An Introduction to Testing for Ovulation

An Introduction to Testing for Ovulation

What Is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the fertile time coming after each menstrual cycle of a woman, when egg(s) that mature inside the ovary are released. After the egg gets to a particular size, it is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube, towards to uterus. If a woman has sex at the time she is ovulating, her chances of pregnancy are very high.

Signs and Testing for Ovulation

By paying close attention to the body, a woman can determine the ovulation time.

Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)

Urine-based OPKs : These are inexpensive, small disposable (strips) units, which are quite dependable in the ability to quickly predict the ovulation, even 12 to 24 hours in advance. OPKs checks the presence of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in the urine. An increase in LH causes the release of egg to the fallopian tube, which is tracked beforehand by the OPK. Ovulation is expected within 24 hours of LH surge. The woman needs to put a few drops of urine on the test strip of the kit. Colored bands come up on the strips indicating the LH surge.

Interactions of OPK. Drugs containing human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) or LH can affect the test results, but it is not affected by common drugs like paracetamol.

Salivary Ferning Kits

During ovulation the salt content rises in the saliva, which is identified by this device. Put a thin saliva film (layer) in the morning in the slide, before eating or drinking anything, and let it dry. There must not be air bubbles. The slide is observed under microscope for ferning. Salivary ferning tests are less accurate than LH tests.

2. Record changes in body temperature. It is done with Basal Body Temperature (BBT) thermometer by plotting the temperatures on a chart.

3. Change in cervical mucus consistency. The mucous becomes transparent, stretchy and slippery-comparable to egg white, it indicates a very fertile time phase of the woman indicating ovulation.

4. Changes in cervix shape. As ovulation approaches, the cervix softens, pulls back and opens slightly.

5. Lower abdominal discomfort. Many woman feel mild ache and pain, a condition called “Mittelschmerz”, which can last for a few minutes to hours. This is a typical sign of ovulatory activity.

Easy with Ovulation Kits

Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) can help to identify your fertile time, when the body is most suitable for pregnancy. It can be used to schedule the best time of sex for your fertile period, especially if there is irregular menstrual / ovulation cycle, that makes it difficult for conceive. Although using OPKs improves the chances of getting pregnant, there is no evidence that it will always cause pregnancy. Regular sex is the best way to become pregnant.

At, we offer the UK’s widest selection of fertility and preconception products – including our flagship pregnancy and ovulation tests. All orders are posted out on the day we receive them, packaged discreetly to maintain your privacy. Give us a try when you are trying to conceive!

Photo Credit: MG_3238” (CC BY 2.0) by Photos by Lina

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