When it comes to trying to conceive (TTC), timing is everything. Sure, all it takes is one sperm to get pregnant, but sometimes, there is a lot more to it than just having sex when you feel like it. There are fertility apps, ovulation predictor kits, and other methods to trying to get the timing just right. If you’re currently using an ovulation predictor kit while trying to conceive, it’s pretty essential to understand how long after a positive ovulation test to have sex. Because you’ve been trying, and you’re really hoping this month is the month.
When to have sex after a positive ovulation test
You should start having sex as soon as you have a positive ovulation test, explains Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB-GYN. It doesn’t have to be that very second, but it’s important to have sex every day for the next three days, because a positive ovulation test indicates you’re having your luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. In addition, you could also have sex around days nine and 10 of your cycle (if your cycle is around 28 days), Ross adds.
An LH surge usually occurs about a day or two before ovulation, though Ross says many women constantly have LH in their bloodstreams and not just when they’re ovulating. This is why you may still have a faint line on your OPK a few days after having a blazing red line. But when you do ovulate, the LH peak should be five times the usual amount you have in your urine.
If you’re not using a kit, you can still try to time sex around ovulation says Dr. G. Thomas Ruiz, OB-GYN at Orange Coast Medical Center. If your average cycle length is 30 days, Ruiz says you can expect ovulation to be roughly around day 16 of your cycle.
How to read an OPK test
As far as knowing when that test is actually positive, especially if you’re using a test strip OPK, make sure your test line is darker than the control line. An OPK will typically turn negative the day after you ovulate, and a negative test will show that control line being a little bit lighter than the control.
Testing for ovulation and trying to make a baby can be a very stressful time. And sometimes it can make you feel like sex is a chore instead of something fun, intimate, and romantic. Thankfully, if you wait to do your marathon run until the day you have a positive test, and the following two days, you won’t be burned out yet and you may be more ready than ever if you’re abstaining. Good luck.
Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN
Dr. G. Thomas Ruiz, OB-GYN
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