In theory, getting pregnant seems as though it should be simple: an egg and a sperm meet, join, and then the resulting fertilized egg travels down your fallopian tubes to your uterus for implantation. Unfortunately, sperm don’t always get the memo as to just when the egg will be arriving at the designated rendezvous point. For those of you who are tired of tying to guess when your ovulation takes place during your cycle, using ovulation predictor kits can really help you out, not to mention those sperm.
Wondering just what an ovulation predictor kit is? You’re probably not alone. An ovulation predictor is designed to determine just when you ovulate. But just how ovulation predictors work can vary depending on the type of ovulation test you have.
Ovulation generally occurs about mid-way through your cycle, although some women may ovulate closer to the start of their menstrual cycle while others may not ovulate until just before their period starts. Since ovulation occurs at a different point for every woman, and can often change from cycle to cycle, many women take note of how their body changes over the course of their menstrual cycle, paying particular attention to the signs of ovulation.
Signs that ovulation is imminent include increased cervical mucus as well as mild ovulation cramps. Women using this type of ovulation prediction will often mark down their symptoms on an ovulation calendar to get a general idea of their ovulation cycle. However, these symptoms are just indicative that ovulation is about to occur; they don’t tell you just when it will occur. For women who want a more specific ovulation calculator, ovulation test kits can come in very handy.
The most common type of ovulation tests use the ovulation test strip method. These highly sensitive tests are operated in much the same method as pregnancy tests: simply hold the ovulation test strip in your stream of urine and then wait for the results. The ovulation test strip will measure the amount of leutenizing hormone (LH), which spikes just before ovulation, in your urine. If the ovulation prediction test notices the spike, then you can count on ovulation occurring within the next 36 hours. When done properly, this test can be as much as 99% accurate.
There are also saliva tests that can be performed at home to evaluate when ovulation will occur. During ovulation, the increase in estrogen causes the salinity of your saliva to rise which in turn alters the general appearance of your saliva when examined under a microscope (bet you didn’t know that about your saliva!). Unlike ovulation test strips, this kind of OPK is a bit more involved and requires you to examine your saliva every day and record any changes in your saliva’s appearance. At the end of each cycle, you will have a fairly detailed chart and over time you will begin to notice distinct patterns to your ovulation cycle.
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Ovulation Prediction
Not all women are equally enthused about their options of peeing on a stick or examining their spit under a microscope in order to determine when they ovulate. And for these women, the OV Watch has been invented. To use this ovulation predictor, all you need to do is strap on the watch like device and, well, that’s it.
The OV Watch works by measuring the levels of sodium chloride ions released by your skin. About six days before you ovulate, there is a surge of these ions, which the OV Watch will detect as they are released in your perspiration. Once the surge is identified, the watch will let you know just when you are most fertile. Usually, the watch can distinguish four fertile days before ovulation and one fertile day after.
When you’re aiming for a pregnancy, using an ovulation prediction test can be your best friend.