How to read OPK’s if you’re confused

Holly • Mom to baby girl 🎀

Hey everyone! I thought maybe making a post like this would be helpful since I see so many posts on here confused about how to read OPK’s. These strips are the Easy @ home brand and I really recommend them. A little bit about me: I’m TTC, 24, have somewhat irregular cycles (sometimes as long as 36 days, sometimes as short as 24, however usually within the 28-32 range), I don’t track temp or have PCOS/ other conditions. I also have 2 Aussies who shed like crazy as you can tell by the little hairs stuck to the tape in my photos ☠️

helpful tips:

1. Your test can have three results: low, high or peak (some people break this into just negative or positive, but it’s the same concept). Trust your eyes, NOT the scanners. Positive/ high/ peak tests are usually pretty obvious especially in comparison to the negative tests.

2. Most of your tests will be negative. Don’t get discouraged!! That’s the way your body is supposed to work. Out of your whole cycle, only 2-3 days max will have positive tests.

3. If you can reasonably do so, don’t use your first morning urine. Your body doesn’t start releasing LH until you wake up, so odds are you might not have enough in your system. However, I always test 2x a day and if I’m being honest usually I don’t wake up early enough to pee twice before work. Just do your best, my results have always been clear.

Ok now onto my photo: (this is last month)

As you can see, I started testing 2x a day on CD 9, and got negative results until CD 15 in the morning when I got my first high. These tests are a month old now, the lines were brighter back when I tested, but a high means the lines are pretty much the same in darkness. I got my peak test on CD 16 in the morning, where my line was obviously darker than the control. A peak test means you ARE GOING TO OVULATE IN ROUGHLY 12-24 HOURS. You have not ovulated yet if you get a peak test!!

This is important to understand and most people get this one wrong! Once you ovulate and your egg is released, sperm need to be close by to get you pregnant. You have about a 12-24 hr window when the egg is available, and it takes 6 ish hours for sperm to swim where they need to be. That’s why it’s best to BD as soon as you get your peak, so that if you ovulate, you’re good to go. Once you ovulate, your lines will go back down and you can STOP TESTING! The results won’t be accurate and you’ll waste money.

So to recap: your peak day means ovulation is coming. 12-24 hours later is your ovulation day. The day after that, is 1DPO. So for my results I peaked on CD 16, counted CD 16 also as my ovulation day because my lines started going back down & I had cramps at night, and counted CD 17 as 1DPO.

I hope this was helpful even though it was long! Let me know if you have any questions.