So you and your partner have decided to start a family. This is a very tough decision for most people but if you are like I was it’s just an urge you get. You just feel the need to be pregnant and yearn for it. It can be very depressing to get your period every month when you want a baby so bad.
When I was trying to conceive I researched everything I could about getting pregnant and prepared myself for one of the greatest journeys of my life. I wanted to get pregnant as soon as possible and wanted all of the facts to help me achieve that. These days a lot of my friends ask me about fertility advice because they know how much I was into it.
Some people think as soon as they decide to began TTC that they will instantly become pregnant. However, this is not really the case for most people. Did you know that there is only about a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle?
To maximize your chances of getting pregnant each cycle you need to know when you ovulate. One of the ways to do this is to take an ovulation predictor kit (there are also other fertility signs you can check to see if you are nearing ovulation too). These tests measure the LH hormone that surges 24-36 hours before ovulation. So when you receive a positive OPK this is the time to start BDing.
OPK’s can be quite expensive costing from $15 to over $45 for digital tests. I never wanted to spend this much so I always went for the cheapest ovulation tests I could find which were ovulation test strips. I loved using BabyHopes Ovulation Test Strips. You can get a lot of these tests for cheap which is great since I often used 10 or more per cycle.
Using an ovulation test strip is pretty simple.
- Know how long your cycle is. More than likely you have a pretty good idea of what this is since you’ve been having a period for many years by now. On average most people have a 28 day cycle but some can have more or less. If you do not know how long your cycle is record how long your cycle lasts for about 6 months and take the average.
- I began taking ovulation tests on day 10 of my cycle just to be safe (this is often recommended if you do not know exactly how long your cycle is). Note: Day 1 is the day your period starts.
- Test twice a day at the same time. They say the best times to test are between 11am and 3pm and 5pm and 10pm. At minimum I usually tried to test once in the morning and once at night.
- Okay, here comes the TMI. To take an OPK I urinated into one of those little dixie cups (Lovely image, right?) and dipped the test strip in for about 10 seconds. When the 7-10 seconds were up I laid the test strip flat across the top of the dixie cup. It can take up to 10 minutes for the true result to show up but a positive result can be shown in under a minute. I just sat there and anxiously watched the test colors move through the test strip.
- A result is positive if the test line is the same or darker than the control line (in this case you should get to BDing because you should ovulate sometime within the next 24-48 hours). If the test line is lighter than the control line or does not show up at all then the result is negative. For example, the below image is a negative OPK.
For your reference: When I did get a positive OPK I kept taking the tests every day till they became negative. I usually had about 2 (occasionally one or three days) days of positive tests which I would BD on all of those days as well as the day I got the first negative. I was also charting my BBT at the same as taking these tests and I noticed I usually ovulated on the second positive test or the first negative.
Don’t fret if you do not get pregnant right away. It can take a normal, healthy couple up to a year to get pregnant. It can also be helpful to talk to others who are experiencing the same things you are. I have found that forums like Mom Forum that have threads dedicated to TTC can be very useful. Happy BDing!! Have you used an ovulation test before? How was your experience with them?