Surges and Peaks on My Ovulation Tests

Pregnant women expecting her baby

Updated Sep 20, 2022 | Premom team, medically reviewed by Dr. Patti Haebe, NMD

An ovulation test is a powerful tool for you to uncover your menstrual cycle patterns and pinpoint your fertile window a lot easier than guessing. Understanding how it works and how to interpret your results can boost your confidence on your journey to get pregnant.

Low, High, and Peaks: What are they all about?

Low, High, and Peaks in your LH, Luteinizing Hormone, levels are based on your urinary ovulation test results. It is important to find your peaks and your cycle patterns so that you can predict your ovulation.

How does your fertile window and ovulation look like on the chart

In short, an ovulation test is designed to monitor your luteinizing hormone (LH) levels from a urine sample. For most healthy women, the Lh hormone gradually rises from a low level at the beginning of your cycle to a higher level right before ovulation. Eventually, the hormone will hit a peak meaning that ovulation will occur 24-36 hours afterward. By using LH levels to predict your ovulation, you are able to time intercourse appropriately in the 5 days before ovulation and ovulation day. 

At Premom, we have made everything automatic and straightforward! After taking an ovulation test, all you have to do is snap a picture of your ovulation test in the Premom app. The app then automatically calculates your T/C ratio (test to control line ratio), and the ratio between the colors of the testing line and the control line, to pinpoint your LH level. You’ll be able to view your hormone progression using Premom’s ‘chart view’ to find your fertile window easily!

Can you have more than one positive ovulation test each cycle?

It is totally possible and it could even last for a few days.

Women who have multiple positive results have a gradual onset LH surge. According to a recent study, over half (57.1%) of studied women have this type. With this type, you may see multiple positive ovulation test results for more than one day before reaching the darkest line at the peak.  

3 Common Types of Hormone Surge Patterns

TYPE 1: Single Peak

Cycle Pattern Single peak

Some women have more of a steady rise and peak. In terms of ovulation tests, you will see the test line gradually getting darker, rising to your peak, and then get lighter,  descending back to baseline.  


TYPE 2: Plateau

Cycle Pattern Plateau Peak

There is a second type of gradual onset which is more of a  “plateau.”  In this case, you will see consistently positive results with similar darkness before ovulation. Not one line seems to stand out more than other lines. In this case, we suggest that you keep tracking until you see the test line begin to lighten again.  That day is your most fertile day, and your last positive of that cycle is your peak day.  


TYPE 3: Multiple Peaks

Cycle Pattern Multiple Peaks

Still other women experience some dips during their gradual rise -- multiple peaks.  In this case, they may see several ups and downs in the test line darkness over a period of a few days.  They may be confused:

 

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Which one is the peak?

Normally the last peak is the real one and signals ovulation is about to occur. In this case, you probably need to test two more days after you see a peak, until you are sure you’ve seen all of the peaks and the final decline.

This can be more likely to happen in times of stress, illness, or hormonal change, but these are not necessarily the only times.

If you have ever received two peak readings or a second LH surge in one cycle just a couple of days apart – you may have experienced multiple follicular stimulation.  What does that mean?

In order to achieve pregnancy, a follicle (casing and egg) is released from your ovary.  The follicle must rupture to release the egg.  In cases of multiple follicular stimulation, your body releases the follicle, but it doesn’t rupture. So, the egg is not released and you are unable to get pregnant. Your body realizes that this has happened and so releases a second follicle a few days later.

No matter what pattern you might have, remember that every woman is different. Even cycles can be different! The best way to get pregnant fast is to learn your personal pattern through education and smart tracking.

 

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About author

Dr. Patti Haebe is a results-obsessed naturopathic doctor. She specializes in pre-conception preparation, fertility and hormone optimization. She is committed to root-cause healing through therapeutic supplementation as well as targeted diet and lifestyle modifications.  Her virtual practice, Ocotillo Integrative Medicine, provides integrative consultations worldwide via webcam for those looking to incorporate natural, proactive approaches to their healthcare and fertility journey. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Haebe right through your Premom app! 

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17434509

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