Getting pregnant: ovulation tests

You can only become pregnant if you have unprotected sexual intercourse during your fertile period. This fertile period takes place around ovulation, the moment when the ripe egg cell is released and can be fertilized. With the help of ovulation tests you can predict when you will ovulate. This is done by examining the urine for the presence of the so-called LH peak.

Ovulation

A pregnancy occurs when the father’s sperm cell fuses with the mother’s egg cell. However, the mother’s egg is not always accessible to the father’s sperm cells. At birth, the average woman has about 200,000 to 500,000 eggs, of which only 400 to 500 mature and are released at some point in the menstrual cycle during the woman’s reproductive years , where they can be fertilized. The moment when the egg is released is called ovulation .

When does ovulation take place?

The average woman’s menstrual cycle consists of approximately 28 days. An egg is developed during each menstrual cycle. In the first half of the menstrual cycle there are approximately 20 eggs, which are released by the ovaries. These eggs all start to mature in so-called follicles (fluid-filled sacs) and in the second week of the menstrual cycle, the week after your period, the egg that has grown the most and is fully mature is released from the follicle. This event, which occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period, is called ovulation .

Ovulation tests

If you want to become pregnant, you naturally want to know when exactly you ovulate. After all, the days around ovulation you are in your most fertile period and the chance of pregnancy during sexual intercourse is greatest. There are different ways to estimate the time of ovulation, such as the Billings method or the temperature method. However, both methods are quite subjective and very difficult to implement in practice. You can also estimate the moment of ovulation with an ovulation test. Ovulation tests are tests that allow you to investigate when exactly you ovulate.

How do ovulation tests work?

There are roughly three types of ovulation tests : the ovulation test with saliva, the ovulation test with blood and the ovulation test with urine. Support for reliability is completely lacking for the ovulation test with saliva , so it is better to opt for the ovulation test with urine. An ovulation test using blood is also possible, but quite burdensome and expensive.
During the menstrual cycle, the composition of the hormones in your body changes. Some hormones are strongly present at a very specific time in the menstrual cycle, such as the luteinizing hormone (often abbreviated to LH). LH gives the mature follicle the final push, so to speak, after which it bursts open and ovulation takes place. After the peak in LH, ovulation occurs within about two days. LH also ends up in the urine, so you can determine your ovulation indirectly by examining your urine for a certain presence of this hormone.
Urine ovulation tests give an indication of when you will ovulate, but cannot make a very accurate prediction. The LH peak accurately predicts when ovulation will take place within about two days. It is therefore best to take the ovulation test twice a day. However, keep in mind that you also have a chance of pregnancy in the days before ovulation!

Perform ovulation test

Most ovulation tests have a similar effect as a urine pregnancy test. You drop some urine on the test stick and then read the result. The result comes down to “there is an LH peak” or “no LH peak”.
There are ovulation tests from various brands, such as Clear Blue and Predictor. Many pharmacies and drugstores have their own private label ovulation test . There are often several ovulation tests in one package. An ovulation test costs an average of 3 to 5.

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