The desire to have children is not always fulfilled in the first attempt. Many couples who decide to have a baby need six to twelve months until a positive pregnancy test is seen. There is, therefore, no reason to worry if it does not work out for you immediately.
A common reason for the delay is quite simple: the best ovulation test strips is carried out at the wrong time. Sexual intercourse only leads to pregnancy if the woman is in the fertile phase of her cycle.
How exactly are fertile days calculated? What is LH value? And what types of ovulation tests are there? You can find answers to these questions here.
What are fertile days?
The misconception that a woman can become pregnant at any time is still widespread. This can lead to frustration if there is no prospect of pregnancy at the end of each month, despite taking the pill or not using condoms.
In fact, women are only fertile around 24 hours per cycle, in the phase immediately after ovulation. The male sperm can survive in the woman’s body for up to six days and fertilize the egg.
This means that if a woman wants to have children, sexual intercourse with her partner must take place immediately before or just before ovulation. Conversely, not having sexual intercourse on precisely these days is considered a natural method of contraception.
How are fertile days calculated?
The simplest, but also the most error-prone option with which you can determine fertile days is the calendar method. This involves determining the length of the cycle, which is usually between 26 and 30 days, and then calculating the time of ovulation.
However, if your cycle is irregular, the wrong days can easily be assumed. Even when you stop taking the pill, it can take some time for your cycle to settle down again.
The temperature method is a little more accurate. Fertile days are determined by taking the temperature daily after getting up. Directly after ovulation, the body temperature rises by about two to three-tenths of a degree Celsius.
The disadvantages of this method are the effort and strict adherence to the temperature time.
The third natural method to calculate fertile days is to check the cervical mucus. This changes its color and consistency at ovulation.
Modern ovulation tests as an alternative to the classical methods not only provide you with reliable information but are also much more practical. Anovulation test is the recommended option, especially for women who have not yet given much thought to their own cycle.
Women who would like to continue using traditional methods to determine their fertile days can use a one-off ovulation test to find out whether their calculations are actually correct.
How does an ovulation test work?
Visually and in terms of application, the ovulation test is very similar to the pregnancy test. The desired information is obtained from a urine sample.
Fertile days are determined by the so-called LH value in the urine. The abbreviation LH stands for the term luteinizing hormone. This hormone is significantly involved in regulating the menstrual cycle and the onset of ovulation.
At the latest 24 hours before ovulation, the LH level in your body, therefore, rises sharply. This process is known as the LH peak. As soon as ovulation has taken place, the LH level drops measurably to the normal value again in a very short time.
Due to the strong LH value fluctuation on the day before ovulation, the process is clearly visible in the urine. The error rate is extremely low.
The right application
Ovulation tests are available in two different versions in every drugstore and pharmacy:
- Strip tests: Show the IH value increase by a double strip
- Digital tests: Show the IH value increase on a display
Both versions are equally reliable. Many women find the digital tests easier to use due to the clearly visible result. Strip tests are again cheaper.
If you do not know the length of your cycle, determine it before the first application. This serves to limit the time window in question and you don’t have to waste too many tests. The average length of the cycle is 28 days.
The ovulation test begins on the 11th day after the start of menstruation. With a longer cycle, this value shifts a little bit backward, with a shorter one a little bit forward. Are you unsure? Then test too much in one day rather than too little.
The test is held in the urine stream. Alternatively, you can also give your urine sample in a beaker and carry out the test in it. Depending on the test, it may take a few minutes for the result to be displayed.
Incidentally, the ideal time to carry out the ovulation test is not in the morning, but in the course of the day. However, you should not have been in the toilet 3 to 4 hours before the test.
You will always find precise instructions directly in the test you have bought.
Is the ovulation test positive? Then you will be fertile for the next 24 hours and possibly a little more. Sexual intercourse should now take place within this time to fulfill your desire to have children.
If the test is negative, ovulation has not yet taken place and the test is repeated the next day.
What happens if an increased LH value is not measured?
Did you use the ovulation test correctly and still didn’t see an increase in the IH value during your cycle? This is an indication that ovulation has not taken place at all. So there were no fertile days on which pregnancy is possible this month.
In general, it is normal that ovulation does not occur every now and then. But it can also be a sign of a deeper problem. The reasons for the lack of ovulation include:
- The pill was only recently stopped. The hormonal balance still needs to stabilize
- Strong fluctuations in weight up or down
- High stress
- The onset of menopause
- PCO syndrome
- Luteal weakness
Especially if you fail to ovulate several times in a row, you should definitely talk to your gynecologist. Even if there is currently no desire to have children and you have discovered the lack of ovulation in the course of natural contraceptive methods.
When should an ovulation test be used?
As soon as you wish to have children, you can start the ovulation test. Pregnancy right at the first attempt is possible. But several attempts despite intercourse on the fertile days are perfectly normal.
Anovulation test is not absolutely necessary if you belong to those women with a regular cycle who consciously perceive their entry. This can be noticed by short pain in the ovaries or mood swings.
If you are not pregnant, you can use the test to check whether your assessment is actually correct.
What does an ovulation test cost?
The cost of an ovulation test is usually between 10 and 40 euros. Depending on the brand, there are enough test strips in the pack for at least one cycle or more. For some digital measuring devices, test strips can also be bought in a refill pack.
Limit your test window as much as possible using the above method to save costs.
The ovulation test – guarantee for pregnancy?
Unfortunately, fertile days and their calculation do not automatically mean that pregnancy will occur. Even if you and your partner do everything right, the chance of fertilization is only about 25%. In many cases, several months are necessary.
Doctors only recommend couples to go to a clinic if their desire to have children remains unfulfilled for a year.
It is important not to lose the fun of sexual intercourse despite the cycle calculation, ovulation tests, etc. Even the pressure and stress you put on yourself in bed rarely leads to success.