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Ovulation Predictor Kits: Urine continued...

Ovulation Test Strips

These are the simplest and least expensive option. You hold the test strip in your urine stream (or in a sterile cup you've filled with urine). Color coding will tell you whether you're ovulating.

Cost: $13-$30

Digital Ovulation Tests include a digital readout, which may make it easier to see your results.

  • Digital Ovulation Test
    • Costs about $30-$50
    • Detects LH
  • Advanced Digital Ovulation Test
    • Costs about $38 for a one-month supply and $54 for a two-month supply
    • Detects both LH and estrogen to predict your top two fertile days, plus an additional four days when you could potentially become pregnant.

Fertility Monitor. This device stores the information from your monthly urine tests.

  • Detects both LH and estrogen
  • Designed to show you low, high, and peak fertility days, adding an additional 1 to 5 days of fertility
  • Stores information about your hormone cycles, so it tells you when to test and when your period is due
  • Monitor costs about $160; test sticks are sold separately for about $50 for a packet of 30

Ovulation Predictor Kits: Saliva

This type of kit looks at the mineral content in your saliva when it dries.

  • It comes with a mini microscope you can use to look for a pattern in your saliva that resembles a fern leaf. This pattern means you will ovulate sometime in the next several days.
  • Unlike urine tests, which are disposable, this type of test can be used over and over.
  • A good option for women who want something simpler than a urine test
  • Cost: about $30
  • There are some problems with saliva testing:
    • Not all women will show the fern pattern or can see it.
    • You may not "fern" on all of your fertile days.

While saliva testing works for some women, they aren't as effective as urine kits. "Of all the options, the only OPKs that have been validated are urine ovulation predictor kits," Schoolcraft says.

How Long to Test?

"If you're under 36, it would be OK to try for up to a year," Schoolcraft says. "After 35, typically specialists recommend just trying for 6 months." After that time, if you've been doing everything right and still haven't conceived, it's a good idea to see a fertility doctor.