How to make sure you’re trying at the right time

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Did you know that 1 in 2 couples could be trying to get pregnant at the wrong time? Perhaps the best way to make your TTC efforts count is to use an OPK. We’ll walk you through what that means and what your options are.

What they do

  • Hormone detection: Once per cycle, your body begins to produce an increased amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) – as much as 2 to 5 times the amount as you normally would. This is what signals your body to release an egg (ovulate). An ovulation prediction kit will measure your LH level over several days and let you know when this surge happens, so you know when you’re about to ovulate. The day of ovulation, and the day before, are when you are most likely to get pregnant.
  • Dual hormone detection: Our friends at Clearblue make a unique ovulation test that not only measures LH, but also estrogen. Your body begins to create increased amounts of estrogen in the days leading up to the LH surge; on these days you also have a chance of getting pregnant if you have sex, because sperm can live for several days until the egg is released. By tracking both hormones, the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test is typically able to identify this period of high fertility in addition to the 2 peak fertility days that most ovulation tests signal1.

    By identifying more fertile days before ovulation, you and your partner will have more opportunities to get pregnant, and you’ll have more flexibility when making plans to make a baby.

  • Saliva: As you approach ovulation, the electrolytes in your saliva organize into a unique pattern. Some OPKs provide you with a microscope that allows you to see when your saliva is “ferning.” Some studies2 have reviewed their accuracy and ease of interpretation.

How to take them

  • Test strips: These are a common kind of OPK, and measure how much LH is present in your urine. You’ll want to test at the same time every day, ideally in the morning when it’s typically most convenient and your urine is most concentrated.

    There are usually 2 colored lines on these tests: a “control” line that indicates the test has worked, and the “test” line which will appear after about five minutes of running the test if a surge in LH is detected. You’ll need to use a test strip every day leading up to your fertile window.

  • Saliva: A saliva test will require you to use a microscope. You’ll place a bit of saliva on the test, then wait 5 minutes for it to dry. When you look through the eyepiece, make sure that your sample is being back-lit, and look for lots of crystal-like formations. Learning how to interpret your results is really important for saliva tests.
  • Clearblue tests: The digital ovulation tests from Clearblue are unique, and work a bit differently from other tests. You take them in the same way you would a test strip, but you’ll use the same holder each time.

    Because the size of a hormone surge can differ from one woman to the next, your Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test actually keeps track of your test results as you approach your fertile window. This gives you accurate, more personalized results. The display will show an easy-to-read, flashing smiley face when you are experiencing high fertility, and then is static when you are at peak fertility.

What to do with the results

Log them into Ovia! If you use a Clearblue test, you can log peak fertility results right in your Ovia app.

A positive ovulation test means it’s time to put the “try” in TTC! Having sex during your peak fertility days is why you’re tracking ovulation, so when you see that dark line, ferned saliva, or smiley face (whether it’s flashing or not!), let your partner know it’s time to schedule a romantic rendezvous.

To improve your chances of conceiving, give the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test a try. Tap the button below to find out more.

Learn more

1 in 2 couples could be trying to get pregnant at the wrong time – Johnson SR., et al. Hum. Repro. (2011) 26: i236
1In a study of 87 women, 4 or more fertile days were identified in 80% of cycles using actual cycle length (2012).
2Brezina, P. R., Haberl, E., and Wallach, E. At home testing: optimizing management for the infertility physician. Fertility and Sterility (2011) 95(6), 1867-1878.

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