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How to Do a Digital Ovulation Test

A digital ovulation test is a clear way of finding out when you’re ovulating, and pinpointing the days in your cycle when you’re at your most fertile. It’s not without it’s drawbacks, and today OvuSense will help to explain how they work, how to use them and the circumstances which make them less useful.

How Do They Work?

Digital Ovulation Tests are an evolution of the long established ovulation predictor kits or OPKs. OPKs work by testing your urine for a surge of the hormone associated with ovulation, LH (short for Luteinising Hormone). The original tests display a result using coloured lines. You have to compare the colour of two lines that appear on the test, judging if one is darker than the other.

It can be difficult to interpret the results, and if you’re looking for a clear, unambiguous read out to work with, it’s hard to recommend them.

The Digital Evolution

The digital version of these tests come as two components – a test stick, and the readout. The sticks themselves are single use and disposable, while the readout can be re-used multiple times. To use one, you need to wet the test stick (you can use a sample in a cup if it’s easier) and then insert it into the readout component. It takes a few minutes to process, but it’ll then show a positive or negative result. How that result appears differs from brand to brand but it’s much clearer than the old-fashioned kind of test – an image as unambiguous as a tick or a cross.

The important things to remember are to avoid contaminating the test stick with anything that could interfere with the results – don’t unwrap it until you’re ready to use it; to keep the readout dry and safe as if any foreign matters gets into it, it might not be able to give you an accurate result; and don’t reuse an old test stick. They can only give an accurate test result once – extra uses can’t be relied on.

When They Don’t Work

If you have particularly strong or weak surges of LH these tests could return false positives, or not register when you’re ovulating at all. If anything happens that affects your hormones, from medication side effects and stress to long term conditions like PCOS, it makes it harder for these tests to recognise the hormonal baseline you begin from, and therefore makes it less likely they’ll give you reliable results.

In situations like this, using a Basal Body Temperature based system, like OvuSense’s own, can help. This isn’t affected by hormonal disruption, and the unmistakable changes in temperature that show when you’re due to ovulate are easy to interpret than lines on an OPK stick – especially if you have OvuSense’s algorithm and app helping you.

Find out more about core temperature technology and fertility here