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I've been trying for a baby for many years now. There was a short interlude of 6 months where I was pregnant, but that didn't end how I'd hoped, so here I am again still trying for that ever elusive baby.
Why do you need Ovulation Tests?
The honest answer is that most people don't. Most people will either get pregnant quickly when they start trying or get pregnant accidentally when they weren't trying. Unfortunately some women aren't quite so lucky and have to go down the timed intercourse, monitored fertility route.
Many doctors will tell you that you ovulate around day 14 of your cycle. In reality most women ovulate about 14 days before their next period, not 14 days after their last period. This distinction between these two points can make a big difference. There are a few ways to monitor ovulation, and ovulation tests like these one step tests, test for the hormone LH in the urine. An LH surge happens about 12-36 hours before ovulation, so if you keep testing then you will notice a positive test and know when to have intercourse, so as not to miss the tiny 2 day window of of opportunity.
What does a positive look like?
Unlike pregnancy tests where a positive is any line at all, no matter how faint. On these One Step ovulation test, and most ovulation tests, a positive is where the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.
The tests have a thick green handle with an absorbent tip with a max line, they come individually wrapped in plastic wrappers with a little packet to prevent moisture.
Ease of Use
Simply rip open the packet (taking care not to rip your test) throw away the little packet inside and then dip your test into fresh urine. Urinating directly on these does not work and will cause an erroneous result. However, if you have no container to urinate in, I have had success urinating into the packet itself and dipping the test in there.
Dip for at least 10 seconds, but do not go over the max line. Then lay the test strip flat on a non-absorbent surface and wait for no more than 10 minutes for a result.
Reading the Result
Although in theory, the test line has to be as dark or darker than control, I find these tests are not very sensitive. I have used these tests every cycle for about 4 years (minus 6 months) and have only got a "true" positive on a handful of occasions - usually while taking clomid. Perhaps the sensitivity isn't great for these tests, different brands of tests will measure different concentrations of LH in your urine. Too sensitive and you will get a false positive before your surge, since most women have some LH in their urine every day. Not sensitive enough and some women won't get a positive at all.
These One step tests aren't that sensitive, at least for me. But I am still happy to use them as I know what a "positive" looks like for me. So although the line wont be as dark as control, I can tell that for me, it's my surge. I've tried other tests, like wondfo, and found them to be far too sensitive, resulting in days and days of positive results. These are much better.
Backing them up
If it's important for you to make sure you don't miss your positive - perhaps you are taking time sensitive fertility meds, or IUI, then it can be helpful to back them up with a digital ovulation test. My favourite is a clearblue digital, which shows a smiley face if you are ovulating or a blank face if you aren't. Usually a negative, but dark line on one step, is positive on my digital. But the digitals are expensive, and these are cheap, and since you need to test often it's best to only use the digital as a back up.
I buy these tests on ebay, and they usually cost between 7 and 10p each.
I have been using these tests for a long time and mostly I'm happy enough with them. They are cheap, they work well enough and I know my own body well enough to interpret these correctly. But if you do need certainty then a digital would be better
If you are looking to conceive then you may want to just let nature take its course or you may want to do what you can to select the best days to have intercourse. If so then ovulation tests are one of the ways that you can check for your fertile days with ease.
Last year we were trying to conceive and we purchased fertility tests in bulk. As we were purchasing these from the Amazon Marketplace we were purchasing 50 tests for under £7.50. This is an absolutely fantastic price and meant that on the days when I thought I was ovulating I could do one first thing in the morning and one in the late afternoon to try and catch my ovulation days.
These strips come in a very basic packaging. It is a plastic style wrapping that has a little grip part that you pull to rip open. The test is very lightweight and looks like a thin bit of card basically. There is a green end and this is the one that you can hold to use the test. Using the test is simple enough. Just collect your urine in a clean container, leave for 10 minutes, dip this test in up to the 'max' line indicated and then leave it absorbed for 10 seconds. Once done simple remove from the urine and place on a clean flat surface and wait for 5 minutes. I always lay mine down on the plastic packaging that the test came in to keep it dry and fairly clean while waiting.
