Predicting Your Fertile Time Of The Month

Home ovulation tests can accurately anticipate and predict ovulation. Predicting ovulation -- your fertile time of the month -- can dramatically increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Woman with ovulation test

What is ovulation?

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary and pushed down the fallopian tube. The egg is then available to be fertilized. Normally, an egg lives just 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary, making the time frame for becoming pregnant very brief each month. Some women experience slight spotting or pain during ovulation, but many don't experience any symptoms at all. If the egg is not fertilized, then it disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining.

How ovulation tests work

Ovulation tests detect Luteinizing Hormone (LH). A small amount of LH is produced throughout your menstrual cycle. But during the middle of the cycle, the amount of LH increases dramatically, though briefly. This LH surge is what facilitates ovulation. The LH causes the follicle to burst and release the egg (ovum) into your fallopian tube.

A home ovulation test can detect the LH surge, accurately predicting when you will ovulate. When you receive a positive result on an ovulation test, it means that you will become fertile over the next three days with a peak fertility at 36 hours after the surge.

Type of ovulation tests

Home ovulation tests generally come in two types -- test strips and midstream tests. With test strips, you fill a container with urine, and then hold the strip in the container. With midstream tests, you hold the test stick in your urine stream.

Read the instructions that come with your ovulation test kit to find out how long you will need to wait for results. In most cases, reaction time is five minutes. Most tests have a control line and a test line to indicate a positive result.

Best times to test

The LH surge is so brief that you can easily miss it. The best times to take an ovulation test are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. For best results, test twice a day -- once in the earlier time frame and once in the later one. You need to begin testing several days before the midpoint in your menstrual cycle. Some experts recommend testing twice a day, beginning as early as day eight of your cycle, but the day you should begin varies depending on the length of your menstrual cycle.

If you are trying to conceive, an ovulation test is an inexpensive, easy way to predict and detect ovulation -- increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.

More about trying to conceive

5 Things to know when you're trying to get pregnant
The cervical dip, orgasms & trying to conceive
How to take your basal body temperature

Tags: fertility cycle

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