Afraid of testing? You don’t have to stress out about these tests because you won’t be graded on them.
I know, you’re probably thinking “What’s the big deal with ‘peeing on a stick’?” HPTs and OPKs can tell you a lot about your body, but you probably have a lot of questions abou how they work.
If you are looking for HPTs and OPKs for sale, check out the links below.
Let’s start with OPKs (Ovulation Prediction Kits). They do exactly what the name implies…they predict when you are going to ovulate. Some women might consider these to be too expensive to mess with, but I believe they can be very valuable tools when trying to conceive.
How do they work?
OPKs measure luteinizing hormone. This hormone is always present in a female body to some degree. When your body is getting ready to ovulate, you have a surge in luteinizing hormone. This can happen anywhere from 12 to 36 hours before you actually ovulate. When you have an lh surge, your body signals a mature egg to separate from your ovary. An OPK detects the lh surge in your body. Because there is always lh present, you need to have a dark line (darker than the control line) to have a positive.
When should I test?
Your body produces luteinizing hormone in the morning. Because of this, first morning urine is not the best to use when testing with an OPK. Mid-afternoon is usually the best time to test. I found that 2pm worked best for me. At first you’ll need to test multiple times during the day to find out what the best time is for you. Make sure you make a note somewhere so you know what time to test on your next cycle. Because these test your surge, you may only have a short window of time in which you’d get a positive. I have tested positive and then an hour later tested negative. It’s important to know what time of day is the best for you to test. Also, if you notice your test line getting darker, but not quite a positive, you might be getting closer to a positive. If your test line is getting lighter, you might have missed your lh surge.
You probably don’t need to start testing at the beginning of your cycle. Ovulation usually happens 14 days before the start of your next period. Unless you can predict the future and know when your next period will be, this doesn’t really help. One way you can know about when you are going to ovulate is to track your periods. I usually start using OPKs on day 10 of my cycle and continue until I get a positive. If you have irregular cycles, you might not get a positive on the same day of each cycle. I have gotten a positive result anywhere from day 12 to day 17.
**If you have been using Clomid and you test too soon after your last dose of Clomid, you may get a false positive OPK.**
What type should I buy?
I would recommend buying the strips. You have to urinate into a cup and then dip the test strip in your urine. The reason I like these better is because you get more test strips and can test more often. Basically, you aren’t paying for the plastic case on the hand-held (midstream) ones.
Do two lines mean positive and one line negative?
No. You will probably always have two lines. One is a test line and the other is a control line. In order for a test to be read as positive, your test line has to be darker than the control line. Sometimes it is very hard to say if it is darker. My positives showed one edge of my test line darker than the control line.
What do I do when I get a positive?
You need to plan for intercourse for the next three days after a positive OPK. Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to a week, but an egg lives 24 hours or less. Your fertile days are the three days before ovulation.
Does a positive OPK mean I will definitely ovulate?
No. There are many factors that can cause your body to not release an egg.
HPTs (Home Pregnancy Tests) are often the first confirmation that a woman is pregnant.
How do HPTs work?
HPTs measure the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone. When and egg is fertilized it will implant in your uterus 6 to 12 days after fertilization. Once it has implanted, it will start releasing hCG. At this point, there is not enough hCG in your urine to give you a positive test. It takes another 2 days or so to build up in your urine.
When should I test?
You can test earlier than the expected day of your period, but remember that you may not have enough hCG built up in your urine to give you a positive. This can cause unnecessary stress. I would recommend just waiting until the expected day of your next period. You may be pregnant and not get a positive on the day of your expected period. Keep testing. If you are pregnant, you will eventually get a positive result.
A woman who is pregnant 7dpo (days past ovulation) has 0-5 mIU/mL of hCG in her urine. At 14 dpo, she will have 3-426 mIU/mL. At 21 dpo, she will have 18-7,240 mIU/mL. HPTs will test positive with a range of 15 to 100 mIU/mL. You can see why waiting during the two week wait is important.
First morning urine is the best for HPTs. It usually has the most concentrated amount of hCG. Don’t test after drinking a lot of water. This will dilute the hCG in your urine.
Early Detection Pregnancy Test
Can I really test 5 days before my expected period?
You can, but the accuracy is not as good as the box claims. A lot of women don’t have a text-book 28 day cycle. These claims are based on women with a 28 day cycle. Your best bet is to wait. I know that’s hard, but that’s why they call it the two week wait.
What if my test is negative and I still think I’m pregnant?
It might be as simple as not having enough hCG in your urine. If your period is significantly late and you are still getting a negative result, make an appointment to have a blood test done. Blood tests are usually more accurate. If you think you are pregnant and are still getting negative results, live like you are pregnant…no smoking, drinking, medications, etc. just to be safe.
What if I have a faint second line? Is it still positive?
I’m sure everyone has heard the saying that “a line is a line.” As long as you have read the test within the time limit in the instructions, a line is a positive! Congratulations! If you continue to test, the lines will get darker and darker as you get farther along in your pregnancy.
How long do I need to wait to read the test?
Most tests require you to wait 10 minutes before reading the test. If you wait too long, you might get an evaporation line and think it is a positive. Make sure you read the test within the time limit in the instructions so you don’t get what you think is a positive.
What do I do if I get a positive result?
Make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will probably do a blood test to confirm your pregnancy. You will also set up your first prenatal visit.
Relax and enjoy the fact that you’re pregnant. You’ll be losing sleep and time all too soon!