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People who are trying to conceive can take ovulation tests to help predict when they will be most fertile and increase their chance of becoming pregnant.

Ovulation is a phase in the menstrual cycle when an ovary releases a mature egg, or ovum, into the uterus. The mature egg is either fertilized by sperm, leading to conception, or is shed along with the uterus lining, leading to menstruation.

A surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the ovary to release its egg, which usually happens in the middle of a person’s cycle. This is typically day 14 in a 28-day cycle and about 24–36 hours before ovulation.

Timing sexual intercourse for shortly after this surge increases the chance of an egg and sperm meeting during the fertile window.

Learn more about finding out when a person is most fertile here.

Most ovulation tests, or ovulation predictor kits (OPK), measure a person’s LH levels — especially the LH surge — to help them determine the days when they are most fertile.

Other tests also measure estrogen levels by detecting estrone-3 glucuronide (E3G) content in urine. E3G levels increase when ovulation is near, which triggers the LH surge.

There are many types of ovulation kits offering different testing methods. A person should follow the kit instructions carefully to ensure accurate results.

Ovulation tests come in various forms, such as cassettes, strips, and at-home blood test kits. They usually come in sets of five or more. Some tests also come with apps that serve as digital readers and track a person’s ovulation cycle.

  • Cassettes: These require a person to collect a urine sample and use a pipette to place a few drops onto the sample area.
  • Strips or sticks: Newer ovulation tests use strips or sticks. These require a person to either urinate directly on the test or dip the stick into a cup of collected urine. These products may come as standalone strips, show digital results, or have monitors that log and display results.
  • Saliva tests: Saliva tests predict a person’s ovulation based on whether or not their dried saliva forms a fern-shaped pattern. These tests rely on microscopes to detect ferning.
  • At-home hormone test kits: Health diagnostics companies offer various at-home hormone test kits. These require a person to draw a blood sample and send it to the company’s laboratory. People can see their results through their online account or the company’s website or app.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has affirmed that these tests accurately detect LH and E3G hormone levels. However, accuracy depends largely on a person’s ability to follow the test instructions.

One 2018 study states that estrogen and progesterone measurements through blood or urine provide more precise indicators than natural family planning methods.

In one 2020 study, women who used home ovulation tests with a connected app were twice as likely to conceive during the first cycle than those who did not. A similar 2019 review suggests that at-home OPKs may improve fertility management.

However, LH surges may not always indicate actual ovulation. An older observational study states that LH surges are variable and have several types. For example, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to have high LH levels or multiple peaks.

Because of this, the tests cannot confirm the occurrence of ovulation with 100% accuracy.

People with hormonal imbalances may find more accurate results with nonhormonal methods of predicting ovulation than tests that rely on hormone levels.

Medical News Today’s methodology

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:

  • Laboratories: MNT will choose companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that are suitable for a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Many of these tests are not FDA-approved for home testing and should not replace ongoing consultations with a fertility specialist.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Easiest to read: Clearblue Fertility Monitor

The Clearblue Fertility Monitor provides daily fertility status and stores and tracks a person’s individual fertility data.

The monitor tracks both estrogen and LH levels. It can then provide information regarding the days when a person has the best chance at conception.

The product features a touchscreen display for ease of use and easy-to-read results.

This product costs around $124.68 for one fertility monitor. People need to purchase the test sticks separately.

Best eco-friendly option: Natalist Ovulation Test Kit

The Natalist ovulation test kit states it is 99% accurate in tracking a person’s ovulation. The test checks for levels of LH.

The kit includes 30 ovulation test strips, a reusable urine cup, and a cycle tracker.

This test may be a good option for people interested in an environmentally friendly ovulation kit. Natalist states it uses a neutral amount of plastic and produces no electronic waste.

It costs around $21 for one box of 30 strips or $50 for three boxes.

Best wearable tracker: Ava Fertility

Ava offers an FDA-cleared, wearable fertility test. The company notes that their tracker can identify a person’s 5-day fertility window up to 4 days sooner than hormone-based tests.

The bracelet comes with three buying options:

  • Basic option: Includes free shipping, access to a tracking app and online community, and the wearable tracker.
  • Plus plan: Offers additional benefits to the Basic plan, including a money back guarantee if a person is not pregnant within 12 months.
  • Premium plan: Offers additional benefits to the Plus plan, including a money back guarantee if a person is not pregnant within 6 months.

People can use their flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) cards when shopping or get reimbursed later.

This product costs $279–359, depending on the bundle chosen.

Learn more about the Ava fertility tracker here.

