We Tried It! At-Home Tests for Tracking Fertility

When trying to conceive (or TTC), there can be an overwhelming amount of information to take in. A great place to start is to better understand your best days for conceiving with ovulation predictor kits (OPK). And pregnancy tests are also great to have on hand!

OPKs work by testing amounts of luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, or a combination of both. Both hormones fluctuate during the month and an increase is an indicator of pending ovulation. Pregnancy tests look for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is only produced after an embryo implants in the uterus.

Here at SSB, our team has gone through the TTC adventure with pregnancy, egg freezing, and IVF. To help you find the best path for you, we’re sharing our experiences with some OPKs and pregnancy tests that we’ve used at home.

First Response Pregnancy Test

The First Response Pregnancy Test is widely regarded as a must-have when TTC. These pregnancy tests are easy to use, and often its pink lines are a bit easier to see. What stands out is the First Response Early Result, which can be taken six days before your expected cycle start date. From Rapid Response, Early Result, and easy to read digital results, these are all simple to use. There is a testing strip within a plastic holder, which helps keep your hand out of the way during testing. It also has a handy cap to throw on while waiting for results.

Pros:

  • Range of tests to choose from, Rapid Response, Digital Results, and Early Result
  • One-step testing
  • When using Rapid Response, results can be seen six days before missed cycle

Cons:

  • Price

Pregmate Ovulation Strips and Pregnancy Tests

Pregmate Ovulation Strips and Pregnancy Tests are regarded as “cheapies.” These are great when you have the urge to test often, but do not want the hefty price tag. These testing strips work the same as the brand name products, but without plastic handles or electronic readers. The OPKs are bare strips that have a line indicator that gets progressively darker when there is increased LH in your urine. You can buy larger quantities of both ovulation test and pregnancy tests, or combination packs with both, at a much lower price.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Bulk orders available for multiple testing attempts

Cons:

  • Test strip must be dipped into cup, so more steps
  • Not as sensitive, results seen on first day of missed cycle

Although we have not personally tried other cheaper types, such as Walmart or Dollar Store brands, they all work about the same way and are going to save you a lot of money.

Modern Fertility

Modern Fertility at-home ovulation strips are somewhere between First Response and Pregmate. They have simple tests, but the strips feel sturdier. The ovulation strips also came with a little booklet that explained the best days to test and a suggestion for keeping track of results. Reading results was a bit tougher. On other testing strips the lines look much darker on days leading up to ovulation. However, Modern Fertility had very little change until ovulation. We did get a positive result eventually, so if you are using this one, you have to be sure to test at the same time each day. Modern Fertility offers a range of at-home tests for both male and female fertility, as well as pregnancy tests.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Studier test strip
  • Helpful guide included with OPK

Cons:

  • Test strip must be dipped into cup, so more steps
  • Result lines are much lighter than other strips, so can be hard to see positives

Clear Blue Advanced Ovulation Test

The Clear Blue Ovulation Test comes with the full plastic tester with helpful cap, like First Response. Clear Blue also has pregnancy tests, however, during our at-home use we stuck with the ovulation tests. Unlike the other tests, rather than give a yes/no or line indicator, this one has a happy or sad face instead. There’s a sad face until the start of the LH surge, then a happy face emerges as LH increases, followed by a blinking happy face for the LH peak. This test went from sad face to blinking happy face in a day when we used it, so results can vary from person to person.

Pros:

  • One step testing
  • Very clear digital reading, so it’s easier to see the line getting darker

Cons:

  • Price
  • Depending on amount of LH in urine, may not see all results

All at-home testing relies on specific amounts of hormones in your urine. However, levels can vary from person to person, month to month, and even throughout the day. You may find that these ovulation or pregnancy tests just don’t work for your body, so read more tips for tracking ovulation. If you suspect that you are pregnant, or having difficulty conceiving, reach out to your healthcare professional.

When you are ready to find your donor and get started on your journey to parenthood, the experts at SSB are ready to help! Please contact our experts at (206) 588-1484 or via email.

Memorial Day Hours
Our client services team will be available between 9am to 3pm PST on Memorial Day, Monday 05/30.

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