Ovulation is a phase of a female’s reproductive system when a mature egg is released from the ovaries in order to be fertilized by sperm from a male’s semen. The normal menstrual cycle for a woman is 28 days but this varies greatly across women and may vary in the same woman as a result of hormonal changes, environmental factors like stress, and birth control medication.
In a human female, ovulation usually occurs around the fourteenth day of the menstrual cycle if the days are counted from the first day of menstruation. For couples wishing to get pregnant, sexual intercourse is recommended a couple of days before ovulation and it should continue for a period of three or four days which are considered to be the most fertile for a woman. It is not always easy to predict ovulation and plan sexual activity accordingly. Some women have erratic or unpredictable cycles and it may be necessary to use ovulation tests to determine the immediate fertility of a woman.
Ovulation is governed by two different hormones. The first hormone that occurs in an increased concentration is the follicle stimulating hormone. This is the hormone used to send a message to the ovaries to prepare an egg to maturity which can then be released into the fallopian tubes for fertilization. When the egg is matured the level of another hormone, the luteinizing hormone, becomes elevated. This hormone is used to stimulate the release of this mature egg into the fallopian tubes. The level of the luteinizing hormone tends to be elevated for up to 48 hours prior to ovulation and for about 24 hours after ovulation. Sexual intercourse may be planned accordingly as the best period to perform intercourse is the period prior to ovulation. By the time the sperm have reached the fallopian tubes, it is likely that a mature egg will be present which can then be fertilized. This process is the beginning of pregnancy.
Ovulation pregnancy tests are thus recommended for couples who wish to procreate, especially those who have been avoiding procreation by using contraceptive methods. Some people use the calendar method for contraception but this is fraught with danger as variations in a woman’s cycle can occur.
The best ovulation test on the market is the one that is likely to be most sensitive to the levels of LH hormones in your urine. These test results are subjective and can be affected by the quantity of water consumed which can dilute the urine sample and give a false negative.