Navigate Up

Pediatric Center - A-Z Index

#
Q
Z

Print This Page

Ovulation home test

An ovulation home test is used by women to help identify the time in the menstrual cycle when they're most likely to become pregnant

The test works by detecting a rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. Such a rise, or surge, signals the ovary to release the egg. This at-home test is often used by women to help predict ovulation.

These kits can be bought at most drug stores.

Alternative Names

Luteinizing hormone urine test (home test); Ovulation prediction test; Urinary LH immunoassays; At-home ovulation prediction test; LH urine test

How the test is performed

Ovulation prediction test kits usually come with five to seven sticks. You may need to test for several days to detect a surge in LH. The specific time of month that you start testing depends on the length of your menstrual cycle. For example, if your normal menstrual cycle is 28 days, you'll need to test on day 11 -- that is, the 11th day after you started your period.

You will need to urinate on the test stick, or place the stick into urine that has been collected into a sterile container. The test stick will turn a certain color or display a positive sign if a surge is detected. A positive result means you should ovulate in the next 24 to 36 hours, but this may not be the case for all women. The kit's instruction booklet will tell you how to properly read the results.

If you miss a day, you may miss your surge. You may also miss recording a surge if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.

How to prepare for the test

Do not drink large amounts of fluids before using the test.

Ask your doctor if you need to stop taking certain drugs before using this test.

Drugs that can decrease LH measurements include estrogens, progesterone and testosterone. Estrogens and progesterone may be found in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

The drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid) can increase LH levels. This drug is used to help trigger ovulation. Women taking this drug should wait three days after stopping the medicine before checking their LH levels.

How the test will feel

The test involves normal urination. There is no pain or discomfort.

Why the test is performed

This test is most often done to determine when a women will ovulate. When trying to make a baby, many couples plan intercourse around ovulation, the time when the woman's ovaries release an egg. For women with a 28 day menstrual cycle, this release normally occurs between days 11 – 14. See: Pregnancy-identifying fertile days

If you have an irregular menstrual cycle and are not sure when or if you are ovulating, an ovulation prediction kit can help.

The ovulation home test may also be used to determine if you need to adjust doses of certain medications.

Normal Values

A positive result indicates an "LH surge" and is a sign that ovulation may soon occur. Read your specific manufacturer's instruction booklet for complete details.

What the risks are

Rare false positive results can occur. This means the test kit may falsely predict ovulation.

Special considerations

If you are unable to detect a surge or do not become pregnant after using an ovulation prediction kit for several months, contact your doctor. You may need to see an infertility specialist.

LH urine tests are not the same as at home fertility monitors. Fertility monitors are digital handheld devices that predict ovulation based on electrolyte levels in saliva, LH levels in urine, or your basal body temperature. These devices can store ovulation information for several menstrual cycles.

References

Falcone T. Women’s health. In: Carey WD, ed. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:section 14.

Fritz MA, Speroff L. Induction of ovulation. Speroff L, Fritz MA, eds. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011:chap 31.

Updated: 6/2/2011

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com