The desire to have a child is not always fulfilled right away. Many couples who decide to have a baby take six to twelve months before a positive pregnancy test is seen. Therefore, there is no reason to worry if it does not work out for you right away.
A common reason for the delay is quite simple: the test is performed at the wrong time. Sexual intercourse only leads to pregnancy when the woman is in the fertile phase of her cycle.
How exactly are fertile days calculated? What’s the deal with the LH level? And what types of ovulation tests are there? You can find answers to these questions here.
Table of contents
What Are Fertile Days?
There is still a widespread misconception that a woman can get pregnant at any time. This can lead to frustration if there is no pregnancy insight at the end of each month despite taking the pill or not using condoms.
In fact, women are only fertile for about 24 hours per cycle, in the phase immediately after ovulation. Male sperm, on the other hand, can survive in a woman’s body for up to six days and fertilize the egg.
This means that if you want to have a child, sexual intercourse with your partner must take place directly before or exactly at the time of ovulation. Conversely, refraining from sexual intercourse on exactly these days is considered a natural contraceptive method.
How Are Fertile Days Calculated?
The simplest, but also most error-prone option for determining fertile days is the calendar method. The length of the cycle, which is usually between 26 and 30 days, is determined and then the time of ovulation is calculated.
However, if your cycle is irregular, the wrong days can easily be assumed. Even after stopping the pill, it can take some time until the cycle is regulated again.
The temperature method is more accurate. Fertile days are determined by taking the temperature every day after getting up. Immediately after ovulation, the body temperature rises by about two to three-tenths of a degree Celsius.
The disadvantage of this method is the effort and strict adherence to the temperature time.
The third natural method to calculate fertile days is to check the cervical mucus. This changes color and consistency at ovulation.
Modern ovulation tests as an alternative to the classic methods not only provide you with reliable information but are also much more practical. An anovulation test is the recommended option, especially for women who have not yet paid much attention to their own cycle.
Women who would like to continue using traditional methods to determine their fertile days can find out whether their calculations are actually correct with a one-time ovulation test.
How Does An Ovulation Test Work?
Visually and in its application, the ovulation test is very similar to the pregnancy test. The desired information is obtained through a urine sample.
Fertile days are determined by the so-called LH value in the urine. The abbreviation LH stands for the term Luteinizing Hormone. This hormone is significantly involved in the regulation of the monthly cycle and the onset of ovulation.
At the latest 24 hours before ovulation, the LH level in your body increases sharply. This process is called the LH peak. As soon as ovulation has occurred, the LH level measurably drops back to normal within a very short time.
Due to the strong LH value fluctuation on the day before ovulation, the process is clearly recognizable in the urine. The error rate is extremely low.
The Correct Use
Ovulation tests are available in two different versions in every drugstore and pharmacy:
- Strip tests: Show the IH value increase by a double strip.
- Digital tests: show the IH level increase on a display.
Both versions are equally reliable. Many women find the digital tests easier to use because of the more clearly visible result. Strip tests, on the other hand, are less expensive.
If you do not know the length of your cycle, then determine it before the first use. This serves to narrow down the eligible time window and you do not have to waste too many tests. The average length of the cycle is 28 days.
The ovulation test is started on the 11th day after the start of menstruation. In the case of a longer cycle, this value shifts a little bit backward, in the case of a shorter cycle it shifts a little bit forwards. You are unsure? Then test one day too much rather than too little.
The test is held in the urine stream. Alternatively, you can also give your urine sample in a cup and perform the test in it. Depending on the test, it then takes a few minutes until the result is displayed.
By the way, the ideal time to perform the ovulation test is not in the morning, but during the day. However, you should not have been to the toilet 3 to 4 hours before the test.
You can always find exact instructions directly with the test you have purchased.
Is the ovulation test positive? Then you are fertile for the next 24 hours and possibly a little longer. Within this time, sexual intercourse should take place in order to fulfill your desire to have a child.
If the test is negative, ovulation has not yet occurred and the test will be repeated the next day.
What Happens If No Increased LH Level Was Measured?
You used the ovulation test correctly and still did not detect a rise in IH during your cycle? This is an indication that no ovulation has taken place. Fertile days on which pregnancy is possible did not occur in this month.
Generally, it is normal that ovulation fails to occur from time to time. However, it can also be a sign of a deeper problem. The reasons for the absence of ovulation include:
- You have only recently stopped taking the pill. Hormone balance still needs to stabilize.
- Severe weight fluctuations up or down.
- High stress.
- The onset of menopause.
- PCO syndrome.
- Luteal insufficiency.
Especially if ovulation fails to occur several times in a row, you should definitely talk to your gynecologist. Even if you do not currently wish to have a child and have discovered the lack of ovulation in the course of natural contraceptive methods.
When Should An Ovulation Test Be Used?
As soon as you wish to have a child, you can start using the ovulation test. Pregnancy is possible on the first attempt. However, several attempts despite sexual intercourse on the fertile days are perfectly normal.
An an ovulation test is not absolutely necessary if you belong to those women with a regular cycle who are aware of their conception. This can be noticeable through short pains in the ovaries or mood swings.
In the event of a missed pregnancy, you can use the test to check whether your assessment is actually correct.
What Does An Ovulation Test Cost?
Ovulation tests usually cost between 10 and 40 euros. Depending on the brand, the package contains enough test strips for at least one cycle or more. For some digital meters, test strips can also be purchased in a refill pack.
Limit your testing window as much as possible with the above method to save money.
The Ovulation Test – A Guarantee Of Pregnancy?
Fertile days and their calculation unfortunately do not automatically mean that pregnancy will occur. Even if you and your partner do everything right, the chance of fertilization is only about 25%. Several months are necessary in many cases.
Doctors recommend couples to go to a clinic only if the desire to have a child remains unfulfilled for a year.
It is important not to lose the fun of sexual intercourse despite cycle calculation, ovulation tests & Co. Self-imposed pressure and stress in bed rarely lead to success.
Discover our tips for getting pregnant and prepare yourself in a healthy way for your hopefully soon to begin pregnancy.