To read the test after five minutes simply compare the 'control' line to the 'test' line and if the test line is a similar colour or darker than the control line this will mean that you are ovulating. If the line is lighter this means you have either likely already ovulated. Testing should be started from 11 days in to your cycle and I used to do mine from day 12 as this was what worked best for me.
I found these tests incredibly simple to use. They obviously took just a few minutes to use and I found the results to be easy enough to work out. I used these in conjunction with some ovulation tests that I was having done at the hospital and they seemed to show similar results proving their accuracy. I used these for several months before I stopped because we were no longer trying to conceive due to medical problems that arose while having my tests.
The price of these fertility tests basically means that they are not prohibitive to anyone who is wanting to start trying for a baby. If you were to use several of these each month and had bought in bulk it would only cost around £1.00 to find out your best days for intercourse for the highest chance of successful conception.
Overall I would firmly recommend these tests. They worked well for us when we needed them and the price was fantastic.
Isn't it funny you spend years worrying about getting pregnant and then you grow up and spend an equal amount of time worrying about not getting pregnant. I suppose I can take comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone.
I like many others worried that I was not physically able and spent months peeing on a stick to see if I was ovulating. I found the One step ovulation test easy to use but the constant negative or 'inconclusive' results frustrating. I suppose the fact that I have used these correctly and still not got a positive ovulation test or pregnancy test for that matter shows that these strips do not work for me. Unlike the pregnancy test the guidelines suggest you test afternoon urine as this is when the hormone is stringer. After 18 months I still couldn't work out which line was meant to be up here down there!
I have used these strips for a good 18 months and it's only recently I have started to keep a basal body temperature diary and monitor other changes to my body. I still cannot say I have that positive and feel annoyed I wasted months relying solely on the strips.
I speak as I find and at only £5 on Ebay for 150 strips I cannot complain. It was a private sale and so I had nothing to worry about. I will continue to use them just not as my only method.
One Step Ovulation/Fertility Test Strips
Description: Manufacturer: One Step / Type: Ovulation/Fertility Test.
These ovulation/fertility test strips retail for between £5 and £6. They can currently be picked up on Amazon for £5.49 so if you are looking to buy some, could be a good way to cash in your Dooyoo miles!
In case you are wondering what these actually are or why someone may use them, they work in a similar way to a pregnancy test strip. They pick up on hormones in a woman's urine and determine when she is ovulation. If you are trying to get pregnant, you are likely to already know that there are only a few days (usually around the middle of the cycle) each month where a woman is fertile. Basically, this means that there are only a few days each month where an egg can be fertilised and then lead to pregnancy.
There are lots of online calculators which allow women to enter details of their cycle and then estimate the days that they are fertile but this is never going to be an exact science. And of course, this can only really work if the woman has a regular cycle which many do not. These tests are designed to show the exact days that women are ovulating and therefore, help to aid conception.
It is recommended that you start testing around day 11 of your cycle, though of course, if you are irregular, this can be impossible. There are 30 strips in a pack though so even if you need to check every day, you can still do so.
To use, collect a urine sample in a small, clean container (this is preferably best first thing in the morning) allows to cool and then remove one of the strips from its foil packaging (do not remove the strip until you are ready to use it) Then, place the tip of the strip into the urine sample and leave it for 10 seconds.
The strip then shows you 2 thin pink lines, which are used to indicate whether or not you are ovulation. The full instructions are on the pack so the strips are very easy to use. I have found that the strength of the pink lines can be a little confusing and it may be easier if the lines were different colours as it can be hard to know how dark or faint they should be but overall, these are quite simple to use and understand, especially when you have used them a few times and got the hang of it.
Experts recommend that if you are trying for a baby, you aim to have sex every 2 or 3 days, therefore ensuring that sperm is always present to meet the egg. But using these strips as a guide and then having sex at your most fertile time should definitely help your chances of conception, simply because you will know when you are most likely to be able to get pregnant. Having said that, unfortunately, there is no such thing as a sure way of getting pregnant and as so many of us know, this can take a lot of time, if indeed it happens at all.
