The cost of the big O…ovulation tests that is!

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Knowing when you ovulate is exciting but later finding out you are pregnant is an overwhelming feeling of excitement and is something that many women look forward to in life.

For some conceiving a child is easier than it is for others who may require a little extra effort, planning and some money invested.

Timing is everything when planning to start a family and though for some more extreme measures may be required in order to kick-start the process beginning with a fertility calendar and knowing when you ovulate.

Knowing when a woman is ovulating is one piece of information that may help to ease or prevent some of the worry that may be associated when reading a negative pregnancy test.


What is ovulation?


Ovulation simply means the release of one or many eggs from your ovaries waiting to get fertilized by healthy waiting sperm. This is the time where it is critical that you make sure there is sperm waiting for the egg in order to get pregnant although this doesn’t always happen for everyone.

When a woman ovulates and releases an egg it has now been separated from its follicle waiting patiently to be fertilized.

OK, maybe not so patiently as the window of opportunity for fertilization to take place is generally around 12-24 hours.  Our bodies produce luteinizing hormone (LH) which aids in the separation of the egg from the follicle, an ovulation test detects the presence of Luteinizing hormone also known as LH.

The ovaries don’t both release eggs and one month it could be from the left ovary and the next the right and only testing will be able to help you determine if eggs are being released especially if you are struggling to get pregnant or have one tube blocked or clamped shut from surgery.

There are many brands of ovulation tests available on the market and the cost of these tests can vary significantly.


When to use an ovulation test


Predicting ovulation can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be difficult with all of the tests readily available to the everyday consumer. There is no science to calculate ovulation but there are statistics that your doctor will tell you about that have worked for their patients.

Understanding your menstrual cycle is important for knowing when to use an ovulation test. If you are planning to conceive using a calendar to track your menstrual cycle for a few months prior to the time you plan to try to conceive will be a very useful tool if you are planning to use ovulation tests.

The length of your cycle may affect when you ovulate, typically women with a longer menstrual cycle will ovulate later in their cycle than women who have a shorter cycle.

Ovulation time can vary from one week after the first day of your last period to three weeks. Many women typically ovulate around the 14th day of their cycle. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle figuring out when you are ovulating may take a few months and many ovulation tests.

Comparing ovulation test brands

Dollar Store brand ovulation test vs. Well known brand names ovulation tests

Are ovulation tests accurate?

Well that all depends but for the most part the manufacturers of the ovulation test products say they are 99% accurate so I’m going to say, yes they are although there is always that 1% chance they are not.

In a previous post, Mr. CBB talked about dollar store pregnancy tests and asked if people would consider using them since they are a fraction of the cost of say the Clear Blue Pregnancy test.  After one pregnancy and paying $18.99 for a pregnancy test, I went the dollar store route when it came to confirming my second pregnancy with my daughter.

I paid $1.00 (this was before the prices on everything went up) for the pregnancy test and low and behold it confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I was 6 weeks pregnant at this point and 9 months later my daughter was born.

Dollarama also sells an ovulation test for $1.25 for one single test and for many the ovulation test accuracy seems to have worked out well for them as the test is highly popular. Don’t go ahead and mix up the ovulation test for the pregnancy test either as you will not get the results you were looking for. Always read the package and instructions on how to use the test and the best time to do the ovulation test so you don’t waste your money.

The dollar store ovulation test is much cheaper than what I have seen at Wal-Mart, the name brands they sell such as the First Response Digital ovulation test and the Clear Blue ovulation test range from 7- 20 tests per box and vary in price from $35.97-$64.97 each box.

After a little math I have figured out that the average price per one single ovulation test from Wal-Mart is approximately $4.56 with the cheapest being $2.99 for 1 single test, before tax.

Though I have not used an ovulation test myself trying the dollar store ovulation test may be just as effective and may put a significantly smaller hole in your pocket and your budget.

Effective use

Conceiving should be an exciting, stress free time in your life, though unfortunately for some this is not the case. If you are investing money into the process by purchasing ovulation tests then using them effectively is important, after all you want to get your money’s worth.

