What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (2022)

If you are trying to conceive, you know just how important it is to track the most fertile days of your cycle (i.e. your LH surge and the day of ovulation). The most common ways to do this include tracking your basal body temperature (BBT), monitoring your cervical mucus, and/or testing your LH levels with an ovulation predictor kit (often called an OPK).

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (1)

What does a positive ovulation test look like?
What does a positive ovulation test mean?
Positive ovulation test examples
What can influence a positive ovulation test?
About OPKs

In this post, we will focus on ovulation testing and OPKs specifically, shedding light on what a positive ovulation test means, what a positive result looks like in the real world, and what can potentially influence an ovulation test’s results. We’ll also follow up by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about ovulation tests and OPKs.

What does a positive ovulation test look like?

What your positive ovulation test looks like can vary depending on which brand of test that you use (check our guide to the 9 best ovulation tests here).

The most common type of test is a standard paper test strip that displays two lines once a urine sample is taken. The lines are typically pink in color, however, some tests have lines that are either gray or blue.

Regardless of the color, if this type of paper test is positive, both the control line and the test line should look exactly the same in color and intensity. The test line can also be darker than the control line in order to be considered positive. However, if the test line is lighter in color than the control line, this is not considered a positive result.

There are also other ovulation tests out there that can display your result digitally. However, instead of two lines, the test will display either a smiley face or the word “yes”. Digital tests are often more expensive than paper tests. However, many women prefer these tests because they like to receive a clear yes or no answer.

(Video) HOW TO READ OVULATION TESTS! + Line Progressions

What does a positive ovulation test mean?

If your ovulation test is positive, this means that your LH levels are above the threshold considered to be “surging” – meaning that ovulation will likely happen within 24-36 hours.

At rest, typical LH levels for women are between 5-25 IU/L, and during the LH surge, they can peak up to 100+ IU/L. The most common and reliable threshold for ovulation testing is between 25-30 IU/L. This means that if your LH levels are above this threshold, the result of your ovulation test should be positive.

Positive ovulation test examples

There are several different brands of ovulation tests and OPKs out there. To help you get a feel for how these tests work and what a positive result looks like, here are a few examples.

Natalist

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (2)

In this blog article from Natalist, eight different women shared images of their Natalist brand ovulation test results over a period of 7-10 days.

For this type of ovulation test, the control line is clearly marked with a “C” and the test line is marked with a “T”. When looking through these pictures, you can easily see that the test line is typically much lighter or nonexistent compared to the control line for the first few tests, before getting darker on the days where LH is surging.

Netmums

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (3)

In a thread on the popular pregnancy and parenting forum, Netmums, user Abiraami H shares 10 days worth of ovulation test results. Although the brand name of this test is unknown, the type of test is similar to other OPKs where the control line maintains the same level of darkness and the darkness level of the test line varies.

(Video) ✅How does the OVULATION Test work 💥(All about the positive test!🔎)

In this individual case, LH levels would be considered surging on days 19 and 20 of the cycle.

Premom

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (4)

In another blog article from the Premom app, you can see a diagram of what a typical OPK testing scenario might look like over a period of eight days. In this image, the test line is visibly darker on day 15, indicating that LH levels surged on this day of the cycle.

Pregnancy Forum

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (5)

In a thread on the Pregnancy Forum website, user Mariexo shared an image of her Clearblue ovulation test. Unlike traditional OPKs, this type of test from Clearblue does not show the control and test lines, but instead displays a simple happy face when LH levels are elevated.

What to Expect

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (6)

In the “Trying to Conceive” community at What to Expect, another user shared her positive ovulation test. In this example, you can clearly see that the test line is as dark as the control line, meaning that LH is surging.

Health Unlocked

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (7)

(Video) MY POSITIVE OVULATION TEST / test progression + my bfp pregnancy test

In this post on the Health Unlocked, another user showed her positive ovulation test result. In this test from Boots, the control line is in the circle and the test line is in the square. Because the test line (the line in the square) is as dark as the control line, this is a good indicator that LH levels are heightened.

Glow

What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Look Like? See Examples (8)

In some cases, it is helpful to use both a digital Clearblue test and a traditional test at the same time. In a thread on Glow, Emma shares her positive Clearblue smiley face next to a test strip with two dark lines.

What can influence a positive ovulation test?

Even though ovulation tests can be up to 99% accurate, there is still a risk of getting a false-positive result. This could be due to a number of influential factors such as:

  • Timing – for example, taking your test too early or too late in your cycle.
  • Hormonal imbalance – for example, if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or if you have recently been pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Certain medications – for example, birth control pills and fertility medications.

There is also the possibility that perhaps the test was not taken correctly. If you have never used an OPK before, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. As you continue to test over several cycles, you will get a better feel for when and how to test.

