What Are Ovulation Test Strips?

Ovulation Test Strips Image

Ovulation test strips are a great tool for women that want to know when they are most fertile and have the greatest chance of pregnancy. Ovulation test strips are an over-the-counter test that you can find at your local pharmacy.

How do ovulation test strips work?

Most ovulation tests test for the presence of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. Your body releases a large amount of this LH prior to ovulation, and this hormone surge is actually what triggers the release of your eggs.

The LH surge is an average of 12-36 hours before you’re ovulating. But sperm can live for up to five days in your uterus, so planning sexual intercourse at this time is still optimal.

How do I use an ovulation test strip?

You should follow the directions from the specific test that you buy, but many of the test brands function similarly. Typically, you either pee on the test strip directly or you pee into a urine cup and dip the test strip in the urine for a specific amount of time. The results will be displayed differently depending on the type of test strip you’re using, but many displays will show one line to indicate that you are not ovulating, and two lines to indicate that you’re about to be ovulating.

When should I use an ovulation test strip?

Ovulation typically occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle. If you have regular periods, and they are regularly 28 days in length, you can expect ovulation at around 14 days after the start of your last period. If your cycles are shorter or are longer, you can adjust the expected ovulation date to be the mid-date of your cycle.

You should start testing a few days before your anticipated ovulation so that you’re more likely to detect your peak fertility days.

How accurate are ovulation test strips?

Most ovulation test strips have an accuracy rate of 97-99%, but be sure to check the details of your specific brand of test.

One way to improve the accuracy of your test is to avoid drinking a lot of fluids for two hours before testing. This is because excess fluids can dilute your urine and make it more difficult for the test strip to detect the luteinizing hormone. You may want to take your test first thing in the morning before you’ve had a lot to drink, but the test will be just as accurate no matter the time of day.


  1. Ogle, Alicia. “Using Ovulation Kits to Predict Fertility”. 11 July 2019. Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System.
  2. “Should you use ovulation strips to get pregnant?” 13 May 2021. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic.

Posted in: Fertility, Women's Health

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