Hey there, Lovelies, it’s FAQ time!
You’ve been knocking boots for a while now and you keep expecting to fall pregnant but no such luck. So, you start trolling the interwebs and you notice that in a lot of forums and, hell, even on that fancy cycle tracker app you downloaded people keep talking about OPK’s. You like to think that you’re a smart, ass, lady but you’re not even sure what the fuck that means!
Let me break it down for you.
O.P.K. stands for Ovulation Predictor Kit. It’s a test that you pee on in order to determine whether or not you’re ovulating. Well… that’s not totally accurate… It tells you when you are gearing up to ovulate by measuring the amount of luteinizing hormone in your urine. It can’t tell you exactly when ovulation happens but it can help you pin point when it’s likely to within a 12-36 hour window.
Why is that important? Well, if you are trying to conceive a mini-person then knowing when you are ovulating is absolutely key to accomplishing that task! When you ovulate your body drops (usually) one egg and you need to have it fertilized in order to get pregnant! So, having sex when the egg is gonna be there is really the only way it’ll work.
Knowing that you need to accurately time the knocking of boots around the release of your lady gamete means that these little tests can be a sanity saver. No more anxiously having sex all the time, which can become a chore, when you’ve been trying longer than a few months. No, all you have to do is piss on this stick and VOILA you shall know when having sex is to your benefit.
AWESOME! AMIRIGHT?! Welllllllll… Yes and no.
Yes, it’s awesome because knowing precisely that you are about to ovulate will allow you to:
1. Plan the best baby making sex of your life.
2. Give you a good window of when to stop trying via rampant sex.
3. Accurately know when to test for a potential pregnancy.
4. Start fucking googling every twinge and headache with to-the-day accuracy.
No, it’s actually going to put you into hell on earth because:
1. It only tells you that you have had a surge in the luteinizing hormone, which happens before you ovulate, but can happen more than once in a cycle if that ovulation is disrupted. So, you don’t actually know that you ovulated, just that your body was gearing up to try.
2. You’re supposed to start peeing on these test on day 7 of your cycle… so, like, right as soon as your period stops, more or less. And you keep pissing on them until you ovulate. Which is around 7 days of peeing on sticks for a typical 28 day cycle. They give you 10 strips in a package just in case you happen to be a little bit later. This is not enough strips if you are someone who doesn’t happen to have an exactly 28 day cycle. Or are someone who does have a 28 day cycle but ovulates late… Basically, a large portion of the female population will need more strips. And the OPK packages are not fucking cheap.
3. Some people also have a very short window where the luteinizing hormone, that the test relies upon, is present in their urine. It’s call a short hormone surge and if it happens to you you won’t catch it on your pee stick and will never see a positive result. Wasting tons of money and hours of sanity pissing on the damn things anyways.
So, as you can see, there are pros and cons to the usage of these little pee strips. It’s up to you really whether you think that they would be a benefit to you. Lots of people in the community swear by them. For me, they were a colossal waste of money as I couldn’t ever seem to get a positive even though I ovulated every month. But they are one of the ways to know with more certainty when your most fertile days are and that can be wonderful. If you are doing a home insemination with donor sperm, these are probably a really good idea for you. I recommend using them for a few months leading up to your insemination so that you get really good at them. These are also a really nice compliment to a more sure fire way of knowing you have ovulated, like basal body temperature. We’ll talk about that next time!