About ovulation tests (OPKs)

Here’s an overview of how OPKs work, the different types of OPKs available, and how to interpret your results. We’ll also take a look at the reliability of OPKs and best practices for using them at home.

How do they work?

An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) is a type of at-home hormone test that detects the presence of LH (luteinizing hormone) in urine. If LH levels are elevated, the test will reveal either a line, happy face, or the word “yes”. This indicates that your LH levels are considered “surging” and that ovulation is likely to occur within the next 24-36 hours.

The experience of using an OPK is very similar to taking a pregnancy test. Typically, all you must do is collect a urine sample, dip the test stick into the urine sample, and wait a few minutes until your results are ready.

(Video) Ovulation Tests | ARE YOU READING THEM RIGHT?

Bear in mind that each brand of OPK is different. Before taking your test, always make sure to read and follow the instructions to receive the best results.

How do you read an OPK and interpret the results?

Interpreting the results of your OPK may vary depending on the type and brand of OPK that you are using. For example, some brands will give you a straightforward result such as a smiley face or a yes/no answer. This result is easy to interpret as confirmation that your LH levels are likely to be surging.

On the other hand, more traditional OPKs work by using the two-line system (similar to a pregnancy test). Here is how they work:

  • The first line of your OPK test is the control line, and it is there to let you know that the test is working properly with the urine sample that it was given.
  • The second line is considered the results or “test” line, and it will let you know whether or not your LH levels are surging.

If the results line is as dark or darker than the control line, this is an indicator that your LH levels are elevated. If the result line is faint in color or lighter than the control line, this indicates that LH was detected, but is not high enough to be considered surging.

What kinds of tests are there?

There are a number of different types of ovulation tests and OPKs out there.

When testing at home, the most cost-effective option is a standard ovulation test strip kit. This type of test will display your results as two lines, and you can interpret your results based on how dark your test line is. Another type of at-home test kit is a digital OPK test. With this test, you will receive either a yes or no answer in the form of a smiley face or the words “yes” or “no”.

While traditional OPKs and at-home ovulation test kits can give you insight into whether or not your LH levels are surging, they cannot tell you what your exact LH levels are. Hormone tracking systems like Mira are a great option for monitoring LH throughout your entire cycle, so that you can easily identify your personal baseline LH levels and surges.

In addition to at-home test kits, you can also test for LH at your doctor’s office with a standard blood test. However, unlike Mira or OPKs where you receive an instant result, it may take a day or two for the lab to analyze and communicate your results to you.

(Video) Can you use an ovulation test as a pregnancy test? | Quick Question

Are ovulation tests reliable?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, ovulation tests are approximately 99% accurate at identifying the LH surge when used correctly.

To reduce your risk of getting a false-positive result, consider the following tips:

    • Always read the instructions. Not all OPKs are the same, and you should always make sure to read the instructions thoroughly and carefully before using an OPK.
    • Start at the right time in your cycle. For the majority of women, there is no need to test for LH every day of your cycle. Instead, aim to begin testing a few days before your anticipated day of ovulation and conclude testing once your LH surge has been identified.
    • Test at the same time each day. Your body’s hormone levels can vary throughout the day. To receive the most accurate results, try to take your LH test at the same time each day.
    • Limit liquid intake 3-4 hours before taking a test. Too much liquid in your body may dilute the concentration of LH in your urine. To prevent this from happening, try to limit your intake of liquids at least 2 hours before you plan to take a test.
    • Try a hormone-tracking system like Mira. OPKs only give you a very limited amount of information regarding your LH levels. However, with a hormone tracking system like Mira, you can track and monitor your exact LH levels, so that you can get to know your cycle better and identify your LH surge with more accuracy.
    • Be patient with your body. Last but not least, tracking your hormones and predicting ovulation can get tedious and frustrating – especially if you are not receiving the results that you are looking for. Remember to be patient with your body during this time, and it may take a few cycles until you get the hang of using an OPK.

It’s also important to note here that although OPKs are great at revealing if LH levels are surging, they cannot be used to confirm whether or not ovulation actually happens following the LH surge. Therefore, for those experiencing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS), OPKs may not be the most reliable option for predicting ovulation.

FAQs

How does a positive ovulation test look like? ›

If the test line (T) is as dark or darker than the control line (C), the test is positive, and you'll likely ovulate within approximately the next 36 hours. If you want to get pregnant this month, now is the time to have vaginal sexual intercourse.

How do you know if a ovulation test strip is positive? ›

If the test line shows up darker than the control line, you're about to ovulate. (There are always low levels of LH in your body, so if the test line shows up but appears lighter or fainter than the control line, you're not ovulating yet.

How do I read my ovulation test results? ›

Ovulation test kits have two lines: One is the control line that signals the test is working properly while the other is the test line. This line will be lighter or darker than the control line, depending on whether you're ovulating. The test line appears lighter when you have a low level of LH in your body.

