If you are trying to conceive, knowing when your ovulation will occur might be useful. However, predicting when your body will reach the point at which it is most likely to get pregnant can be difficult and frustrating, but ovulation predictor kits can help pinpoint your most and least fertile days. Ovulation predictor kits estimate the release of an egg within hours or days. Whether you choose to test urine, saliva, sweat or simply log data, there is a product that will fit your needs. We recommend five ovulation predictor test kits based on medical research, expert and user evaluations to help take the guesswork out of getting pregnant.
For those willing to splurge, the Clearblue Fertility Monitor is far and away the most-recommended ovulation predictor kit. There are many fertility monitors available, but few come close to the accuracy and dependability of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. The Clearblue Fertility Monitor is a small, handheld device that you use at home to track your fertility. You start by using it for the first few days of your period to establish a baseline of your menstrual cycle.
The monitor has been shown to improve the odds of becoming pregnant and is very simple to use. It monitors the levels of two key fertility hormones: oestrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH). Because fertile days fluctuate from cycle to cycle, utilising a fertility monitor ensures that you know when your real fertile window begins and ends. Results are very easy to understand, though some owners knock it for the added expense of replacement test strips.
Clinically proven accuracy. Numerous studies have been conducted involving the Clearblue Fertility Monitor, and all find it to be an effective means of predicting ovulation and fertility. The tests compare it to other ovulation prediction methods, including cervical mucus self-assessment, basal body temperature tracking, saliva readings, and other predictor kits that test LH. It’s consistently found to be among the most reliable, helping to predict not only ovulation but the days leading up to it. It’s worth noting a few — but not all — of the studies are conducted by researchers employed by the manufacturer of Clearblue. Some reviewers say that Clearblue helped them conceive.
Ease of use
Digital reading makes monitoring a breeze. Reviewers say the Clearblue Fertility Monitor is very simple to use. A few find the instruction manual lacking, but overall reviewers find it very easy to get results and understand them.
It’s quite simple to use. Every day is like taking a pregnancy test. In order to use the monitor, simply take a sample of your first morning pee and dip a single-use Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test Stick for 15 seconds into the urine sample. After 5 minutes, the gadget will produce one of three results:
Days with “low fertility” are those in your cycle when conception is improbable. The most fertile days of your cycle are labelled “high” and “peak”. To maximise your chances of getting pregnant, have intercourse on “high” and “peak” days. Although every woman is different, the normal sequence of device readings are sequence of low fertility days followed by a period of high fertility days, ending in two peak fertility days.
Many women say they owe their conception to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. Numerous studies show the monitor, which analyzes both estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH) to predict ovulation several days before it occurs, is among the most accurate means of predicting fertility. Reviewers say the results are easy to understand and the monitor is simple to use. There are a few notable flaws, especially for the price, but overall it’s an excellent means of predicting ovulation.
For an ovulation detection method that’s less-pricey than a digital monitor but simpler to use than standard test strips, Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test is a nice medium. The test kit comes with strips and a digital reading stick, which gives a clear smiley face or empty circle reading. Studies show that the kit detects ovulation more accurately than most other methods, including saliva testing and basal body temperature.
Studies show high accuracy, but some users disagree. Tests that monitor luteinizing hormone (LH) are repeatedly found to be one of the most accurate means of predicting fertility, and Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests are the most-tested and most-recommended model. In general, at-home users agree — many say the tests helped them identify their ovulation far more accurately than other methods. However, some users say the test offers iffy results, with some digital sticks repeatedly showing errors.
Ease of use
Though tests seem intimidating, they’re surprisingly simple. Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests come with test strips and a digital reading stick. The tests are meant to be used for 10 days of a woman’s cycle in order to identify the two days with a spike in LH (which would indicate ovulation). Some users say the tests can seem overwhelming at first, but that they’re actually very easy to use. Users find all the information they need in the included instruction booklet. Results take about three minutes to appear, which is quicker than most ovulation predictor kits.
The Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test provides clear, easy-to-read results that are highly accurate and sensitive to LH detection. Many studies find that this test produces more accurate results than other methods such as saliva tests and basal body temperature monitoring. Users agree that the Digital Ovulation Test accurately predicted when they’d be most fertile. However, while the digital display is very clear, some users find it challenging to interpret the results. It provides fewer peak ovulation days than tests that monitor both LH and estrogen, and some owners say replacement strips are difficult to find.
For no-frills testing, Wondfo One Step Ovulation Urine Test Strips are a cheap but effective alternative to digital tests. The gradual increase in the shade of the strip helps users know when they are close to ovulation, and while results aren’t always as crystal clear as digital tests, one pack of these strips can last for several months at a low price.
Reliable results despite simple approach. By testing for luteinizing hormone (LH) the Wondfo test strips are extremely accurate, even though they aren’t high-tech. Some users complain that because the shade of the test line varies depending on how much LH is present, it can be tough to distinguish ovulating days from those close to ovulation, but many say that the results are just as accurate if not more so than more expensive digital variations.
Ease of use
Simple process that can sometimes get tedious. Like a litmus test in a high school chemistry class, Wondfo test strips are inserted into a cup of urine instead of used midstream, making sample collection easier. However, because results can sometimes be unclear, some users save multiple days of test strips to compare results.
For a cheap and accurate test strip, Wondfo One Step Ovulation Urine Test Strips are a great bet. These strips cost just a fraction of pricier digital strips but are super-sensitive at monitoring LH and just as accurate. While some reviewers love that the test gives various degrees of “positive” results, others find this information confusing and difficult to act on.
OV-Watch Fertility Predictor
For those who’ve tried other means and want to give a new gadget a shot, the OV-Watch Fertility Predictor may be a good tool for predicting fertility. It may not be quite as accurate, but it offers a monitoring method that’s completely mess-free and takes up no more time than glancing at a watch. The monitor tracks hormones by using chloride levels in sweat, which some tests find isn’t quite as accurate. Reviewers favor OV-Watch for its advance prediction of fertility.
Questionable accuracy, though recommended by some experts. A handful of experts recommend the OV-Watch Fertility Predictor, saying that chloride levels in sweat are a good means of predicting ovulation. As such, they say the watch can accurately predict ovulation several days in advance, unlike LH tests which only report two days of fertility. However, nearly all other studies’ editors reviewed in this report say urine LH tests are the most reliable means of identifying ovulation. Reviewers, too, have mixed opinions. Some say the watch accurately identified ovulation, while others say it doesn’t even monitor sweat and actually only works as a timer.
Ease of use
Time-saving, but possibly no easier than a digital LH test. OV-Watch Fertility Predictor is easier to use than urine or saliva tests, as it gives a digital reading and doesn’t require that you remember to take a urine test or saliva swab. While the digital reading is a nice feature, users still have to remember to wear the watch nightly, so it’s no easier from that perspective. Some owners complain the watch can fall apart easily and that the instructions are a bit complicated. One pro: Users don’t need to wait three to five minutes to see results; they need only glance at the watch each morning.
Unlike LH tests, the OV-Watch monitors chloride in sweat when worn daily for a six-hour period (usually overnight). This method of testing offers its own conveniences and drawbacks, though it’s not clear how effective it is. Reviewers say the OV-Watch can predict fertility about three days before LH tests, which is a plus.
Fairhaven Health Pregnancy Wheel and Ovulation Calendar
When looking to conceive or use natural contraception, Ovulation Calendar, an app for iPhone, provides a high-tech way to monitor fertility periods. The app tracks both the highest and lowest fertility days and also claims to predict the best day to conceive a specific gender, though the reliability of each method differs among users. Some reviewers point out that irregular cycles are difficult to track in the app, though.
