How Long Does An Lh Surge Last Before Ovulation

Laura asks…

I have been taking OPKs for the last three weeks and they’ve all been negative-help!?

I had ovulation cramps four days ago, and still to this day no positive OPK test! I started testing the day after my period ended since my cycles have been crazy lately-sometimes up to 45 days long. Can anyone shed some light? I just don’t understand the ovulation cramps but negative OPKs.

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

First, OPKs detect your LH surge, which happens a day or two before ovulation. So there are a few possibilities…

1) You didn’t ovulate this cycle
2) You missed your surge but still ovulated
3) Your surge and ovulation are still coming

You have a couple of choices…1) keep testing until you either get a positive reading or start your period or 2) stop testing, chalk this cycle up to a miss and wait for your period to start.

Since your cycles are irregular lately, you may want to do things a little different next time. First, I would try testing twice a day. Some women have to do this in order to catch their surge, especially if their surge is short. Either that, or make sure you’re testing every day between 1pm-4pm. Any earlier or later and you might miss it. Second, try charting your basal body temperature as well. Your BBT is the only way to confirm for sure you ovulated.

Good luck.

Carol asks…

how long ovulation lasts,what happens to LH and FSH levels during ovulation and list the signs of ovulation?

need help

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

Hi. You can find answers to all your questions and more are at

According to the page, before ovulation, FSA stimulates follicles to develop into mature eggs (FSA is released by the pituitary gland). The LH “surge” happens when it’s time for the egg to start down the fallopian tube to be fertilized. The egg then lives 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary.

According to the FAQ on the same website some signs of ovulation include:

“• Change in cervical fluid
• Change in cervical position and cervical firmness
• Brief twinge of pain or dull ache that is felt on one side of the abdomen
• Light spotting
• Increase in sex drive
• Elevated level of the luteinizing hormone which can be detected on a test
• Body temperature chart that shows a consistent change
• Breast tenderness
• Abdominal bloating
• Heightened sense of vision, smell or taste”

I hope this helps. The websites above are very good. They’re comprehensive, well organized, and well researched. They should be a great resource.

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Betty asks…

positive ovulation test for numerous days?

i started taking ovulation test and was getting a lighter test line then the control line. then after a coulple of days i started to get a dark test line. i had sex for a couple of days. But its has been like 5 days now and the line is dark still, if not darker. why am i still getting a dark test line. could the test be defective? or am i just ovulating still?

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

You will usually get your first positive 12-72 hours before you actually ovulate. The test detects the LH surge and thats what gives the positive. Sometimes once you ovulate the LH level stays high enough to be detected so you will continue to get positives. Ovulation only lasts like 12 hours. So you probably ovulated shortly after the first positive, but you should still continue to BD as long as you get positives just in case. That way you dont miss your fertile time. Most of the OPKs say to stop testing once you get the positive. That way you dont get confused. I find it helpful to use the OPKs and chart your BBT. That way you can compare the two results and have a better idea of when you actually ovulated.

Well…good luck and lost of baby dust!

Jenny asks…

Any pointers on trying to get pregnant?

I had a miscarriage 13 months ago. I was told both my husband and myself were healthy and could conceive. No luck yet!!

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

So sorry for your loss
How to get Pregnant Faster – Top Ten Tips

1. Have sex three times a week.

Having regular sex is the best way to get pregnant. Couples often try to time everything perfectly for ovulation but do not have sex when they think they are not ovulating. It is true that sex that is not within the time of ovulation will not result in pregnancy. However, because women do not always ovulate when they think they will, having sex three times a week will help to a woman cover her bases, so to speak, and not miss an opportunity to get pregnant.
2. Use an ovulation prediction kit or fertility monitor.

Using an ovulation kit to predict when you are ovulating will improve your chances of getting pregnant. For many women charting or other methods of ovulation prediction are too confusing. Ovulation prediction kits work by reading LH surges prior to ovulation. They are relatively easy to use and are generally accurate for predicting ovulation. Fertility monitors, such as the Clear Blue Easy monitor, are also a worthwhile investment if you would like to get pregnant faster. Fertility monitors are similar to ovulation prediction kits in that they read changes in LH but they also read changes in other hormones and don’t require any guesswork for couples. They are easy to use and will tell you when the best time to get pregnant is.

3. Have sex before ovulation (not after).

Sometimes couples get confused about the best time to have sex in relationship to ovulation. You have a small window of time each month to get pregnant. After a woman ovulates the egg will survive approximately 24 hours. Sperm, on the other hand, will live for up to three to five days. This is why having sex two to three days before ovulation will increase your chances of getting pregnant. Don’t wait until the day you ovulate to have sex. Your partner’s sperm will last longer than your egg and you don’t want to miss an opportunity by waiting.

4. Don’t rely on the Calendar method for predicting ovulation.

A lot of couples have heard to have sex around day fourteen of your cycle. This is based on the calendar method and assumes that you have a regular 28-day cycle and ovulate mid-cycle. Although this is better than just picking an arbitrary day to have sex, it is not a very accurate way to predict when you ovulate. Many women do not ovulate on day fourteen and knowing precisely when you ovulate will help you time intercourse better. Ovulation prediction kits, looking at previous months bbt charts, or watching for body cues will help you to determine when you ovulate.

5. Charting may not be the best way to predict ovulation.

Charting is great for tracking your cycle but it does have disadvantages. By the time you can see ovulation on a bbt chart, you have already ovulated. It is good to chart so you can track your cycles, see if you ovulate the same time each month, and also so you can look back on your cycle and see if you timed things right. But if this is your first cycle trying to get pregnant or if you are not ovulating at the same time each month, an ovulation prediction kit would be more helpful.

