Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
Written on 7/26/21
Keep reading to learn more about when to take an ovulation test after your period.
Ovulation tests are one of the most popular tools for trying to conceive. And this comes as no surprise — timing intercourse are your fertile window is one of the key pieces to the pregnancy puzzle!
But with popularity comes a lot of different options for ovulation tests. With so many different brands, it can be difficult to know when to take ovulation tests in order to get the most valuable information from your results.
While we can’t speak to all ovulation tests, we can help guide you on when to use Proov Predict. Keep reading to learn more about when to take an ovulation test after your period.
What is an ovulation test and why should I use it?
Ovulation tests are urine-based hormone tests that measure luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in order to predict when ovulation is going to occur. They essentially help you time intercourse around your fertile window, which is the only time during your cycle when you can successfully conceive.
During the first half of your cycle, the follicles on your ovaries produce estrogen as they grow and mature, preparing for one follicle to become dominant and release an egg. Once a dominant follicle is chosen and estrogen reaches a certain level, a signal gets sent to your brain that it’s time to ovulate.
Your brain then sends a signal that causes a surge in LH. This surge triggers the follicle to release the egg. Studies show that once LH surges to 25 mUI/ml — the level at which Proov Predict turns positive — a woman will ovulate 12-36 hours later.
Ovulation tests detect this LH surge to predict when ovulation is going to occur to help you accurately time intercourse around your fertile window. This is important because an egg is only viable for up to 24 hours after it’s released — that’s a pretty short amount of time for it to be fertilized!
The good news, however, is that sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to 5 days. This means having intercourse before ovulation occurs can ensure that his swimmers are waiting to meet your egg once it’s released. These 5 days are referred to as your fertile window and ovulation tests can help you determine when your fertile window occurs.
Having intercourse before ovulation can ensure his swimmers are waiting to meet your egg once it’s released.
How do ovulation tests work?
As we mentioned, ovulation tests measure LH levels in urine. After LH circulates through your blood, it is excreted from your body in urine.
Ovulation tests detect levels in many different ways: some require you to pee directly on the test strip while others, like Proov Predict, have you dip the strip in an already collected urine sample (which we think is slightly less messy!). Some are threshold based, while others are semiquantitative, meaning matching the intensity of your test line can help you determine the numerical amount of LH in your urine.
Using Proov Predict tests with the Proov Insight app can take your results one step further by providing numerical hormone data. This means after you take your Proov Predict test and scan it with the app, you will get a numerical LH value. This is because we worked diligently to build an algorithm that matches the line intensity to an actual hormone level so that you can get the most valuable information possible from your Proov Predict tests.
When should I take an ovulation test after my period?
If you are using Proov Predict with the Proov Insight app, the app will guide you when to test based on your unique cycle and period length. If you’re not using the Proov Insight app, of course we recommend downloading it, but we’ll also go through the protocol here.
You’ll want to begin testing LH levels about 18 days before your next suspected period. So, if your cycles are 28 days long, you’ll want to begin testing LH levels on cycle day 10. If your period is 5 days long, cycle day 10 would fall about 5 days after your period.
If you are new to LH testing or have irregular cycles and are unsure of when your next period will start, you can also start testing LH right after your period ends. As you near your suspected ovulation day (about midway through your cycle), you may want to test LH levels two times per day — once in the morning and once in the evening. This is because LH surges can be short and you don’t want to miss it!
One thing to note is that you can, but do not have to use first morning urine with Proov Predict. Of course if you’re testing in the evening, you definitely wouldn’t use first morning urine, but some women find waiting until second morning urine (around 10 AM) when taking their morning test gives LH a little longer to reach urine. The choice is up to you; Proov Predict will be accurate regardless of what time you choose to test.
You can, but do not have to use first morning urine with Proov Predict; the test will be accurate regardless of what time you choose to test.
What should I do once I get a positive ovulation test?
Your first positive ovulation test is your sign that it’s time to “try!” You have observed peak fertility and this is when you’re most likely to get pregnant. You’ll know Proov Predict is positive when the test line is darker than the control line or when the LH value is over 25 mIU/ml as reported by the Proov Insight app.
If you are using the Proov Insight app, you also may have noticed there’s an option to take a PdG test. Proov PdG tests are the first and only FDA cleared PdG tests to confirm successful ovulation at home. “Successful” ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg was released and PdG levels remained elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
Your peak fertility observation (i.e. first positive LH test) is important because it helps you determine when to test PdG levels. Our patented Proov PdG testing protocol recommends testing PdG levels on days 7, 8, 9, and 10 past peak fertility. We like to see 3-4 positive PdG tests (with a positive on 10 DPP) to confirm that successful ovulation did in fact occur.
Understanding when to take an ovulation test after your period can help you accurately time intercourse and get pregnant faster!