With all the birth control options available, it’s fairly simple not to get pregnant if you don’t want to or are not ready to have a baby. But for some, getting pregnant when you’re ready to have a baby is not always straightforward.
About 12% of women ages 15-44 have trouble conceiving or carrying a baby to term.
For a woman to get pregnant, her egg, after it’s released from the ovary, must mix with sperm. When the sperm penetrates the egg, called fertilization, an embryo forms. This embryo travels through the fallopian tube and eventually attaches itself to the woman’s uterus.
To increase your chances of conceiving, you should know when your eggs are released from your ovaries and have sperm ready to go to work.
Our expert providers at the Center for Women’s Health explain how over-the-counter ovulation kits can help you pinpoint your ovulation window and increase your chances of getting pregnant that cycle.
Should I use ovulation strips?
Ovulation occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle. It’s during this period when the egg is released from your ovary that you’re able to get pregnant. This window lasts about 12 to 24 hours.
While that window may seem pretty short and difficult to time, the good news is that sperm can survive about five days in your body. So even if you don’t have sex in that 12-24 hours, you can still get pregnant if you have sex a couple of days before your egg is released.
A healthy 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month that she’s off birth control. The older you get, the more challenging it can be to conceive. You’re most fertile in your 20s. Fertility gradually declines up until age 35. After age 35, your fertility declines more rapidly.
But women of all ages can benefit from using ovulation strips. Ovulation kits are 99% effective in identifying when you’re most fertile and are the most helpful tool to use if you want to get pregnant.
How do over-the-counter ovulation strips work?
An ovulation strip is as easy to use as peeing on a stick. In fact, that’s precisely how you use it. Another option is to pee into a cup and dip the strip in the cup of urine.
If your menstrual cycle is regular, you start tracking your ovulation a few days before the middle of your cycle. For example, if your cycle lasts 28 days, you start using the strips a few days before day 14. But most women’s ovulation varies from month to month.
If your cycle is irregular, or you’re not sure when you ovulate, use an ovulation app or estimate when you think you may ovulate and start testing a few days before that.
Ovulation strips measure the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Your LH increases about 24-48 hours before you ovulate. Your best bet is to have sex when the ovulation kit indicates a rise in your LH level and again for the next two days.
Are you ready to get pregnant? Call our center in Wichita, Kansas, for an appointment to get started on your baby quest. You can also request an appointment through our online system.
We offer telehealth appointments, too. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.