Best bulk buy: LetsGetChecked Female Hormone Test

This home test provides a comprehensive picture of a person’s hormonal and fertility status by checking four hormones.

A physician reviews the test results to discuss them. Customers have access to 24-7 medical support.

A subscription option is available, and the company accepts FSA and HSA cards.

One test kit costs $129. People can also subscribe to receive a kit every three months for $90.30.

Learn more about the LetsGetChecked brand here.

Most hormones checked: Everlywell Women’s Fertility Test

This test uses a blood sample to measure five hormones that can affect a person’s menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Customers can review a personalized digital report and attend a free live webinar where a healthcare professional will discuss their results.

The company provides free shipping and accepts FSA and HSA cards.

One test kit costs $149. People can also subscribe for a quarterly kit at $119.

Learn more about Everlywell brand here.

Best budget option: Modern Fertility Ovulation Test

This test comes with 20 ovulation tests that detect LH levels and work in sync with a person’s cycle. The company also offers a free app that a person can use to log their LH results.

The test determines a person’s two most fertile days and tracks low, high, and peak LH levels. Users can access an online community of other customers to discuss results and issues.

Customers receive free shipping, and monthly subscriptions are available. The company also accepts FSA and HSA cards.

It costs $16 for one box of 20 strips or $15 when subscribing for monthly delivery.

Best for irregular cycles: Mira

The Mira Plus Starter Kit comes with 10 wands that work with the Mira Analyzer monitor. The company claims that these tests also work well for people with PCOS and irregular cycles.

The Mira Fertility Tracker app is iOS- and Android-compatible. It provides full fertile window tracking and AI-powered cycle analysis.

Mira is FDA-approved and has CE certification in the European Union. It ships worldwide. There is a 90-day money-back guarantee, and customers have access to 24/7 support.

Various kits and products are available. The Mira Plus Starter kit costs $199.

Learn more about the Mira brand here.

Best test strips: Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test

This test detects four or more fertile days each cycle and tracks LH and estrogen levels. It identifies a person’s high and peak fertility days. The test also comes with a reusable reader that shows the results on a digital display.

This option comes with 10 or 20 tests and requires a person to collect urine immediately after waking up. Users cannot perform another test for 48 hours while the reader is displaying peak fertility.

This product costs around $40.49 for a pack of 20 tests.

ProductPriceNumber of test stripsFSA/HSA Accuracy or guarantee
Clearblue Fertility Monitor$$$strips sold separatelynot eligible99%
Natalist Ovulation Test Kit$30eligible99%
Ava Fertility$$$$$N/A (wearable device)eligible 6- or 12-month guarantees available
LetsGetChecked Female Hormone Test$$$N/A (finger prick)eligibleuses certified labs
Everlywell Women’s Fertility Test$$$N/A (finger prick)eligibleuses certified labs
Modern Fertility Ovulation Test$20eligible 99%
Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test$$20eligible99%

The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about ovulation tests.

How many days after a positive ovulation test am I fertile?

A person is usually fertile for 2.5 days (60 hours) after a positive ovulation test.

Ovulation typically occurs 1 to 1.5 days (24–36 hours) after the LH surge, and sperm can only fertilize an egg a day (24 hours) after the egg’s release from the ovary.

Learn more about becoming pregnant after ovulation here.

How do I know if I am ovulating?

People can experience several symptoms that may indicate ovulation, including cervical mucus changes, breast tenderness, light spotting, pelvic or abdominal pain, and changes in sex drive.

People can also predict ovulation by monitoring their basal body temperature, tracking their menstrual cycle, and using ovulation kits.

Can I get false results?

Ovulation tests can sometimes yield false results. A person should remember that these tests measure hormone levels, which a range of other factors can affect.

Since most kits check LH levels, they can yield false positives, especially if a person has high LH levels or several LH surges. There are also cases in which a person has LH surges but does not ovulate.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that people under the age of 35 years contact a doctor if they have not conceived after a year of having regular sexual intercourse without birth control.

People older than 35 years should consider contacting a doctor after 6 months of struggling to conceive. However, people aged 40 years and older should not wait. They should arrange an evaluation with a doctor as soon as possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mention that a person’s chance of becoming pregnant declines every year after they reach the age of 30 years.

People who are trying to conceive should contact a doctor sooner than a year if they have:

People use ovulation kits to predict their fertile window and increase their chance of becoming pregnant. However, these tests check for hormone levels and do not confirm ovulation with complete accuracy.

There are several ovulation tests available on the market, many of which are available to order online and use at home. Some require urine samples, some require blood samples, and some require saliva.

A doctor can offer advice on choosing and using ovulation kits or issues with conceiving.