How do I track my ovulation?

Tracking Your LH Can Help Identify Your Fertility Window

Just like you, your menstrual cycle is unique. Track your cycle every month to get an idea of what it looks like.

Before you charge in, know that it’s OK if it takes a couple of months to get an idea of your cycle. You’ll want to track your period as well as your LH levels. Start testing your LH levels after your period ends. Continue testing until you see your LH level surge. Of course, to start charting your LH levels, you’re going to need to understand ovulation test kits.

There are two types of test kits:

Line Based Ovulation Test Kits

The first works similar to two-line pregnancy tests. You pee on a test stick. There is a control line that indicates the test is working. Then, the tricky part, you have to compare the test line with the control line. If the test line is as dark or darker than the control line, your LH has surged and you are about to ovulate. However, these test kits don’t provide your actual LH numerical level so you can track your cycle.

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Yes/No Numerical Based Ovulation Test Kits

The other test kit provides a yes/no result plus a numerical value that allows you to chart your LH level. This provides you with a better understanding of your LH levels before and during ovulation. When you see your LH level go above 30 mIU/mL, typically that means you will ovulate in the next day or two.

Clinical Discussion

Using an LH surge to predict ovulation

Every woman is unique, including the timing of their cycle, LH surge, and ovulation. For this reason, when planning to conceive, it’s important to track LH level daily. Luckily, there are urine-based, ovulation tests that can be purchased for this very purpose. Even better, an ovulation test that provides numeric values of LH will allow a woman to develop a visual representation of her LH curve.

Identifying an LH surge

Early in a woman’s cycle, LH levels are low and don’t change much for several days. By recording daily LH levels during this time, a woman can determine her baseline LH level. Once a baseline is established, her LH surge can be identified by a rapid increase in LH levels over a short period of time.

luteinizing hormone, lh surge, ovulation

Changes in an LH surge are possible each cycle

Sexual intercourse should occur at any time during the 12 to 72 hours after the LH surge is detected to enhance the possibility of conception. A woman may want to test twice a day during her surge to better understand her LH curve. By doing this she can better estimate her fertility window.

Curves can vary, month to month, for a variety of reasons including changes in diet, stress and rigorous physical activity. Because of this, repeating the LH tracking process over the course of several ovulation cycles may provide individualized insight into the timing of a woman’s LH surge.

Important information to consider

There are a variety of reason why a woman’s LH levels can be too low for ovulation to occur. It is generally recommended that a woman contacts her physician if she is not able to get pregnant after trying for 6 consecutive months.

Technical side to LH surges

By knowing her LH pre-ovulation baseline is 5 mIU/mL, she can recognize that her LH is beginning to surge as the number quickly increase to 10 mIU/mL and then 20 mIU/mL. Alternately, someone else may start with a pre-ovulation baseline of 15 mIU/mL and may notice her surge happen more gradually. The typical range of LH, including both baseline and peak values can be from as little as around 1mIU/ml to as much as 75 mIU/mL.

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