In my previous post about getting pregnant while breastfeeding I mentioned Ovulation Predictor Kits. Also known as OPKs. I thought I would expand on that since they are a favorite product of anyone trying to conceive.
Are you wondering which are the best ovulation predictor kits? Well I will tell you the ones I have used and prefer.
What is an ovulation predictor kit/test?
An OPK is a simple test that you pee on that measures the amount of LH (Luteinizing hormone) in your urine.
We have LH in our system all the time but a surge of LH is triggered about 12-48 hours before ovulation. By using an OPK we can try to catch that surge which means it's time to get busy if trying to conceive. Using an ovulation test to predict ovulation is seriously one of the most helpful and important things you can do if you are trying to conceive.
OPKs can sometimes be confusing to read because unlike a pregnancy test they will most likely have two lines even when not positive. This is because the LH hormone is there but it may not be at an elevated level yet.
When the test line is as dark or darker than the control line we can know it is positive.
It's extremely important to follow the directions when taking an OPK because different tests from different brands may vary a bit.
I used OPKs the first time I was trying to conceive and let me tell you I was pretty confused about those lines until I finally got a positive.
Then I knew what it looked like and just how dark it needed to be! Sometimes you will see a fade in pattern where the line gradually gets darker but not always.
If you are serious about conceiving then you should definitely consider using OPKs. I am not sure I could have done it without them. It helps you nail down ovulation, and if you use them in conjunction with charting and taking your temperature it can increase your chances each month of conceiving.
Which OPKs are the best? Here are my favorites
- Allows you to easily identify your "LH Surge" - the time you're most likely to conceive
- Quick 5 minute results
- Earliest detection with greatest sensitivity
- All Tests FDA-Approved and over 99% Accurate
They are cheap, I mean super cheap. If you are trying to conceive for more than one cycle you need cheap. You need to start testing days before you think ovulation is due so you do not miss the LH surge.
Going through multiple tests each month can get super expensive. In fact with the cheap tests you can test more than once a day which may be necessary when your LH surge is close in order to not miss it.
They are accurate. They have 99% accuracy and I never had issues with these. I might have had a dud occasionally but being so cheap it's not a big deal.
They are easy to use and have super quick results. These work the best when urinating in a cup and dipping them in. Results start to appear almost immediately.
If I could pick a con to these it's that reading the lines can be confusing if you are new to OPKs. It may be hard to know for sure if a test is positive. Just keep testing if you are unsure. When it's positive the line is darker it's pretty clear.
- #1 OB-GYN Recommended Brand.
- Gives women a greater chance of detecting their fertile days, even if their cycle lengths are variable.
- Completely clear result: A smiley face in the indicator window pinpoints your 2 most likely days to get pregnant.
- Over 99% accurate at detecting your LH surge.
- Take the test any time of the day.
This test is more money than the cheap ones, but there is no guessing on the lines which may be a huge benefit for some women and make it worth the cost.
When the LH surge is detected this test displays a smiley face. So like I said, no guessing.
It is more money but it's not outrageous. 20 tests cost anywhere between $25-$30 on Amazon and Clearblue claims this will last two months. When we are trying to conceive sometimes money is no object right?
Here's what I did. I used the cheap tests until I got what appeared to be a positive and then I confirmed with a Clearblue ovulation test. This is money saving all around.
Clearblue also makes an advanced digital ovulation test but I never used this one. It claims that it detects up to four fertile days but it is more money, and I am not sure of the benefit when the regular test works so well.
Clearblue also makes a fertility monitor.
This is an expensive device that measures Estrogen and LH surge and can help pinpoint your most fertile days each cycle.
It uses your cycle history as well and personalizes the data for you. This is a reusable device that you use with fertility monitor strips which are disposable.
It is pricy but it may be an option if you would like to skip the OPKs and invest once. I have heard women rave about it and it seems to be great at helping women conceive.
For me personally it was too much money. I would have loved it, but in my hopes to get pregnant quickly I did not think the investment was worth it.
Now in hindsight, if I knew I was planning to get pregnant three times it may have been worth it back when I was trying for my first baby.
Does breastfeeding affect OPK results?
This is a question I have been asked by moms trying to get pregnant while breastfeeding. I have done a lot of research and this has led me to believe that breastfeeding will not affect the actual OPK test result.
While breastfeeding can restrict ovulation and cause a delay in when your period and cycle return to normal, it does not affect the actual test result as in altering the line color, or LH hormone showing up on the test. I hope that helps to clear that question up.
When trying to conceive ovulation tests are one of the most important tools you can use to narrow down your fertile time of month and help increase your chances of getting pregnant any month.
There are many types of ovulation tests available but these are my two favorites Ovulation Predictor Kits plus some information about the fertility monitor.
OPKs worked great for me, and I used them while breastfeeding, if you are trying to conceive they are a must!
Please let me know, do you have a favorite OPK brand?