Ovulation Detection

There are a few different ways to detect ovulation. Although the ovulation detector kit is probably the most widely used method, it is not necessarily the most accurate method.

The Ovulation Detector Kit
Many of the companies that make and market home pregnancy tests also manufacture ovulation detector kits that use the same basic technology but a different antibody. Ovulation detection is achieved by trying to pinpoint the surge in LH (lutenizing hormone), which is the last hormone to peak before ovulation occurs. A positive result from an ovulation detector strip is obtained when the test line is equal to or greater in intensity compared to the control line. This point is crucial, because as compared to pregnancy tests that are positive even if the test line is very faint, ovulation detector strips are considered negative if the test line is absent or faint. A positive result on an ovulation detector strip suggests that ovulation is imminent and will occur within 12 – 48 hours. In most women, ovulation occurs by 36 hours.

Unfortunately, even if you obtain a positive result with an ovulation detector strip, you are not guaranteed to ovulate, and even if you obtain repeated negative results, you may still ovulate.

  • The hormonal feedback of some women precludes ovulation even if an LH surge occurs.
  • A blockage in the fallopian tubes will prevent pregnancy despite an LH surge and ovulation
  • Owing to the brevity of the LH surge, some women may only exhibit an LH spike for 10 hours, so testing once per day could miss the surge entirely.

Ovulation Detection Using Charting

Therefore, a better method of ovulation detection is fertility charting of basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical fluid (CF). As ovulation approaches, CF becomes more watery and abundant and resembles raw egg white. CF can easily be observed by wiping with toilet tissue or by charting a dry versus lubricative vaginal sensation. After ovulation has occurred, a shift in BBT from lower to higher temperatures (separated by as much as a full degree Fahrenheit) can be observed. Therefore, timing intercourse each day that copious, watery CF is observed and continuing intercourse at least every other day until a sustained temperature shift can be determined is usually sufficient for a pregnancy.

Charting your fertile signs of BBT and CF provides a measure of ovulation detection that is superior to and less expensive than ovulation detection using LH strips.

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