Ovulation tests are over-the-counter tests that search your urine for the presence of luteinizing hormone, also called LH, to help you get a better sense of just when you might be ovulating. About 24 to 48 hours before ovulation, a rise in LH lets your ovaries know that they should release an egg to (potentially) be fertilized. This hormone stays elevated until the fertile window is closed, so when an ovulation test detects a rise in LH, it’s a sign that you’re ovulating.
How are ovulation tests relevant for fertility?
Since you can only get pregnant during the five or six days that make up your fertile window – which is typically the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation – knowing when you’re ovulating can let you know just when you’re most fertile. Ovulation generally happens within 48 hours of a positive ovulation test, so if you get a positive test, you’re probably in your fertile window. However, ovulation tests can’t tell you if you’re going to ovulate soon or confirm if you’ve already ovulated, so they’re most effective when tracking other signs of fertility and ovulation, including cervical fluid or BBT.
How do I track them?
The first step in tracking through ovulation tests is, of course, to take a test. Because ovulation tests search for the elevated presence of LH in urine, the test involves some strategic peeing – the test must come into contact with your urine, either by first peeing in a cup or peeing directly on the test. After coming into contact with your urine, the test results usually take about 10 minutes to display. Because the fertile window after the LH surge lasts only a few days at the most, it’s important to test often as ovulation approaches. Once you get your results, you can log this data in your Ovia app, choosing from the options: “positive,” “negative,” “unclear,” “peak,” “high,” or “low.”