Ovulation Kits {Do They Work?}

When we first decided to try for a baby I was determined I wouldn’t become obsessed and that it would happen when it would happen. Fast forward ten months, a few losses and a lot of heartache, and my outlook was very different.

Luckily I knew I could get pregnant but sadly those pregnancies were not meant to be. The desire for a baby took over and I soon became the person I swore I wouldn’t. I tried pretty much every trick I found when googling how to improve my chances of getting pregnant. If you’ve done this yourself you will understand the diet changes and leg cycling!

Eventually I decided to give an ovulation kit a whirl. I’m not sure why I had been so against doing it but to me I guess it made it seem more ‘clinical’ in a way. It was a bit silly really but eventually after months of nothing I thought it would be worth a try.

I opted to buy a cheaper Boots own brand set as despite desperately wanting it to work my thrifty side still won out! These kits can be pricey and you may need to use them for a number of months. I’m presuming most of you know the premise of an ovulation kit but you use the kits to see when you are ovulating and therefore identify the days you should be having sex to maximise your chance of conceiving.

To be honest I didn’t really know my cycle that well. I was quite regular with my periods but had no idea when my ovulation happened. For most people it is around 14 days after the start of your last period but this can vary. I know some people can tell from monitoring changes to their body or temperature but I was oblivious to all of that.

The pack I bought contained seven sticks which meant that I had seven days in which to find out if I was ovulating. You should start around day ten after your last period as sometimes you can ovulate earlier or later than the normal 14 days. The test measures your hormone levels to give you an indication to your most fertile time.

It works in the same way as a pregnancy test and each morning you should wee on to the little plastic stick. Ideally this should be between 10 am and 8pm as apparently it can take a few hours for the luteinising hormone to show up in your urine. A few minutes later you will then get a positive or negative result. In my case the positive came on day 15.

I won’t go in to details but I’m pretty sure that you all know what you need to do then!!! To maximise your chances you need to have sex within two days of getting the positive result. It’s up to you how many times that is 🙂

Two weeks later my period didn’t appear but I refused to get my hopes up given previous experiences. Instead I left it another two weeks before grabbing a different test this time to see if I was pregnant. And I was. And this time everything was ok and little Molly arrived eight months later (don’t worry, I haven’t got my calculations muddled, she was early!!).

So for me the ovulation kit worked first time round and had I needed to I wouldn’t have hesitated in using one again. Obviously it doesn’t always work for everyone but for me it was the little bit of reassurance I needed.

Did anyone else use an ovulation kit or are you considering it? Do let us know your own experiences.

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28 Comments. Leave new

I used the clearblue ovulation kits after coming off the pill and my cycle being unpredictable. We got pregnant within 2 months using the ovulation kit and I’m now 27 weeks. I think it’s such a tiny window that you can actually fall pregnant within, you could easily be missing it inadvertently and these kits take all that uncertainty away. I really recommend them and the digital kits, whilst pricey leave you in no doubt x

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Congratulations! So pleased to hear it worked for you and agree it is such a slim window that it’s good to have the reassurance xx

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I used cheap ovulation sticks from eBay – 500 or so strips for a fiver. I got pregnant first month both times and so did most of my friends who ended up using the leftover sticks (we called them magic strips because they were so effective!). if not the second month. Because they were so cheap, I could use them at will. I’d actually use three a day on and around days where my app was telling me I was ovulating. It was interesting how ‘out’ the apps were.

I never did temperature or anything although friends that struggled early days did with success.

But yeah, big fan here.

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Loving the bargain hunting and sharing with friends! Plus love the fact that they became known as the magic strips more x

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We suffered miscarriages trying to have our first baby and after our first loss I found (via google – there is a “SMEP” website) the “sperm meets egg plan” which we used every time and went on to have five more pregnancies (resulting in our two gorgeous girls). The plan is intended to help you get pregnant faster with ovulation awareness and intercourse timing. According to their stats if you time intercourse perfectly, you’ve still only got a 25% chance to get pregnant each cycle so the plan tries to ensure you get that 1 in 4 shot by literally making sure the sperm and egg have every opportunity to meet each and every cycle. The plan was also supported by the consultant I saw about our miscarriages who said that a key problem people can have with trying to conceive is simply not having enough sex.

The plan works like this: in order to ensure sperm and egg meet, you will “try” every other day starting on the eighth day of your cycle. On the tenth day of your cycle you will begin daily testing with OPKs (ovulation prediction kits) and upon receiving a positive OPK you will “try” 3 more days in a row. Skip one day and give it one more try. It does mean you end up having sex a lot but after our first miscarriage we just wanted to be pregnant again and although the sex wasn’t always romantic we knew it was something we needed to do in order to achieve our family so we both just got on with it and thankfully it worked pretty quickly each time.

