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Charting your menstrual cycle can be helpful in determining your most fertile days for conceiving, preventing conception, and monitoring your overall health. This can be time consuming and tricky, so using ovulation tests is a convenient way to take the guesswork out of tracking your fertility.

If you’re trying to figure out if and when you’re ovulating, an ovulation test is a great way to know your cycle better.

Most often, ovulation tests are used to plan pregnancy. “Ovulation tests are best used when trying to identify the fertile window to conceive,” explains Lucky Sekhon, MD, an OB-GYN, reproductive endocrinologist, and infertility specialist at RMA of New York.

For those who want to get pregnant, research finds that using at-home ovulation tests may increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Some people might use ovulation tests to try to prevent pregnancy by avoiding intercourse during their fertile window, Sekhon adds.

“However, this method has a high failure rate. So, if you’re interested in preventing unplanned pregnancy, I would choose a more effective and reliable form of contraception,” she says.

Ovulation test strips are a popular option in this product category, but digital ovulation tests and ovulation-tracking smart devices are also available.

Ovulation tests measure ovulation, the time when an egg is released from one of the ovaries. This egg can be fertilized by sperm, leading to pregnancy.

Most ovulation tests assess a hormone made by the pituitary gland called luteinizing hormone (LH).

“LH is a signal that’s sent to the ovaries to tell them to ovulate an egg,” Sekhon says. “The hormone signal circulates in [the] bloodstream, gets filtered by the kidneys, and ends up in the urine. When it’s detectable in urine, it means ovulation will likely take place in the next 12 to 36 hours.”

Because of this, all ovulation tests use a urine sample to determine whether ovulation is happening soon.

Types of ovulation tests

  • LH-only ovulation tests: These tests look for the presence of LH in the urine only.
  • LH and estrogen ovulation tests: Some ovulation tests can also detect estrogen metabolites in urine. “When a developing follicle contains a maturing egg [that’s] ready to ovulate, it secretes an elevated level of estrogen, which then signals to the pituitary that LH should be released,” Sekhon explains. So, when estrogen is detected in your urine, it gives you a heads-up that ovulation is impending. This could be useful, because LH is released in pulses, and it’s possible to miss the surge if you’re only testing once per day. “The detection of elevated estrogen may be helpful to signal when you should be paying closer attention and potentially checking twice per day.”
  • Progesterone ovulation tests: Unlike the other types of ovulation tests listed here, this type of test is used after you think you ovulated, as the hormone progesterone is produced by the ovaries post-ovulation. “Some newer test strips can detect progesterone, which can serve as a nice confirmation that you ovulated,” Sekhon says.

To select the best ovulation tests on the market, we spoke with medical professionals about what to look for in an ovulation test. Experts agreed that the top factors to consider are:

  • Reason for use: The tests selected for this list are suitable for planning pregnancy. They may also potentially help prevent pregnancy if used in conjunction with other more reliable forms of contraception and cycle tracking methods.
  • Budget: There’s a wide range in the pricing of ovulation tests. Price usually correlates with ease of use, so there are some more expensive options on this list. Sekhon says that, if you’re using ovulation tests simply to time sex (and not necessarily to know your cycle better), simple LH-detecting strips work really well, tend to be cheaper, and can be bought in bulk.
  • FDA registration: It’s important that any ovulation test you use meets the standards of the Food & Drug Administration. All the ovulation tests on this list are registered with the FDA.
  • Reviews: We also checked out reviews to see which ovulation tests people had positive experiences with.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Best for using with an app

Modern Fertility Ovulation Test

  • Price: $
  • Test type: LH-only test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 20
  • Time it takes: 5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for a supportive community

One thing that really makes ovulation tests from Modern Fertility stand out is the impressive app they created to help interpret and keep track of test results.

You can track other fertility indicators in the app as well, so you get personalized cycle predictions based on multiple data points. The app itself has a much better user experience than many comparable apps.

Another element of Modern Fertility tests is their interpretation guide printed on the packaging. If you choose not to use the app, this may come in handy for judging the strength of the test line.

Some reviewers note the price is higher than they’d like and that they find the tests comparable to lower-priced options.

A major plus, however, is that Modern Fertility has an active online Slack community, where users can get support from fertility experts and other customers alike. This can be particularly helpful if you’re unsure about what your ovulation test results mean, or if you’re considering reaching out to a doctor for advice.

Pros

  • online support community available
  • personalized cycle predictions
  • valuable, user-friendly app

Cons

  • strips detect LH only
  • tests don’t provide detailed fertility information
  • priced higher than comparable products

Best mega pack

Easy@Home Ovulation Test Strips 100-Pack

  • Price: $$
  • Test type: LH-only test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 100
  • Time it takes: 3–5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: buyers on a budget

If you’re looking for value, this large-sized pack of 100 ovulation test strips should do the trick for a very reasonable price. These dip strips last most people many months of testing for ovulation, so they’re a great pick if you anticipate tracking ovulation over a longer period of time.

