Using OPKs to predict ovulation is becoming more and more common. OPKs are similar to pregnancy test sticks. They work by detecting a hormone known as Luteinizing Hormone. There is usually an LH surge a couple of hours before ovulation and OPKs work by detecting this surge.
When you get a positive OPK result it means your ovulation is around the corner. Some manufacturers claim ovulation will most likely happen within 36 - 48 hours after you get the positive result.
There are different brands of OPKs in the market but they work basically the same way.
Before you start testing you have to know the length of your cycle and then based on that, follow the instructions on the attached leaflet. Usually the instructions will let you know what day to start testing based on the length of your cycle.
On your specified day, you test by either placing the chemical coated part of the test stick in your urine stream for a few seconds or collecting some of your your urine in a clean container and placing the chemical coated part of the test stick in it for a few seconds and then placing it on a flat surface or facing down for a few seconds. After which it gives either a positive or negative result.
The Clear Blue digital OPK is one of the good brands in the market. I have used that before and found the result easy to read. You either have a clear circle to show a negative result or a smiley to show a positive result. See picture below.
A negative digital OPK result
A positive digital OPK result
A negative OPK result means no LH surge has been detected while a positive OPK result means an LH surge has been detected so ovulation is around the corner.
You may or may not have to test for a few days before you get a positive result. You are usually advised to reduce your liquid intake about 4 hours before you test and when you do get a positive result, you are advised to have intercourse on the day of the positive result and the day after to maximise your chances of conception.
Please be sure to read and follow the attached instructions for accurate results.
These few methods of predicting ovulation i have outlined are just to help maximise your chances at predicting ovulation and not to tell you exactly when you ovulate. No one, as I said earlier can tell you for sure the exact time ovulation occurs but if you keep observing your body and using the necessary tools, you may just get close enough.
Good luck and lots of baby dust to all trying!!!