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An Ovulation Predictor Kit

One of the most popular and widely available means of testing when you’re ovulating is the Ovulation Predictor Kit or OPK. If you want to track when you ovulate you need to know how effective each method is, and so today we’re taking a look OPKs - what are the advantages and disadvantages of this method and, fundamentally, do they work?

Hormone Tests

Ovulation predictor kits track the level of hormones in your urine, and provide a result when they detect a high level of the hormones associated with ovulation. In most cases this is ‘LH’ - the Luteinising Hormone. At the beginning of your cycle, your pituitary gland begins to secrete Luteinising Hormone, which encourages your ovaries to begin maturing eggs, of which one will dominate and be released, while the others are reabsorbed into the body. When that dominant egg is mature, your pituitary gland creates a surge of LH which encourages your ovaries to release that egg.

After it’s passed through your bloodstream and cued your ovaries to ovulate, the LH is filtered out of your body and into your urine. The test sticks from OPKs look for that surge. Basic ones simply react to the level of hormones they detect, with a line appearing if a high level of LH is present.

Are They Accurate?

Under ideal circumstances, OPKs can produce an accurate result. As long as you have a regular hormonal background, and use the test at the right time it will tell you when you’ve experienced a surge of LH.

Less Than Ideal Circumstances

Problems appear when you’re not working under the ideal circumstances for the test. It’s possible to have naturally high or low levels of Luteinising Hormone, which can lead to either false positives or no positive result even when you are ovulating. If you have a health condition that affects your hormone levels, this can mask the results you need, even if your LH isn’t directly affected, and if you use the test at the wrong time of day, you can simply miss the LH that has built up in your bladder! Some experts recommend testing first thing in the morning, others into the afternoon.

Does OvuSense Recommend OPKs?

Given the difficulties in getting an accurate result, and the lack of reliable advice about when you should use the test even if you have the average hormone levels that the test is calibrated for, OvuSense can’t recommend OPKs as a way to find out when you’re ovulating.

Our system uses a sensor to test for small variations in your core temperature, which our algorithm can interpret into accurate predictions of when you will ovulate well in advance - giving you an increased chance to conceive!

To learn more about your cycle and hear from Ovusense customers visit ovusense