Ovulation tests (also known as OPKs) are used when trying to conceive (ttc) to show the best two days in a woman’s cycle in which to have intercourse to optimise the chance of becoming pregnant. Inhealth Ireland stocks generic ovulation tests as well as two of the leading brands - First Response and ClearBlue ovulation tests, including ClearBlue digital ovulation tests. Inhealth also stocks saliva ovulation tests and basal thermometers, which are other methods of detecting the most fertile time during the month, as well as the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor. All ovulation tests or OPKs are available at great value prices and are delivered the next day from Inhealth’s warehouse in Dublin. Please see further information below, under the featured ovulation tests, on ovulation and OPKs / ovulation tests.
Ovulation Tests or OPKs
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of a single mature egg from a follicle which has been developing in the ovary. Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of a woman’s cycle, so in a typical 28-day cycle, ovulation will occur on day 14. If a couple is trying to conceive (TTC), the first step in this process is to establish when in her cycle ovulation takes place.
When does ovulation occur?
Ovulation typically occurs once in the middle of a typical 28-day cycle in women who are fertile. Therefore ovulation should occur at around day 14. Once ovulation has occurred, the most fertile time in a woman’s cycle starts, which means that the chance of conceiving at this time in this cycle is at its highest
Can the time of ovulation in a cycle change?
A number of factors can affect the timing of ovulation. These include stress, tiredness, illness, interruptions to your normal routine (e.g. holidays, moving house or changing jobs) and hormone levels. Because of these, and also the fact that you may not ovulate on the same day every month (regardless of any of the above factors), it is advisable to use ovulation tests or an OPK to pinpoint the exact days you are most fertile.
When does your cycle start and end?
Your menstrual cycle starts on the day that you get your period. You then count the days until your next period, to give you the length of your own individual cycle. If you are trying to conceive, or TTC, it is advisable to keep a record of the start dates of every one of your cycles. Some women have shorter or longer cycles, or even variable cycles. Therefore, when trying to conceive, it is essential to keep track of your cycle lengths.
How can you test for ovulation?
A hormone called LH (luteinising hormone) is released by a woman throughout her cycle. Approximately midway during her cycle, just prior to the release of the egg or ovulation, an LH surge will occur. Ovulation tests detect this LH surge and therefore show you your best days in your cycle to try to conceive (TTC). A woman is at the peak of her fertility on the day that the LH surge occurs and on the following day. Therefore the chance of conception is at its highest during these two days. Identification of these crucial two days is essential if couples want to maximise their chances of conceiving. When women are trying to conceive, the use of ovulation tests or OPKs are recommended to pinpoint the exact two days that the LH surge occurs. It is possible to estimate these two days based on the length of your cycle, but ovulation tests or an OPK are used in order to definitively identify these optimum days.
How long does an egg survive?
After being released, an egg can be fertilised for 12 to 48 hours maximum. After this time, the egg will not live. These timings tie in with the previously stated optimum fertile days of a woman’s cycle being the two days after the LH surge occurs
How long does sperm survive?
This question is much more difficult to answer than the equivalent question for the egg. This is because a number of factors can affect the chances of sperm surviving. These include:
A perfect vaginal environment
Optimum or fertile cervical mucus
The quality of the sperm, e.g. good strength, good swimmers.
If ideal conditions are in place, it is possible for sperm to survive for as many as six to seven days.
What is the Luteal Phase (LP), sometimes referred to as DPO - days past ovulation?
The Luteal Phase is the length of time after ovulation has taken place, and before the next period starts. So the first day of the Luteal phase is the day after ovulation has taken place and the last day of it is the day before the next period. These days are also the same as DPO - days past ovulation. Many women try to count their DPO (often after using ovulation tests or an OPK) in order to establish how early they can use an early pregnancy test.
What is the fertile window?
The fertile window is the time during a woman’s cycle when the chances of conceiving are at their highest, i.e. it is possible to become pregnant. It is measured in days, and is calculated by working out the maximum time the sperm and the egg can live. Tests have shown that timing intercourse for the 2-3 days immediately before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself greatly increase the chances of becoming pregnant. Again, in order to identify these critical days, the use of ovulation tests or an OPK, along with accurate monitoring of the days of your cycle (many women use an ovulation calendar to assist them) is essential.
How do ovulation tests work?
As previously stated, an ovulation test or an OPK measures the surge of LH that occurs just before ovulation takes place.
What formats are Ovulation Tests or OPKs available in?
Ovulation tests are available in a number of formats from Inhealth Ireland, such as ovulation test strips and midstream ovulation tests. Inhealth supplies these generic ovulation tests at great value prices, and have even further reductions when buying in bulk. Inhealth also stocks some of the well-known brands of ovulation tests - ClearBlue ovulation tests and First Response ovulation tests, including ClearBlue digital ovulation tests.
Do different types of ovulation tests or OPKs work in different ways?
Ovulation test strips - the ovulation test strip or OPK is dipped into a sample of urine. Read the ovulation test result in 5 minutes. A control line will appear to show you that the ovulation test has taken place correctly; a second line will appear to indicate that the LH surge has taken place, and so this is the optimum time in this cycle to try to conceive (TTC).
Midstream ovulation test - hold the midstream ovulation test or OPK into your stream of urine. Read the ovulation test result in 5 minutes. A control line will appear to show you that the ovulation test has been correctly used. If a second line does not appear or is fainter in colour than the control band, then the LH surge has not occurred. If a darker second line appears on the ovulation test, then the LH surge has occurred so now is an optimum time to try to conceive (TTC).
First Response Ovulation Test - this ovulation test or OPK works in the same way as the generic midstream ovulation test; simply hold it in your stream of urine for a few seconds then read the result 5 minutes later. Again a control line will appear to show you that the ovulation test has been correctly used. As for the midstream ovulation test above, if a second line does not appear or is fainter in colour than the control band, then the LH surge has not occurred. If a darker second line appears on the ovulation test, then the LH surge has occurred so now is an optimum time to try to conceive (TTC).
ClearBlue ovulation test - this ovulation test or OPK again is held in your stream of urine for a few seconds but you only have to wait 3 minutes for the result to appear. Again a control line will appear to show you that the ovulation test has been correctly used. As for the midstream ovulation test above, if a second line does not appear or is fainter in colour than the control band, then the LH surge has not occurred. If a darker second line appears on the ovulation test, then the LH surge has occurred so now is an optimum time to try to conceive (TTC).
ClearBlue Digital Ovulation Test - this ovulation test or OPK can either be held in your urine stream for 5 - 7 seconds, or dipped into a urine sample for 15 seconds. After only 3 minutes, you can check your result. A blank circle means that the ovulation test did not detect the LH surge; a smiley face indicates that the LH surge has been detected and the next 48 hours would be the optimum time to try to conceive (ttc).
It is recommended that you use your ovulation test or OPK at the same time each day. If you got a negative result for the LH surge, but the control appeared to show the ovulation test was correctly used, just do another new ovulation test at the same time the next day.
All of the above ovulation tests or OPKs are available at great value prices, and are delivered the next day from Inhealth Ireland’s warehouse in Dublin.