The Best Ovulation Test (Updated 2019 Reviews)
Ovulation is vital for conception to occur, and it is important that you have intercourse at around the time of ovulation to improve your chances of conceiving. An ovulation test might just be what you need if you’ve not been able to determine your most fertile days.
However, the market is flooded with many options when it comes to ovulation tests, making it difficult for you to choose the best ovulation test. This post will help narrow down the option to what works best for you.
How Do Ovulation Tests Work?
In most cases, ovulation tests detect the surge in luteinizing hormone. This reproductive hormone is always found in your urine, but it reaches peak levels 24 to 48 hours before ovulation.
The luteinizing hormone surge triggers the release of a mature egg from one of your ovaries. If you have intercourse at around this time, you will increase your chances of getting pregnant.
This combo kit contains 50 ovulation test strips and 20 pregnancy tests strips. The ovulation test strips work by detecting the luteinizing hormone surge, which is an indication that ovulation will take place within 24 to 48 hours.
The pregnancy tests detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in urine; hCG levels are usually elevated in pregnancy and can be detected by the kit at levels are as low as 25 mIU/ml.
- The test has a high accuracy of up to 99.8 %. It is also highly sensitive, meaning it detects even the smallest amount of luteinizing hormone.
- Both tests are easy to use.
- The pregnancy strips detect pregnancy even before periods are missed because it detects even low levels of hCG.
- There is no waiting period in between measurements.
- The kit comes at a low price considering it contains both ovulation and pregnancy test strips.
- Some users find that the pregnancy tests take longer than the stipulated 3 to 5 minutes to give results.
- Test results are displayed as lines. Some women find it hard to interpret the results, unlike digital kits that indicate whether you're in your fertile period or not.
The video below shows you how to use Easy@Home Ovulation Test.
Easy@Home 50 Ovulation Test Strips and 20 Pregnancy Test Strips Kit is an easy and affordable way of detecting ovulation and pregnancy. The test has a high level of accuracy, although results are displayed as lines, which some women find challenging to interpret.
This kit contains 50 strips for detecting ovulation. They work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone, an indication that ovulation will take place within 24 to 36 hours. The strips show results by revealing a darkened test line when ovulation is approaching; the darkest line appears during ovulation.
- The test has a high level of accuracy in detecting luteinizing hormone surges.
- The test kit is inexpensive.
- The test is easy to use; it takes a few minutes to collect your urine and another five minutes to wait for results.
- Test results are displayed as lines, which some users sometimes find difficult to interpret. The test line should become darker as you approach ovulation. The strips do not specifically indicate whether your test is positive or negative. Therefore a certain margin of error should be expected.
- The process can be messy because you need to collect urine and then dip the test strip into the sample. The intensity of the color of the test line depends on the concentration of luteinizing hormone in your urine.
- The strips are small and thin in comparison to other strips. This can make interpretation of the results difficult.
- The kit does not indicate the sensitivity level; some users feel that the strips only detect hormones only when the levels are very high (as ovulation approaches).
The video below shows a live test with ClinicalGuard ovulation test strip.
This kit contains 25 ovulation test strips. It detects the surge in luteinizing hormone, enabling you to know when ovulation will take place. A positive test is an indication that ovulation will occur within 24 to 48 hours. By knowing when ovulation will take place, you can have intercourse to improve your chances of conception.
- The manufacturer claims a high accuracy level of 99%.
- The results are displayed fast and the indicator line is clear.
- The strips have high sensitivity, and they detect the lowest levels of the hormone. This means that you can start seeing a dark line as soon as ovulation nears; the line becomes darker as you approach ovulation.
- Like other standard ovulation predictor tests, you have to examine the progressive darkening of the test line. Some women have difficulties telling whether the test line is as dark as the control line.
- The process may be messy because you need to collect your urine sample to conduct the test.
Accumed One Step Ovulation (LH) Test Strips help predict ovulation in order to increase your chances of conception.
Although the results may not be as clear as those displayed by some digital kits that show a “Yes” or “No”, with a trained eye, you can know when ovulation will occur by checking the darkening of the test line.
Best Digital Ovulation Test
Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test, 20 Ovulation Tests
This digital test detects your luteinizing hormone surge and is designed to identify your two most fertile days.
The kit comes with 20 tests and to get the best results, you should follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test is very easy to use and works much like a pregnancy test.
Results are available within three minutes and are displayed as a smiley face when the device detects your luteinizing hormone surge. A plain open circle implies no luteinizing hormone surge.
- It is 99% accurate at detecting your luteinizing hormone surge.
- It is easy to read the results. In fact, it takes away guess work because you don't have to squint to determine whether a test line is as dark as the control line, which is typical with standard ovulation tests.
- The test adapts to your personal cycle.
- It can get very expensive to use if you have lengthy cycles.
Unlike other ovulation predictors that give you only two days’ notice before ovulation, the Clearblue Fertility Monitor can identify two “peak” fertility days and four “high” fertility days.
By having intercourse on your peak and high fertility days, you are maximizing your chances of getting pregnant.
While most ovulation tests measure only luteinizing hormone in your urine, this monitor tracks two key hormones: luteinizing hormone and estrogen.
The touch screen display will guide you through your cycle; the device will even indicate when you should perform the test by displaying “Test day”.
The device will display “Low” when you are unlikely to conceive, “High” when your chance of getting pregnant, or “Peak” with a smiley face when the device detects your luteinizing hormone surge.
The “Peak” fertility day is the most fertile period of your cycle.
- The manufacturer claims it is 99% accurate at detecting luteinizing hormone.
- It detects two key reproductive hormones.
- It is user-friendly.
- The test sticks have to be bought separately.
- The monitor is expensive.