Reviewers like that, compared with more expensive brands, the Easy@Home ovulation test strips show similar LH surge results.

In terms of cons, some people say they had a hard time interpreting the darkness of the test line to determine when they were ovulating.

Still, these test strips seem to be a crowd favorite, and the brand has a simple-to-use app for scanning your test strips daily to keep track of results. The app also helps with interpretation, making it easier to determine when you’re having a low, high, and peak fertility day.

Pros

  • good value for money
  • comparable results to more costly options
  • app available

Cons

  • subjective result interpretation
  • tricky to take photos to scan with the app
  • time consuming

Best test strip

Natalist Ovulation Test Kit

  • Price: $
  • Test type: LH-only test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 30
  • Time it takes: 5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: people who want an environment-friendly test

If you’re committed to using ovulation test strips over other types of ovulation tests, these test strips are some of the best you can get. They come in packs of 30 with a silicone urine collection cup included.

The reusable cup is a huge plus, as this cuts down on waste and means you don’t have to buy your own urine collection cups separately. Natalist is a 100 percent plastic-neutral company, so it makes sense that they offer this bonus.

These tests also come with a physical ovulation test tracker where you can insert your tests to look at the progression from day to day.

Reviewers love that each individual test packet is printed with instructions on how to use the test, meaning you won’t have to rummage around for the box if you forget how long you’re supposed to dip the test in urine.

Compared with other test strips, these are a little more expensive and come in a smaller quantity. But reviewers say, for the urine test cup and tracker alone, the price is worth it.

Pros

  • straightforward interpretation
  • easy urine collection
  • 100% plastic-neutral company

Cons

  • some may prefer dipsticks
  • more expensive than some alternatives
  • not made in the USA

Best progesterone ovulation test

Proov Predict and Confirm Kit

  • Price: $$
  • Test type: LH and PdG test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 15 LH and 5 PdG
  • Time it takes: 10 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: people who want to know their fertile window and confirm ovulation

If you’re looking to confirm that you’ve ovulated by tracking progesterone, the Proov Predict and Confirm Kit might be right for you. The kit comes with 15 LH test strips to use leading up to ovulation, and five PdG test strips to use after you think you ovulated.

Pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) is a urine metabolite of progesterone, meaning that if your progesterone levels rise, PdG will be detectable in your urine.

Reviewers note that, while these test strips are more expensive than others, they can provide peace of mind that ovulation occurred during your cycle.

Some reviewers even note that using these tests and getting negative PdG results helped them figure out that they needed further hormonal testing.

One potential con is that some reviewers find these tests difficult to interpret. This is partly because the PdG tests work opposite to LH tests. With an LH test, two bold lines mean a positive result. With Proov’s PdG test, one bold line means a positive result (and two lines are a negative result).

Still, many users find these tests helpful. Sekhon says the tests can be a good way to check if you’re unsure if you’re ovulating.

Pros

  • includes LH and PdG tests
  • allows you to pinpoint ovulation
  • useful for those who have PCOS who may get unclear results with LH

Cons

  • pricier than some options
  • you may not need PdG tests
  • isn’t a direct substitute for progesterone blood tests

Best ovulation-pregnancy test combo

Pregmate 50 Ovulation and 20 Pregnancy Test Strips Predictor Kit

  • Price: $
  • Test type: LH-only test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 50 ovulation and 20 pregnancy
  • Time it takes: 5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: anyone interested in knowing their ovulation and pregnancy status

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, it’s convenient to have some pregnancy tests on hand, just in case.

Pregmate is our best ovulation-pregnancy test combo choice as the pack contains 50 ovulation tests and 20 pregnancy test strips. So you’ll have plenty of tests to track ovulation and check for pregnancy for several months.

Both tests look essentially the same, but come in different-colored packaging to make it easy to tell the difference. Simply dip a strip into your collected urine for 3 to 5 seconds, then lay it flat and wait 3 to 5 minutes to read the results.

Reviewers love that the pregnancy tests included in this kit are very sensitive, meaning they can detect pregnancy before other less sensitive pregnancy tests.

A potential con is that some reviewers find these ovulation tests difficult to interpret. As with most other ovulation test strips, two lines are not considered a positive result unless the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.

Pros

  • determines fertile days and LH surge
  • easy to use
  • compact box that’s easy to store

Cons

  • some reports of faulty strips
  • results may be tricky to interpret
  • provides only basic fertility information

Best smart test

Clearblue Fertility Monitor

  • Price: $$$
  • Test type: LH
  • Quantity of tests: test strips sold separately
  • Time it takes: 5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for comprehensive fertility information

If you’re looking for a smart, higher-tech option, the Clearblue Fertility Monitor is a top choice. It keeps all your ovulation test info in one convenient place and has an easy-to-use touch screen.

