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  6. Ovulation (Urine Test)
  1. Home Use Tests

Ovulation (Urine Test)

What does this test do? This is a home-use test kit to measure Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. This helps detect the LH surge that happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle, about 1-1½ days before ovulation. Some tests also measure another hormone -- estrone-3-glucuronide (E3G).

What is LH? Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland. Your body always makes a small amount of LH, but just before you ovulate, you make much more LH. This test can detect this LH surge, which usually happens 1-1½ days before you ovulate.

What is E3G? E3G is produced when estrogen breaks down in your body. It accumulates in your urine around the time of ovulation and causes your cervical mucus to become thin and slippery. Sperm may swim more easily in your thin and slippery cervical mucus, increasing your chances of getting pregnant.

What type of test is this? This is a qualitative test -- you find out whether or not you have elevated LH or E3G levels, not if you will definitely become pregnant.

Why should you do this test? You should do this test if you want to know when you expect to ovulate and be in the most fertile part of your menstrual cycle. This test can be used to help you plan to become pregnant. You should not use this test to help prevent pregnancy, because it is not reliable for that purpose.

How accurate is this test? How well this test will predict your fertile period depends on how well you follow the instructions. These tests can detect LH and E3G reliably about 9 times out of 10, but you must do the test carefully.

How do you do this test? You add a few drops of your urine to the test, hold the tip of the test in your urine stream, or dip the test in a cup of your urine. You either read the test by looking for colored lines on the test or you put the test device into a monitor. You can get results in about 5 minutes. The details of what the color looks like, or how to use the monitor varies among the different brands.

Most kits come with multiple tests to allow you to take measurements over several days. This can help you find your most fertile period, the time during your cycle when you can expect to ovulate based on your hormone levels. Follow the instructions carefully to get good results. You will need to start your testing at the proper time during your cycle, otherwise the test will be unreliable, and you will not find your hormonal surges or your fertile period.

Is this test similar to the one my doctor uses? The fertility tests your doctor uses are automated, and they may give more consistent results. Your doctor may use other tests that are not yet available for home use (i.e., blood and urine laboratory tests) and information about your history to get a better view of your fertility status.

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