Ovulation Test Accuracy

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

Ovulation is a process of the female reproductive system. In order for conception to take place, the sperm from a male and the egg from a female have to interact such that the egg is fertilized by the sperm. Ovulation is the process where the egg is matured within the ovary and released into the fallopian tubes. The single egg passes through the fallopian tubes. If it is fertilized, it will get implanted in the wall of the uterus and the fetus will begin developing. If it does not get fertilized or implantation fails, the egg, along with the uterus lining will be shed during the next menstruation. A typical menstrual cycle is considered to be around 28 days long. The counting begins from the first day of menstruation. With this method of counting, ovulation usually takes place around the 14th day of the cycle. It should be understood that nearly all women have variable cycles that shift duration by a few days here and there. This variation is based on environmental factors, stress, age, and other such conditions. It is this variation that confuses the matter when it comes to couples who wish to conceive. Conception is likely to be successful if sexual intercourse takes place regularly from one day before ovulation to a day after ovulation, totaling 3 days.

The female body has many different hormones that control the processes of the reproductive system. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. An ovulation test uses the levels of these hormones to understand when ovulation is going to take place. These tests are based on the normal level of these hormones that are found in a healthy woman. The level of the luteinizing hormone tends to surge a day before ovulation takes place. This process is known as the LH surge. A home ovulation test kit using a urine sample usually tests for this hormone. The chemical reaction that occurs on the sensitive part of the test strip is used to determine if the surge has happened.

The accuracy of these tests depends on various factors. If the woman has consumed a lot of water, the urine sample may be diluted, affecting test results. In most cases, these tests are fairly accurate for the hormones concerned. However, the surge in hormone levels may not result in ovulation if there is some medical complication with the woman’s ovaries. These tests are therefore indicative of the functioning of the reproductive system.

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