The way it's worked these two cycles have felt like a total waste of time and money, as it's basically just functioning as a really expensive OPK! When you first started thinking about having a baby, the phrase LH surge probably didn’t cross your mind.
But if you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ve probably developed a sudden new interest in monitoring the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland that triggers ovulation.
But once the egg in your ovaries reaches a certain stage of development, LH levels increase rapidly. Since levels of LH spike about 24 hours before ovulation, tracking your LHsurgecan help you determine when your chances for pregnancy are highest.
If you wait for your LH surge to start having sex, you could be missing out on some of the best days of your cycle to conceive. These tests read a positive result when the level of LH in your urine is above a certain threshold.
If you start taking LH tests several days before you expect to ovulate, the idea is that you will “catch” your surge with enough time to have sex during your peak level of fertility. A 2018 paper called into question the practice of using LH tests to predict peak fertility.
The paper argued that the duration of the LH surge varies substantially both within and between women. This means that a single positive LH test doesn’t tell you that you are going to ovulate in 24 hours.
If you’re one of these women, a positive ovulation test doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fertile at all. A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility looked at how long the LH surge lasts in normally ovulating women.
The image below represents what different LH patterns would look like on daily LH tests from cycle day 11 through cycle day 21 according to the results of the study: Estrogen levels begin to rise roughly 5 days before ovulation.
Rising estrogen levels cause your vaginal discharge (also known as cervical mucus) to increase and become more slippery. This means that you should notice increased fertile vaginal discharge around the time of the LH surge.
PCs: This (and other hormonal conditions) can cause elevated LH levels throughout the menstrual cycle Humanized unruptured follicle (LUF): even though hormone levels leading up to ovulation are normal, the follicle doesn’t rupture, so the egg is never released. In normal menstrual cycles, the ruptured follicle becomes a corpus luteum, which releases progesterone and stimulates the lining of the uterus to build up.
But it is known that long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can prevent the follicle from bursting, sometimes leading to LUF. If you’re taking anti-inflammatory drugs for chronic conditions like autoimmune diseases, arthritis, or endometriosis you may want to talk to your doctor about possible impacts on your fertility.
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If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the corpus luteum shrivels up, stopping the secretion of progesterone, and triggering the start of a menstrual period. Your LH surge is important because it initiates the beginning of ovulation and your fertile period.
For many women, it’s easy to detect their LH surge using ovulation predictor kits (Oaks). These kits are similar to pregnancy tests because they measure hormone levels in your urine.
Each kit is a little different in how they register a positive result, so make sure to check the instructions. A positive result indicates the presence of a high amount of LH, or your LH surge.
The amount of LH in your body will begin to decrease after ovulation, so you’ll only get a positive result during that crucial fertile period. So knowing how long your cycle is (from one period to the next) will help you figure out when to start testing.
This is to make sure that you catch the positive result, in case you have a shorter cycle that month. Women with the condition polycystic ovary syndrome (PCs) might not be able to use these tests.
Some women with PCs have persistently elevated levels of LH, which would lead to an OPK always displaying a positive result, regardless of where you are in your cycle. Women approaching menopause may also have persistently elevated LH levels.
If you start testing too late into your cycle, you may miss the LH surge and won’t get a positive result that month. If you have trouble using an OPK, you can ask your doctor to run some blood tests to help you pinpoint your ovulation.
Usually, a gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist (infertility specialist) can help you interpret the blood testing results. If you’ve been using these kits and haven’t become pregnant after six months (if you’re over 35) to a year (if you’re under 35), make an appointment with your doctor.
Anonymous patient There are three things necessary to get pregnant: an egg from the female (the product of ovulation), sperm from the male (the product of ejaculation), and an open passage from the uterus to the tubes for the two to meet. If the patient has been trying for at least six months (preferably 12) and there is no pregnancy, or if there appears to be an obvious problem with one or more of the three factors mentioned above, then she should see a fertility specialist.
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Forum Index Infertility Support and Discussion AuthorMessage02/16/2012 14:40 Anonymous so this morning (Thursday) I had a positive on my OPK, and I also went in today for blood work/son.
Or can video “override” my natural LH surge and delay the actual ovulation? I'm on closed and estrogen levels looked good today.
I took a pregnancy test today, and it was blatantly negative. I wasn't doing OPK and BBT testing when I was doing multiple Luis one year ago (also at CFA) and I wish I had, for this very reason.