Simply dip a test wand in your urine sample, insert it into the monitor, and wait 5 minutes for your results. The monitor tells you which days you need to test and stores your past cycle information, so you can compare how things are going from month to month.

This device is geared toward those who are trying to conceive, and it isn’t suitable for people trying to prevent pregnancy.

One downside is that the test wands for the device are sold separately, meaning you need to make two purchases to get started.

Similar to Clearblue’s other ovulation products, this monitor tells you when you have low, high, and peak fertility based on your estrogen and LH levels, which reviewers love.

One thing reviewers don’t like is that the device requires you to set a 5-hour window for testing that you’ll stick to each day. If you miss the window, you’re unable to test for the day.

At the same time, the monitor allows you to test for pregnancy at the end of your cycle if you purchase pregnancy test wands for it, which is a nice plus.

Pros

  • provides comprehensive information
  • easy to use
  • stores past cycle information

Cons

  • limited daily testing window
  • must purchase wands separately
  • company involved in a lawsuit in 2015

Best for details on your cycle

Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test

  • Price: $$
  • Test type: LH and estrogen test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 20
  • Time it takes: 5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: people looking to maximize chances of conception

If you’re looking for an ovulation test that provides you with detailed information on your cycle, this is the ideal pick. Because it measures both your estrogen rise and your LH surge, it can identify more fertile days than your standard LH test strip. This means you have more chances to try to conceive.

Similarly, if you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, you’ll know in more detail when to avoid having barrier-free sex.

One potential downside of this ovulation test kit is the price. It’s more expensive than other options, and you have to buy test wand refills periodically. That said, reviews indicate that most people find the extra cost to be worth it for more information about their cycle.

Many reviewers say the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test took the guesswork out of trying to get pregnant.

That might be because, instead of having to interpret the darkness of the test line and the control line (as you’d need to with a typical ovulation test strip), this ovulation test displays a blinking smiley face when an estrogen rise is detected and a solid smiley face when an LH surge is detected.

All that said, the company has no third-party certifications, privacy standards, or Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. Clearblue was also involved in a lawsuit in 2015 over “allegedly misrepresenting the efficacy of a certain pregnancy test product.”

Pros

  • provides detailed cycle information
  • easy to interpret
  • increased chances of conception

Cons

  • pricier option
  • must buy replacement test wands
  • company involved in a lawsuit in 2015

Best budget pick

Wondfo LH Ovulation Strips

  • Price: $
  • Test type: LH-only test strips
  • Quantity of tests: 50
  • Time it takes: 3–5 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: experienced ovulation test users

For those with smaller budgets, the Wondfo LH Ovulation Strips are a solid choice. They deliver results in just 3 to 5 minutes, and reviewers say the strips display clearer results than other similar tests.

Some reviewers say they were unhappy with the bare-bones packaging the tests come in and the lack of clear instructions on how to use them.

That said, others swear by the quality and price of these tests. They’re an especially good option for those who are already familiar with how to use ovulation tests and don’t need much in the way of instruction.

Other reviewers point out that, because these tests are so inexpensive, they’re ideal for anyone with irregular cycles who may need to test many days each month in order to identify their LH surge.

Several reviewers also say the Wondfo tests are great for anyone not necessarily looking to invest money into getting pregnant, but who wants to get to know their cycle better after coming off of hormonal birth control.

Something to note is that the company has no third-party certifications, privacy standards, and no BBB profile. The company was also involved in a patent infringement lawsuit in 2018.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • good for those with irregular cycles

Cons

  • don’t accept returns if defective
  • may be difficult to interpret

Best hormone analysis

Mira Plus Starter Kit

  • Price: $$$
  • Test type: E3G and LH test wands
  • Quantity of tests: 10 in starter kit, additional wands sold separately
  • Time it takes: 15–20 minutes
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for an advanced in-home monitor that shows the full fertile window

The bells and whistles that some ovulation test kits offer aren’t necessary to know whether you’re ovulating, but they can be helpful to get a bigger picture of your overall fertility and hormones.

The Mira Fertility Tracker uses lab-grade tech and artificial intelligence to analyze your unique hormone levels and is a sound choice for hormone analysis.

It offers a more in-depth look at your levels compared to the one- or two-line estimations of simpler tests.

Since Mira’s app uses machine learning, it learns your cycle over time. This helps you better understand how your hormones peak throughout your cycle, making it easier to identify days of ovulation and peak fertility.

Like most ovulation test strips, Mira detects a surge in the LH hormone. It also tests for E3G, a metabolite of estrogen found in urine.

