Ovulation tests determine if you are ovulating, and also detect the timing of the ovulation.
There are a variety of methods used to test for ovulation, but the commonest and simplest to use are urine tests which look for the hormone LH (Luteinising Hormone) levels in urine, and detect the timing of the sudden rise in the levels of LH, which triggers the release of the egg. Urine LH tests are performed once a day, from a starting point which is calculated from the average length of the menstrual cycle. The first positive test result indicates that ovulation will occur over the next 24-36hrs
Another common ovulation test is the BBT or Basal Body Temperature method. This looks for the rise on basal body temperature that occurs with ovulation. This method is more tricky to use with any accuracy as a regular regime and strict methodology is needed to take the very first morning temperature before any activity and plot the results on charts. If used carefully, it will indicate that ovulation has occured, but by the time it it clear on the chart ovulation has already happened.
Digital Fertility Monitors have also been developed such as the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. These use a combination of programming and urine measurement to determine ovulation and predict the best fertile period for timing intercourse, for the best chance of conception. The big draw back is the cost of buying the monitor and then the monitor test strips, so they are a lot more expensive than normal ovulation tests, especially if lots of strips are used.
Saliva Ovulation Tests (also known as mini microscope or ovulation microscope) are also available which show a classical ferning pattern at ovulation due to the changes in the saliva that occur at ovulation. If used regularly these can be a good ovulation test.
Apps for mobile phones or ipad are also available to prompt the user of the fertile time in each cycle. These are straight calculators working on your cycle length, so a regular cycle is essential for any chance of accuracy. Obviously, as no test is involved, they are not true ovulation tests, but for most couples with no fertility problems, they may be all that is required to prompt the correct times for sex to maximise the chances of conception. A simple calender method can aslo be used if your cycle is very regular.
We recommend trying ovulation urine LH test strips, if you choose to try using an ovulation test. They are inexpensive & easy to use. Keep to one brand and test at the same time each day. Avoid testing in the morning, mid afternoon to early evening is the best time of day to do an urine LH ovulation test. Time sex for the night of the 1st positive result and the next night for the best chances.