Ovulation Predictor Kits can be quite helpful in cross checking your fertility awareness charting. Let's learn a little bit about what they do and their limitations, and how to tell when they are positive.
During your menstrual cycle, various hormone levels are high at different times depending on where you are in relation to ovulation day. Ovulation day is when an egg is released. If sperm is present when the egg is released, fertilization can occur. Ovulation predictor kits test for Luteinizing Hormone, a hormone that spikes up to a couple of days before ovulation and triggers the release of the most mature ovum (egg).
There are a couple of big drawbacks in depending on ovulation kits for timing intercourse to achieve pregnancy.
The reality is that you are actually fertile (sperm can live in you) for about 5 to 6 days up to ovulation day. You can know that you are fertile if you check your cervical mucus each day. It changes from sticky (infertile) to egg white (fertile) to signal when your body is approaching ovulation. Ovulation predictor kits only figure out the tail end of that time period.
For women who have long cycles or irregular cycles, it is hard to know when to make your investment in ovulation predictor kits count. If your cycles are very regular, I recommend starting to test using ovulation predictor kits 22 days BEFORE you expect to get your next period. If your cycles are very irregular or long, I highly recommend cross checking your cervical mucus, so you can start testing with an ovulation predictor kit when your mucus begins to transition to egg white quality. Checking your cervical mucus is part of Fertility Awareness Charting, a practice I highly recommend to every woman, whether you are trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy. It helps you really get in tune with what's going on inside your body. I offer a free report to help you get started with Fertility Awareness Charting that I will mention at the end of this post.
Another option for women with especially long or irregular cycles is to use the 22-day recommendation above based on the shortest cycle length you have had in the last 6 months. You are keeping track of when you start your period, aren't you?? I hope so. You need this information in order to help you figure out when to start using ovulation predictor kits.
In general, whenever you start using ovulation predictor kits, keep testing until you get a positive result. If you are cross checking your cervical mucus, you should observe a change from fertile to infertile mucus within about 3 days of a positive ovulation test result.
For women with very long cycles, I recommend to keep testing beyond that point to make sure that your body is not attempting ovulation multiple times and failing to do so. Let's look at some used OPK results that I have to learn how to read them.
In the image above, I have 5 days worth of results. Note that on day D, I did not test. These are "old" readings, so they are not considered truly accurate, as you should read your results within 3 minutes of taking the test. I did that when I took them, but you can still see the contrast in the results even with using these "old" tests. Let's see what they reveal.
Let's be clear that you do not ovulate more than one time during a cycle, BUT your body can try to ovulate multiple times if it is unsuccessful at it. This is what I am currently going through, as I mentioned, because I am breastfeeding. I hope you see why it helps to cross check ovulation predictor test results with other fertility signals, especially if you have irregular cycles or long cycles.
If you are interested in learning more about checking your fertility signals, please visit my website Most Fertile Days, to join my Bonded From Birth Email Club and receive a complimentary copy of my FREE report, Enlightened and Empowered through Fertility Awareness.
Are you trying to conceive right now? Do you use ovulation predictor kits? Which kit brand do you like? On what day do you try to start testing?
Hi, I'm Inga!
Welcome to my new blog. After much studying, getting my Childbirth Educator certification, and having two babies of my own, here I am again - sharing with you all the lessons I've gleaned and skills I've mastered in preparing for motherhood.
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