The Luteinizing hormone pregnancy test is an ovulation test used by females. It helps determine the time of the menstrual cycle that you are most likely to get pregnant. This test identifies an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. An increase in this hormone indicates that the ovaries release eggs. Females often use this test at home to predict when eggs are likely to be released. This is the time when pregnancy is most likely to occur.
What is the Luteinizing Hormone?
It is one of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland. It is usually secreted at deficient levels throughout your menstrual cycle. However, when the developing follicle reaches a specific size, LH secretion rises to very high levels. The surge in this hormone is responsible for causing ovulation after 24 to 36 hours.
Ovulation is the release of an adult egg from the ovaries. It marks the beginning of your fertile period. When the egg is released, the empty follicle of the ovary develops into a structure known as the corpus luteum. Then it begins to secrete progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone needed to support the chances of getting pregnant.
If you are not pregnant, the corpus luteum contracts, progesterone production stops, and menstruation begins.
Importance of LH Surge
LH surge is essential because it initiates ovulation and gestation. If you are about to get pregnant, this is the perfect time to start having sex without a condom.
When the egg is released, it can only survive for about 24 hours. Then your fertile window is over. This makes it very important to identify the best time to get pregnant.
Luteinizing Hormone Pregnancy Test
For many women, it is easy to track LH surge by doing a luteinizing hormone pregnancy test. This test is done using the Ovulation Prediction Set (OPK). These kits are similar to pregnancy tests in that they measure the levels of hormones in the urine.
How to do the Test?
Check the instructions as each set has a slightly different way of getting positive results.
You need to urinate on a test strip or place a dipstick on the urine collected in a sterile container. When a surge is detected, the strip’s color changes to a specific or shows a positive sign.
A positive result shows the presence of a large amount of LH or LH surge. The amount of LH in your body begins to decrease after ovulation, so you will only get positive results during that significant fertile period.
You can also consult an Endocrinologist in Karachi to get more details.
The right time to do the Test
There is no need to take the test every day (or several times a day) until you get a positive result. Testing can be expensive to use frequently. Ovulation commonly occurs about 14 days before menstruation. Your LH surge occurs a day or two before that.
Therefore, knowing the length of the cycle (from one period to the next) can help you decide when to start testing.
For example, suppose the cycle is 32 days between periods. The first day of the cycle is the first day of your period. Ovulation is most likely to occur about the 18th day. The OPK result should be positive on the 16th or 17th day, a day or two ago.
It is recommended to start the test daily (or every other day) around the 13th day of the cycle, a few days before the morning. This is to ensure good results in case the cycle of the month is short.
If you get good results, give it a try. Most experts recommend having sex 2-3 times in the next 24-48 hours.
Disadvantages of the Test
With irregular cycles, it can be challenging to decide when to start the test. It can be expensive and frustrating.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may not be able to use these tests. Some women with PCOS have persistently elevated LH levels. As a result, OPK always gives a positive result, no matter where in the cycle.
Women approaching menopause may also have persistently elevated LH levels.
If you start testing later in the cycle, you may miss the LH surge and not get positive results that month.
Ovulation prediction sets can be expensive and using them multiple times over the entire cycle or various cycles can increase costs.
Who to Consult?
LH tests can be a very effective way to help with pregnancy. However, some women should not use these tests as they do not work well. If you always get positive results or never get positive results, Consult an Endocrinologist to rule out other medical conditions. If you have used these kits and are not pregnant after six months (35+) to 1 year (under 35). They may recommend fertility specialists or testing and treatment options.
If you are worried about getting pregnant and have no idea where to consult, you can visit Marham. On Marham, you will find the list of every doctor in every field without any effort. You can also book your appointment with an Endocrinologist in Karachi through Marham.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- What is LH level in case of pregnancy?
Pregnant females: below 1.5 IU / l. Postmenopausal females: 15.9-54.0 IU / l. Women who take contraceptives: 0.7-5.6 IU / l. Men aged 20-70: 0.7-7.9 IU / l.
2- Will LH be higher if you are pregnant?
No, LH surges do not continue to increase when pregnant. LH levels during pregnancy are very low.
3- Why is my LH pregnancy test always positive?
A positive result indicates that your body is about to ovulate, but it does not guarantee that the egg has been released. In rare cases, LH can rise without actual ovulation.
4- How long can LH surges be tracked?
The endogenous LH surge lasts about 12 to 24 hours, and the onset precedes ovulation by about 36 hours.