OVULATION PREDICTION TESTS: INTRODUCTION AND TYPES

CONTENT

-INTRODUCTION

-URINE BASED OVULATION PREDICTION TEST

-SALIVA BASED OVULATION PREDICTION TEST

 

INTRODUCTION

These are tests used to predict imminent ovulation in women for the sole purpose of timing intercourse for conception. They utilize the natural processes that occur in the menstrual cycle to predict with a high chance of probability the timing of ovulation. Mind you, in contrast to what many people think, they do not confirm ovulation but predict to a high sense of accuracy if and when ovulation will occur. There are basically two types of ovulation prediction tests. They include the urine based ovulation prediction test and the saliva based ovulation prediciton test.

 

URINE BASED OVULATION PREDICTION TEST

These are tests that predict ovulation by detecting the customary surge in the blood level of LH from the urine samples of women anticipating ovulation. Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone produced by the brain which is responsible for trigerring ovulation. Few days before ovulation, there is a sudden surge in the level of the LH, which inturn triggers ovulation, exactly about 36hrs after it reaches its peak blood level. For more information on this, please read MENSTRUAL CYCLE, OVULATION AND MENSTRUATION; EXPLANATION OF BASIC PHYSIOLOGY. At its peak, the LH can be detected in urine, thus forming the basis for the urine ovulation prediction test. They are best used by women with regular menstrual cycles to help predict acccurately the most likely period of ovulation. They involve the use of an ovulation prediciton kit that although comes in different types, they basically detect the LH surge in women anticipating ovulation. Although specific instructions on how to use them are usually written on their packs, few days after menstruation prior to ovulation, one test strip or probe is dipped into samples of fresh urine produced daily at the same of the day and the result interpreted by changes on the strip similar to that seen on home based pregnancy test kits, until a positive result is seen, signifying imminent ovulation 24 to 36 hours later. Because most of these kits come with a limited amount of test strips, it is important to commence serial daily monitoring of ovulation as close to the ovulation day as possible to avoid wastage; this can be done by monitoring changes in the cervical mucus and commencing the strip tests once the cervical mucus starts to change and become stretchy. Recent improvement in techology has also seen some of the test strips digitalized into digital probes for both ease of use and interpretation.

Tips to improve the accuracy of urine based ovuation prediction test

1)  Avoid doing the test with the first urine of the day as the concentration of the LH may be high enough to give you a false positive result.

2)  Always do the test about the same time of the day you do the first test in each cycle.

3)  Avoid excessive drinking of water around the time you do the test to avoid over diluting your urine.

4)  Only interprete the presence of two bold lines as a positive test and that of a single line as a negative test. Any other vague lines should be interpreted as invalid and should be repeated as it unreliable.

           

Positive and negative Ovulation prediction urine based tests                       

               

SALIVA BASED OVULATION PREDICTION TEST

These are ovulation prediction tests that utilize the biological effect of the customary rise in the blood oestrogen level that normally peaks a few days before ovulation, on the mucus secretions produced by the various glands in the female body. In a normal menstrual cycle, the blood oestrogen hormone level rises as ovulation approaches, peaking about 3-5 days before ovulation. This creates a change in the pattern of the mucus secretions produced by cervical and salivary glands. In the cervix, for instance, an increase in the strecthing of the cervical mucus occur due to a profuse increase in the water and salt content of the cervical mucus. In the saliva, a similar increase in the salt content of the saliva results in crystallization and ferning of the salivary mucus or fluid, when placed on a glass slide and looked upon under a microscope, coinciding at its peak to the peak of the oestrogen hormone level in the bood, few days before ovulation. This same effect can be seen on the cervical mucus when placed on a microscope at the peak of the oestrogen hormone level in the blood.

Although not as common as the urine based ovulation prediction kits, the saliva based ovulation prediction kits contain basically a small sized portable microscope that resembles a lipstick case and a glass slide on which women monitoring their ovulation  period can place a clean portion of saliva and look under the microscope to inspect for ferning as drawn on the kit as a guide to monitor the effect of the oestrogen on the saliva. Once the saliva’s property as viewed on the slide is exactly as the one drawn on the kit, the woman is alerted that her ovulation will occur in some couples of days and that she is in her fertile period. As a matter of fact, the rise in oestrogen level, serves as the stimulus for the LH surge observed in a normal menstrual cycle and monitored by the urine based ovulation prediciton tests. For more information on the events that lead to ovulation, see MENSTRUAL CYCLE, OVULATION AND MENSTRUATION; EXPLANATION OF BASIC PHYSIOLOGY.

Tips to improve the accuracy of saliva based ovuation prediction test

1)  Place the saliva on the in-built slide with a clean finger or if clean, lick the slide.

2)  Once dry, observe the slide through a microscope to see if there is a ferning pattern. Compare this with the examples on the manufacturer’s instructions, to determine if you’re fertile or not.

3)  Try to avoid getting air bubbles in your saliva sample.

4)  Do not test after eating, drinking, brushing your teeth or smoking as these may affect the saliva’s content.

5)  The best time to do the test therefore to avoid contamination is at first thing in the morning.

6)  Ensure that you clean the slide in between tests without using soap or cleaning fluids.

   

Saliva based ovulation prediction kit test

 

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