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If you have recently decided that it is time to start trying to conceive, I bet you want to learn all about ways to increase your odds of getting pregnant during each cycle. You already know that having intercourse just before, and during ovulation is maximizes the chances that you will conceive. But how do you know when you ovulate? There are several ways to find out, but one easy and reliable manner to discover your most fertile days is using ovulation tests.

They can be bought over the counter and are easy to use. How do ovulation tests work? Just like a home pregnancy test, an ovulation test works by detecting hormones in your urine. That means it's another "pee on a stick" test. In this case, they detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH). This hormone briefly dominates when an egg is released from the ovaries, and that short window makes for a very effective at-home ovulation test. Unlike home pregnancy tests, ovulation tests work best in the afternoon, because that is the time of day when the luteinizing hormone synthesizes. You don't need to use ovulation tests every single day of your cycle of course. The key to success is finding out approximately when in your cycle you ovulate.

The best way to get a feel for this is by using an ovulation calendar. In short, an ovulation calendar calculates the approximate date of your ovulation when you are aware of the length of your cycle. Armed with that information, you can start using ovulation tests a few days before you expect your ovulation. When you are ovulating, the ovulation test will let you know. Mine came up with smiley faces for ovulation, and sad faces when ovulation was not taking place.

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