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This plan sounds brilliant and I am so pleased it worked for you. My friend who is an obstetric consultant told me exactly the same things about the regularity of sex. Basically you need to have sex every 48 hours to give yourself the best chance with ovulation and amount of time sperm lives for inside the body. I was exactly the same after my miscarriages though and it become a bit difficult. Who knew the husband would become fed up with constant sex!! 🙂 x

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Big fan. Used them both times and was pregnant within two months. Largely because I had very irregular periods, also because I’m a control freK. Bought a huge cheap pack from eBay.

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These mammoth packs from eBay appear to be the winners! So pleased they worked for you xx

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I’d tried them from the off – did 2 months just to see where my ovulation roughly fell in the month and no luck in those months. Went back several months later on a whim, and found that month (I’d also started some pre-natal vitamins that month) my ovulation was a few days earlier than I was expecting. Low and behold thats the month we caught. I attribute it more to the vitamins putting my cycle in check than the ovulation tests, which just helped us time the deed. Now a fantastic 28 weeks through! I would say they stressed me out a bit at the start and put the pressure on us both to perform (rather than enjoy the time) as we knew time was then ticking for that month. I wouldn’t recommend them to friends now until they’ve been trying naturally for 6 months and seeing what happens. I do feel it’ll happen when it’s right.

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I definitely think you need to give your body time to adjust, especially if you have been on the pill for a long time. I’m so happy they worked for you and congratulations!! x

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I had heard of these but when we decided to try we were just “seeing how it goes” I had a period app on my phone where I logged my period each month and it showed when I’d ovulate I know it’s probably not as accurate but it worked for us! Plus by logging it each month meant I could remember my dates to tell my doctor. We were pregnant the first month so I definitely think it’s worth trying to find out when you roughly ovulate x

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I completely agree that understanding your cycle is so important, however you do that. Otherwise it is just guess work! x

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The month we used the clearblue digital sticks was the month we got pregnant, so we are very thankful to clearblue! The flashing smiley faces did get annoying but finally got the static smiley, which told me I was ovulating a week later than ‘normal’. We also followed the SMEP that Kat talks about above. I know the sticks aren’t for everyone, but I would definitely use them again. It gives you that little bit of certainty that you are craving at such an uncertain time xx

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I used some cheapy ovulation sticks from Amazon for both my pregnancies and found they were great. It turns out I ovulated later than I thought, and both times I was pregnant within a couple of months of using them.

One thing to bear in mind if you are a bit obsessive and use them every day, is that they also highlight when you are pregnant! I was peeing on them every day as I didn’t trust that I’d definitely caught my ovulation point that month (and had had a 42 day cycle the previous month). 2 weeks after the first ovulation positive I got another positive for ovulation and had a massive hump about my ovulation cycle being all over the place and messed up. It was only after a little googling and a proper pregnancy test that I realised I was actually pregnant!

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Great topic but i just wanted to give a different perspective. I used these for months and tried different brands, but for me they didn’t work at all. Some months i would get a positive ovulation result, but some months i didn’t. Bearing in mind that on two of these months i happened to see a fertility specialist at just the right time and she could tell from the scan that ovulation was imminent (which was confirmed by blood tests a week later), i decided the sticks were useless for me. I told her I was giving up on them and she said it was the best thing i could do as they are too unreliable for many people. I have PCO so probably this played a part as i think your hormones are more up and down, but i do have regular cycles so i knew i must be ovulating. Low and behold as soon as i gave up on the sticks (and the temping etc), i fell pregnant naturally. In fact this was just before we were due to start IVF – i ended up having my 12 week scan on the very same day we would have had our first IVF appointment. I’m now 19 weeks and very happy! I say to friends now give them a go for a month or two but don’t depend on them as really the best option is regular action every two to three days (can be exhausting i know when you both work long hours like we do). Certainly don’t be disheartened if you don’t always get a positive – clearly they missed my ovulation on at least two occasions! I know its easier said then done and i certainly fell into the ‘obsessive’ trap, but the moment i relaxed and started living normally again it happened. The sticks won’t necessarily help you to do that.

