There is so much to explain -where do I start?
I had a friend ask me about OPKs and what they are used for. Lets start with that.
OPK (ovulation predictor kit) is used to detect the LH (luteinizing hormone) which is produce 24-36 hours before ovulation occurs. Ovulation occurs when the follicle is mature enough to release the egg... Following me? The follicle turns into the egg...
By detecting the LH surge it helps plan for timed intercourse, which increases the chances of pregnancy. The average percentage per month to conceive is 20%! TWO days! While ovulation predictor kits measure the LH surge that precedes ovulation, they can't confirm whether you have actually ovulated. Women with PCOS have a hard time relying on OPKs since the LH can stay in the system longer than normal. I have tested many times with false positives.
A positive OPK will have two lines that resemble each other. Unlike a pregnancy test, the test line on the OPK needs to be similar in color to the control line in order to be considered positive. Usually with a POAS the line cant be slightly visible and still be a BFP!
That is where the progesterone test comes in. About one week after ovulation SHOULD occur, my RE has my progesterone level checked to see how well I ovulated; if at all.
Progesterone levels should be about 10-15, if ovulation occurred in a non-medicated cycle, and 15+ with a medicated cycle. Progesterone is a female hormone in the body that is produced by the ovaries during the release of a mature egg. Progesterone helps the lining of the endometrium; which is the lining of the uterus (the womb). If pregnancy does not occur progesterone levels will drop and a menstrual cycle will begin. Progesterone in pregnant women usually is about 10x higher than a non-pregnant women.
The very first progesterone test I had done was during a longer cycle and without treatments; it was at 8. The first time I had my levels checked while on Femara it was 29.7! however, my 2ww ended with a BFN.
Those are ways to detect and test for ovulation. Some women use saliva tests, I never have so I can't speak about them.
(post is always under construction)