Totally overwhelmed by OPKs…need help figuring this out.

posted 2 years ago in TTC
Post # 2
2989 posts
Sugar bee

OPKs tell you when your LH hormone is surging. This is the hormone needed to release an egg. Most people ovulate anywhere from 12-48 hours after a positive OPK, BUT it is possible that you’re in the middle of ovulating, or even just a few hours out from ovulating.

The only way to confirm ovulation at home is by temping, are you starting that as well? Some women can have an LH surge resulting in a positive OPK, but never actually ovulate. This is where temping confirms or denies ovulation. 

A lot of women start OPKs around cycle day 7/8, depending on their normal cycles. For me, I started at CD10 because I knew I always ovulated CD16/17 and didn’t want to waste more than a week’s worth each month. I would test once a day for the first 4 days, and then increase to 2 or 3 when mine started getting darker. 

Progression lines aren’t super common on OPKs, but for me they were. When I had lines getting darker I tested more to catch the peak of the surge. I usually ovulated 12-18 hours after my first solid positive OPK.

It doesn’t hurt to start using your OPKs to get the hang of reading a negative and seeing what your personal tests look like. 

Where are you in your current cycle?

Post # 3
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017 - Maui, Hawaii

Commenting to follow, I feel the same way OP. Thanks for the info MsPlucky!

Post # 4
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I don’t want to make a mockery of things and completely over simplify but from what I GATHERED, a positive OPK signals that ovulation is about to happen so HAVE SEX!! In a nutshell! 

In my month of ttc, we started doing the deed from when my period finished. I got a positive opk on day 11 of my cycle and we ramped the sex up to like twice a day for about 3 more days after. I got pregnant that cycle and my baby is due in June. It was the cycle after having my iud removed! 

Post # 5
574 posts
Busy bee

hafh2016 : totally agree with MsPlucky :  but also to add a couple of bits from my experience with them. 

I have really short LH surges which meant I was missing them so I had months of worry thinking I wasn’t ovulating even though I was having a period. I went for the relevant blood tests and turns out all was normal. So on the advice of bees I started temping. It’s really helpful though I honestly I don’t enjoy it. But got pregnant the first month I did it, unfortunately I miscarried so this is my 2nd month now. 

Best of luck trying!! 

Post # 6
824 posts
Busy bee

tillymac :  I’m just going to put this out there: as a rule of thumb I think you should consider re-reading each and every post before you publish it. Ask yourself “is it entirely necessary I talk about myself/ how I got pregnant the first time/ how abnormally pretty I am people stop me on the street/ my pornstar pussy/ whatever other weird ass humble brag you can dream up or should I just answer the question of the OP?” I think if you re-read most of your stuff you’ll realize why a lot of bees are frustrated with you. 

hafh2016 :  To answer OP I think MsPlucky did a good job answering but wanted to echo maybe try temping in a couple cycles if OPKs aren’t enough. Sometimes you can surge and get a positive OPK but not ovulate so that’s frustrating. Also, take the test mid morning- afternoon. LH grows in your system over night and takes time to get into your system. If you’re confused if an OPK is positive feel free to post it on here and we will be detectives with you. We love a good pee stick 😉 

Post # 7
680 posts
Busy bee

I agree with all of the advice above… I would also like to add, an OPK isn’t truly positive until the test line is as dark or darker than the control line! I thought I was having positives then days later I got a much darker line! This was also the month we got our BFP so I’m glad I kept testing!

Post # 8
449 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

TiggersMitts :  hah! I agree with you. I don’t know if anyone who’s only used them for one month is necessarily qualified to answer OP’s question.. I’m on my fourth month and still confused over near positives haha.

Post # 9
2188 posts
Buzzing bee

OPKs were/are super frustrating for me. PPs have covered most of the relevant details. If this is your first time using them this cycle, here’s what I’d recommend:

1. Start using them about CD10 (or earlier if you have short cycles).

2. Don’t trust near positives. They’re a serious mindf*ck. People have different patterns. Some have progressions where it slowly gets darker and some have waves of darker and lighter before a positive, and some of us lucky ones get all faint lines except for one day of crazy positives. So, treat all things that aren’t as dark or darker than the control as negative and try to forget them.

