What the best ovulation predictor kits have

  • Accurate prediction of fertility period. Ovulation predictors predict your "fertile window," a period of about two to six days of fertility. Some are faster than others, predicting ovulation 72 hours before it occurs rather than the standard 36 hours. There are tests (or logs) which offer additional features such as tips on conceiving a specific gender, which aren't proven to be accurate.
  • Proven testing method. Tests that look for the luteinizing hormone (LH) can most accurately tell users whether they are currently ovulating or about to start, but saliva, vaginal mucus and sweat tests have been proven to be accurate as well.
  • Clear, readable results. For tests that look for hormones, whether through urine or saliva, the level of hormones in a user's system can vary from day to day depending on ovulation. Some tests give different shades of color for positive tests, and being able to distinguish pre-ovulation, ovulation and post-ovulation easily is critical to understanding at what stage of the process a user is in.
  • Quick, hassle-free testing. Testing daily can be time-consuming and messy. The best tests make ovulation testing quick and simple to do as frequently or infrequently as necessary.

Know before you go

How comfortable are you with urine testing? Many ovulation predictor kits are urine-based. If you are uncomfortable with urine-based testing, then you might want to consider other options such as saliva testing, basal body temperature testing or relying on the calendar method -- measuring time from each period using a paper calendar or a smartphone app. These methods may not be as accurate, however.

Do you want to track ovulation on the go? Apps such as calendar logs offer an easy way to keep up with your fertility log while out and about. You can easily update changes in your cycle and log any bodily changes as they occur, simply by opening up an app.

What's your cycle like? It's important to understand how regular and how long your cycle is. Lengthy or irregular cycles can require more frequent testing, making price per test an important factor. Not all ovulation predictors and fertility devices will work on all women, especially those with irregular cycles.

Do you have any existing conditions that might impact fertility? If you are already aware of some fertility issues, understand you may be using your ovulation predictor kit for many months; this may affect how much you want to invest in this device, and how important quick, no-mess testing is.

Consult your physician. A physician will know what signals a user's body is sending and can advise the best testing methods, while also being able to identify any underlying infertility issues that would not be detected by an ovulation predictor kit.

Value expectations: The dollars and cents of it

Prices vary by hundreds of dollars from method to method. With at-home ovulation predictor kits, the initial start-up costs can range anywhere from free with some smartphone apps to several hundred dollars for high-end digital predictor kits. Urine-based testing kits require that users replace testing strips after every test as well, adding in maintenance fees, while saliva-based testing, BBT and calendar methods don't require any regular replacement. If you'll be testing frequently, you may want to consider a cheap urine test strip method like Wondfo One Step Ovulation Urine Test Strips. Their strips end up costing about 30 to 40 cents each.

Buying tactics and strategies

Shop around. While many drugstores offer ovulation predictor kits, there are a bevy of online retailers that sell the kits as well, and shopping around can save a lot of money. Many retailers offer bundles of the base testing unit and testing strips for urine-based testing. These are sometimes also sold bundled with pregnancy tests, which is a money saver.

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