Identifying your window of ovulation can be difficult, even with test kits, and Mira’s technology can detect the fertile window up to 5 days before ovulation.

One downside of this test kit is the price. The starter kit is expensive, and you have to buy test wand refills separately. Mira recommends using 10 to 15 wands per cycle, which can add up.

The kit has mostly positive reviews from online customers looking to get more detailed information about their cycles.

Pros

  • user-friendly app
  • AI data interpretation
  • easy to use

Cons

  • high price point
  • need separate progesterone testing wands
  • must buy supply refills each month

PriceTest typeNumber of testsTime it takes
Modern Fertility Ovulation Test$LH-only test strips205 minutes
Easy@Home Ovulation Test Strips 100-Pack$$LH-only test strips1003–5 minutes
Natalist Ovulation Test Kit$LH-only test strips305 minutes
Proov Predict and Confirm Kit$$LH and PdG test strips15 LH and 5 PdG10 minutes
Pregmate 50 Ovulation and 20 Pregnancy Test Strips Predictor Kit$LH-only test strips50 ovulation and 20 pregnancy5 minutes
Clearblue Fertility Monitor$$$LHtest strips sold separately5 minutes
Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test$$LH and estrogen test strips205 minutes
Wondfo LH Ovulation Strips$LH-only test strips503–5 minutes
Mira Fertility Kit & Ovulation Tracker$$$E3G and LH test wands10 in starter kit, and additional wands sold separately15–20 minutes

Using an ovulation test kit is a lot like taking a pregnancy test since both at-home tests require you to urinate on a strip or place the strip into urine in a sterile container. For specific instructions, refer to the directions included with your kit.

Ovulation tests measure a rise of the LH to predict when an egg is likely to release and when pregnancy is most likely to occur.

After urinating on the test strip, it will turn a certain color or display a positive sign to indicate that a surge in LH has been detected. If positive, you may begin ovulating in the next 24 to 36 hours.

To detect a surge in LH, you may need to take multiple ovulation tests over the course of several days. If you miss a day of testing, you may miss the surge.

Knowing when to start testing might be difficult. It depends on the length of your menstrual cycle, which isn’t the same for everyone. A person’s menstrual cycle can vary between 21 and 35 days, with 28 days being the average.

Ovulation usually begins halfway through an individual’s cycle, or 12 to 14 days before the next cycle begins. It’s recommended to begin testing 3 to 5 days before the expected date of ovulation. If your cycle lasts for 28 days, you should begin testing around day 11.

When should you start using ovulation tests?

If you have longer or shorter cycles, it can be tricky to figure out when to take an ovulation test.

“I recommend patients start using them daily at around day 10 of their menstrual cycle,” says Zaher Merhi, MD, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist and the founder of Rejuvenating Fertility Center.

What time of day should you take an ovulation test?

Experts agree that when you take an ovulation test doesn’t matter as much as taking them around the same time each day, so you can consistently measure your LH levels over time.

That said, it’s best to use ovulation tests after 11:00 a.m., according to Zitao Liu, MD, PhD, a board certified OB-GYN and fertility doctor. This is when LH levels tend to be highest.

How long after a positive test do you ovulate?

When you get a positive LH test result, ovulation generally occurs in the next 36 hours, Sekhon says, though it could happen as soon as 12 hours.

That means, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll want to time sex for the day of or day after your positive LH test result.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use ovulation tests?

“Ovulation predictor kits aren’t ideal for [those] with very irregular, unpredictable cycles,” Sekhon says. “It’s not very efficient if you need to check every day for months on end. Also, [those living] with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to have high LH levels and may get false positives.”

Similarly, if you’re taking any medications as part of fertility treatments, you shouldn’t use ovulation tests unless instructed by your physician, Merhi says. “Some medications can create false positives.”

Can an ovulation test detect pregnancy?

You might’ve heard that if you don’t have a pregnancy test on hand, an ovulation test can also detect pregnancy because the pregnancy hormone hCG and LH are chemically similar.

While it’s true these hormones have a similar structure, they are significantly different, according to Liu. This creates a chance of false positives, so he doesn’t recommend using an ovulation test to check for pregnancy.

There are so many ovulation tests out there that it can feel difficult to choose just one. Some have more bells and whistles, such as apps and monitors, but simple ovulation strips will get the job done.

Rest assured, experts agree that most of the available choices are relatively similar in terms of quality and accuracy. The ovulation test that’s right for you comes down to your preferences, needs, and budget.

If you’re having trouble determining your ovulation schedule or you’re trying to conceive and are receiving consistent signs that you’re ovulating but haven’t gotten pregnant yet, consider getting additional help from a doctor or healthcare professional.

Julia Malacoff is a London-based freelance editor and writer who covers all things health and wellness. She’s a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. When she’s not writing, there’s a good chance she’s walking her two cocker spaniels.