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You've probably spent much of your adult life avoiding getting pregnant. Yet now that you are actively trying for a baby it may be taking a little longer than you had hoped. Here' is how to pinpoint when you are ovulating.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the process that results in the release of one or more eggs from your ovary. Each month, between 15 and 20 eggs mature inside one of your ovaries. The largest is pushed out into the pelvic cavity and swept into the Fallopian tube. Your egg only survives for between 12 hours and 72 hours if it is not fertilized. There is only a small window each month during which you can conceive. This time leading up to ovulation is when you are most fertile (your fertile window). It' is possible for sperm to survive inside you about three days. But the healthiest sperm, with the best ability to swim in a straight line (motility), result from your husband ejaculating every three days to four days ideally, given that you are trying for a baby. Most conceptions result from having intercourse in the two days leading up to ovulation so to increase your chance of pregnancy, it is necessary to have intercourse at this time.
Can Ovulation Test Kits help?
Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) can help you to identify your fertility. But there is no evidence that using them will improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally. Regular intercourse throughout your cycle is the best way to maximize your chances of conception.
However, you may prefer to schedule intercourse for your fertile period if:
You or your spouse, work away from home a lot, which makes regular sex difficult.
You and your spouse have hectic schedules and already have children. Making love may not be a priority, and having intercourse every two to three days may feel like just another chore.
You have an irregular cycle, which makes it more difficult to conceive.
There are a few ways to determine your fertile window. You could record your menstrual cycle, chart the monthly cycles of your basal body temperature, or study changes in your cervical mucus. Or you could try all three.
However, it can be tricky to pinpoint ovulation using these methods, especially if your menstrual cycles are irregular. This is where ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) can help.
An ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) is a quick, easy and accurate way to predict ovulation in advance. It allows you to pinpoint your fertile window from the very first month. Kits are available online, at some chemists or medical stores that also stock pregnancy test kits.
How ovulation kits work?
Urine-based OPKs test your urine for an increase (surge) in luteinizing hormone (LH). This happens one day to two days before ovulation. A small amount of LH is always present in your blood and urine. But in the days before ovulation, the amount increases by about two to five times. The 12 hours to 36 hours between the beginning of the LH surge and the moment when your egg is released is the most fertile part of your cycle. This is when you are most likely to conceive.
How do I use an ovulation kit?
Depending on the brand of urine-based ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), you'll either collect your urine in a container or hold a stick under you as you pass urine. Colored bands will appear on the test card or stick to indicate whether or not the LH surge is occurring. Digital ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) use symbols, such as a smiley face, to tell you when you are on your most fertile days.
Instructions may vary slightly depending on which kit you use. Some brands advise you to test at noon while some say the optimum time is supposed to fall between 2pm and 2.30pm. But in general you should try to collect your urine between 10am and 8pm.
Try to collect your urine at about the same time every day, though this is not absolutely necessary. Don't test your urine as soon as you wake up, because you may miss the first day of your LH surge. Try to reduce the amount of liquids you drink for about two hours before you do the test. Too much liquid will dilute your urine, which could make it more difficult to detect the surge.
Read the results within 10 minutes for the best results. A positive result will not disappear, but some negative results may later display a faint second color band. So throw the test card away once you've read the result. Urine-based ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) generally provide five to nine days' worth of tests.