We love to experiment with everything pee-on-a-stick related! While also giving out helpful information relating to Home Pregnancy Tests (HPT's), Ovulation Predictor Tests (OPK's), Charting your fertility and much more!
Many of us use OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) regularly. There are so many brands out there and with that being said, I thought I would give reviews on the ones I use.
Most of us are familiar with this huge super-center franchise known as Wal-Mart. (I personally shop there ALL THE TIME!) Although they’re known for their, “Great Values,” sometimes even if it’s inexpensive – there can be some sort of bigger price to pay! And then on the other hand, sometimes you do truly get a great product at a fantastic price.
Today I’m going to talk about Wal-Mart’s Brand of OPK – The Equate Midstream Ovulation Test.
Clearly you can see it’s a, “Blue Dye Test,” which if you’ve ever read anything online about them, you may have heard how they are known notoriously (especially in reference to Home Pregnancy Tests) for their, “False Positives,” but more commonly known as, “Evaporation Lines.”
Using an OPK, it’s never uncommon to see two lines though, even after the allotted time-frame in which you have to accurately interpret the results. So in a way, that theory usually won’t apply to these. However, simply being ABLE to accurately interpret the results is just as important! This was my first experience using a Blue Dye OPK and I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with Equates Brand.
The opacity of the Lines, made the Tests extremely difficult to read at times. There was never truly a, “Solid,” line persay. It was almost a Light Blue or Turquoise color that was a bit transparent. The first illustration helped to showcase the Tests Dye color, but here’s two ACTUAL Tests from my own collection.
Yes they were both positive, but for a newbie or inexperienced person testing with these I could see how they would be a bit confusing to the untrained eye.
I would think if they were going to use a Blue Dye rather than a Pink Dye when manufacturing their Tests, they would at least opt to use a Darker Blue that would be easier to read. Not to mention, (after a few minutes) the Dye on the Test starts to fade.
The Equate Brand Midstream Ovulation Tests come in a pack of 7 and cost about $12, but honestly I would highly recommend spending a few extra dollars and investing in a better Brand. Even for a Blue Dye Test, they’re at the bottom of the list in my opinion.
Here’s my VLOG Review about them, (for a more in-depth look) as I Test them out myself!
So you’ve decided to start using OPK’s to help you determine when your BEST chance at Conception is? That’s great! You’re now on your way to maximizing your chances of successfully getting Pregnant. If you haven’t started charting, I highly recommend it!
Although testing with OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) is a great way to gain some much-needed insight into your Fertility Window – It only Does just that! You’ll need to follow-up with 3 days of sustained higher BBT’s (Basal Body Temperatures) to confirm that Ovulation has in fact taken place. Usually a great indicator (or second fertility sign) of WHEN to start testing with a OPK, is when you start to notice Fertile Cervical Fluid. Usually after Menstruation you’ll notice a bit of Scant, dry, or Sticky CM (Cervical Mucus) if any at all – followed by Creamy or Lotion-Like, and then as Estrogen starts to influence your hormones your CM will begin to thin out! You may start to notice a bit of a watery sensation and that usually will lead to the most fertile type of CM which is categorized as EWCM (Egg White Cervical Mucus) which the name sort of speaks for itself. If you’re not familiar with it, crack open a raw Egg and feel the consistency of the Egg whites! It should be slippery, clear and stretch 1-2 inches between your thumb and your index finger. Sometimes it can also be tinged with Pink, red Blood, or even brown! (That is considered to be amongst the most fertile) so if you happen to notice that type of CM along with a Cervical Position that’s High, Soft and Open – Now’s definitely the time to Test with a OPK! Here’s a Chart that can give you a Good idea as to when (based off of your average cycles) would be a Good time to start!
There are 3 types of Tests you can use – “Midstream,” which is very Common at drugstores, “Cassettes,” which are also very Common, “Digitals,” and then lastly our Internet Cheapies, (also known as) “Test Strips,” which is what we are talking about today. They’re by far less expensive simply because you’re not paying for the fancy container they come in.
Now with the most effective Test date being determined with your other secondary fertility signs – It’s also important to understand how to PREPARE for testing!
Unlike Pregnancy Tests that usually are taken with FMU (First Morning Urine) especially with possible Early Pregnancy – It is HIGHLY recommended to use Afternoon Urine when testing with a OPK, usually between the hours of 2-8pm and at the SAME TIME EVERYDAY! Why you ask? Because the LH (Luteinizing Hormone) in FMU usually isn’t metabolized enough, and can therefore give you a False Negative! (Which of course if you’re actively Trying To Get Pregnant you definitely don’t want that) essentially it can cause you to possibly miss your Surge. (When dipping your Test Strip there is a black line that says, “Max Line,” it’s always best not to dip your Test past that line to avoid over-saturation of the Test)
So what is a LH Surge? Well, LH tends to flow through our bodies at all times. Just a few days prior to Ovulation the LH Hormone starts to increase to a higher concentration (thus as we call the “Surge”) and that higher concentration of LH can then be measured by a OPK.
