How To Miss Your LH Surge With OPKs

I’ve noticed the last couple of cycles that my LH surge has been much shorter. This month has been the shortest so far and I wanted to post some pictures to show how easy it is to miss your surge if you follow the traditional instructions.

OK, so opk tests tell you to check once a day from a few days before your expected fertile window. I tend to test around 2pm as you don’t have to use FMU.

So here are today’s and yesterday’s opk tests:


Both are clearly negative, right?

So, if I was going on these alone, I’d be assuming my surge hadn’t happened and then I would get a temp jump and say WTF? I ovulated without even getting a surge this month!

But then look at what happens when I test more than once every 24 hours:


There’s my positive – in the middle at 7am this morning. Note that these tests are now dry, and the lines were all darker when they were read within the limits. The middle one was clearly positive this morning (although it does look borderline now).

So there you go.

How can you make sure you don’t miss your surge?

  1. Test daily, at the same time, from around 6 days before you anticipate ovulation.
  2. As soon as you see a line that is slightly darker than the first test you took, test every 4 hours (3 times per day).
  3. Don’t worry about how much you drink, or how long you hold: I’ve drunk litres of water before testing and tested an hour after the last go and the surge still shows.
  4. Remember that the surge may happen 2-3 days before ovulation, or as little as 12 hours before ovulation.

Two and a half years of opk fun condensed into one post.

Have fun!

5 thoughts on “How To Miss Your LH Surge With OPKs”

  1. This is so interesting because in the cycle I got pregnant with this current pregnancy, it was the first time ever (been using those damn OPKs on and off since…2007 or 2008? It’s been so long I can’t remember!) I tested more than once in a 24 hour period. I can’t really say for sure that is what led to getting pregnant, but it is definitely an interesting fact.

    • Oh, now that is interesting! I think it can help you pinpoint more accurately what’s going on. There is so much misinformation about TTC – as if it’s not hard enough already!

  2. I just want to mention a tip I read from fertility MD and he said to use 2nd morning urine, w/o drinking anything in between, like wait 1/2 hour after 1st urine, then test. I always get best results first thing in am, because I can’t hold it for 3 hrs and I drink a lot of water. If I test after holding less time it’s never dark, I’d always miss surge. I usually get almost + the day before (very dark, not quite equal) then next day +/= and it seems to stay + the following day too, anyone else? Is this an over 40 thing? I think Dr Sher (Sher Institute) has said older women in 40’s have too much LH..

    • I think it’s often advised not to use first morning urine as it can be more concentrated and give a false +ve – which might be happening for you seeing +ve’s two morning’s in a row, but not in between. When your surge is short though, you don’t have much choice. I prefer to test at around 2pm, and usually catch my surge in the evening, but this month it was so short I only saw a positive in the morning. It’s always good to confirm with a temp rise. The amount I drink is irrelevant – I can down a ton of water but I still get a clear surge, as I mentioned in the post. There is a HUGE amount of variation on what people see on opks, so I think you just need to work with what works for you.

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