Provides clear and concise predictions. When users input information about their most recent cycle, Ovulation Calendar generates a calendar that highlights days of highest fertility for those looking to conceive and days of lowest fertility for those looking for natural contraception. Using the Shettles Method, the app claims to predict which gender a given day will produce based on the proximity to actual ovulation. However, this method is unproven. Because a smartphone does not take any actual body readings, the app isn’t as accurate as saliva or urine tests.
Ease of use
As simple as typing in your information. During initial setup of Ovulation Calendar, the user plugs in the date of her most recent period and the average duration of the period. The application then asks for the typical duration of a cycle to set up a calendar with all of the information. If the menstrual cycle stays regular, then the app continues to function as normal. Some app-store reviewers note that extra-long periods or changes in cycle duration are tough to edit in the app.
All ovulation apps offer the same basic testing method (the calendar method), but Ovulation Calendar provides some added bonuses, such as predictions of which days might allow for conception of each gender. Because it can’t take actual body readings, though, most experts advise it as a supplement to traditional fertility monitoring methods.
What the best ovulation predictor kits have
Accurate prediction of fertility period
Ovulation predictors predict your “fertile window,” a period of about two to six days of fertility. Some are faster than others, predicting ovulation 72 hours before it occurs rather than the standard 36 hours. There are tests (or logs) which offer additional features such as tips on conceiving a specific gender, which aren’t proven to be accurate.
Proven testing method
Tests that look for the luteinizing hormone (LH) can most accurately tell users whether they are currently ovulating or about to start, but saliva, vaginal mucus and sweat tests have been proven to be accurate as well.
Clear, readable results
For tests that look for hormones, whether through urine or saliva, the level of hormones in a user’s system can vary from day to day depending on ovulation. Some tests give different shades of color for positive tests, and being able to distinguish pre-ovulation, ovulation and post-ovulation easily is critical to understanding at what stage of the process a user is in.
Quick, hassle-free testing
Testing daily can be time-consuming and messy. The best tests make ovulation testing quick and simple to do as frequently or infrequently as necessary.
Know before you go
How comfortable are you with urine testing? Many ovulation predictor kits are urine-based. If you are uncomfortable with urine-based testing, then you might want to consider other options such as saliva testing, basal body temperature testing or relying on the calendar method — measuring time from each period using a paper calendar or a smartphone app. These methods may not be as accurate, however.
Do you want to track ovulation on the go? Apps such as calendar logs offer an easy way to keep up with your fertility log while out and about. You can easily update changes in your cycle and log any bodily changes as they occur, simply by opening up an app.
What’s your cycle like?
It’s important to understand how regular and how long your cycle is. Lengthy or irregular cycles can require more frequent testing, making price per test an important factor. Not all ovulation predictors and fertility devices will work on all women, especially those with irregular cycles.
Do you have any existing conditions that might impact fertility? If you are already aware of some fertility issues, understand you may be using your ovulation predictor kit for many months; this may affect how much you want to invest in this device, and how important quick, no-mess testing is.
Consult your physician.
A physician will know what signals a user’s body is sending and can advise the best testing methods, while also being able to identify any underlying infertility issues that would not be detected by an ovulation predictor kit.
Prices vary by hundreds of pounds from method to method. With at-home ovulation predictor kits, the initial start-up costs can range anywhere from free with some smartphone apps to several hundred dollars for high-end digital predictor kits. Urine-based testing kits require that users replace testing strips after every test as well, adding in maintenance fees, while saliva-based testing, BBT and calendar methods don’t require any regular replacement. If you’ll be testing frequently, you may want to consider a cheap urine test strip method like Wondfo One Step Ovulation Urine Test Strips. Their strips end up costing about 30 to 40 cents each.
Buying tactics and strategies
Shop around. While many drugstores offer ovulation predictor kits, there are a bevy of online retailers that sell the kits as well, and shopping around can save a lot of money. Many retailers offer bundles of the base testing unit and testing strips for urine-based testing. These are sometimes also sold bundled with pregnancy tests, which is a money saver.
