What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like?
In this guide, we share how to read your ovulation test results and show you actual results from real women who have used Natalist Ovulation Tests to get pregnant.
By Halle Tecco, Chief Executive Officer, Natalist
Ovulation tests (aka ovulation predictor kits or OPKs) are an easy, affordable, and clinically proven way to identify your fertile window. They help you get to know your body and its variations and identify the time when you’re most likely to conceive.
The Natalist Ovulation Test is designed to be easy to use, but it’s always helpful to see what results could look like. In this guide, we’ll share more about how to read your results and show you actual results from real women who have used Natalist Ovulation Tests to get pregnant.
How do ovulation tests work?
Ovulation tests identify the presence of a hormone in urine called luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is produced by the anterior pituitary cells in the brain, and they signal to your ovaries that it’s time to ovulate. About 16–48 hours before ovulation, your brain will release a spike of LH called the LH surge. The ovulation test can detect this surge in your urine. When you get a positive ovulation test, you are squarely in the middle of your fertile window — when you are most likely to conceive — so now is the time to take action if you’re trying to make a baby this month.
How to read your ovulation test results
Follow the test instructions, pee on the stick (be careful not to pee above the designated area), and wait a few minutes for the result. Then, take a look at the test window which can display up to two lines:
- One for the control line © to make sure the test worked
- And another, the test line (T), that shows the ovulation result.
Unlike a pregnancy test, two lines alone [on an ovulation test] is not a positive result since your body makes LH at low levels throughout your cycle.
If the test line (T) is as dark or darker than the control line ©, the test is positive, and you’ll likely ovulate within approximately the next 36 hours. If you want to get pregnant this month, now is the time to have vaginal sexual intercourse.
Results from a 32-year old woman with a 31-day cycle
1. These are test results from a 33-year old woman with a 28-day cycle who tested every morning starting on cycle day 13 (CD 13). On day 15, she saw her peak LH results, where the test line was as dark as the control line. She tested again on cycle day 15 and saved the remaining tests in the box for the next month.
2. These are test results from a 34-year old woman with a 28-day cycle who tested every 12 hours starting on Cycle Day 12. On day 14, she saw her peak LH results in the evening. She continued testing until Cycle Day 17.
3. These are test results from a 26 year old woman with a 28-day cycle and unexplained fertility. She tested once every morning starting on Cycle day 11. On the morning of Day 14, she saw her peak LH surge. She continued testing until Day 15.
4. These are daily test results from a 36-year old woman who does not have a normal 28-day cycle. She started testing on Day 8, and saw her strongest result on Day 11. However, it is not a strong LH surge. Not everyone gets a strong LH surge result. It could be because it happened in the afternoon and she tested in the morning. Or it could be that her LH surge wasn’t very strong to begin with. She should try testing again next cycle, and if ovulation is not detected in two or more cycles in a row, it’s time to talk to an OBGYN.
Things to keep in mind
A positive result is a sign that your body is trying to ovulate, but it doesn’t guarantee that an egg was released. It’s rare but possible for LH to surge without actual ovulation. Combining ovulation test results with other tracking methods, like basal body temperature monitoring can help confirm ovulation.
Every cycle is different. As you can see, menstrual cycles are different from person to person — and also from month to month. Ovulation tests are a useful tool to inform and educate you on your journey to parenthood; they help you get to know your body and its variations, so that you can identify the time when you’re most likely to conceive.
To read more about finding your fertile window and tracking ovulation, check out our other articles related to ovulation.