What is a faint line on ovulation test? ›

The hormone that ovulation tests are looking for, luteinizing hormone (LH), peaks right before ovulation, but is present throughout your cycle. So a faint test line means a little LH was detected, but not enough to indicate an LH surge which happens right before ovulation.

What would an ovulation test look like if pregnant? ›

If you're pregnant, your ovulation urine test might still show a positive result. (Positive test results can look like a second test line in addition to the control line, or sometimes a smiley face.)

How many days will an ovulation test say positive? ›

Typically, people will see a positive OPK for a few days after their initial positive test. Most women experience it for up to 72 hours, when the LH surge is still present in their urine. In fact, we almost always have a small amount of luteinizing hormone in our urine. This is why the test comes with a control line.

How many days do you ovulate? ›

You ovulate about 12 to 14 days before the start of a new menstrual cycle. Your fertile window is the five days leading up to ovulation, plus the day of ovulation and the day after ovulation — so about seven days in total.

How long do you ovulate for? ›

While ovulation itself only lasts for 12 to 24 hours, you're most likely to get pregnant in the days before and after ovulation, a window of around six days. Read on to learn more about what exactly happens during this phase of the menstrual cycle, as well as reasons why ovulation can be delayed.

What does an LH surge look like? ›

Are there any physical symptoms that accompany an LH surge? Your body produces stretchy cervical mucus, similar to an egg white in consistency, in the days before ovulation (day 14 if you have a 28-day cycle). After ovulation, you'll see less mucus.

Can you have a positive ovulation test 3 days in a row? ›

On average, ovulation occurs 24 hours after the first positive ovulation test. That means that you could have several days of positive tests in a row, but already ovulate after the first day.

How long does it take sperm to reach the egg? ›

Once the sperm enters the reproductive system, it can take about 30-45 minutes to reach the egg. For this, it is important to have a healthy sperm which has the right kind of motility to reach the egg and fertilize it. Once inside the body of a woman, a healthy sperm can live up to 2-5 days.

Is there always 2 lines on ovulation tests? ›

It's normal for urine to contain a low level of luteinizing hormone (LH) every day. This means it's likely that your ovulation test will always show two lines.

Can a faint line on an ovulation test mean I'm pregnant? ›

They're not meant to detect pregnancy and a positive ovulation test does not mean you're pregnant — that's what we have home pregnancy tests for. However, you may have heard about some women using their ovulation tests as a pregnancy test.

Does the line on ovulation test get darker closer to ovulation? ›

A positive result is when the test line is as dark or darker than the control line. Some people find these tests difficult to read, but others like the fact that the test line gets darker as hormone levels increase, which can indicate that your LH surge is approaching.

Will LH be high if pregnant? ›

What are my LH levels if I'm pregnant? Although the hormone spikes to kick start ovulation, LH levels do not remain high during pregnancy. The amount of LH in your body will start to drop after ovulation and LH levels are typically very low during pregnancy (<1.5 IU/L).

Does a solid smiley face mean ovulation? ›

When your LH surge is first detected, the test will display a static smiley face and this will continue to be displayed constantly for 48 hours, indicating your 2 most fertile days.

How do u know implantation is taking place? ›

Some women do notice signs and symptoms that implantation has occurred. Signs may include light bleeding, cramping, nausea, bloating, sore breasts, headaches, mood swings, and possibly a change in basal body temperature. But — and here's the frustrating part — many of these signs are very similar to PMS.

How many hours after ovulation Are You fertile? ›

Yes, you can get pregnant after ovulation, as long as you have sex within about 12 to 24 hours of when an egg was released. The fertile window can last 5 to 6 days, from the 5 days before ovulation to the day of ovulation.

Can you have a positive ovulation test and not release an egg? ›

Note that ovulation prediction kits signal that your body is trying to ovulate, but they can't confirm that ovulation happened. It's possible for LH to surge without an egg being released.

How long does the egg survive after ovulation? ›

A released egg lives for less than 24 hours. The highest pregnancy rates have been reported when the egg and sperm join together within 4 to 6 hours of ovulation.

How do I know if I am fertile enough to get pregnant? ›

If your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and your period arrives like clockwork, it's likely that you'll ovulate on day 14. That's halfway through your cycle. Your fertile window begins on day 10. You're more likely to get pregnant if you have sex at least every other day between days 10 and 14 of a 28-day cycle.

What are the signs after ovulation? ›

The levels of progesterone peak at 6–8 days after ovulation, even when a woman does not become pregnant.
...
Days 0–7 past ovulation
  • breast tenderness.
  • bloating.
  • food cravings.
  • increased nipple sensitivity.
  • headaches and muscle aches.

