Understanding Positive Ovulation Test Results

November 12, 2012

Understanding Positive Ovulation Test Results

Women that have been trying to have children often rely on a positive ovulation test to let them know when the chance of getting pregnant is at its highest.

Sometimes seeing a negative pregnancy test result over and over can be disheartening to women who are attempting to get pregnant. This often brings up many fertility and ovulation questions. Ovulation tests can be of great assistance in situations like this. Positive ovulation will be signified on the test when a surge in luteinizing hormone has been detected. This surge normally happens around the middle of the menstrual cycle and is a necessary precursor to the release of an egg. Detecting this hormonal cycle allows women to more accurately predict when an egg is ready to be fertilized.

First Positive Result

A positive ovulation test result means you are currently at peak fertility. Because you should ovulate within the next few days, it is a good idea to start trying for a baby immediately. Sperm can live in the body for up to a week so starting before the egg drops is just as good as starting after and will increase your chances of successful fertilization. Make sure to make love for at least the next three or four days after you receive a positive result. To sum it up, your first positive ovulation test means:

  • You are currently in a high fertility state

  • Ovulation should take place within the next 36 hours

  • Have sex the day of the positive as well as the next three or four days

  • BBT charting (with the use of a basal thermometer) can be used to confirm ovulation because there is a rise in body temperature due to an increase in progesterone levels

  • For couples also dealing with sperm count issues, it is important to speak with your doctor about timing intercourse so your chances of fertilization are at its highest

Positive and Negative Test Results

What happens if you have been receiving regular positive ovulation results and then receive an “almost” positive? Unless the test line looks like the control line, the result should be interpreted as a negative. It is important to remember that LH levels will rise and fall quickly throughout the course of the ovulation cycle. Make sure that you are thoroughly following all test instructions and that the start dates of testing have been correctly established. If you happen to have irregular periods, always err on the side of caution by basing start dates on the short end of the cycle length. If you are receiving negative results remember:

  • Results should be interpreted as positive only if the test line is as bold or bolder than the control line

  • A faint line should always be considered negative because LH can be present in low levels throughout menstruation

  • Positive results may only last a single day because of how quick a LH surge can happen

  • Always use afternoon or early evening urine samples for testing and make sure that tests are performed around the same time from day to day

  • Try not to urinate for at least four hours before testing

  • Do not be afraid to test twice within the same day

False Positives

Many of the tests that women can take at home do have a slight chance of causing false positive results. There are some situations where a false positive ovulation result has a higher chance of occurring than under normal conditions. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while and are on fertility drugs in order to help with conception, false positives can occur with an ovulation test. This is especially true if you are taking the test early in your medication cycle. Speak with your doctor about when the best time to start testing for ovulation would be. Is there anything that can guarantee ovulation has taken place? Yes, but it involves the use of an ultrasound machine and a doctor’s office. This is simply not a practical solution for the majority of individuals. If you are unsure about the test results you are getting, consider an additional method such as temperature charting in order to track ovulation.


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