Does Ovulation Really Occur 24 Hours After the LH Test Indicates It Has?
Many couples in the early stages of family planning have probably heard of various types of predictive tests for determining the best time frame to become pregnant. One such test relies on what is known as “LH testing”. The LH levels or Luteinizing Hormone level testing is an old but still commonly used predictive test for what is referred to as the LH “peak”. The most common form of LH testing in use today is the urine test stick. While this method of testing is used quite widely, it does not accurately predict/determine actual ovulation or the “fertile window”. Rather, it is meant to generally predict the pending possible release of the eggs:
“An ovulation home test is used by women to help identify the time in the menstrual cycle when they’re most likely to become pregnant
The test works by detecting a rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. Such a rise, or surge, signals the ovary to release the egg. This at-home test is often used by women to help predict ovulation.” –MedLine Plus, A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health
However, the LH levels do not account for certain physical and physiological changes. These tests only measure one of many criteria to determine the ovulation period because it is known that the “LH” surge prompts ovulation though these levels are not consistent:
“LH levels vary during the menstrual cycle, and peak prior to ovulation. In fact, it is the surge of LH production (called the LH surge) which induces ovulation in a normal woman. It is this LH surge which is measured by the home ovulation test kits (OPKs, ovulation prediction kits) which check for LH levels in the urine.” –Malpani Infertility Clinic
But there are problems with making the assumption that ovulation will occur 24 hours from the when the urine LH test indicates a high reading.
The first is mentioned above–the normal baseline level of LH is very low except for the end of hormonal cycle peak that often precedes ovulation. This LH peak reading is a spike that occurs over a period of approximately 24 hours. This means women testing at different times of the day are not finding their true baseline. Because testing is done on an irregular basis, couples cannot truly determine if they are on the upside or downside of the LH surge.
Another problem is even in the instance the peak is pinpointed, there is great variance among women. Though it is generally thought that ovulation occurs after the 24 LH surge, the variation in women can be great. For instance, some women will release eggs 12 hours after the LH peak while others may release eggs up to 36 hours after the LH peak.
Lastly, using such kits does not guarantee results as there is a percentage of women for whom LH testing kits simply do not work:
“Unfortunately, about 10% of women who use ovulation kits will not find a positive LH test result and will need their physician’s help to improve fertility timing.” –Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology
This is where OV Watch differs. It does not rely on “guesswork” based on outdated methodologies. Rather, OV Watch uses state-of-the-art science to accurately identify a woman’s fertile window well in advance of it actually happening. Not only is OV Watch constructed on cutting-edge technology, is it fashioned to be lightweight and easy to use.