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Best Time To Take An Ovulation Test: LH Surge Detection

Best Time To Take An Ovulation Test: LH Surge Detection

Last updated on April 27th, 2019

If you want to increase your odds of getting pregnant with OPKs and utilize LH surge detection you may have a few questions like “What’s the Best time to take an ovulation test?” or “How do I use an OPK?” 

And today, that’s exactly what I will cover in this post.

The Mechanics/How-To Of Ovulation Testing

OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) are simple to use if you’ve ever taken a pregnancy test before it’s the same procedure.

  1. Pee on a stick or pee in a cup and dip in the ovulation test strip.
  2. Wait X amount of minutes and read the results.

With ovulation tests, you want to make sure you give them the full window of development ie. 5, 10, 15 minutes. DO NOT READ IT EARLY! You may throw out the test thinking it’s negative but it has yet to fully develop.

Your OPK is positive when the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.

A lot of women dismiss a result when the test line is as dark/bold as the control line as a negative result – this may also cause you to miss your fertile window.

When catching your lh (luteinizing hormone) surge time is of the essence.  Many women only get a positive OPK for one day,  and even that can vary by hours. By mapping out a plan that fits your schedule you are unlikely to miss the lh surge.

If you’re still feeling unsure about your cycle and when you should be DTD after you go over the info below a Baby Making Blueprint may be the answer for you!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please contact your physician before making any changes to your health plan to view Conceive A Baby’s medical disclaimer click here. This post contains affiliate links. 

 Best Time To Take An Ovulation Test: The Breakdown

First thing you need to do is pinpoint your fertile window!

Many women treat ovulation tests the same as pregnancy tests and think that testing with FMU (first-morning urine) is going to provide the most accurate results. This is not the case with OPKs in most situations.

It is true that in the majority of women, that lh (luteinizing hormone) is released/synthesized in the body during the early morning hours, which makes it seem like FMU is best. It’s NOT. Keep in mind although, the lh surge has been triggered it can take several hours to reach an elevated level.

If you test too early in the day you may only get a faint test line because levels have no hit their peak. You can test the same exact day in the afternoon and see a full-blown positive.

That being said some women will get positive OPK results in the morning – you are free to test in the morning, but if you do I would not make it your only testing time of the day.

Create An OPK Testing Routine & Stick With It!

When using OPKs you want to be on top of things.

An lh surge can start and end at any moment. Because the window of detection is so narrow, (for some it only lasts a few hours) it is imperative to have a good testing routine.

In order to start crafting your plan, you need to figure out the best time to take an ovulation test for YOUR cycle.  This will increase your test accuracy and help ensure that you do not miss the lh surge and in turn ovulation.

A Baby Making Blueprint can also help you pinpoint the best time to take an ovulation test and is catered to your unique cycle. If you get to the end of this post and are still feeling unsure I’d love to help!

To help you craft your own OPK testing plan I’ve broken down some key factors to help you improve your results.

What You Should Consider When Figuring Out Your Best Time To Take An Ovulation Test: Q&A Style

  • What’s the best day to start taking an ovulation test?: Start testing daily about a week after your period has ended on or around CD (cycle day) 8-13 depending on your cycle length.
  • What’s the Best time to take an ovulation test?: Afternoon or early evening. If you’re looking for actual times I recommend between 11am – 6pm. You should base it off of your schedule. Ie. lunch break & time you get home from work.
  • How many times a day should I test?: For optimal results test twice a day at the SAME TIME every day, in the afternoon & early evening if possible. If you are only able to test once a day that is fine too.
  • Should I limit fluids before testing?: Diluted urine can cause inaccurate results it is best to limit fluids for the holding period to ensure your results are reliable. That being said do not dehydrate yourself. When I say limit fluids I mean don’t go and drink two bottles of water and a 32oz coke an hour before you’re scheduled to test.
  • Should I hold it & For how long?: Try to plan on holding it for at least 2-3 hours before you test. This helps build up the concentration of the urine and makes the lh surge easier to detect. Again – do NOT hold it until you are in agony or any type of pain be reasonable. There have been times I’ve even gone and emptied half of my bladder in the middle of my hold time. Do what you have to do.

Ready, Set, Go

Now that you know what key points to include and map out you’re all set to make an OPK testing plan that will hopefully work for you and your schedule.

Question answered: “What’s the Best time to take an ovulation test?”

Do you have an ovulation test routine now? Will you be changing it? Share your routine!Do you know when the best time to take an ovulation test is? Find out how to craft a ovulation test routine and increase your odds of getting pregnant. Help getting pregnant, trying to conceive tips.



Ahmad F. Khattab, Fayez A. Mustafa, Philip J. Taylor; The use of urine LH detection kits to time intrauterine insemination with donor sperm, Human Reproduction, Volume 20, Issue 9, 1 September 2005, Pages 2542–2545,

 Martinez AR, Bernardus RE, Vermeiden JP, Schoemaker J (1994). “Time schedules of intrauterine insemination after urinary luteinizing hormone surge detection and pregnancy results”. Gynecol Endocrinol. 8 (1): 1–5. PMID 8059611

Wikipedia contributors, “Luteinizing hormone,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 

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