Ovulation tests are excellent tools to predict ovulation, that is, the most fertile time of the month. These tests greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. These tests however can only anticipate ovulation but do not confirm it. The ovulation tests detect the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). If the ovulations tests are positive, it means that most likely the woman will become fertile within the next three days.
At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, follicle stimulating hormone is being produced by the body followed by the formation of a follicle. When the follicle matures, LH causes the follicle to burst and releases the ovum contained in the follicle into the fallopian tube. The ovulation tests work similar to a pregnancy test. If the test band appears dark in color than the control band, it means the test is positive. If on the other hand the band appears lighter in color as compared to control band, or the color isn't visible, the results are negative.
It is important that you closely and carefully read the instructions before taking the ovulation test and you must take the tests on the right dates. For accuracy in results, you should collect a urine sample at the same time every day. This ideally should be done between mid-morning and early evening. You must avoid drinking caffeinated beverages before testing as it can dilute the sample. Also, if you have a variable cycle, you should use the date of your shortest cycle in the past six months as the starting time.
There are two formats of ovulation tests-test strips and midstream tests. Both of these test formats are equally reliable.
The ovulation predictor kits are not always accurate and can give a false positive ovulation test. This implies that even if a woman is not ovulating, the kit appears to show positive color. Sometimes the LH levels may surge for a shorter period but it is captured in the results as it is this time frame in which you took the tests. A false positive ovulation tests also results when a urine sample is allowed to sit for sometime due to which LH breaks down and dissipates. Also using the first urine sample in the morning at times results in a false positive ovulation test as the LH levels become concentrated overnight.
Ovulations tests can also be confusing and frustrating at times. The first thing that is quite confusing is when the ovulation test remains positive for 3-4 days in a row. Basically while taking ovulation tests, you are looking for an LH surge that detects ovulation will occur within 72 hours. However if the test continues to be positive for several days you need not worry about it as it is not a matter of concern. You must always consider the first positive ovulation test and needn't consider the others which appear after it.
After the first positive test, the ovulation will occur within a few days. Sometimes the cause of constant positive ovulation tests could be Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS.) This disorder is characterized by elevated LH levels and it is usually common in women with very long cycles