Is a Positive Ovulation Test a Good Sign?
Trying to grow your family or just trying to get to know more about yourself?
It pays to be informed. Whether you have a regular cycle or an irregular one, tracking or understanding your menstrual cycle and fertile window is tough work because it is different for each woman. This includes predicting ovulation or your fertile period.
But, there are some ways to understand it in an objective way. Let’s try to break down ovulation with science!
Understanding your fertile window
A few days before ovulation offers the highest chance of pregnancy so it will come in handy to get to know your fertile window.
This takes a lot of observation and tracking for several menstrual cycles or for a few months to get a general idea of when you ovulate.
As soon as you pinpoint how many days your menstrual cycle is, it is easier to find the midpoint, which is when you ovulate.
Observing other symptoms
You can also observe your ovulation period through some changes in your body. You might experience an increase in libido, tender breasts, bloating, light spotting, or a change in body basal temperature (BBT). Your BBT usually drops before ovulating and increases after.
Finding the right timing
The best time to start using ovulation tests is 5 to 6 days before your expected ovulation. If you have irregular cycles, try testing around the earliest and latest time you expect to ovulate.
As soon as the kit you are using shows that you are ovulating, that means that an egg will be released one to three days after.
During these times, the chances of getting pregnant increase. That is, three days before ovulation gives you a 27% chance of getting pregnant, 2 days gives 33%, and 1 day gives 41%. On the day of ovulation, it drops to 20% and drops significantly lower after ovulation at 8%. Given this, 2 days before ovulation is your period of peak fertility.
Interpreting a positive ovulation test
There are many ways to study your menstrual cycle and to know when ovulation occurs. Now that you have your preferred ovulation predictor kits, let’s understand what the results mean.
So what does an ovulation test gauge? Ovulation tests check to see the presence of an LH surge or the luteinizing hormone or LH levels in your body. This hormone is released by the pituitary gland and an LH surge helps in rupturing a follicle, which contains an egg. As soon as the follicle is ruptured, it releases a mature egg within 36 hours.
Therefore, if you get a positive result, that means that there is an LH surge because the hormone is hard at work in releasing an egg to be fertilized. Sometimes, ovulation test strips are a little bit difficult to interpret. It is a challenge to see if the test line is as dark or darker than the control line so it is important to continue testing and take several ovulation tests.
However, if your ovulation kits show a positive test result, this usually means that this is the best time to get pregnant.
Knowing the reliability of tests
Ovulation tests work. It is proven that ovulation tests are 95% accurate when used at the right time.
Sometimes, you may get a negative ovulation test but that doesn’t mean you didn’t ovulate. It means that you either tested too early or too late. That is why it takes a lot of observation over several cycles to get the proper timing.
However, we also have to talk about false positives. This can get very frustrating and costly down the road. These kinds of results can happen when women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) because the body produces several high levels of luteinizing hormone during a cycle.
A false positive can also happen when there is an increase in its levels but no egg was released. An LH surge can be spotted by a test on different days but it might not mean you are ovulating.
Applying the results of the ovulation test
You already have a positive ovulation test but the question is “What now?”. If you are trying to get pregnant, this is the time to try!
A lot of couples have intercourse as soon as they get a positive result and it is advised to have intercourse several days after the test leading up to ovulation. This increases the chances of the mature egg getting fertilized.
Remember that a mature egg is released one to three days after the rupture of the follicle so it is important to take advantage of this. It is also important to note that the lifespan of sperm is 5 days so this increases the chance of fertilization since the lifespan of both the egg and the sperm will overlap.
Try to observe your other symptoms to know if you are pregnant. The early signs of pregnancy are a missed period, feeling nauseous or tired, urinating frequently, and tender breasts.
Connecting the dots
Now that we understand ovulation a little bit more with science, you have to make sure to look at different factors to help you understand ovulation better. It is better to gather different kinds of information that help you arrive at a clearer understanding of your body.
You can make use of different measures to understand your fertile window better. You can keep tracking your basal body temperature, your progesterone levels, your cervical mucus, and the formation of the corpus luteum.
Changes in your BBT can help you know if an egg was released. Progesterone is a hormone released to test if ovulation did occur. This can help avoid false positives with your ovulation tests.
Changes in the texture and color of your cervical mucus can be another sign when to start testing with an ovulation kit. The corpus luteum formation can be seen through an ultrasound procedure and it also helps confirm ovulation. You can even have blood tests to help you track your fertile period.
Of course, it is also useful to consult a fertility specialist to guide you. They can provide medical advice, help you understand your hormone levels, and help time intercourse.
We hope that this article helps you to understand yourself and to plan around this new information better.
Menstrual cycles can be frustrating to understand and it can cause a lot of stress or negative emotions to spring up but educating yourself about it helps you to objectively look at your hormones and what you are feeling.
So, if you’ve made it to the end of this article, give yourself a pat on the back or hug yourself for increasing your self-love and self-care!