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OPKs Are Giving Me The Rage!

(7 Posts)
Rockhopper81 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:52:51

Evening all, hoping somebody can possibly help me out here a little.

I've been using cheapie OPKs for a good while now (the reviews I read were positive and said they worked as well as the more expensive ones, so assuming I would need a ton of them I went with more economical), but have never, ever had one come up positive. Not even a faint test line, just the control line every time. I assumed this was because of my PCOS and I just wasn't ovulating.

So, I bought OvuSense and thought I'd give that a go. Had an extra long period, so had to wait to start using it, but started using it straight after it finished; 6 days after starting using it (Thursday), it said I was in my 'fertile period' and mentioned 'ovulation today'. I did 3 OPKs over that day - not one positive. I was confused.

As I am using a known sperm donor, I didn't contact him as I had no idea which was accurate and which wasn't. Fine, I can try next month to be more accurate with watching for ovulation. I ordered some more cheapie OPKs (different in appearance though) to be delivered Saturday.

However, it was bugging me, so Friday I went to ASDA and bought some of their (admittedly more expensive) tests and tested at lunchtime. Low and behold, a faint test line! I was overjoyed. It was still a negative, but I didn't feel such an ovulation failure.

Tried the cheapie ones again Friday night/Saturday morning - both not even a sniff of a test line.

Got back this evening and thought I would test all 3 different tests I now have (see picture). The ASDA one and the new one (without LH written all over the green) clearly show a faint test line. The bottom one - nothing.

The OvuSense has been telling me I'm in my fertile period this whole time.

I've concluded that the ones with LH all over the green part are shite not working for me.

But does the faint test line on the other two indicate I'm heading towards or away from ovulation, does anyone know?

I suspect I might have actually ovulated a couple of days ago - if the OvuSense is to be believed (although I am aware the first month it can be 'calculating' rather than predicting, as such). So I'm a bit pissed that the OPKs I had didn't marry up with what it said. I'm also a bit annoyed that they may have just not been working for me the whole time I've been using them, rather than me not ovulating for months and months.

I know OPKs aren't always reliable for PCOS sufferers, but I thought there might be some sort of 'marrying up' of the tests and the OvuSense. I also know PCOS can cause a certain level of LH the entire cycle, but that's much, much more common in women who are a 'normal' weight and frankly I'm fat overweight.

Any insights would be most appreciated, and cookies/coffee/wine/whatever for anyone who got to the end!

Thank you!

JoJoSM2 Sun 04-Jun-17 03:56:06

Have you considered asking a doctor? It sounds a bit complicated... However, I think an LH surge must appear for ovulation? So if the test line is faint, perhaps there isn't enough to indicate ovulation but enough for the faint line due to PCOS.
Personally, I really like the Clear Blue ones. They are more expensive but they electronically show you either a flashing or permanent smiley face so that's dead easy to interpret. Not sure how accurate they might be for PCOS. Also, have you considered asking your doctor to help with ovulation induction?

Persipan Sun 04-Jun-17 04:48:41

If you're using your donor for home insemination, I'd suggest you want at least three cycles of monitoring under your belt, with multiple methods, so you can recognise what works for you. Are you temping as well? This wouldn't​ help predict ovulation in advance but if you can pin down whether/when it's happening, it'd help to establish which prediction method is giving you accurate information.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 04-Jun-17 09:59:56

"I also know PCOS can cause a certain level of LH the entire cycle, but that's much, much more common in women who are a 'normal' weight and frankly I'm fat overweight".

Actually that is incorrect; many lean PCOSers can also have a LH/FSH imbalance. Its a very individualistic disorder however, and can affect each woman with it very differently.

OPKs are rubbish when it comes to PCOS as well and it is likely you are not ovulating regularly if at all currently.

Have you as yet sought any medical advice re kickstarting ovulation?.

I would ditch all the OPKs and the ovusense (and that is only really a fancy temp chart app and that can also be problematic for many women with PCOS) because they're not helping any and look into having blood tests done along with a series of internal ultrasound scans to check if an egg is actually leaving one of your ovaries.

Rockhopper81 Sun 04-Jun-17 19:10:16

I've had a blood test and scan - cysts present on ovaries, FSH and LH results on day 3 on cycle were the low end of 'normal', but within range. I have an appointment with a gynaecologist on Thursday, so I plan to discuss all of this with them, obviously.

I have been using the cheapie OPKs for more than 3 months - nearer 5 months regularly - but thinking I've now been using tests that don't work for me.

The OvuSense I think will work more readily for me - it doesn't work on a standard cycle and has good reviews.

I know slimmer women can have LH imbalance, it's just more common for women within the 'normal' weight range to present with some level of LH throughout their cycle.

I was just wondering if the faint lines were more likely to be 'ovulation occured' (so moving away from) or 'ovulation coming' (so moving towards). I guess it's not really possible to know though?

ohbigdaddio Thu 15-Jun-17 11:43:16

Hello Rockhopper81 I have a nightmare with OPKs and don't use them anymore. I've bought an Ovusense thing too and am trying that. It's early days as the last few months have been taken up having tests so I haven't been able to try it out for real but it's been great to see that I actually do ovulate.

Speaking to a private doctor, she said there was a reason why OPKs don't work for me very well. She said my FSH levels on day 3 were in the high range of normal so this meant when they did the day 21 test, although I had ovulated and the FSH level had risen, because it was already high-ish anyway on day 3, there wasn't enough of a difference for the OPK to detect on day 21. (I may have this wrong, it could be the LH level! but either way this is the reason.)

Don't know if this helps but it really put my mind at ease. I'd forget the OPKs and try Ovusense. Good luck.

Rockhopper81 Thu 15-Jun-17 13:31:30

Hi ohbigdaddio - thanks for your reply!

I've decided to use the OvuSense and try to trust it now. It told me I did ovulate this cycle, despite the OPKs, so I think I'm going to believe it and work with what it says next cycle!

That's interesting about the levels on day 3. I'd heard OPKs weren't reliable for PCOS, but it's interesting to hear why they might not be.

After a disastrous gynaecology appointment (where they won't provide any help or support with the fertility side of PCOS until I've failed to get pregnant), I've had another blood test today and my GP is going to look into why they won't help with the irregular periods when she gets the report back.

I've decided to just go with the OvuSense in the meantime and see what happens.

Good luck to you too!

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