In summary, if you are trying for a baby, these strips can help you to understand the best times to try. they are cheap and simple to use and if you struggle to work out when you are ovulation, can be really helpful. It is important to remember though that there are no guarantees where babies are concerned and often, the best thing that you can do is to keep trying without getting worried or stressed about it. It is common for couples to try for a year before managing to get pregnant so if you are trying, remember to stay as relaxed as you can and allow yourself time to let nature take its course.
If you have been trying for over a year, perhaps get some advice from your doctor but overall, remember that sex is supposed to be fun, so try not to get too technical. Oh and remember that it is recommended that women take specially designed vitamins when trying for a baby. Sanatogen and Boots both do "mum to be" supplements containing everything that you need to be healthy and prepare for pregnancy.
After trying various methods to pinpoint exactly when I ovulated (due to PCOS this is slightly akin to finding a needle in a haystack, at a haystack convention) I thought I would try these ovulation sticks.
You can buy them really cheaply from sites such as ebay or the brilliant Access Diagnostics (who also do discount codes, so look out for those) and they come in at just under a pound each. This is far, far cheaper than a lot of the ovulation tests on the market: great as you normally have to use them over a period of a few days. The foil pack contains one ovulation strip, very much no frills, just a thin bit of card with the magic eggy finding solution imprinted on it (or if you want to be specific, it detects the luteinising hormone that your body produces one or two days before ovulation) which you dip in your first morning urine. The test also has a control line to tell you it has worked properly- and this is where it gets complicated.
In order to discover whether you are about to, or are in the process of ovulating, the test line has to be darker than the control line. I found this to be incredibly confusing. The amount of wasted time I spent holding the test to the light, away from the light, then upside down trying to figure out which line was darker and how much darker it needed to be to indicate an imminent egg (and so the requirement of much baby-dancing) was insane.
So, in my opinion, unless you know roughly the few days when you normally ovulate, I wouldn't bother with these. They are a cheap handy way to double check, but not a definitive way to pinpoint it.
Women seem to put themselves through all sorts of stress when trying to fall pregnant, and ovulation testing is one of these little trials.
When I first decided to try falling pregnant I thought it might be a good idea to see if my body still knew how to ovulate after 18 years on the pill. I duly went onto Amazon and was shocked at the prices of ovulation tests. I had already read a review about the 'clearblue' tests and thought that they sounded like the easiest option . . . needless to say paying almost £15 for 7 test strips was against my principles!
I went back onto Amazon and found a pack of 30 strips for less than £5 (they now cost £5,49). As with most things ordered on Amazon I expected the tests to arrive within a week, but they only arrived about 3 weeks after placing the order (thus missing my first month of testing while attempting to fall pregnant).
Each test trip is sealed into its own packaging. The packaging has a little indicator mark on the front to show you where to tear it open. A clear instruction leaflet is included with the test strips
How to use the tests:
*Start testing from day 11 of your cycle (i.e. 11 days after the start of your previous period)
*Collect a urine sample in a clean container (I used a yoghurt pot!) and allow to cool for about 10 minutes
*Remove test strip from packaging and place tip in urine for 10 seconds
*Place strip on even surface and wait for 5 minutes.
*There are 2 pink lines that appear on the strip: The top line is the control line. If the test line is the same colour or darker than the control line then you are about to ovulate (the test detects the release of Luteinising Hormone) and you should throw your partner on the bed within the next 72 hours! (but conception is most likely to occur within 36 hours)
1) The results are not always clear - trying to judge just how dark the test line must be can be tricky:
The month before I fell pregnant the test results were very clear, but the month that I fell pregnant showed unclear results. The test strip showed that the test line was lightly lighter than the control line on day 13, when I tested again on day 14 the test line was much lighter. Some time between the 2 tests the LH surge must have happened, but was not clear on the strip itself.
2) Some men find it very stressful to have to perform at specific times