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Ovulation & LH Testing

Do you know when you ovulate?

When patients are trying to conceive (or trying to avoid a pregnancy using the fertility awareness method), knowing WHEN you are ovulating is key!

Many women do not ovulate in the middle of their menstrual cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle, you might ovulate in the middle (on day 14), but not necessarily. If your cycle is longer or shorter than 28 days, you also have a less likely chance of ovulating in the middle. Your period tracking app can be useful to track your cycle, but it also does not know when you ovulate. Ovulation can even vary from month to month depending on several factors - stress being a big one!

So, if your period tracking app doesn't know when you ovulate, then how do you know when you ovulate?

A few ways I teach patients about their ovulation would include:

1️⃣Cervical fluid changes

2️⃣Basal body temperature changes

3️⃣Cervical positioning

4️⃣Leutenizing Hormone or LH testing (pictured below)

Allow me to elaborate on LH testing. Now, let me preface this by saying that you do not need to do LH testing to understand about your ovulatory window. But for the sake of this post, I will elaborate on this one metric.

In the simplest words, LH is a hormone released from the pituitary gland in your brain that sends a signal to your ovaries to trigger ovulation. Leutenizing Hormone can be detected in your urine and you can test for this hormone in the comfort of your home. Notice in the photo that when you get a slight positive, this does not mean you have ovulated. Assessing your PEAK ovulation is when you know you truly ovulated.

Factors that can change the accuracy/reliability of LH testing:

1️⃣If you have irregular cycles (ex. PCOS or amenorrhea)

2️⃣The concentration of your urine

3️⃣Time of day that you test

4️⃣Frequency of LH testing around your ovulatory window

As you can see, there are several variables to consider with LH testing. If patients are trying to conceive and are open to using this method, I like to see cycle charts like this so we can figure out when they are truly ovulating. Sometimes when trying to conceive, just becoming more knowledgeable about understanding your unique menstrual cycle makes all the difference! It can sometimes be the thing that gives you that positive pregnancy test. As an ND, I feel lucky to be able to spend lots of time with you to go over all your questions and help you understand your cycle. 🤓

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Have a lovely week!


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