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, don’t get pregnant that night, I won’t get pregnant other nights? Can you get pregnant even if the test comes back negative? Thank you very much.


Answer:

Mazal tov!

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

Ovulation predictor test sticks test for a rise in a hormone called LH. This hormone level rises 12-24 hours before ovulation and then goes back down. Therefore, it is normal for a negative test result to follow a positive one. When using the kits, there is no reason to continue to test in a given cycle after you’ve tested positive.

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.

It is common practice for women under age 35 to wait for one year of relations without contraception to take place before seeking fertility evaluation. Women age 35 and up or with a specific cause for concern typically consult with a physician after six months of trying to conceive.

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

Updated August 2020.


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