3. Know that it’s not fool-proof. You can get a positive without ovulating. You can get all negatives and have ovulated. It’s a great tool for a lot of people, but it doesn’t always work for everyone very well.

4. When all else fails, ask the bee. I feel like I know more about OPKs from other people’s experience with them here than with my own admittedly frustrating relationship with them.

Post # 10
7765 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

tillymac :  “In my month of TTC…”

What!? It only took you a month!!? This must be some kind of record; why don’t you mention it more often?

It is also totally new information to me that having a lot of sex in one’s fertile window can lead to a BFP. If only my husband and I had tried that, maybe our TTC journey thus far would have been smoother. I would seriously consider mentioning your tricks and strategies a lot more frequently on the Bee, as we can all benefit from your wisdom. Maybe you could even write a book on the subject. You could title it something like Having SexHow I Got Pregnant on My First Try (YES, FIRST TRY!). So many women on this board haven’t managed to get pregnant on their first try (or even second or third, poor things!), and one can only assume it’s because they didn’t make the connection that they need to have sex. 

Post # 11
9818 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

hafh2016 :  OPKs measure luteinizing hormone which is the hormone that surges and causes the egg to be released.  Generally you would ovulate 12-48 hours after a positive OPK.  They shouldn’t gradually get darker, usually they will be quite negative until suddenly they are positive or almost positive (hence the “surge” aspect).  I used them for a year along with charting and temping (TTA) and they helped me see when I was going to O.  I usually O’d within 12 hours of my positive. 

I actually didn’t find them frustrating at all.  You always hve luteinizing hormone in your system, so you will always have a faint line.  What you want is a test line that is as dark or darker than the control.  I will say, I’ve seen pictures posted on here that made it seem to me like certain brands were harder to read than others.  I used the wondfos from amazon and didn’t have much issue.  One time I thought my batch of tests might have been harder to read so I held them in the urine cup for 5 whole seconds instead of 3 (the whole time I used that batch).

The surge of LH can also only last 12 hours or less so it’s possible to miss your surge and not get a positive test.  Especially if you only test once a day.  You can obviously still ovulate without a positive OPK.  If you’re just starting out you sould test 2 times a day- morning and afternoon.  Some people say not to use FMU because the surge happens mid morning-afternoon but I usually got all my positives with FMU.  I think maybe my surge just started earlier.  It’s also possible to get a positive OPK and not ovulate.  Your body can gear up to O but not quite get there.  So the only way to actually confirm ovulation is with temping and charting.

I should also add, I had some months where I didn’t think they were quite a true positive, but they were super close and after confirming O via my chart I knew they were positive OPKs so I counted them.

Post # 12
4059 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

TiggersMitts :  I think if you re-read most of your stuff you’ll realize why a lot of bees are frustrated with you. 

Unlikely. Nice thought, though.

Post # 13
4059 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

OP, to actually answer your question, in theory they are super easy (who can’t compare two lines and see if they’re the same?!), but I have totally had months where I was like “….this should be a much easier call”.

If you think the lines are close, err on the side of caution and have sex. Over time you’ll find them easier to get the hang of, and you’ll probably start noticing patterns in your own cycle too. You cna also consider the digital ones because they give you a pretty straight answer, but are pricier. I think some bees use both cheapos and digitals (and basically use the digital only once or twice a month to confirm).

Post # 14
9509 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

What kind did you order?

Since it’s your first month I’d start when your period ends (or around day 7). I believe early afternoon is the best time for testing. The test line needs to be as dark as the control line for it to be considered positive. If you start getting ones that look close to positive, start testing twice a day. If you do get a positive, get busy!

I personally don’t ovulate until like day 20, so just keep at it if you’re not seeing results when you would expect it with a “normal” cycle.

Post # 15
3064 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

hafh2016 :  The other bee’s gave great advice! One thing that also helped me is googling images of positive OPKS. I thought some of my ‘near positives’ were positives until I saw a truly positive one. When in doubt, post a pic here and the lovely POAS addicts ( myself included ) can let you know!

GL! I loved OPKS but I love peeing on sticks lol! Also, I would reccommend temping also. It is so helpful!

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