It’s such an exciting time when you and your spouse start to discuss having children. You start imagining this new life with a precious baby. The more you talk and dream, the more ready you become to get the process rolling! You want to make sure you are doing everything in your power to prepare your body, spirit, and mind to become pregnant. So, you start your journey into learning how to be ready.
There are countless articles, tricks, devices, apps and more that claim to help women become pregnant, and it can be incredibly overwhelming! The questions start rolling into your mind…Where do I start? How do I even know when my body is ready?
One of the biggest things that helped me in my journey to preparing to become pregnant was learning about ovulation predictor kits (OPK). When you are ovulating, you are at your most fertile. You have the highest chance of getting pregnant when you are ovulating, and thanks to the availability of home ovulation tests, you can learn exactly when your body is ovulating!
Every pregnancy and every woman’s body is unique. While there are general understandings about when a woman ovulates, ovulation tests can specifically pinpoint when your body is most fertile and ovulating (even to the time of day!)
In this article, we’ll be looking at how to read an ovulation test, how to use them in a way to yield the best results, and how to determine a positive result! With all of this knowledge, you will be setting yourself up to learn when your body is most ready to become pregnant!
How to Read an Ovulation Test
Reading ovulation predictor tests can be a little tricky! In all honesty, the package makes it sound and look so easy. But in reality, it can be a struggle to get a clear result.
Ovulation tests look and operate very similarly to traditional pregnancy tests! But, there is a subtle difference when it comes to reading them. With pregnancy tests, if you see even the slightest second line, it means that you are pregnant! It doesn’t matter how dark the second line is, it all means that the test is positive!
With ovulation tests, there are still two lines, but you have to pay much closer attention to that second line. Ovulation tests determine your LH level, which is a hormone that indicates you are your most fertile and ready to ovulate! Because you are trying to see when your LH level has spiked the most, your OPK is positive when the second line is darker than the first line.
Because this is a lot trickier than a pregnancy test, here are some suggestions on how to use OPK tests to truly learn when your body is at its peak and ovulating!
How to Use OPK Tests
OPK tests are a great way to get to know your body in the month(s) leading up to you and your spouse trying to get pregnant!
Because I used the Pregmate ovulation strips, they were affordable enough and came in a big enough supply that I was able to start taking the tests days before I believed that I would ovulate.
The best way to use ovulation strips is to keep up with each strip, noting the darkness of each progressing second line. For me, personally, I would start testing three times a day (morning, midday, and night) several days before my predicted ovulation time. In order to keep up with my results, I would tape my tests on a piece of paper, labeling the date and time of each test.
I repeated this process for a few months, noting the time and day when the second line on the ovulation test was significantly darker than the first line.
Keeping up with my cycle through reading ovulation tests was one of the most helpful discoveries during my journey to becoming pregnant. It taught me so much about my body and when it is most ready to conceive.
How to Get a Positive Test Result
As stated before, it can be difficult determining a positive result when using an Ovulation Predictor Kit alone. Using ovulation tests is incredibly helpful and here are three ways to ensure you can find the positive result that you are looking for:
Start tracking several months in advance
Before you and your spouse are ready to start trying for a baby, it is strongly suggested to start tracking your cycle in advance. After a few months of learning about your cycle, the date and time in which you ovulate, will equip you with the knowledge of the absolutely best time to try becoming pregnant!
While some people may not have this luxury of time for a variety of reasons, you can obviously simply do this process as you are trying. However, if you have the time to plan and prepare your body before trying to conceive, do it! The more prepared you are and the more knowledgeable you are, the more precise you will be. At the end of the day, the goal is to become pregnant when you and your body are ready!
Get test strips
As I discuss below with the best and worst LH tests, there are a variety of ovulation tests and products out there on the market! However, if you want to yield the best results, you will need to take multiple tests at various times a day. If you purchase the more expensive ovulation tests, the price can add up really fast! With ovulation test strips, you won’t feel as guilty using them and you can truly pinpoint your ovulation! Plus, they are just as accurate as the expensive, name-brand alternatives!
Save your tests!
Keeping the tests, labeling them with the time and date, and taping them to a piece of paper was the best way to visually see which tests had the darkest second line, which determined when I ovulated! Every cycle is specific and unique and saving your tests will help you to understand yours. You can visually see trends. Whether you have a tendency to ovulate a certain number of days after your period or even a specific time of day, you will be able to see it if you keep up with this information!
If I hadn’t started tracking months prior to trying, gotten the test strips and tested multiple times a day, and documented my test results, I never would have learned that my LH surge was always in the middle of the day! It’s so interesting! I was able to use this knowledge to help us get pregnant.
Best and Worst Brands of LH Tests
I, personally, did not have luck with the tests I purchased from Target. On many occasions, they came up invalid, and I became frustrated.
While Clearblue tests may be seen as easier to read (they have smiley faces instead of lines to determine when your LH has surged), the price-point is pretty steep. It costs almost $30.00 for only 10 of the ovulation tests. After a month of tracking your ovulation, these would not be worth the price!
Along with this, they may be easier to read with smiley faces, but they don’t provide the progression of your LH like with the ovulation strips.
I found the Pregmate ovulation strip tests on Amazon to be the best! They look like and are used similarly to pregnancy tests, they are small and easy to track on paper, and, best of all, they are incredibly affordable. For around $15, you receive 50 tests!
Pregmate also has an ovulation strip test and pregnancy test combo pack. This pack has 50 ovulation strips and 20 pregnancy tests for less than $20. Either way, these strips were very straightforward, easy to document my cycle, and were much more affordable!
Deciding to start trying for a baby is such a life-changing decision! But, it can become overwhelming really quick when you start looking at all of the tips, tricks, and advice that is available out there. My advice would be to start simple by getting to know your body and its natural cycle. From there, you can start looking at other options and ideas. But, if you don’t know when you are most fertile and ovulating, all of the other tips and tricks really won’t be as useful.
It’s important to keep things simple and get to know your body first! Learning how to read ovulation strips and know when your body is ovulating is the best place to start when trying to get pregnant.
I hope you found this article helpful! I also have a video on my YouTube channel where I go more into detail on my personal journey learning to read ovulation tests and getting a positive OPK! Best of luck to all of you future mamas!
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