How do you release two eggs during ovulation? ›

How is it performed? Women who naturally ovulate may release extra eggs when they take oral medications such as clomiphene. This is a mild form of superovulation and is generally low in cost and risk.

How many days can sperm live inside a woman's body? ›

Ejaculated sperm remain viable for several days within the female reproductive tract. Fertilization is possible as long as the sperm remain alive — up to five days. Sperm can also be preserved for decades when semen is frozen.

Can a man sense when a woman is ovulating? ›

When women ovulate, they experience subtle hormonal changes. They produced higher levels of estrogen, which can alter a woman's features and body odor. In studies, men overwhelmingly preferred the body odors of women who were ovulating over odors from those who were not.

Can you ovulate twice in a cycle? ›

No. Only one ovulation can happen per cycle. You can, however, ovulate two (or more) eggs at the same time. When this happens, there is the potential to conceive fraternal (non-identical) twins if both eggs are fertilized.

How soon after a positive ovulation test do you ovulate? ›

An egg should be released within one to three days of the positive ovulation test. Once an egg is released, it is viable, or fertile, for around 24 hours. Sperm remains viable for even longer, and can live inside a woman's body for up to five days.

How many days will an ovulation test say positive? ›

Typically, people will see a positive OPK for a few days after their initial positive test. Most women experience it for up to 72 hours, when the LH surge is still present in their urine. In fact, we almost always have a small amount of luteinizing hormone in our urine. This is why the test comes with a control line.

Does a positive ovulation test mean you release an egg? ›

If the test indicates that you're ovulating, your ovary should release an egg within 1 – 3 days after a positive ovulation test. Then it is immediately ready for fertilization. You can have sex with your partner two days after getting a positive ovulation test.

Can positive ovulation test mean pregnant? ›

They're not meant to detect pregnancy and a positive ovulation test does not mean you're pregnant — that's what we have home pregnancy tests for. However, you may have heard about some women using their ovulation tests as a pregnancy test.

Do you ovulate in the morning or night? ›

Myth 5: Ovulation strips work for everyone

The onset of the LH surge precedes ovulation by 35–44 hr, and the peak serum level of LH precedes ovulation by 10–12 hours. It usually occurs between midnight and early morning. This marks the most fertile period of the menstrual cycle.

How do I know if I am fertile enough to get pregnant? ›

If your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and your period arrives like clockwork, it's likely that you'll ovulate on day 14. That's halfway through your cycle. Your fertile window begins on day 10. You're more likely to get pregnant if you have sex at least every other day between days 10 and 14 of a 28-day cycle.

How long does it take for sperm to reach the egg while ovulating? ›

Once the sperm enters the reproductive system, it can take about 30-45 minutes to reach the egg. For this, it is important to have a healthy sperm which has the right kind of motility to reach the egg and fertilize it. Once inside the body of a woman, a healthy sperm can live up to 2-5 days.

Can you have a positive ovulation test and not release an egg? ›

Note that ovulation prediction kits signal that your body is trying to ovulate, but they can't confirm that ovulation happened. It's possible for LH to surge without an egg being released.

How long does the egg survive after ovulation? ›

A released egg lives for less than 24 hours. The highest pregnancy rates have been reported when the egg and sperm join together within 4 to 6 hours of ovulation.

Can you have a positive ovulation test 3 days in a row? ›

On average, ovulation occurs 24 hours after the first positive ovulation test. That means that you could have several days of positive tests in a row, but already ovulate after the first day.

Can you ovulate on same day as LH surge? ›

The LH surge indicates ovulation will occur at some point within the next twelve to forty-eight hours (on average). The window is large because it is different for everyone. Some people ovulate the same day as the LH surge and some ovulate two days after the surge.

What do you do after a positive ovulation test? ›

A positive ovulation test indicates that you are at the height of your fertile window and will ovulate within the next 24-36 hours. Therefore, if your ovulation test is positive, you should aim to have sex at least once within the next two days.

Can 2 lines on an ovulation test mean your pregnant? ›

Unlike a pregnancy test, two lines alone is not a positive result since your body makes LH at low levels throughout your cycle. A result is only positive if the test line (T) is as dark or darker than the control line (C) line.

Can you ovulate twice in a month? ›

The conventional belief that women ovulate once a month is wrong, say Canadian researchers who have found that women can potentially ovulate two or even three times a month.

Videos

1. How I Tracked My Fertility + Got Pregnant INSTANTLY
(Victoria Ciftci)
2. Can you use an ovulation strip to test for pregnancy?
(Naturally Brittany)
3. Why a positive ovulation test doesn’t mean you are ovulating.
(Fertility Homeopath)
4. Ovulation Test Strip Demo
(kurkelent)
5. Using An OPK Test To check For Early Pregnancy!
(Sarah Latouche)
6. Ovulation Tests - 9 times a positive result does NOT predict ovulation
(Infertility TV)

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