Pregnant Woman

Types of Ovulation Tests

With technology advancing, there is now more help than ever for couples wanting to have a baby. Many tools now help to determine the ovulation time for a woman to increase the chances of conceiving quickly. Some of the tools help to track the basal body temperature while others are ovulation tests that are available over the counter. All help to breakdown the cycle and find the ovulation period.

Most women will ovulate 16 to 21 days after their period. There is just a 12 to 24 hour window of opportunity to fertilise the egg and then the woman will have to wait until ovulation in the next month’s cycle. By preparing in the best possible way, it makes it easier to deal with the specific schedule and timing.

Ovulation Test Kits

These are known as urine ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and are the most common and oldest forms of ovulation tests based on urine. Using an OPK is very similar to using a pregnancy test. The test strip will need to be covered in urine and then the results can be interpreted. The test measures the Luteinising Hormone (LH) to check for a surge over a period of days, giving an extremely accurate determination of the point of ovulation. This helps the couple know the best time to try for a baby.

Urine-Based Fertility Monitors

Another way of predicting ovulation is with a urine-based fertility monitor, which checks the LH and the oestrogen levels during the ovulation and menstrual cycle. Women will usually need to use the test stick for readings over a 10 or 20 day period, depending on the length of the cycle and when the LH surge is spotted. The monitor lets you know the level of your fertility – peak, high or low – to determine the best time for insemination or to have intercourse to increase the chance of conceiving. Most of the time, there is between one and five days at the high level and two days at the peak level, which are the best times for conception. These are not as affordable as the basic prediction kits.

Saliva-based Fertility Monitors

The newest form of monitor on the market is the saliva-based tests. These check on the oestrogen levels and not the LH, like the urine-based ones. Just before ovulation, the levels of oestrogen in the body rise and the saliva tests can check for this. The saliva is on the test slide and is similar to a microscope. The saliva “ferns” when there is oestrogen present; meaning that specific patterns form when it dries similar to when a window becomes frosty. The ferns are a sign that ovulation is about to begin.

There are different types of tests for ovulation and the cost varies among them. The original urine-based tests are more affordable but the saliva-based ones can be the most financially effective if used over numerous cycles.