Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Following the specified course(s)...
There was an error while trying to follow the specified course(s).
Check that you are not currently following them or please try again later.

Thank you
4 of 9
my list
Cancel x

Enter your email:

Enter the email addresses you want to share this with:

Thank you!
Page was successfully shared!
You have finished viewing your e-Prescription!
Take a Course
Robert Winston
Fertility expert and one of the world's pioneers of IVF and Fertility Medicine. BAFTA award-winning television presenter and Member of The House of Lords in the UK.
{{ ellipsisText }}

Fertility in women

Are ovulation kits useful?

Ovulation kits work by measuring levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). In theory, LH is produced in large amounts just before ovulation. However, false positives can be given for a number of reasons, listed here. If the kits don’t seem to work for you, it can be as effective to have more regular and frequent sex.
Video Tutorial
In Short
Ovulation kits work well for some people. However for many people they can produce false positive results.

They also encourage people to time intercourse, which can be stressful. It can be more effective to have a lot of sex and try to keep it enjoyable.

Are ovulation detection kits useful?

Ovulation kits are urine testing kits that measure levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body, which are available at most pharmacies. LH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland to signal the ovary to start to ovulate. A slip of coated paper can be dipped in the first specimen of urine passed each morning; a colour change can indicate a marked increase in the level of LH.

LH is produced in large amounts just before ovulation. As the follicle matures in the ovary and the time for ovulation draws closer, the follicle containing a viable egg produces increased amounts of the female hormone oestrogen. The oestrogen enters the bloodstream, which carries it to the brain where it ‘tells’ the pituitary gland that an ovary contains a mature follicle and is ready to release an egg. This triggers the release of LH, which initiates ovulation.

LH kits are a good idea in theory, but they are expensive and there are a number of associated problems. First, they only detect the sudden surge of LH, which should occur about 36 hours before ovulation, but some women have an abnormal LH surge while ovulating. Other women, particularly those in the older age group and women with polycystic ovaries, may produce high levels of LH that are not related to ovulation at the wrong time during the menstrual cycle, which causes false positives.

In other women, the test just doesn’t seem to work properly. So using these kits can add to the strain of fertility problems because they encourage people to time intercourse. This domination of one’s sex life can make infertility an ever more demanding and emotional experience. It can be more effective to have a lot of sex and try to keep it enjoyable.

The Genesis Research Trust

Despite countless breakthroughs in medical science, we still do not understand why some pregnancies will end in tragedy. For most of us, having a child of our own is the most fulfilling experience of our lives. All of us can imagine the desperation and sadness of parents who lose a baby, and the life-shattering impact that a disabled or seriously ill child has on a family.

Professor Robert Winston’s Genesis Research Trust raises money for the largest UK-based collection of scientists and clinicians who are researching the causes and cures for conditions that affect the health of women and babies.

Essential Parent is proud to support their wonderful work. You can learn more about them here.

Share the knowledge
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.