Though some people can get pregnant the first time they have sexual intercourse, others may try and try for months unsuccessfully. One of the aspects that determine whether or not you will conceive is your ovulation dates. A woman can conceive only if she has sexual intercourse after ovulation.

What is Ovulation?

Each woman is born with millions of eggs in her ovaries. After puberty, each month, eggs mature inside one of the ovaries. The most mature egg is then released by the ovaries into the fallopian tubes. This is known as ovulation.

An egg can survive for 12-24 hours if it is not fertilized. On the other hand, sperm can live for up to 7 days inside a woman's uterus. Thus, having sex in the six days beginning from two days before ovulation gives you the highest chances of getting pregnant. This is why ovulation testing becomes necessary.

How is Ovulation Testing Done?

Ovulation tests are a quick and easy way to determine when a woman will be ovulating. Some of the cases where this can be helpful are:

  • When you have irregular menstrual cycles
  • When you or your partner have to work away from home and travel frequently
  • When you already have children and do not find enough time to prioritize sex

Most ovulation tests are urine-based tests. These tests can be taken at home in private. The tests measure the amount of Luteinizing hormone in the urine. The levels of this hormone usually shoot up 1-2 days before ovulation. This can be as much as 2 to 5 times the normal amount present in urine.

The exact instructions to be followed for an ovulation test may vary from kit to kit. Ideally, the test should be performed at the same time every day. The afternoon is usually considered the best time for testing. Unlike a pregnancy test, it is not advisable to take an ovulation test as soon as you wake up in the morning. Also, do not drink a lot of liquids for 4-5 hours before taking the test as it may dilute the urine and make the results harder to read.

The results of the test may appear as bands on the urine stick or as symbols. This result should be read within 10 minutes of taking a test. A positive test will not disappear after this but a negative test may show faint positive results after some time.

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