Ovulation predictor kits, or OPKs have become more popular among women or couples who want to identify when they are more fertile. Normally, OPKs can detect a surge in the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which occurs roughly 36 hours before ovulation.
By timing intercourse shortly after the LH surge, you can increase your odds of bringing sperm and egg together at the time when conception is most likely to occur.
However, there are pros and cons of using OPKs. Before we explore them, it is important to mention that there are two types of ovulation predictor kits; Urine-based OPKs and Salivary Ferning Kits.
- Widely available - You can get them at the nearest drugstore or pharmacy; and you do not need a prescription to buy one.
- Easy to use - All you need to do is simply urinate on the test stick. This will activate a chemical that helps to detect your LH surge. Most OPKs have five and nine test sticks in the pack, which allows for multiple testing.
- Can predict ovulation about 24 to 36 hours before it happens.
- More precise - OPKs are more than 97 percent effective in detecting an LH surge, which is a marker for ovulation.
- Do not test for ovulation - OPKs only measure the LH surge that takes place before ovulation, but does not guarantee that you will actually ovulate
- Kits can be expensive - They cost between Sh2000 and Sh5000 per cycle
- Mislead results with fertility drugs in body - If certain fertility drugs such as gonadotropins or hormone HCG are present in your system, the OPKs won't give out the correct results.
- Unreliable for women of age over 40 - OPKs do not give precise results for women over 40 as they are approaching menopause, and have high levels of LH present in their system all the time, giving an invalid result.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke