How Do Ovulation Tests Work?

In some parts of the world, child bearing is placed highly in society. Often times, society pressures women to bear children, which can cause childless women to feel inadequate. Some people go to many lengths to have a baby. Over the years, different fertility solutions have been developed.

Sometimes, these methods can be extremely expensive. Of all the available solutions for tracking one’s fertility, ovulation tests have proven to be very effective.

However, women are curious about their efficacy and how to go about using them. Before explaining the way these tests work, let us first look at ovulation.

What is Ovulation?

While this may seem natural that most, if not all, women understand this term, most cannot tell when they are ovulating, especially those with irregular cycles.

In simple terms, it refers to the release of the egg from the ovary. It is important to understand that a woman can release either 1 or 2 ova from a pool of 15 to 20 eggs that mature every month.

The egg is driven to the fallopian tube where fertilization takes place.  The egg is supposed to stay for about 12 to 24 hours after which it disintegrates if it is not fertilized. In a month, you only have about six days to conceive.

You can bet that with this restrained window, it can be difficult to conceive when you cannot identify when you’re most fertile. The most fertile days are the few days before ovulation. Sperm can survive for around seven days so it is best that intercourse occurs 3 to 4 days before the ovulation period.

Ideally, it is best to have intercourse “frequently” during the fertile period. However, some fertility consultants warn that frequent intercourse may reduce a man’s sperm count.

Do Ovulation Tests Guarantee Success?

Ovulation tests do help you identify your fertile days. However, it is essential that you understand that you should have intercourse around this period to maximize your chances of pregnancy. 

Due to busy lifestyles, some couples have difficulties planning their pregnancy. Nevertheless, you can create a schedule that fits your daily routine. A schedule will come in handy, especially if you and/or your significant other work away from home or have work responsibilities that require extensive travel.

Various ways exist to determine your peak fertility days. You can create a chart of your cycles, record your basal body temperature using a basal thermometer, or examine your cervical mucus. You can also use all three methods.

However, these methods may not give you accurate results if you have an irregular cycle. This is where ovulation test kits can come in handy.

Ovulation kits are an easy, effective and fast way of determining when you are likely to ovulate and are available in both online and local stores. Some kits are able to identify your fertile window in a short period.

How Do Ovulation Tests Work?

Urine-based ovulation predictor kits detect the presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Some tests such as the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test are able to identify estrogen as well.

LH is available in large concentrations in the woman’s urine one to two days prior to ovulation. It is also present on other days of your cycle, though in small amounts that are not enough to be detected by an ovulation test.

The most fertile period in your cycle is about 12 to 36 hours before your LH surge and when the ovum is released. This is when you have high chances of getting pregnant.

The good thing about ovulation test kits is that they are able to track each day of your cycle, which minimizes the margin of error. As the name implies, saliva-based ovulation tests use saliva to determine your peak fertility days.

These tests are compact and you can carry them around. Scientists have discovered when a woman’s progesterone levels are high, the concentration of salt in their saliva increases.

As the saliva dries up, the salt crystallizes and forms a fern-like image on a slide when examined under a microscope. This is a sign of impending ovulation, which can help a woman pinpoint her most fertile days.

How to Use Fertility Test Kits

Depending on the product you are using, you will either pee on a stick or dip the stick into a cup of urine.  Colored bands will appear if you are experiencing an LH surge.

Digital ovulation monitors on the other hand feature symbols, which are used to show you when you have a high probability of conceiving. It is worth noting that instructions will be different based on the kit you are using. But, as a rule of the thumb, you should collect your urine between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

However, the optimum time is around 2 to 2.30 p.m. For consistency, it is best if you collect your urine at the same time daily.

Although, most people think that it is most appropriate to test in the morning, medical experts have a different view.  They believe that you might miss your LH surge since it occurs in the early hours of the morning and the hormone takes some time to accumulate in urine. 

It is also important that you consume as little fluid as possible before taking an ovulation test. Another thing to remember is that you should wait 10 minutes before reading the test results.

Saliva-based kits are easy to use. All you have to do is to lick or place a small amount of saliva on a slide. You will then use a small microscope to test for ferning.

Now that you understand how ovulation tests work, you can see how women may conceive quickly with these easy-to-use tools. They are available in most online and local phramacies or stores that sell health and beauty products.

Other tools that can make fertility tracking easier include the Ava. Read our Ava bracelet review to learn how Ava bracelet can make tracking a breeze.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray. Protection Status