can I Use an Ovulation Test If I Have PCOS?

Can I Use an Ovulation Test If I Have PCOS?

The ovulation kit, also known as the ovulation predictor kit, is one of the ways women try to increase their chances of getting pregnant. These kits work by allowing women to track their menstrual cycle and determine the fertility period. However, the device may not be useful in case of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Understanding Ovulation and the Menstrual Cycle

Ovulation is one stage in the menstrual cycle. The ovaries on either side of the uterus have several eggs. At the onset of the menstrual cycle, hormones are released by the brain, which trigger an egg follicle to mature in the ovary. The maturing egg secretes a hormone called estrogens that stimulates the wall of the uterus to thicken to receive the embryo if fertilization occurs. When the follicle is mature, luteinizing hormone (LH) is increased in the bloodstream, which causes the mature egg to be released from the ovary. This stage is called ovulation. The mature egg travels to the uterus so that fertilization can take place. If fertilization does not occur, the levels of estrogens and progesterone fall, and it stimulates the shedding of the uterus lining in the form of menstruation.

How PCOS Affects Ovulation

Polycystic Ovulation Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where the feminine body produces more male hormones than normal. This affects the menstrual cycle in many ways, and the menstrual cycle can become prolonged or irregular. In some cases, the cycle may not occur at all. The levels of LH in the blood can also be increased due to PCOS, which reduces the ability to predict ovulation and determine the fertility period.

Using Ovulation Kits with PCOS

PCOS makes it difficult to use ovulation kits to predict ovulation. Basically, the ovulation kit uses changes in LH levels in the blood to determine the time of ovulation. Since PCOS causes LH levels to remain persistently high, ovulation may not lead to any noticeable change in the LH levels for the ovulation kit to detect.

PCOS and Ovulation Predictor Kits

An ovulation kit can be a useful device in spite of PCOS as long as monthly periods are regular. Even in case of irregular periods, an ovulation kit can work although measuring the results can be somewhat difficult. Moreover, PCOS results in high levels of LH, which can obscure the time of ovulation and make the ovulation kit an unreliable device.

The Method of Using the Ovulation Kit

If you do decide that an ovulation kit is useful for you despite the PCOS, it is necessary to time your cycle. In most, cases ovulation occurs 14 days before the subsequent period begins. This means that, for a 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation would occur on day 14, and on day 16 for a 30-day cycle. Start using the ovulation kit a couple of days before the ovulation day and compare the readings. When you notice a rise in LH levels, it means that ovulation has occurred. The chances of getting pregnant during the next two or three days are relatively high.

Reliable ovulation predictor kits can be bought from www.zoombaby.co.uk.

In case, the ovulation kit does not give useful results, you do not need to lose hope. Your doctor will be able to suggest some alternatives that will prove to be quite effective for you.

Best Ovulation Tests for PCOS

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This post has been updated since its original publication in 2013.

Photo Credit:  “Pregnancy Test” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by http://snow.ipernity.com