Three best ovulation tests
When you're trying to conceive, knowing when you're fertile isn't always obvious. For many women, getting pregnant isn't easy because of this. With an ovulation test, you can identify the fertile days of your cycle. They work similarly to pregnancy tests, and it's important to choose one that delivers accurate, easy-to-read results. If you're not familiar with ovulation tests, our buying guide has everything you need to know, plus our top picks for the most reliable ovulation tests currently on the market. Our best of the best product is an ovulation test that comes in a value-packed bundle and includes ovulation strips, pregnancy tests, and a free app for tracking your cycle.
Considerations when choosing ovulation tests
How ovulation tests work
Ovulation tests detect surges of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. This hormone, as well as estrogen, rises around 36 hours before ovulation. Some advanced ovulation kits test for estrogen as well. Your best chance of getting pregnant occurs two days prior to ovulation. A positive result on an ovulation test lets you know it's an optimal time to conceive.
Like home pregnancy tests, ovulation tests either need to be dipped into urine or have urine passed over them.
For at-home use, there are two different types of ovulation tests available.
Strip ovulation tests
Strip ovulation tests are basic tests that use paper strips that are marked with two lines: a test line and a control line. Ovulation is determined if the test line becomes darker than the control line. These test strips are inexpensive and ideal if you need a lot of tests due to a long cycle or irregular period. The downside is that the results can be more difficult to interpret at first or if you have certain types of color blindness.
Digital ovulation tests
Digital ovulation tests are plastic sticks that have a digital indicator window. This type of ovulation test is extremely easy to read: a smiley face, check mark, or simple YES in the window will indicate that you're ovulating. The downside is that they're more expensive than strip tests and produce plastic waste.
Some ovulation tests are easier to decipher than others. Basic strip tests require that you compare a test line to a control line. Depending on levels of LH in your urine, the test line will be lighter or darker than the control line. In some cases, it can be close in color to the control line, making it difficult to interpret. Digital tests don't require interpretation and offer foolproof readings.
Some ovulation tests give quick results, in about a minute, while others take up to five minutes. Pay attention to the time required by the manufacturer because a false negative or positive can result from not waiting long enough or letting too much time elapse.
Basic strip tests cost between $0.10 and $0.50 a strip. They come in boxes of 20 to 100 strips, and larger packs generally deliver more value. Digital ovulation tests cost significantly more, between $1 and $2 a test.
Other important details
Pre-existing conditions can affect the accuracy of ovulation tests. For instance, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have several surges of LH throughout their cycle, making it impossible to identify when ovulation occurs. It's always best to consult with your OB-GYN before trying to conceive to rule out fertility issues that may affect the accuracy of ovulation prediction tests.
Q. When in my cycle should I take an ovulation test?
A. It's best to take an ovulation test on the 10th day of your cycle and then every day after that until you get a positive result. If your period is shorter than the average 28-day cycle, start taking ovulation tests the day after your period ends. The average woman ovulates on the 14th day of her cycle (the first day of your menstrual period is the first day of your cycle).
Q. Is there a certain time of day I should take an ovulation test?
A. Ovulation tests are more accurate when taken in the afternoon. In the morning, if you haven't used the bathroom overnight, you may have a more concentrated level of hormones in your urine that can lead to an inaccurate result. Also, drinking too many fluids in the four hours leading up to a test can dilute the hormones and affect results.
Ovulation tests we recommend
Best of the best: Easy@Home Ovulation Test Kit
Our take: A value ovulation predictor kit that comes with bonus pregnancy strips.
What we like: Includes a free tracking app. Accurate results. Some users got pregnant after just one cycle. Lots of features for your money.
What we dislike: Pregnancy test strips may not be as reliable as the ovulation strips.
Best bang for your buck: ClinicalGuard Ovulation Test Strips
Our take: A no-frills, budget ovulation test that's accurate and quick.
What we like: Strips are individually packaged. Fifty strips will last around five months. Ideal for women with longer cycles who use more strips.
What we dislike: A minority of users received defective strips.
Choice 3: Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test
Our take: Accurate and clear ovulation test results from a reputable brand for pregnancy tests.
What we like: Offers 99% accuracy. Ovulation indicated clearly by a smiley face. Trusted by OB-GYNs.
What we dislike: Digital tests are pricier than test strips but easier to use and interpret.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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