This is might be right ovulation predictor for you if you hate the mess of peeing on a test stick or collecting your urine for testing.
Fertile Focus Ovulation Microscope detects your “estrogen surge”, which typically precedes the luteinizing hormone surge and therefore helps you to predict ovulation a few days in advance.
The test is easy to perform and only requires that you place a drop of your saliva on a lens, let it dry, and examine it under a microscope. Read more about “ferning” here.
- It is user-friendly.
- It is affordable. You don't need to worry about buying new test sticks or strips because the test is reusable.
- The manufacturer claims it is 98% accurate.
- Some women find it hard to read the results.
When is the Best time to Use an Ovulation Predictor Kit?
Now that you have selected the best ovulation test that meets your needs and budget, it is important that you know when to start testing. In general, this depends on the type of test you’re using.
Some women, especially those with irregular cycles, find it challenging to determine when they should start testing. Additionally, some ovulation test kits come with a limited number of test strips or sticks that can only last one week.
It is best to follow the instructions on the package insert. Most ovulation test kits may be used any time of the day; however, some manufacturers recommend testing in the morning, shortly after getting out of bed.
To get the best results, you should test at around the same time every day and follow the instructions of the manufacturer, such as decreasing fluid intake for four hours prior to taking a urine-based test or avoiding smoking, eating or drinking a few hours before performing a saliva-based ovulation test.
Digital Ovulation Tests
These tests measure alterations in your hormone levels from a baseline. To get the best results, you should start testing before your luteinizing hormone surge.
You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine when to start testing. This varies depending on the woman’s cycle length, so it is important that you follow the instructions to use the test properly.
It won’t help if you try to save test sticks by testing later in your cycle because you might miss your non-fertile days of testing and, consequently, you won’t be able to accurately identify your fertile days.
Also, some manufacturers recommend that you use only the test sticks in a particular batch to avoid errors.
Standard Ovulation Tests
Cheapies such as Easy@Home and Wondfo detect an absolute threshold of luteinizing hormone in your urine. Therefore, you do not necessarily need to start testing early.
However, you should test well before your luteinizing hormone surge so that you don’t miss it.
To do this, examine your cervical mucus daily and start testing when you notice copious fertile-quality mucus (read more about the appearance and consistency of cervical mucus here).
Saliva-Based Ovulation Tests
Like standard ovulation tests, these do not measure changes in hormone levels from your baseline. Therefore, you don’t need to start testing early.
To avoid missing your fertile period, you should start testing before your luteinizing hormone surge (as described above).
Should You Wait for a Positive Ovulation Test Before Having Intercourse?
The simple answer is “NO”. In some cases, you might have a positive ovulation test after your most fertile days have passed. Therefore, it isn’t a good idea to always wait for the test to turn positive before having intercourse.
If possible, have intercourse every other day when you start testing, then daily for the next two days after a positive test. A fertility calendar may also help you determine the days that give you the highest probability of conceiving.
What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Mean?
A positive ovulation test doesn’t necessarily mean you ovulated. I wrote a detailed post about understanding a positive ovulation test here.
Is it Possible to Never Get a Positive Ovulation Test During a Cycle?
Yes, this might happen in some situations.
1. Anovulatory cycle: You won’t get a positive ovulation test if you didn’t ovulate. This can happen due to an illness, stress, or hormonal imbalance.
2. Short luteinizing hormone surge: You’ll likely miss your luteinizing hormone surge if it’s very short. It might help to test twice daily to detect it.
3. Defective or expired tests: You want to make sure you’re not using expired tests to avoid getting a false negative or positive ovulation test result.
Also, some sleazy sellers have been known to distribute counterfeit Wondfo tests, which might give you false results. Learn how to spot these fake tests here.
How Accurate Are These Tests?
Generally, ovulation tests are 99% accurate in detecting your luteinizing hormone surge when you use the tests as instructed by the manufacturer. However, a positive ovulation test is no guarantee that you will ovulate.
In some cases, the body will produce high levels of luteinizing hormone, but an egg is not released after the surge. This condition is referred to as luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome.
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) will experience small increases in luteinizing hormone several times during their cycles; however, these never reach peak levels to cause egg release.
Thus, if you have PCOS, you may wrongly determine when to start having intercourse if you rely solely on ovulation test results.
Pros and Cons of Ovulation Predictors
If you’re looking forward to getting pregnant faster, there are several reasons why you should consider using an ovulation predictor kit.
- Ovulation predictor kits are widely available. You can purchase them online from the comfort of your home or at your local pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription.
- These tests are easy to use. With ovulation test strips, you are required to urinate on the test stick and read your results after a few minutes. Saliva-based ovulation tests are also straightforward to use—you simply place a drop of saliva to the lens, let the sample dry, and read your results after a waiting period determined by the manufacturer. If you follow the instructions of the manufacturer, you are sure to get accurate results.
- Ovulation tests are convenient to use. Contrary to other tracking methods such as basal body temperature charting that requires daily measurement of your temperature, you only need to start using ovulation predictors around mid-cycle.
While adding OPKs to your routine could help you get pregnant faster, these tests have their shortcomings.
- Ovulation predictors don’t work with some fertility drugs that contain human chorionic gonadotropin.
- Ovulation predictors can become expensive in the long-term, especially in women who have long cycles. To cut down on cost, you might want to buy cheapies such as Wondfos (watch out for fake tests) then use the more expensive Clearblue ovulation tests when the Wondfo tests indicate you’re approaching ovulation.
- If you’re above 40 years, you might not have consistent results with an ovulation predictor test. This is because some women in their 40s, especially those who are approaching menopause, have higher circulating levels of luteinizing hormone, making the tests invalid.