Our customer service representative, Pat, gives you the nitty-gritty details for getting the most accurate, reliable OPK results (and tells you what to do with them!)
As the customer service representative at Early-Pregnancy-Tests, I answer many, many questions about ovulation and fertility, ovulation testing, and how to get the most accurate results from our fertility prediction products. I’d like to take this opportunity to review some common inquiries and provide the tips, tricks, and instructional facts so you can get the most of our ovulation and fertility products. Our FDA-Approved tests are over 99% accurate in clinical settings. However, high accuracy is a coefficient of proper testing procedure, and this means learning how to use and interpret the test as your doctor would!
Before getting into the Q&A, allow me to provide an overview of how urine ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) function. OPKs work by measuring an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs shortly before ovulation takes place. Ovulation is the biological operation when the egg is discharged from the ovary and sent on its way down the fallopian tube where awaiting sperm may (hopefully) be present to fertilize the egg. LH plays a key role in ovulation and is the hormone that actually facilitates the release of the egg from the ovary. Around the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, LH levels will sharply rise: this is called the LH-Surge, a necessary precursor to the discharge of the egg. And because the LH-Surge occurs typically one to two days before ovulation, if you can detect the surge with an OPK, you can accurately predict your most fertile time of the month to conceive.
Now, let’s get to those questions…
Question: “Dear Pat. I’ve been using your tests for 3 cycles now with good results. But during my last cycle, I did not receive a positive result – only a faint test line that was almost a positive. Did I ovulate? Is it possible to not receive a positive result and still have ovulation take place?”
Pat: As LH rises quickly – and falls just as fast – there are a number of steps you can take to ensure accuracy and determine a positive result. Above all, I suggest reading our instructions closely and making sure you are testing on the right dates. Start dates will depend on the average length of your menstrual cycle. If you have irregular cycles, error on the conservative side and begin testing based on your shorter cycle length. Next, we do suggest that you collect a urine sample at the same time every day. Samples should be collected between mid-morning and early evening, ideally. Finally, do not drink a lot of fluids (particularly caffeinated beverages) before testing. Drinking fluids can dilute the sample, as can frequent urination. Try not to pee for at least four hours before taking a test. (NOTE: For pregnancy tests, we recommend a different modus operandi: collecting a first morning urine sample after a full night of sleep). In sum:
• A positive OPK is signaled by a “test line” that is identical to the “control line” in boldness. It can even be bolder than the control.
• A faint LH test line does not indicate the LH-Surge. Why? Because low levels of LH can be in your system throughout your menstrual cycle.
• The LH-Surge is quick: A positive result can last just one day. You may see two days of positive results (LH on the way up – and the way down).
• Do not use first morning urine for ovulation tests: Collect urine between late morning and early evening. And test at the same time every day!
• Do not pee for about four hours before taking a urine sample (to avoid a diluted sample).
• Consider testing twice a day: With our very affordable test strips, this is certainly an option!
• Try to avoid drinking a lot of liquids directly prior to testing (again, so as not to dilute the urine).
Question: “Dear Pat. If I receive a positive result, does it mean that I have ovulated for sure? Can a woman have a “false positive” and not ovulate?”
Pat: There is no single answer to this question. From a 100% scientific-standpoint, ovulation can only be verified in a doctors office with an ultrasound machine. Impracticable for most women! For the vast majority of trying-to-conceive women, a positive ovulation test result will signal that ovulation is coming ’round the corner. However, if you are using fertility drugs like clomid, please note that clomid can cause false positive ovulation tests if you begin testing too early in your cycle. Talk to your prescribing doctor about ovulation testing and fertility drugs. As a corollary to ovulation testing, we also suggest bbt charting. Using a basal thermometer to measure you daily “basal temperature” is an excellent method for determining if ovulation has taken place, as your body temps will rise the day following ovulation and remain high during most of the rest of your cycle. This is the OPK/BBT sandwich – with ovulation in the middle!
Question: “Dear Pat. I just received my first positive on an LH test. What does this mean? Am I ovulating? And when and how often should we make love?”
Pat: Once you receive a positive result, you may consider yourself at peak fertility! Therefore, with a positive OPK, commence the ‘baby dance’. In fact, you should make love the day of the first positive, as well as the following 3 days (to be on the safe side). A positive OPK typically suggests that you will ovulate soon. Sperm can survive in a woman’s body for a number of days, so lovemaking should take place so the sperm can be present when the egg descends down the fallopian tube. In sum:
• If you receive a positive result on an OPK, you are at your highest fertility level.
• A positive ovulation test tells you that that ovulation will occur within the next 12-36 hours. Time to make love.
• Make love the day your get your positive result, and over the following 3 days. Yes, this is sex on demand, but that’s why there is Pre-Seed!
• Consider BBT charting as a way to confirm ovulation through the body temperature increase that takes place following ovulation (due to the rise in progesterone).
• If your partner has sperm count issues, talk to your doctor about how to time intercourse and determine the right frequency for sex.
Hopefully, this short fertility tutorial will answer some questions and help you optimize use of our products. To learn more about ovulation, fertility and bbt charting, please visit our articles section. To read more about OPK procedure (correct use and interpretation), please visit our in-depth instructional pages.
BabyDust to you all – Pat
- Fertility Testing Guide: Ovulation & Pregnancy
- Ovulation and Pregnancy Test FAQ
- Ovulation Test FAQs
- Fertility & Ovulation Predictor Tests
- How do Ovulation Tests predict fertility?
- How do I interpret ovulation test results?
- How do I determine when to begin testing for ovulation?
- Help using ovulation tests
- How to use your basal thermometer
- Ovulation Microscopes: Instructions & FAQ
- Predicting Ovulation with the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor
- Fertility Charting with a Saliva Ovulation Microscope
- Detecting your “Estrogen Surge” with the OvaCue Fertility Monitor
- A Game Plan for Getting Pregnant with an Irregular Cycle!