Is the ovulation test 100% accurate?
However, the ovulation test does tell you whether your body is producing the level of certain hormones that is likely to cause you to ovulate—and crucially—when that particular hormone level is at its peak. This allows you to then pinpoint your most fertile time, which is the 4 to 5 days just before you ovulate.
What different varieties of ovulation test are available?
You can also arrange for an ovulation test through your provider, with results sent to a professional laboratory for analysis. These tests are far more accurate, but obviously more costly and time-consuming.
How urine ovulation home-test kits work
Some versions of the urine-based ovulation test also measure the presence of another hormone (estrone-3-glucuronide, or E3G) which is produced when estrogen breaks down in your body and causes cervical mucus to change to a thin and slippery texture around the time of ovulation.
This is a qualitative test, meaning that it only reports whether your LH or E3G levels are elevated. It cannot tell you whether you have ovulated or if you will get pregnant.T his ovulation test will predict your fertile period with around 90% accuracy provided you follow the instructions carefully.
It only works if you start testing at the right time in your cycle when a hormone surge is most likely to occur. Usually, this ovulation test comes in a packet of multiple test strips, designed to be used once each day for a week or so.
The test is done by either adding a few drops of your urine to the test. You dip it in a container of your urine or by holding the tip of the ovulation test in your urine stream and then waiting around five minutes for the results.
Test results differ depending on the manufacturer. Usually the test gives colored lines that tell you a result, however some tests need to be placed into a special monitor.
How ‘saliva ferning’ ovulation test kits work
While the test involves only a once-off purchase and can be used indefinitely, it does not suit everyone. Accuracy can be very good for some women. However, ferning can be somewhat unpredictable and is affected if you eat, drink, smoke or brush your teeth too close to the time of the test.
This ovulation test involves placing a small sample of saliva on a removable glass slide supplied with the test device and waiting until it dries, somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes.
The pattern of the dried saliva is observed through the test device. Normally dots or circles are spotted, but during the fertile period, a fern-like pattern can be seen.
A positive test will only indicate that your hormone levels are high and therefore you may be near the time of ovulation.
How blood ovulation tests work
The blood tests usually involve taking a baseline level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) at the very beginning of your cycle.
Approaching the middle of the cycle, from around day 10, blood tests that measure the levels of the hormones estradiol and luteinizing hormone are taken either daily or every second day to establish whether the hormone levels are appropriate and which day ovulation occurs.
Depending on the arrangement, either the laboratory or your provider will call you when results indicate that you are in your most fertile period so that you can try for pregnancy at that time.
If a woman knows she has a short menstrual cycle or if there is indication of early ovulation from previous tests, these hormone tests may start earlier in the cycle. Sometimes, part of the series of ovulation tests will include a test for the presence of progesterone about a week after the likely date of ovulation. This is to check that the cycle is proceeding normally. Occasionally laboratories will be asked to check for the presence of other hormones (e.g., testosterone) to evaluate your pituitary function and fertility.
Sometimes tests of urine samples every few hours over a 24-hour period may be requested in addition to blood draws because LH levels can vary throughout the day.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.