Unlike a pregnancy test which is most accurately used first thing in the morning, this is not the case for an ovulation test. Luteinizing hormone is produced in our bodies in the morning and is undetectable until later in the day. Between 10 am and 7 pm are the most recommended times to use them and is also a good idea to use them at the same time everyday.

It is also recommended to reduce the amount of fluids you take in 2 hours prior to using the test as an excessive amount of fluid may dilute the amount of luteinizing hormone present in your urine.

Signs of ovulation

Some women may not experience or be able to detect signs of ovulation while others may. A common sign of ovulation is a drop in your basal temperature.

According to my doctor most women ovulate anywhere from 10-14 days after the start of their period. You count the first day of your period as day 1 up until day 10-17 depending on if you are on a regular 28 day cycle.

Some women are on a 30 day cycle which means ovulation times will differ for them and to be honest I don’t think there is any number or science that can accurately predict ovulation other than taking an ovulation test.

This may also differ for those that have an irregular period but it also is just a ball park number and really it’s your body that will tell you when the right time to conceive is going to be. Some people have sex in the ovulation window for years and nothing happens until they take an ovulation test only to find out that they were ovulating at a different time.

To use temperature as an indicator of ovulation a basal thermometer needs to be used as the drop in temperature will be only slight and a regular thermometer will not be able to detect it. Take your temperature first thing in the morning and record it at the same time everyday, a drop in temperature may indicate that you are about to ovulate.

Other signs of ovulation are increase in cervical mucus, pains in your stomach over the ovaries and an increased desire for sex.

Don’t waste time


You have a positive ovulation test result now what?

Once you have received a positive ovulation test result when using an ovulation test it is time to get to work, remember the window of opportunity for the egg to survive and be fertilized is not very big so don’t waste too much time.

I was told by my doctor to make sure we are having sex at least 2-3 times a week or every few days so there is enough sperm waiting for the egg when it is released. You don’t have to have sex everyday but you do need to make sure you have sex regularly although having the accurate ovulation test detection is key to the entire process. Have some fun and good luck may just be on your side.

Have you used an ovulation test and did it work for you?

Would you consider using the considerably cheaper  ones from the dollar store?


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  1. Ovulation tests are a little more accurate than any calculator, so between the two things you’re talking about, don’t give the calculator any credit at all and trust the ovulation test instead. However, even ovulation tests can’t tell you for sure whether you actually ovulate, nor can it tell you when it happens. Ovulation test strips just tell you when you have a certain hormone called Luteinizing Hormone (LH) present at a certain prerequisite high level.

  2. We tried them and tried them, spent way too much on CBFM and also on fertility medications. Finally threw our hands up and decided to get on with life and forget about getting pregnant and it happened! So for some, the kits might work. For us, I think the stress of knowing exactly when everything was happening with the CBFM made it stressful and harder to get pregnant for us. I hated hearing it while trying, but what really made it happen for us was forgetting about trying and just enjoying life.

  3. I would highly recommend the Clear blue Digital Fertility Monitor. It’s expensive but if you are serious about getting pregnant it works, and it’s cheaper in the long run. I got pregnant the first month using it (after months of trying) then I leant it to a coworker who got pregnant her first month using it after trying for over a year to get pregnant with regular ovulation predictor kids. I have tried those OPKS from the dollar store but I can’t get a clear reading off them to save my life! Lol

  4. Another great article Katrina!!!! I never used the tests. I’m not even sure if they were readily available back then! I’ve had friends over the years go to a lot of trouble and such in order to get pregnant but I didn’t have any trouble there. Witness that I have three kids…Lol! I wonder if some might use these tests to make sure they don’t get pregnant? To see if it’s safe to have sex then or not…..

  5. We tried the ovulation test kit and a spent an arm and a leg on them, but feeling frustrated after trying for more than a year we thought it was worth a try because we felt like nothing was ever gonna work!! We bought one kit and it didn’t work, so I refused to spend any more money on any of them, kinda wish we knew they were at the dollar store before buying that expensive one.
    We also tried many other things like taking your temperature to help track when you ovulate, even downlaoded an app that was supposed to help predict when your about to ovulate, even had a calender on our phone to keep try of the dates of everything that happened and read every book and article we could. Then finally after two years of trying it happened!!!! Just when we gave up all hope our love child was created. 🙂

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