Ovulation Prediction, Urinary Test Kits
Urinary-Ovulation-Prediction Kits The use of urinary-ovulation-prediction kits has grown dramatically in the past few years, as has the number of companies selling these kits. This popularity is due to the accuracy of these kits, their reasonable price, and the ease of performing the test in the privacy of your own home. However, urinary-ovulation-prediction kits are still a source of confusion and frustration for some couples.
How Urinary Ovulation-Prediction Kits Work
Because LH is the hormone measured by the urinary-ovulation-prediction kits, these kits are more accurately described as urinary LH kits. The urinary-ovulation-prediction kits use special chemicals to recognize the presence of LH in a small sample of urine. If the chemicals test positive for LH, you know that your LH rise is taking place and the egg will be released soon.
Once you have started your testing, you should continue to do it daily—at about the same time every day. If you check your urine at about the same time every day, you should not miss the LH rise.
It’s possible that when you test your urine the LH surge has just occurred, resulting in a positive test result. Or it may be that the LH surge is about to occur, so your test kit still shows a negative result. In that case the urinary LH kit won’t be positive until the next day when you test again. Therefore, a positive result could mean that the LH rise just occurred and the egg will not be released for up to 40 hours, or that the LH rise occurred 24 hours ago and the egg may be released in the next 12 hours or so.
Although this may seem like a somewhat inexact prediction, as long as you have intercourse (or an intrauterine insemination) on the day of a positive result from your kit, and more importantly, the following day, you should cover all possibilities.
When Should I Start Using the Test Kit?
It is important that you start testing your urine at least a few days before the expected day of the LH rise. Besides the fact that you should not start testing too late in the cycle and miss the LH rise, it will be beneficial to have a few days of negative test results so that you have something to compare with the positive one.
|SUGGESTED KIT LENGTH||AVERAGE CYCLE LENGTH||DAY OF CYCLE TO BEGIN TEST|
|5 or 6 Day Kit||21 days||day 6|
|22 days||day 6|
|23 days||day 7|
|24 days||day 8|
|25 days||day 9|
|26 days||day 10|
|27 days||day 11|
|28 days||day 11|
|29 days||day 11|
|30 days||day 12|
|31 days||day 12|
|32 days||day 13|
|9 or 10 Day Kit||33 days||day 14|
|34 days||day 14|
|35 days||day 14|
What’s the Best Time of Day to Perform the Test?
Most package inserts in the kits tell you that the best time to do a test is between 10:00am and 8:00pm. Practically speaking, we suggest you use your second morning urine. So when you first get up go ahead and urinate but do not use that sample. Test with the ovulation prediction kit (only takes a few drops) using the second urine sample you can produce.
For patients who work nights and report difficulty detecting the urinary LH rise, we recommend doing urinary-ovulation-prediction kits every 12 hours. Since the LH release is related to sleep cycles, this will help reduce the chances of missing the rise in LH.
The test result depends on the comparison of two lines on the test kit and the result is positive if the testing line (the “T” line) is darker than the reference line (the “R” line, also referred to as the “C” line). There is another type of more “user friendly” urinary ovulation-prediction kit in which any appearance of a second line at all is an indication of a positive result. No comparison of lines is necessary. Another form of the kit allows you to urinate directly on the end of the testing stick and no collection of urine is required. Make sure to check the specific instructions for the kit you purchase to make sure you are using and interpreting it correctly.
What If I Never Get A Positive Test?
There are a few possible reasons why you may not see a positive test result during a cycle:
- The test was used too early or too late in the cycle. This is most commonly a problem for women with long menstrual cycles.
- The kit was used incorrectly—user error. If you follow the instructions in the package insert of your kit this should not happen. The most common mistakes involve comparing the bands on the kit. If you are unsure, repeat the test a few hours later.
- The kit did not detect the LH surge that actually did occur—kit error. Most of the over-the-counter kits are very good, so this should only happen in about one out of ten kits used.
- No LH surge occurred (you did not ovulate). You will probably not be able to distinguish this possibility initially from the others. However, most women who do not ovulate will not have their menstrual bleeding at the expected time. It is not uncommon for normal women to occasionally have a cycle without ovulating, which results in a delay in the onset of menstrual bleeding.
When to Have Sex (If You Are Using a Urinary-Ovulation-Prediction Kit)
When you begin your urinary-ovulation prediction tests, you should have sex about every 36 - 48 hours until you see a positive test result. Once you have a positive urinary-ovulation-prediction test, you should have sex that day and again about 24 hours later. If you want to have sex a third time—the following day (two days after a positive test)—that is a good idea but probably not as important. On these days, have sex a single time on each day and space the intercourse 24 hours apart.
When to Schedule an IUI (If You Are Using a Urinary-Ovulation-Prediction Kit)
When you have a positive result on your kit, call our office between 8:00am and 9:00am if during a weekday and between 7:00am and 8:00am on the weekends. If only having one IUI, your appointment can be scheduled the day of or the day after a kit change. If you will be having two IUI’s, you will need to schedule an appointment for the day of kit change AND the day after.