Ovulation Testing – Are you doing it right? What else you can be doing.

Knowing when you ovulate is critical for conceiving over 40 (unless you were one of the lucky ones that conceived “naturally” with no difficulty). If you are over 40 and trying to conceive you MUST be using testing to determine when you ovulate.  If you are not, you are wasting valuable time estimating your ovulation.  While there are general guidelines about the days that women ovulate during their cycle, no two women are the same and you need more than a guideline about when you ovulate to help you conceive. I’ve heard from scores of women who have been estimating their ovulation days or having sex on the wrong days because they weren’t sure about when they should have intercourse to give them the best odds of conceiving. I’ve even heard from female physicians who were not estimating their ovulation correctly. If you start going through infertility treatments (IUI or IVF), your doctor will give you strict instructions on how to test for the days that you are maximally fertile. Otherwise, you need to take the time to know how to do this on your own to give yourself the best chance of conception. Once you know the basics of testing, you need to pick the right product to help you estimate LH (leutenizing hormone – the predictor of ovulation) and ovulation.

First, the basics: if you wait until the day you ovulate, you have missed key fertility days in the month. You actually have the best conception odds the two days prior to ovulation and should be having sex on those days. You can use the basal body temperature method but I don’t recommend that overe 40.  There is too much room for error.  User error.  When there are so many great chemical tests that help predict ovulation, you should maximize your odds and select one of those.  In fact, I came across some great new technology that might be just what you need to help you even more.  Let’s talk aout what I deem the three basic types of ovulation prediction:  1.  sticks;  2.  strips;  3  devices (for lack of a better term).

Ovulation sticks

Ovulation sticks are the self contained little sticks that you urinate on and they tell you that you are getting ready to ovulate (having an LH surge).  There is lots of variety here including sticks that give a + or a – and those that actually say “pregnant” and “not pregnant”.  I always used the ones that actually said “pregnant” or “not pregnant”.  There was very little cost difference and I liked seeing the words.  It’s  mistake proof.  There are lots of sticks on the market, but I used Clear Blue Easy while I was conceiving AJ.

Ovulation Strips

On the market, there are also ovulation strips.  I used those when I was trying to determine if I was ovulating after AJ was born.  The main reason I used these was cost.  They are significantly cheaper than the “fool proof” sticks.  At a time when my periods were very irregular and I was having to test for a good part of the  month, it made sense to use this more cost effective method.  The downside is that you have to interpret your results against a color scale provided on the bottle.  And there is room for error.  If you have any doubt about being able to read the test correctly, don’t use this method.  Stay with the sticks.  Saving money makes no sense if you miss key fertility days.   If you are comfortable with interpretation, go with this – it can save you some money.  I think Baby Hopes and ” target=”_blank”>Clear Blue Fertility Monitor,


If you are over 40 and trying to conceive, you must be using ovulation prediction technology.  There are lots of options out there.  Take some time to think through what you have read here and maybe even try a few different ones to find what works best for you and your family.  Then, get healthy, stay healthy and reduce your stress.  Good luck and BLESSINGS!


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