How do I use ovulation prediction kits (OPK) ?
Ovulation prediction test kits (OPK) are available abroad (or in India at a few chemists) over the counter . If you live in India, you can also buy them from online store. These kits detect LH which is produced in large quantities shortly before ovulation and can be found in the urine . Once the LH surge has occurred, ovulation usually takes place within 12 to 44 hours. Urine testing is started about two days prior to the expected day of ovulation and continues until the test becomes positive. The urine should be collected at the same time every day – and testing the first morning urine sample is a good idea.
If your menstrual cycles are irregular, testing should be timed according to the earliest and latest possible dates of ovulation. For example, if your cycle ranges between 27 and 34 days, you could possibly ovulate between days 13 and 20. Therefore, testing should begin on day 11 and continue until ovulation is indicated or through day 20. There is an 80 percent chance of detecting ovulation with five days of testing and a 95 percent chance with ten days of testing. Occasionally, ovulation may not occur in a particular cycle. If the ovulation prediction test has been timed and performed accurately and has not turned positive, you should discontinue testing and begin again with your next menstrual cycle. Persistent failure of the test to turn positive may indicate a problem with regard to ovulation.
Once a test has registered positive, indicating that ovulation is about to take place, it is no longer necessary to continue testing. Remaining tests in a kit may be saved and used in the following menstrual cycle if pregnancy does not occur.
Ovulation prediction kits offer the advantage that they allow you to predict when ovulation will occur – thus maximising the chances that intercourse will be timed at your most fertile period. They can also be done in the privacy of your own home. However, they are expensive; and some of the kits have very tedious and involved testing procedures, so that errors are not uncommon.
A newer device, The Clear Plan Easy TM Fertility Monitor, is a palm-sized, electronic system, that provides information about fertility status by interpreting the levels of two hormones, estrogen and luteinizing hormone, in the urine. You need to test your urine for the presence of these, using dip sticks, and the information is then input into the system, which uses it to calculate your fertile days.