6. See a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant.
Make sure you are in good health and have had a regular check up from your OBGYN or medical provider. Untreated infections, sexually transmitted diseases, or poor health can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Its good to see a doctor as well as start taking prenatal vitamins prior to trying to conceive.

7. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or abuse drugs when trying to get pregnant.
This may seem like common sense but many women do try to get pregnant while smoking, drinking or using drugs. Smoking, drugs, and alcohol can affect your fertility. It will also affect your unborn child. It is important to stop smoking or using drugs and alcohol before getting pregnant and not wait until you find out you are pregnant.

8. Have enjoyable sex.

Sometimes when couples are trying to conceive, sex becomes a job or function of reproduction and is not as enjoyable. Plan a romantic evening or try something different to spice things up. How you are feeling sexually may factor into your chances of getting pregnant. Some researchers believe that having an orgasm during sex increases your chances of getting pregnant. For women, the spasmic movements of orgasm will help pull the sperm into the uterus and for men a better orgasm may increase the man’s sperm count.

9. Have sex in positions that keep sperm inside the vagina longer.

The missionary position is a good position to use when trying to get pregnant. Avoid positions where the woman is on top. Gravity will allow sperm to leak out with these positions. Also try placing a pillow under your hips to help tilt your pelvis and keep the sperm in longer. Don’t get up right after sex. Try to relax and allow the sperm to stay in the vagina as long as possible.

10. There is no such thing as trying too hard to get pregnant.
Most couples get pregnant within a year of trying. If you have not gotten pregnant within a year consult your doctor for advice.

Mary asks…

Trying to get pregnant via sperm donor?

Please do not judge me I know that this all sounds weird. I want to get pregnant. I need a guy friend to come over and donate. Has anyone out there successfully gotten pregnant this way. How long do we have between hand off ? And, no I do not want to do it the old fashioned way.

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

Supplies needed:

Needleless syringe or oral medicine syringe
Collection cup, baggy or condom
(Optional) Saline without additives or preservatives
(Optional) Tube to attach to syringe
(Optional) Mild germicidal soap
You can ask your doctor for a needleless syringe or you can buy an oral medicine syringe at just about any drugstore or in Wal*Mart near the children’s thermometers. Buy the syringe with a plunger, not a bulb end (not the mini turkey baster!). The syringes work pretty much the same way. One that is maybe 4 inches long, or longer, is probably best. The oral medicine syringes have about a half inch narrow tip on the end. You can attach a catheter (thin tube) to either kind of syringe but you don’t need to and it may waste more of the semen to use one.

A) Take a clean or sterile glass or plastic cup, baggy, or collection condom and have the male ejaculate into it. You’ll probably have better luck getting the semen out of a cup since you could suck the baggy or condom up to the syringe and block the opening, but you may get a larger sample with the baggy or condom. You can use a tiny bit of saline, without additives/preservatives, to help get as much sperm as possible into the syringe, but you don’t need to worry too much about leaving a little behind. If you are using frozen sperm, you need to ask the sperm bank for directions on thawing.

B) Draw back on the syringe once with nothing but air, then push the air out again.

C) Draw back on the syringe again, but this time have the end of it in the semen — the vacuum created by pulling back on the stopper will suck the semen into the syringe.

D) Try to tap out any air bubbles since you don’t want to inject air into your vagina. You can do this by slowly rotating the syringe until the opening is facing up. Tap the air bubbles to the top and them push the plunger in on the catheter just a small amount — enough to get rid of air w/o squirting semen out.

E) Get into a position where you can either stay comfortably for a half hour or can get into the position w/ minimal movement. Ideal is to either have hips raised or to lay on your side making sure your pelvis is canted (usually hips provide natural angle if you hips are wider than your waist, but if your bed, or wherever you are lying, is soft, you may want to put a pillow or two underneath your hip).

F) Slowly glide the syringe, or catheter, into the vagina until it is close to the cervix — but do not try to get it into the cervix and do this gently. Your goal is to coat the outside of the cervix and to deposit as much sperm as possible as close the cervix as you can get it.

G) SLOWLY inject sperm. If you do it too fast, it can squirt out of the vagina or at least spray away from the cervix.

H) If you are concerned about wastage in the syringe, you can use some saline, without additives . . . Add some to the syringe, shake it a bit, get the air out, and inject. This is not necessary since there probably won’t be enough wastage to be of concern.

I) Try to have an orgasm — Some suggest that using a vibrator for clitoral stimulation produces a bigger, more powerful orgasm. Use whatever method works best for you (unless it requires lots of water!). The orgasm helps the cervix dip into the vaginal pool and suck up sperm — it helps get more sperm up there, and may speed sperm travel. Avoid penetration (as in intercourse or with vibrator). This falls in the can’t hurt, might help category.

J) You can use water and a mild germicidal soap to clean your supplies if they will have time to dry completely before re-use, or run very hot water over them. Otherwise you can use saline to clean everything.

Timing for this kind of insemination is the same as for intercourse — if possible. The best timing is the day before LH surge (as detected with an ovulation predictor kit), day of LH surge, and next 2-3 days, the last day or two being insurance. If you don’t have all those options, the day of the LH surge and the day after are best.

The advantage to this method is that you don’t need any fitted equipment! You don’t even need a speculum (though you can use one).

The success rate is the same as with intercourse, perhaps a bit less because there are usually fewer opportunities for insemination and timing may not cover the bases as well.

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