Most digital home ovulation tests are inaccurate, study finds

Research presented at the recent American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo reveals that two out of three of the digital home ovulation tests sold by U.S. retailers do not accurately predict when a woman is ovulating. This information is critical for women trying to get pregnant and could improve their chances by helping them to better select at-home tests to guide intercourse timing.

A team of researchers led by Sarah Johnson, PhD, of Swiss Precision Diagnostics (SPD) in the U.K., has found that of the three digital home ovulation tests available in the U.S. in 2017, two of them only detected ovulation to within one day in about half of women tested. Only one test gave reliable results, detecting ovulation to within one day in about 95% of women tested. Johnson’s team determined this by testing 33 women with 3 batches of each digital home ovulation test as well as with transvaginal ultrasonography, the gold standard for pinpointing a woman’s day of ovulation. The researchers then compared the at-home test and ultrasonography results.

“In this day and age when women want to get pregnant, planning has become much more important, especially now that women are waiting until later when their fertility may be declining,” said Johnson. “At best, at-home ovulation tests can help women get pregnant quicker. They can also let women know they have detected their most fertile days, so if conception doesn’t occur, they can tell their doctor they’re getting positive home ovulation test results and then the doctor can check other factors that might be preventing conception.”

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