Typically speaking there are different brands of OPK’s that can detect different levels of the Hormone so to speak. A normal, healthy female would probably opt to use a OPK that detected 30-40 mI/U only because we have the Hormone constantly running through our system and would not want to yield a False Positive result using a lower sensitivity test. (In some cases though, you may need a lower sensitivity Test just depending on what YOUR “normal” concentration is that’s running through your body during non-peak times) – We on average, typically have anywhere from 1-20 mI/U prior to our Surge. You can find Tests that are 10-25 mI/U, 30-40 mI/U (which is considered average) and then the lower sensitivity Tests that can run up to even a 100 mI/U! (Again, I highly recommend NOT purchasing those Tests simply because according to some Consumer Studies it’s usually next to impossible to have a LH Surge that High in concentration!) You’ll more than likely yield nothing but Negative Results.
Once you’ve established the best brand, day, and time to start taking your Tests – a Good question most have is, “How Do I Read Them?” Here’s a few illustrations that may help you learn how to interpret the results.
If you’re using Test Strips, you may see packaging very similar to this:
This can be a bit confusing if you’re unfamiliar with how they work. This claims if there’s 2 Lines, it’s positive. Don’t be fooled though! Regardless of what kind of OPK’s you opt to use, essentially they all work the same way.
You can’t go wrong with a digital. There’s absolutely no guessing involved although they are a bit more expensive. But if you happen to get a Blue Dye Test, you’ll understand WHY it may be a Good idea to FOLLOW up with a digital since they can be a bit harder to interpret. (You’ll have to check out my OPK reviews if you want some further insight with that subject).
Name Brand OPK’s that you can find in your local drugstore can be a bit costly. Some opt to use the Internet Cheapies known as “Test Strips” Because essentially you can buy a Big bundle of OPK’s and HPT’s for a small fraction of the price. If you like to Test frequently it can add up, and I’ve found over the years that it’s a much more cost-effective way to gain more insight into your Fertile Window each cycle.
Which (I might add) you can’t beat FREE! You have a great chance of winning a bundle of OPK’s and HPT Strips (on me) simply by “Liking” our Facebook Page – (PeeOnAStickFreak) “Following” our Twitter (@PeeOnAStickFRK) and lastly our Instagram (PeeOnAStickFreak) – The more referrals you have, the greater your odds are! All you have to do is have your friends/family members comment on each account stating WHO refered them! SIMPLE! I will be picking winners randomly and the ultimate prize is the bundle along with a $25 Gift Certificate to a restaurant of your Choice! GOOD LUCK!
Getting back to business (Ha Ha) when taking your Test, you’ll want to make sure that your urine doesn’t sit out for any length of time, and you also hold the Dip stick in your (CONCENTRATED) urine for at least the specified amount of time on the instructions. Otherwise I highly recommend dipping it for a full 5-10 seconds! Only Because you want to avoid under-saturating your Test and yielding a lighter Test line, and in some cases a False Positive Result! (Check out my OPK Experiments, Videos, and of course my Informational Tidbits) to my conclusions with those results! Also, I highly recommend waiting the full 5-10 mins before interpreting the results. You’ve got to keep in mind that OPK’s work a bit differently than your average HPT.
(Something else I just wanted to add which I also mentioned in my video) is when you purchase a pack of Midstream Tests, Cassettes or even Test Strips – you have to judge each Test individually! The reason I’m saying this is because different Tests have different amounts of Dye in them. You may have taken a Test yesterday (that came in the same pack) that had a very Dark CONTROL Line, whereas today’s Test has a very Faint one. No worries! Your Test Line (if positive) will reflect how light or dark your CONTROL line is. So if the CONTROL line is very light, as long as your Test line matches that or is a bit Darker than it’s considered positive! Same thing if the line is lighter, that would be considered Negative!
So with that being said, (Yes I know it’s a ton of information to absorb if you’re not familiar with these things) after a few cycles, you’ll get more familiar with it the same as you would with all of your other secondary fertility signs!
For a more, in-depth demonstration I made this lovely video showing you just how simple this can be but most of all BENEFICIAL! When you yield your first true positive result, don’t forget to DTD! (Do The Deed) also known as Baby Dancing!
So we you’re about to take a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test) or even a OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit) – usually when you’re reading the instructions that come in the box, there’s a reccomended length of time they specify holding the Dip stick in the urine stream (or same difference if it’s a Midstream Test)! Honestly, I never really gave it much thought. Sometimes whenever I’m making these awesome, fun Videos for you guys, I can get a bit distracted, (say if one of my kiddos starts knocking on the door for example Ha Ha) and it may not be until I actually go back and watch the video that I catch something I hadn’t noticed during filming! When I first got the Equate Brand OPK I tested one with PM urine and being as it was a dreadful Blue Dye Test, I was a bit confused by the results! So maybe 15 mins later I dipped another one (in the SAME urine sample) and held it a few seconds longer. Guess what? The T (Test) line was darker than the C (Control) line! Whereas with the Test before, the 2 Lines were the SAME! Soooooooooo I concluded from that experience that it DOES matter how long you actually hold a Dip stick in the urine and (of course) how CONCENTRATED the urine sample is! I highly recommend holding the dip stick a minimal of 5-10 seconds! Anything less, may yield a much lighter result. Now keep in mind (whether it be a OPK or a HPT) a positive result is a positive result as long as the Tests are taken properly and read within the correct time frame. If you have a High enough concentration of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) a HPT will yield a POSITIVE result, much like a OPK will if you have a high enough concentration of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) BUT – the Line opacity can differ! So, I will be conducting more Tests like this in the near future. But for now, I’m using the Blue Dye Tests and I hope you find this helpful!