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I used the ‘cheaper’ Boots testing kits for a while (after kidding myself for all of 3 months that we’d just ‘see how things go’) but never really felt I got a definite answer – the result line was never as pink as the test line and so I didn’t feel they were any more helpful than the app I had on my phone which predicted your most fertile days based on your period dates. After almost a year of trying, my husband decided we needed the Clearblue digital tests – obviously that was the month we were lucky and he will forever think that was solely down to his decision to get the digital tests *rolls eyes*. I do think they can be handy to guide you to when you are ovulating but I also agree with the comments above they can make you a bit obsessed/take the fun out of trying! Good luck to everyone trying X

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I’ve just stated using the digital clear blue ones (the jazzy ones which show you high and peak fertility!). They were on 3for2 in boots (I ordered them online and did click and collect on them). It’s our second month of using them but what it has shown is I ovulated really early (a week after my period) and it has focussed the old bedroom antics a bit better!

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So… I am a big fan of the period tracker app it really helped me understand when I ovulate and my first pregnancy happened really quickly. Fast forward 3 years and I have now been through the app and the digital ovulation machine and got increasingly more frustrated and upset and depressed even as everything was telling me I was ovulating but after 18months I’m still not pregnant. After fertility testing it looks like we are suffering from secondary infertility. We assumed we were all good because of how easy the first time was. Have found it depressing that no matter what the ovulation kits said it didn’t matter. Think the kits are great but obviously don’t tell you what’s happening with your partner. Perhaps a post from someone going through something similar. I haven’t often read about accounts when it’s male infertility. And what happens when you have one child. I feel bad about being upset when others struggle to have a baby at all.

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My husband and I are going through something similar Helen. We conceived after 3 months of trying (using ovulation tests to get a better idea of my cycle) with our daughter and now are still not pregnant after 2 and a half years trying. I would hate to think of the money I have spent on ovulation testing over this time! I brought a clear blue fertility monitor which tracks your cycle, tests for ovulation and then pregnancy in a moment of desperation about 18 months in. We are currently undergoing tests and treatment for endometriosis and PCOS which I didn’t know I had. I stopped the ovulation testing as I was finding it put too much pressure on us but my consultant has asked me to start up again for now.
I completely understand and relate to about feeling bad struggling with secondary infertility when we already have a much loved daughter when others are struggling to have a baby at all.

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I hope all the tests go well. Apparently it’s a taboo subject as you are “lucky” to have one. Not sure what our options will be as the NHS won’t cover treatment. Will just see what the doctor says next week. Fingers crossed we all get the babies we want xx

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Hi Helen. So sorry to hear this and I’m sending you lots of love. Don’t feel bad as you need to look after yourself and I completely agree that the kits can’t tell you the full picture. We will definitely look in to some other posts that cover these topics for you xxx

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I bought the Boots strips after two cycles of trying when I thought I should be ovulating. I followed the instructions to the letter but every test was negative which really demoralised me. I decided not to bother again as the mental build up every day and then the negative result was too depressing and I felt I was in a science experiment. My husband and I gave the ‘having sex every other day’ approach a go and I was pregnant within a month. So the ovulation strips weren’t for me.

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The 48 hour rule seems to be the one I got recommended by most ‘professionals’ so I’d say definitely go with the least stressful option for you xx

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I used the digital ovulation tests after coming off the pill as the tracking apps that I’d been recommended needed information about my cycle that I simply didn’t know after the pill. So to get some data to make the app more accurate I used the ovulation tests, planning on just doing so for a month as they were so expensive – I found that I didn’t ovulate until day 19 (much later than everything seemed to predict) – and we got pregnant that first month! So I think they can be really useful to inform you about your cycle – but I understand the obsessive element of them, my husband told me not to tell him what results I got each day as it felt like too much pressure!

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I honestly had no idea when I ovulated so it definitely helps. Love that your husband didn’t want to know!! x

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I have been trying for about 9 months with no joy yet. I am trying to take the relaxed approach (but who am I kidding!!) I think I might have got to the point of trying these but part of me doesn’t want to because if it doesn’t work that is another option closed. I spoke to my GP about trying to conceive while in for another issue and she told me to start saving for IVF – if I need to go down that route, there will be no funding available by the time I would be ready. A little demoralising. I have another holiday coming up (luckily coinciding with the middle of my cycle) so hoping some relaxed holiday sex does the trick!! Although it did not over the summer 🙁 Anyway, apologies for the rambling. Don’t get many opportunities to get it off my chest. Thanks for the useful post X

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Wishing you lots of luck and please feel free to ramble at us anytime. I know how hard it is when you desperately want that positive and the months seem to be ticking by. All I can say is keep positive and try not to stress as being relaxed and happy definitely helps. Ten months of heartache trying for Molly and one night with a few too many glasses of bubbles for Alice says it all!! Keep smiling and hopefully you will be back with happy news soon xx

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Oh Bridget. I totally feel your pain. x

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