The science behind ovulation prediction tests
Before you begin the search for a fertility aid or ovulation predictor, it is important to understand the basics. To start, fertility is the ability of a woman to conceive, or get pregnant. For this to happen, a man’s sperm has to reach a woman’s egg, fertilize the egg and then implant in the uterus. While an egg, or ovum, is viable for only 12 to 24 hours, sperm can last up to three days. Therefore, knowing when the egg is released from the ovary, a process called ovulation, and knowing days ahead of time, can greatly increase a woman’s chances of conceiving. The time when she’s most fertile, often about five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation, is called the fertile window, and the aim of every fertility device is to predict it.
Predicting the fertility window and ovulation
It used to be thought that ovulation occurred right in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle. So if she had a 28-day cycle, she would ovulate on day 14 (day 1 being the start of menstrual bleeding). However, research published in the British Medical Journal in 2000 showed that only 10 percent of women with a 28-day cycle followed this pattern. Though there was a higher probability of ovulation occurring around day 14, for women with a regular cycle, their fertile window could occur anywhere from day 6 to day 21. Women with irregular cycles have more variability in when they ovulate, so simply counting days on a calendar will not effectively pinpoint ovulation for those women.
Lots of research has been performed to see what hormonal and physical changes cause and signal the occurrence of ovulation. While the entire menstrual cycle is governed by a complex set of hormones, home ovulation predictor tests have focused on two: luteinizing hormone (LH) and estrone-3-glucuronide (E3G). While LH is present in varying amounts throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, a surge in this hormone is what actually causes her to ovulate within 24 to 48 hours, and the hormone can be detected in her urine.
Detecting the LH surge can give a woman lead time of about one day, but what if she wants to know sooner, thereby maximizing her fertile window? The answer is estrogen. Again, estrogen is present throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, but a surge in estrogen is what triggers the LH to surge. E3G is a metabolite of estrogen and can be detected in a woman’s urine. If she knows when her E3G surges, she can predict when she’ll ovulate days in advance. All the urine tests currently on the market measure the LH or the LH and E3G to tell a woman when she’ll ovulate.
Though they don’t directly measure the hormonal changes that signal ovulation, fertility devices do measure the effects these hormones have on other parts of a woman’s body. Throughout a woman’s cycle, for instance, the hormonal changes cause the amount of salts in her sweat, saliva and vaginal secretions to change. Numerous devices have been developed to detect these changes. They range from sensors for the skin, mouth and vagina to miniature microscopes for examining your saliva — the saliva, when dried, will crystallize due to the increased salt and take on a characteristic fern-like appearance. This is often called “salivary ferning.”
Predicting fertility without tests and gadgets
Ovulation was traditionally predicted by bodily changes that occurred around the fertile window. First, a woman’s cervical mucus will thin and become stretchy, akin in consistency to raw egg whites. This is believed to allow the sperm to travel through the reproductive tract more easily. Also, the position of her cervix will change around the time of ovulation. Next, up to 20 percent of women can actually feel the mild discomfort of ovulation. This condition, referred to as mittelschmerz, is often characterized as mild one-sided, lower abdominal pain. Sexual libido is also an indicator. Some studies have shown that the days when a woman is most likely to want to have sex occur during her fertile window.
Lastly, after ovulation has occurred, a woman’s temperature rises as her progesterone increases. This increase can vary from 0.4 to 1 degree, but to detect it a woman needs to know her basal body temperature (BBT), or the lowest temperature of the day for her body. This low point occurs when a woman first wakes in the morning and can be affected by the smallest things, like brushing your teeth. As such, very precise thermometers are sold specifically for basal body temperatures. The downside of the BBT is that the rise only occurs after ovulation has occurred. However, if a woman commits to charting her BBT daily, she can use the data from previous cycles and other bodily changes to help her predict when her fertile window is most likely to occur in each menstrual cycle.
Daisy graduated from Boston university with an advanced Diploma of Naturopathy and Nutrition. Her passion is health and nutrition and also provide advice that enables you to make lifestyle changes and consume the right foods and nutrients required to promote wellbeing and quality of life.