How Many Days After Period Should I Start Testing Ovulation?
Ovulation tests are a great way to predict your fertile window so you know the right time to try for a baby, but knowing when to take them can be tricky since not everyone’s menstrual cycles are the same. If you want to know how many days after period to start testing ovulation, you’re in the right place.
When Should You Take an Ovulation Test?
When to take an ovulation test depends entirely on your personal cycle. “Normal” period lengths are between 21 and 35 days, 28 days on average, however, women can experience shorter or longer cycles depending on their hormones, stress levels, alcohol intake and various other factors. That’s also why it’s normal to see some fluctuation in your cycle, even if it’s between the 21 and 35-day range.
For a 28-day cycle, the ovulatory phase begins towards the middle of your cycle, so to catch your fertile window, you should take an ovulation test 4 to 5 days before the midpoint of your menstrual cycle, i.e. around day 10. Even if you have a longer or shorter cycle, you still want to aim for a few days before the midpoint of your cycle, whether that’s day 7 or day 16.
It’s also best to take your ovulation test in the morning, as this is when the LH surge happens, so you have a higher chance of getting a positive ovulation test and can utilise your fertile window. You can, however, take two tests a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to make sure you don’t miss the LH surge and your fertile window closes for that cycle.
So, How Do Ovulation Tests Work?
Either by weeing directly onto a stick, like a pregnancy test, or by dipping ovulation test strips into your urine, instant ovulation tests register the amount of LH, luteinizing hormone, in your urine. Towards the end of the first phase of your cycle, the follicular phase, oestrogen levels rise causing the body to release luteinizing hormone which causes your follicles to release an egg ready for fertilisation (ovulate).
The problem with having sex on the day of ovulation is that the egg is only viable for 24 hours, so your fertile window would be incredibly short each cycle. But since sperm can survive in the female reproductive system for up to 5 days, your fertile window actually opens 5 days before your ovulation date.
How Many Days After Your Period Should You Test Ovulation?
So where does your period come into all this? Your period (the falling away of the uterine lining) is the first part of your menstrual cycle, known as the follicular phase, and ends with the increase in oestrogen causing the LH surge to begin ovulation. That means that shortly after your period you should start testing ovulation.
Just as menstrual cycles differ, so do periods, with some women only experiencing bleeding for 2 to 3 days, and others enduring a full week or more, so determining ovulation based on when your period ends isn’t as accurate as taking an instant ovulation test. However, the two can be combined to give yourself a more precise time to start testing your ovulation.
Ultimately, your ovulation day occurs in the middle of your cycle and your period takes place in the first phase, so you should start taking ovulation tests between the end of your period and your ovulation date.
But for some women, this isn’t so easy.
Ovulation Testing and Irregular Periods
When your menstrual cycle is irregular, it can be very difficult to determine ovulation without taking two ovulation tests per day, every day of your cycle, especially if your cycles vary greatly from month to month. However, it’s not impossible.
If your menstrual cycle is usually shorter or longer than the standard range, you can still predict a rough midpoint, from which you can then start to have intercourse and begin ovulation testing around 5 days before.
For women whose periods are always irregular, you can use calendars or period tracking apps to keep a rough idea of how long your cycles last and when to expect ovulation, however, the safest bet to ensure you catch your fertile window is to start testing (and love-making) immediately after your period ends.
However, you can also keep track of your body’s changes through its menstrual cycle to have a more accurate idea of when your body is ovulating.
Just as most women who have been menstruating for a long time have an idea of when their period is about to start (back pain, headaches, acne, aching breasts…), your body also gives you signs you’re ovulating.
These signs can include:
- Increase in basal body temperature (BBT)
- Change in vaginal discharge to a pale colour and consistency of egg white
- Pelvic pain
- Increased sex drive
The most common and obvious sign of ovulation is the change in discharge, as you can see or feel when wiping that your fluids are no longer creamy or sticky, but slippery and jelly-like. However, if you’re trying to get pregnant and you’re not sure when exactly to take an ovulation test, you can also take your temperature every morning to see if your basal body temperature is increasing. As the luteinizing hormone increases at the beginning of the ovulatory phase of your menstrual cycle, so does your body temperature, so this can be a great indicator.
If you try this method, you should ensure you’re taking your temperature at the same time every day to ensure no outside factors have an influence on your BBT, ideally first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.
You should also note that your body temperature will only change by around 1°C, so if your temperature reading is over 38°C, this is a sign of having a fever, not ovulation.
Reliable and Accurate Ovulation Tests
If you’re looking for ovulation tests, you’re probably also looking to make a baby, and while this is a very exciting time for you (and your partner), it can also become stressful. That’s why instant ovulation tests are the way forward.
Accurately determine when your fertile window opens each month by testing your urine for LH surges so you can make the most of your fertile window and not miss any chances to get pregnant.
At Official Rapid Tests, we know the importance of getting a quick result so you can take action, whether that’s seeing an LH surge and jumping into bed, or getting a PCR test and isolating. Our advanced laboratory management software allows us to swiftly handle people’s tests from test centres all over the country, and deliver their results in record time. See what other customers have to say about us in our reviews, or learn more about us.