How to read ovulation test strips

Written by c. giles Google
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How to read ovulation test strips
Many women use ovulation tests to help them get pregnant. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you are trying to conceive, ovulation test strips or predictor kits can greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. The tests anticipate ovulation -- instead of simply recording it, as basal body temperature charts do -- by detecting the Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which is produced in a higher quantity immediately before ovulation than it is at other times of the month. The surge of LH makes the follicle attached to the ovary burst and release ovum into the Fallopian tube -- the moment of ovulation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Container

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  1. 1

    Fill a container with your urine.

  2. 2

    Hold the test strip in the container for several seconds.

  3. 3

    Leave the test strip on a flat surface for five minutes to give it time to react and produce results.

  4. 4

    Check your test results. All tests have a control colour band or line to indicate whether the test is working or not, as well as a test colour band for the results. If the test band is equal or darker in colour than the control band, the result is positive (indicating an LH surge). If the test band is lighter in colour than the control band, or cannot be seen at all, the result is negative (no LH surge is in progress). A positive result means you are likely to become fertile over the following three days, with maximum fertility 36 hours after the LH surge.

Tips and warnings

  • Read the instructions that come with your ovulation test strips.
  • Test between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. The LH surge is very brief, so testing twice a day gives you the best chance of detecting it. Test at the same time each day.
  • Remember that there is always some amount of LH in your system, so a light test colour band should not be interpreted as a positive result.

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