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What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Mean?

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll likely be advised to try and track your ovulation. There are lots of tests, available at chemists and even supermarkets that promise to tell you when you’re ovulating, but what does a positive result mean, and how does it help you conceive?

Today, OvuSense is clearing up some of the mystery to help you understand these tests, and what they mean for pregnancy.

The Type of Test

Different tests have different implications, and are more or less effective depending on your body and its needs.

Hormone based tests look for the changes to the hormone levels in your body that drive ovulation. Your ovaries are stimulated to mature as many as twenty eggs in each menstrual cycle by a steady stream of the Luteinising Hormone – or LH. Smaller, less healthy eggs are reabsorbed by the body, leaving only the healthiest, strongest one (or two) which is released from the ovaries when your body produces a big surge of LH.

OPKs or ovulation predictor kits look for the surge of LH in your urine, and give a positive result when it’s detected. Other hormone based kits look for build ups of oestrogen and salts in your saliva which similarly indicate when ovulation is due.

A third kind of test isn’t hormone based at all. Tests that use your Basal Body Temperature – often digital solutions like OvuSense’s that can track information over time – look for a pattern of changes in your core temperature that reveal when you ovulate.

Hormone Test Positives

It seems easy to say that a positive result means that you’re ovulating. With hormone tests like OPKs it’s not that simple. If you have a naturally high concentration of LH then a positive result could simply be due to this high background level. If you have a low level of LH in your body then a negative result could still mean that you’re ovulating.

It’s even harder to trust a positive or negative result from an OPK if you have a condition like PCOS. This alters the hormones in your body, making hard for the kit to identify the results it needs.

BBT Test Positives

A BBT test returning a positive result stands a much better chance of being accurate, especially if you have PCOS or Hyperthyroidism. Hormone driven issues don’t affect your core temperature in a way that can affect the accuracy of these tests.

If You’re Ovulating

If you do have a positive result that you can rely on, this means your ovaries have recently released an egg. Trying to conceive now gives you a better chance of success.

It’s even more valuable for you to identify when you ovulate in each cycle so you can predict when it will happen next time – doctors recommend trying every other day during your ‘fertile window’ - the five days before, and the day after you ovulate – for the best chance at getting pregnant.

Find out more about core temperature technology and fertility here