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LH Surges how long do they last before you Peak or ovulate?
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Spoilme posted:
I bought Clear Blue easy ovulation test and started it on Tuesday morning and my first result was a circle which meant low fertility. I tested Wednesday and received a blinking smiley face which meant high fertility. I'm now on day 4 of a blinking smiley face. I thought for sure I would have peaked by now. Is it normal to have a long LH surge before you peak/ovulate?
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David K Walmer, MD, PhD responded:
Dear Spoilme, There are many strategies that you can use to help you increase your probability of conceiving and this is one area where technology can help. However, it is important to understand how the technology works so that you can get the most out of it and interpret the information in concert with everything else that you know about your cycle. A few key principles. Sperm can live for days in the female reproductive tract, once the door is opened. A woman's cervix is a reservoir or a time-release capsule for sperm. Sperm can not get into the cervix until the water content increases to the point that the mucous transitions from a thick dense state to an egg white, elastic and abundant consistency. Women who are good at assessing their mucous are quite good a preventing pregnancy (natural family planning) and they should therefore be quite good at optimizing their chances of conceiving. The rise in estrogen that precedes ovulation is one of the key factors that allows this change in the mucous to occur. Now back to the Clear Blue Easy test. The key to most ovulation predictor kits is the ability to detect LH, the hormone that triggers the maturation and release of your eggs at the right time. Many kits only measure LH and the signal occurs for one day or at the most two. The Clear Blue Easy test measures both LH and estradiol, which means that it is designed to anticipate as well as signaling the LH surge. If you are not able to or really don't want to be assessing your own cervical mucous, the Clear Blue Easy test helps you know what days the sperm can probably get into your cervical "reservoir". However, to interpret this information accurately, it is important to see the whole picture. Some women can have a problem with ovulation that is associated with an estrogen / testosterone imbalance and this condition can also be associated with chronically elevated LH levels in their bloodstream. This condition can give a weak positive signal for LH that can also be seen for days and in some cases all of the time. In this situation the woman is actually not ovulating. So what you want do know first is, are you having regular predictable cycles? If yes that is a sign that the signal is accurate. Second, you want to know if the LH surge (the last day that the signal is positive, remember the estradiol goes up first and then the LH surge happens) is occurring abut 14 days before the nest menstrual period. If yes, then this is another sign that the signal is accurate. Another thing that you can do to confirm that the signal is accurate is to get your progesterone level checked about a week after the LH surge. Your peak fertile day is the day of the LH surge; the last day of the Clear Blue Easy signal; and/or about 14 days before your next period if you are not pregnant. Having intercourse a day or two before the surge can also result in pregnancy. Remember, the sperm live a long time and the key is getting them into the cervix after the door is open. Eggs on the other hand have a very short window of receptivity that is estimated to be about 12 hours and your fertility drops rapidly after this interval. Two days after you detect the urine LH surge you are probably back into the recreation window and out of the procreation window. I hope this helps... Good luck!
 
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sneakierbiscuit replied to David K Walmer, MD, PhD's response:
FYI, the test the OP references can only be the ClearBlue Easy Advanced Digital OPK. It is their only ovulation test that will display a flashing smiley. Their other digital ovulation test (the not "advanced" version) will only display a steady smiley to show that the LH surge has been detected, and is not designed to display any result for estrogen.

A flashing smiley on the CBE AD OPK means that an estrogen level significantly above the women's basline levels has been detected. The average number of flashing smiley days - high estrogen days - detected by this gadget prior to a peak (shown by the steady smiley), is two. However, it is not uncommon for a woman to have four or more days of high estrogen detectable by the device prior to an ovulation attempt.

In this case, the woman does not understand how her device works. She is not having a long LH surge. She is having a longer build up of estrogen prior to an ovulation attempt.

If for some reason the monitor does not detect an LH surge, the device will continue to display the flashing smiley while it awaits a "peak" that doesn't come. Some reasons for the device not detecting an LH surge are:
* poor testing technique,
* missing the window of opportunity (testing in the morning is recommended so the woman can use the first morning urine, ensuring it's sufficiently concentrated for good hormone detection, but the best time to detect an LH surge in the urine is usually the early afternoon),
* an anovulatory cycle.
 
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reno79 replied to David K Walmer, MD, PhD's response:
I am not using the same test (using cvs brand opk), but had five days of positive testing. Curious to know if you would ovulate after the first day of positive or the last day of positive testing?
 
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kiursti replied to reno79's response:
Same is happening to me at present, what was your final outcome? Did you get any answers?


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