Why Is My Ovulation Predictor Kit Not Helping Me Get Pregnant?

Julia is very frustrated with her lack of success with trying to conceive.  She has been using an Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) every month, the urine LH stick type.  She tests positive, and knows this is the time she is most likely to get pregnant.  But still nothing in several months.  Now what?

Yes, you can have a positive LH surge, but still not ovulate.  You can ovulate and still not get pregnant.  Julia needs to pay attention to all of her signs of ovulation to gauge her fertility health.  How does she know if she is not ovulating?  And what can she do about it?

Why Is My Ovulation Predictor Kit Not Helping Me Get Pregnant?

It may be that you are not ovulating.  This is called anovulation, where the ovaries do not release an egg that cycle.

Julia was surprised to learn that she can have what appears to be a period, but not be ovulating. This is called breakthrough bleeding.

  • It may seem just like a regular period
  • It is actually not a real period
  • This is abnormal bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods
  • It is believed to be due to hormonal fluctuations
  • It usually resolves on its own in a few months

Who can have anovulation?

  • It is common among teenagers
  • Women coming off the Pill
  • Overweight or underweight women
  • Women with elevated estrogen (estrogen dominance)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Women with thyroid or adrenal gland problems

When is anovulation common and normal?

  • Breastfeeding women
  • Women who recently stopped breastfeeding
  • Women approaching menopause

Anovulation is believed to be due to hormone imbalance.  There has been enough estrogen to build the uterine lining, but ovulation does not occur.  This can be because FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (leutenizing hormone) are not present in the correct amounts for ovulation.  However, the Ovulation Predictor Kit that detects your LH surge is not designed to recognize this imbalance with the other hormones, and it still reads as positive.

How can you tell if you are ovulating?

The easiest way is to monitor your basal body temperature.  This is another type of ovulation predictor.  Read the article “How Do I Use My Basal Body Temperature to Determine My Most Fertile Days?

What do you look for?

  • Temperature rises at least two tenths of a degree
  • Temperatures stay higher for at least three days

If you do not see these temperature changes, then you are probably not ovulating.  However, if you have a clear build-up of fertile cervical mucus that peaks 14 days before your next menstrual cycle, it is not so clear.  A very small group of women appear to ovulate without a temperature shift.  You may need to have an ultrasound to look at your ovaries and see if you are ovulating.

If you are not ovulating, what can you do?

  • Start with good nutrition.  To find out more about this, subscribe now and get  The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Nutrition. Simply fill out the simple form to the right. It’s FREE.
  • Manage your stress levels.  The consequences of stress very much affect your health and your fertility.  Read the article “Can You Change Your Attitude?” to find out more.

To Your Vibrant Health!

Veronica Tilden, DO