Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Ovulation test

14 March, 2007

Question:

I got married a few months ago and am not on birth control so my doctor told me to take an ovulation test this month to make sure I wasn't ovulating before I went to the mikvah. The day before I went to the mikvah I did a test and it came back negative. Then the day of the mikvah I did a test and it came back positive. Then the next day it came back negative. Can someone please explain to me since I am new at all this, does this mean I only ovulate for 1 day and if I basically, dont get pregnant that night, I wont get pregnant other nights? Can you get pregnant even if the test comes back negative? Thank you very much.


Answer:

Most women ovulate once per cycle.  The egg remains viable for twenty-four hours.  Sperm remains viable for up to three days and takes roughly seven hours to reach the egg.  Thus, relations anywhere from about three days before ovulation to a day afterwards could result in conception. 

Ovulation predictor test sticks are testing for a rise in a hormone called LH. The hormone level rises 12-24 hours before ovulation and then goes back down. Therefore, it is normal and expected for a negative test result to follow a positive one. When using the kits, there is no reason to continue to test after the first test is positive – you can save the additional sticks for the next cycle.

Your test results would be consistent with your having ovulated on or around mikveh night.  In your case, relations on mikveh night or on the next night might have resulted in conception. However, even when relations are timed correctly, only about 20-25% of cycles result in a pregnancy.

Your test shows that this month you most likely ovulated at a time consistent with getting pregnant. However, no medical test is 100% accurate and time of ovulation can change a bit from month to month. Therefore, your physician may ask you in the future to repeat the test. However, in general, for young women (under 35) with no medical problems, it is common practice to wait for one year of relations without contraception to take place without worrying that there is a fertility problem.

Please get back to us and your physician with any more questions.


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