Hormone treatment that enables women with PCOS to ovulate is only the first step toward pregnancy. Sexual intercourse needs to be timed to coincide with the maximum opportunity for the egg released in ovulation to be fertilized with the sperm so that a child can be conceived.
Ovulation kits help women with PCOS know when to have intercourse so that they have maximum chances of conception. Women with PCOS usually cannot rely on the calendar to tell them women they will next be at their highest fertility. For instance, if a woman who does not have PCOS had her period on April 5, 2010, and she has a period every 28 days, then an ovulation calendar or ovulation calculator would tell her that her next fertile period is from April 16, 2010 to April 21, 2010 and her due date would be January 11, 2011.
The reason women who have PCOS cannot use the calendar is that they usually don't have regular periods. Other methods are needed to detect fertility. A typical ovulation predictor kit consists of a set of dipsticks used to check urine for luteinizing hormone. This hormone becomes more abundant when a woman's body is preparing the uterus for the potential implantation of a fertilized egg. Typically LH is more abundant from the eleventh to sixteenth day of a 28-day menstrual cycle. Women who have PCOS, however, usually have periods that are shorter or longer than 28 days.
Women who have a short cycle, for instance, 21 days, would start testing six days after their period and continue testing for four days. A woman who has a 42-day cycle might start testing on day 25 and continue testing for eight days. The best time to do urine testing is from 10 in the morning to about 2 in the afternoon. A woman's body has its highest levels of luteinizing hormone first thing in the morning, but this hormone will not appear in the urine until the woman has been up for about four hours. If the user does not wish to hold the stick in a urine stream, all that is needed is to collect urine in a sterile container and then place the stick in the container.
Medications can interfere with testing results. Women who have taken Clomid (Serophene/clomiphene citrate) in the last three days may get a false positive reading, that is, a reading suggesting they are at peak fertility when they are not. Pergonal, Humegon, and Repronex contain LH, so women who take them are also likely to get false positives. The drugs Gonal-F, Follistim and Fertinex do not interfere with testing. Some women who have PCOS don't get useful results from home ovulation testing kits. That is because they have high LH levels all the time. Women who have persistent high LH levels should have ultrasound to ensure that they are having intercourse at the right time-any woman who has PCOS will get better information from ultrasound than from home ovulation testing kits.