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Best Ovulation Tests

Updated August 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best ovulation tests

    Last Updated August 2018

    Bringing new life into the world is something that many people long to do, but it doesn’t come easy for everyone. Whether you’re having trouble conceiving or you simply want to take the guesswork out of identifying your most fertile days, ovulation tests can give you a helping hand.

    It’s important to choose an ovulation test that will give you accurate results that are easy to interpret. However, with so many different tests on the market, that’s easier said than done. How do you find the best ovulation test to monitor your cycle?

    At BestReview, our goal is to make it easier for consumers to find the right products. For everything you need to know about buying ovulation tests, keep reading our shopping guide, which is packed with helpful tips and advice.

    If you know roughly what time of the month you’re likely to ovulate, this will save money since you won’t need to use ovulation tests on days when you’re sure you’re not ovulating.

    How do ovulation tests work?

    Also known as ovulation prediction kits (OPK), ovulation tests detect hormones in the urine that let you know when you’re about to ovulate. Most ovulation tests simply detect surges in luteinizing hormone (LH) that come just before ovulation, although some more advanced tests detect both LH and estrogen.

    Surges in LH occur around 36 hours before ovulation. You generally have the best chance of getting pregnant in the two days prior to ovulation, so a positive result on an ovulation test lets you know that you’re at the most fertile point in your cycle.

    As for the testing process, ovulation tests work much like home pregnancy tests. Depending on the type of test you choose, you either need to dip the end of the indicator into urine or pass urine over the indicator’s tip.

    Crystal-clear results

    Not only does the Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test identify your two most fertile days, the results are impossible to misinterpret. Rather than squinting at test lines and trying to decide whether or not they’re darker than the control line, a simple smiley face tells you when you’re about to ovulate. This pack includes 20 ovulation tests for multiple months of use.

    Types of ovulation tests

    Basic ovulation tests

    Basic ovulation tests are simple paper strips that allow you to see whether or not you’re about to ovulate by comparing the test line to the control line.

    • Pros: Basic ovulation tests tend to be very inexpensive, which is ideal if you’re on a budget or use a lot of strips due to irregular periods or long cycles. They’re also more environmentally friendly because they don’t have plastic casings.

    • Cons: It can be difficult to interpret the results from basic ovulation tests, especially if it’s your first time using them.

    Digital ovulation tests

    Digital ovulation tests are plastic sticks with a digital display window that shows a “yes,” smiley face, tick, or other simple indicator that you’re currently fertile.

    • Pros: It’s extremely easy to read the results on digital ovulation tests. Some digital tests detect a greater number of hormones to let you know your ovulation date up to a week ahead.

    • Cons: Digital ovulation tests are more expensive than basic tests, plus they create more plastic waste.
    EXPERT TIP

    Always double-check what time of day you should take the ovulation test and the time it takes for the test to produce a result. This can vary between different brands of ovulation tests.


    EXPERT TIP

    If you buy a large pack of ovulation tests, keep an eye on the expiration date as they don’t last forever.


    Features to consider for ovulation tests

    Easy-to-read results

    Think about how easy or difficult the results are to read on your chosen ovulation test. If you choose a basic ovulation test, you read the results by comparing the test line to the control line. The control line is always the same color, but the test line will be lighter or darker depending on the amount of LH in your urine. A positive result occurs when the test line is darker than the control line. While you get the hang of reading this kind of ovulation test after a few tries, it can be difficult to interpret the results when the test line is close to the color of the control line. It may also be more challenging for people with some types of color blindness.

    Digital ovulation tests, on the other hand, don’t require any interpretation – you’ll get a clear yes or no. The exact indicator depends on the brand, but it is usually a smiley face or simply the word “yes.”

    Testing time of day

    Although many ovulation tests will give you accurate results at any time of day, some tests are more accurate when taken in the afternoon. This is because in the morning you might have more concentrated levels of hormones in your urine if you haven’t used the bathroom overnight. Taking an ovulation test in the afternoon can be inconvenient, especially at work. If taking an ovulation test in the afternoon would be a hassle for you, make sure the ovulation test you choose is sensitive enough for testing at any time of day.

    Since women with polycystic ovary syndrome often have several surges of LH throughout their cycles, ovulation tests aren’t an effective way for PCOS sufferers to tell if they’re ovulating.

    Time required

    Make sure you check how long it takes for your chosen ovulation test to show a result. Some tests only take a minute or two, but basic tests can take five minutes or more to develop. If you don’t wait until the recommended amount of time has elapsed, you might mistakenly see a negative result. On the other hand, there is a maximum developing time, too, after which your results may be inaccurate. For instance, if you forget about your ovulation test and then look at it after an hour has passed, you could see a false positive.

    Price

    Don’t worry if you’re on a budget because not all ovulation tests cost a lot of money. Basic paper test strips usually cost between $0.10 and $0.50 per test, and larger packs of tests generally give you a lower price per test. Digital ovulation tests cost roughly $1 to $2 per test.

    A basic test that works

    If you want budget-friendly ovulation tests, look no further. The ClinicalGuard Ovulation Test Strips include 50 paper strips that are individually sealed, a supply which will last the average user around five months. This no-frills ovulation test gives fast, accurate results.

    Tips

    • Think about your overall health. Some pre-existing conditions can affect fertility or the accuracy of an ovulation test. If in doubt, consult your OB-GYN before trying to conceive.

    • Always follow the directions. The main cause of incorrect results from ovulation tests, or tests not spotting ovulation at all, is due to not using them properly.

    • Consider the length of your cycle. Although most women with a standard 28-day cycle ovulate somewhere around day 14, ovulation can occur earlier or later. If your cycle is irregular, or longer or shorter than 28 days, when you ovulate can vary. Make sure you start using ovulation tests early enough in your cycle to catch your LH surge.

    • Don’t drink too much before testing. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of water (or other fluids) in the four hours before you plan to take your ovulation test. Too much fluid dilutes your urine and can affect the results.
    Ovulation tests aren’t completely foolproof. You can have a surge in LH and then fail to ovulate. If you’ve been getting positive results on your ovulation tests but still haven’t conceived after six to 12 months, see an OB-GYN.

    FAQ

    Q. Do I need to use ovulation tests to get pregnant?

    A. Ovulation tests are not necessary to get pregnant, but that doesn’t mean they’re not helpful. Without knowing when you’ll ovulate, it’s best to have intercourse every other day for the best chance of getting pregnant. Using an ovulation kit improves your chances of conceiving by allowing you to pinpoint when you’re ovulating.

    Q. Which day of my cycle should I take an ovulation test?

    A. We recommend taking your first ovulation test on the 10th day of your cycle (the first day of your cycle is the first day of your menstrual period). Then keep taking one test per day until you get a positive result. However, if you have a shorter-than-average cycle, you might want to start using ovulation tests from the first day after your period ends.

    Q. I’ve taken an ovulation test every day of my cycle after my period ended, but I haven’t had a positive result. What should I do?

    A. If you take an ovulation test every day after the end of your period and you don’t get a positive result, this could mean you’re not using the tests properly or the tests are faulty. Try again with a new OPK during your next cycle. If you still don’t get a positive result on any of your ovulation tests, make an appointment with your OB-GYN for a checkup.

    The team that worked on this review
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      Editorial Manager
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