Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs) are great. But a positive OPK doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually ovulate. Sometimes the LH hormone surge just doesn’t trigger ovulation. So what can you do to confirm you’ve actually ovulated…
If you want to be 100% sure, only an ultrasound, a blood test, or a positive pregnancy test a few weeks later can tell you whether you ovulated.
But there’s another way! And yes, it gives you yet another reason to pee on a stick, which is always a good thing if you ask me 😂
Meet the Progesterone Test Strips
As you might know; the hormone progesterone rises after ovulation. And measuring your progesterone levels is a really good way to confirm that you’ve ovulated.
So how do these strips work? Well, a week or so after ovulation, you dip the test in your urine, and it will check for the presence of metabolized progesterone particles (called PdG). If it detects 5 ug/ml or more, the test line will DISAPPEAR! This means that your progesterone levels indicate that you’ve ovulated.
So unlike OPKs or a pregnancy test, for progesterone tests 1 line is good, 2 lines is not good!
Also unlike a pregnancy test, for example, a faint test line actually means that your test is negative! The test line has to completely disappear before your test can be labeled as positive.
The test on the left: that’s a positive! Test on the right: nope, not there yet! It can take about a week to 10 days after ovulation before your levels are high enough for the line to completely disappear. Some may get there sooner though, just keep testing!
The level of progesterone metabolite that the test detects (5 ug/ml) roughly corresponds to a level of 10 ng/ml found in a blood test, which is the cutoff most doctors use to confirm that you’ve ovulated.