In order for a woman to become pregnant, she must have had sexual intercourse during her ovulation or in the pre-ovulatory period . Therefore, if a couple seeks a pregnancy, the most effective way to achieve it is through ovulation tests, which will allow them to schedule their sexual encounters on the days of greatest fertility for the woman.
For each menstrual cycle, which usually lasts 28 days, a woman’s ovaries release a single egg . After being released, this egg remains for a few hours in the woman’s fallopian tubes, waiting to be fertilized. This is when fertility is highest. This ovulation occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, prior to the production of a certain hormone in the brain. If fertilization does not occur in the following hours after ovulation occurs, the ovary will be discarded, along with other structures that are produced to prepare for possible pregnancy, thus beginning the process known as menstruation.
WHAT IS AN OVULATION TEST?
An ovulation test is a tool that allows you to know the approximate day on which ovulation will occur. There are different types, but most have in common that it works by measuring the amount of a hormone in the urine.
OVULATION TESTS REACT TO LUTEINIZING HORMONE
The high point in the production of the luteinizing hormone which will indicate in the ovulation tests that it is time to have intercourse , since that day you will be in the pre-ovulation period and the next two you will be ovulating . It is the most appropriate time, therefore, for fertilization to take place. If this does not occur, the process will continue with menstruation or rule, so you will have to wait the following month to try again .
An ovulation test can be reminiscent of a pregnancy test , since they both measure the amount of a certain hormone in the urine. This is a detection area, usually a strip, where the urine should be deposited. This contains a reagent that detects the high presence (or not) of the luteinizing hormone , after five minutes of application.
There are also ovulation tests through blood , but since they are more invasive than urine tests, only doctors use them and they are not marketed. They are reserved for cases, therefore, in which there are specific problems in which the gynecologist must act .
DIFFERENT TYPES. WHAT OVULATION TEST TO CHOOSE?
Although the ovulation tests that measure the presence of luteinizing hormone in the urine are the most classic and simple, there are other tests that use different ways to determine if ovulation is close and when it will be better to have intercourse to promote fertilization.
Estrogen ovulation tests, as their name suggests, determine the amount of estradiol (estrogens) during the menstrual cycle. Unlike the classic ovulation tests, they do not detect these hormones in the urine, but in the saliva or vaginal discharge of the woman. In addition, they determine when ovulation will occur three to four days before it occurs.
THERE ARE THERMOMETERS TO MEASURE BASAL TEMPERATURE
Within the ovulation tests that measure hormones, whether it is luteinizing hormone or estrogens, there are two types: tests in strip format or in thermometer format . The sensitivity is the same in both formats and the operation is practically the same. The difference is that the strips are disposable and the measurement is made by staining an area; while in the thermometer format the measurement is usually electronic, marking you on a screen if the test result is positive or not. Thermometer types are going to be easier to use, but they are usually more expensive as well.
USAGE TIPS FOR OVULATION TESTS
The way to use ovulation tests, whatever their format, is very simple and they are quite well detailed in its instructions . However, it is advisable to follow some tips to increase the effectiveness of these tests.
The first urine in the morning should be discarded, since the hormone that is detected in the tests is not synthesized at night, but from the morning. The best time to take samples is, therefore, from 12 noon to 8 pm . Of course, it is advisable to follow the rule of always performing the test at the same time each day.
It is also advisable not to drink too much liquid a couple of hours before collecting the sample, since it could dilute the hormone in the urine and obtain wrong measurements. Collect the urine in a clean container, where you can easily soak the ovulation test for as long as the instructions stipulate.
ARE THESE TESTS RELIABLE? WHEN TO SEE A SPECIALIST
Fertilization is a process that occurs with a very low probability . Having sex in full ovulation, when the egg is available for sperm, there is only a 25% chance that the egg will fertilize and settle in the womb. Therefore, if you cannot get pregnant even if the ovulation test says that you are at your best moment of the menstrual cycle, you do not have to worry, it is totally normal.
YOU CAN CREATE A CALENDAR FOR A FEW MONTHS
The ovulation tests that detect hormones have a reliability of between 95 to 99% , depending on the manufacturer. That means they mark exactly the days you will be ovulating. That is, the tests are totally reliable, but a positive test does not indicate that you are going to get pregnant for sure. If after a few months your period continues to drop -symptom that fertilization did not occur-, despite the fact that the ovulation tests continue to be positive, you should consult a specialist. The doctor will test you and your partner to verify that there are no fertility problems.
HOW TO GET PREGNANT USING A PREGNANCY TEST
The gynecologist always recommends that if you want to get pregnant you continue with your normal sexual intercourse activity. However, if it is not possible due to the circumstances, or if you want to ensure fertilization by increasing the number of relationships on the most fertile days, the ovulation tests will be of great help .
Follow the guidelines above and use the test daily. There will come a time when the amount of hormone that the test detects is at its highest point . At that moment you will have between 24 and 48 hours for the ovum to be fertilized, so it is recommended to have as many sexual relations as possible in that time. Remember that the chances are still slim, the most important thing is not to get discouraged!