USC Fertility


3 Ways to Test For Ovulation At Home

Did you know that there is more than one way you can test for ovulation at home? There are actually three ways that you can do this.

1. Menstrual diary
A quick and simple way to find out whether you ovulate (release an egg) is to keep track of when your period comes each month. Most women who ovulate each month will have about 28 to 30 days between the first day of one period and the first day of the next.

It is normal to have some variability in the number of days between periods, but if they are coming as close together as every 24 days or as far apart as every 35 days, there is a chance that you are not ovulating normally.

2. Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
BBT is the temperature of your body under resting conditions. BBT should be measured each morning when you wake up but before you get out of bed. Writing down the temperature each day is helpful as a test of ovulation because the BBT increases after ovulation.

BBT is usually low, fluctuating between 97 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Just before ovulation, the BBT falls to its lowest level and then rises by 0.4 to 0.8 degrees about 2-4 days after ovulation.

A common misconception is that the most fertile days are when the BBT is elevated. If you are waiting to have intercourse until your BBT is high, that is probably too late. In fact, the most fertile day is when the temperature is at its lowest, i.e. JUST BEFORE ovulation.

If you are trying to get pregnant, it is best to have sperm in the system before ovulation rather than after. However, many times the lowest temperature point is not obvious until after the BBT rises significantly. For this reason, recording the BBT is not that useful for timing out intercourse for any given month. It is helpful to record temperatures over a few months to get a sense of when the fertile days typically are. You can then stop recording your temperatures and focus on having intercourse around that time of the month.

3. Ovulation Predictor Kits
These kits can be found at your local drug store and can be useful for testing ovulation. The kits work by measuring a hormone called Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which is produced by the brain in large amounts just before ovulation. Most of the kits are designed like home pregnancy tests, and use urine to measure LH.

For most women, testing should start around the 10th day of the menstrual cycle. That is, 10 days after the first day of her period. Testing should be done in the late afternoon or early evening (between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.) because urine at this time of day is most likely to detect the surge of LH that occurs in the blood several hours earlier. Ovulation usually occurs 14-24 hours after the test turns positive. The most fertile day is the day the test turns positive.

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