When Do Ovulation Tests Expire?

If you’re hoping to get pregnant, you’ve likely spent some time researching the best way to increase your chances. From tracking your basal body temperature to using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), there are a number of ways to predict when you’re ovulating.

While most people are familiar with pregnancy tests, fewer are aware that ovulation tests also have an expiration date. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about using expired ovulation tests and answer the question: when do ovulation tests expire?

What Are Ovulation Tests?

Ovulation tests are similar to pregnancy tests in that they measure levels of the hormone LH (luteinizing hormone) in your urine. LH is produced by the pituitary gland and helps regulate ovulation.

LH levels surge about 24-36 hours before ovulation and remain high until the egg is released. This surge in LH is what triggers ovulation, making it the perfect time for intercourse if you want to conceive. OPKs work by detecting this surge in LH so that you know when you’re about to ovulate.

How Do Ovulation Tests Work?

Ovulation tests come in the form of strips or digital devices that you hold under your stream of urine for 5 seconds. Once the test has been exposed to urine, you wait for the results to appear.

Smiley face: Your LH levels are high and you will ovulate within the next 24-36 hours. Ovy app: Answer “yes” when asked if this is a smiley face test result on your app. You will receive a notification when you’re about to ovulate.
FW (fertility window): Your LH levels are rising but have not yet reached their peak. You may or may not be about to ovulate. Try testing again later today or tomorrow morning. Ovy app: You will not receive a notification right now but will receive one if your LH test result changes within the next 12 hours.

Blank/negative test result: Your LH levels are low and you’re not going to ovulate anytime soon OR you have already ovulated this cycle. Ovy app: Answer “no” when asked if this is a smiley face test result on your app

When Do Ovulation Tests Expire?

Ovulation tests come with an expiration date which is typically 1-2 years after the date of manufacture. However, we recommend using them sooner rather than later as their efficacy decreases over time—meaning that they may give false negative/smiley face results as they approach their expiration date. For this reason, we recommend only using OPKs that are 6 months old or less.

In conclusion, ovulation tests detect surges in LH which trigger ovulation. Most OPKs have an expiration date of 1-2 years after manufacture but we recommend only using those that are 6 months old or less for accurate results.

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