If you’re planning or trying to get pregnant, I highly recommend getting ovulation strips. As cumbersome as they may be, I found them to be effective!
Ovulation test strips help you determine when you are ovulating. They measure levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine – a rise in LH signals the ovary to release an egg – so when the strips show you’ve reached a certain threshold, you can assume ovulation will occur within the next 24 to 36 hours.
Note: you may not ovulate regularly. The strips can help identify this.
Peeing on a strip every day to measure and track your LH levels is cumbersome and can get annoying, but it does help you narrow the window and make the process more efficient. It isn’t until you’re trying you realize the window is so small, and if you miss it, you have to wait an entire month to try again!
If you want to nerd out a bit and understand the science a little more, and identify windows of opportunity and possibly missed opportunities: LH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland. Low levels of LH are released through the menstrual cycle, and halfway through, levels surge. The increase in LH triggers ovulation. Note: your pituitary gland could be a source of infertility.
Here’s where you need to do a little math. Typically, an egg is released within 1-3 days of a positive ovulation test. Once the egg is released, it is fertile for around 24 hours. Sperm can live in the body for up to five days. Don’t forget the sperm needs to do its part and fertilize the egg!
Hopefully this helps, and remember – if it doesn’t work this month, give yourself a break, because even with these tests, there is a margin of error. That’s how hard it actually is to get pregnant!