Many couples tend to spend a large part of their love life trying to avoid pregnancy. Contraceptive methods such as condoms or birth control pills are often used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. However, at some point, the couple will want to bear a child and start a family. At this point, it may be necessary for the couple to undergo at home fertility tests in order to plan their sexual activity in a way that will allow a successful pregnancy to occur.
For men, fertility testing at home is restricted to testing the quantity of sperm per drop of semen fluid by checking the density of the fluid. Home fertility testing does not cover sperm motility or swimming speed which are two important factors to be considered when judging male fertility. However, it is generally assumed that a high sperm count is linked to high fertility.
Home fertility tests are generally used by women to check the status of their menstrual cycle. Generally speaking, women have a 28 day cycle between one menstruation and the next. During this period, the ovaries first prepare an egg which becomes mature. The pituitary then sends a hormone known as the luteinizing hormone which stimulates the release of this mature egg into the fallopian tubes. The ideal time for sexual intercourse which is aimed at procreation is when a mature egg is passing through the woman’s reproductive system.
Thus, for women, there are two types of tests that are used to judge fertility. One tests the quantity of the FSH, the follicle stimulating hormone. This level is low in a woman who has plenty of eggs in her ovaries that can be matured and released while it tends to be higher in women that have a smaller quantity of eggs left in their ovaries. The FSH level test, tests a woman’s overall fertility and can be used as an indicator for the end of a woman’s fertility when she is least likely to produce eggs for fertilization.
The other type of testing is the testing for the luteinizing hormone. This test checks the level of this hormone which is used to stimulate the release of a mature egg. The level of the luteinizing hormone tends to be high a couple of days before ovulation and remain high for a day or two after ovulation. Thus, testing for this hormone can give an idea about immediate fertility. Couples should have frequent intercourse during the period of high luteinizing hormone levels.