I’ve decided to do some mini-lessons on some of the things I’ve learned about my fertility (and yours!) that I hope will help you as you begin trying to conceive (TTC). A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the ever-important BBT temperature shift that happens after ovulation. Today – it’s OPK time!
So, just a couple days prior to the BBT temperature shift, a surge of a luteinizing hormone (LH) is released, triggering ovulation. This surge triggers the release of an egg from the follicle, where it begins its’ journey and desperate search for that very special sperm that’s coming to fertilize it!
As a result, the LH surge is an excellent and dependable indicator that ovulation is about to occur…and that it’s time to have S-E-X!!! The docs recommend this: have sex every other day between days 8 and 18, until an OPK test recognizes your LH surge, at which time you should have sex every day until you see your temperature rise (indicating ovulation is over).
A little about OPK tests: Sticks vs. Digital – I think we can all agree that the digital tests are more accurate and provide clearer results. If you can get the Clearblue Digital, I say go for it! It will show you an empty circle (-) or a smiley face (+). However, if a 20-count box for almost $40 is a little too much for you (I certainly can’t afford that every month or two!), then don’t be scared off by the [much] cheaper sticks. Reviews on them vary, but I’ve found that they are pretty dependable and will detect your LH surge by showing you two relatively similar lines. You can get 50 of them for $15! The important things to remember with the cheapies is that simply seeing two lines is not enough. The second line has to be just about as dark as the test line. Ok, so I know that’s a bit vague (and that’s what people don’t like about them), so this is my recommendation – get the digital and the cheapies for the first month and use them both every time you test. When you see the smiley face, look carefully at the lines on the cheapies and that’ll tell you what you need to look for next month!
Final Note: Use these tests 3 times per day. Some people’s surge lasts a very short while, and testing in the morning, when your surge is in the afternoon will mean you’ll miss it. The first time I used OPKs back in May, I took the tests in the morning, missed my surge and therefore never saw a smiley face. I was devastated and was so certain it meant I wasn’t ovulating that the hubby and I didn’t have sex that whole week. I missed a crucial month of TTC simply because I didn’t test often enough!!!
Good news: I started back up two months ago and I’ve seen smiley faces both months! And even something so little, puts a smiley face on me! 🙂