When to Take Ovulation Tests: Morning or Night?
Originally published 02/01/2021. Updated for accuracy and relevancy on 09/20/2023.
OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Gleaton breaks down how the time of day might affect the accuracy of your ovulation test.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’re likely going to start using ovulation tests. Fortunately, these jargon-free ovulation test instructions make them easy to use, taking out the guesswork and increasing your chances of conceiving.
Why Do I Need Ovulation Tests?
Ovulation tests are extremely helpful when you’re trying to get pregnant, as they can predict when you (you guessed it) are ovulating. Your eggs only live up to a day after they’re released, leaving a rather short period of time for the magic to happen and for fertilization to occur. If you use ovulation tests correctly, they’re 99% effective in detecting the proper hormone surges and helping you find the ideal time to try to conceive.
When Is The Best Time of Day to Take an Ovulation Test, Morning or Night?
Many women exclusively test for ovulation and pregnancy in the morning, however it’s not the time of day that’s important, but how diluted your urine is. This is also why it’s important you avoid grabbing that water bottle before taking an ovulation test. The more concentrated your urine is, the higher the chances are of accurately detecting luteinizing hormone, AKA the ovulation hormone.  The best thing you can do is to test at the same time each day until the test line is almost as dark as the control line. At that point, try testing twice a day just to make sure you don’t miss your surge.
Can You Test Ovulation 3 Times a Day?
You can test for ovulation as often as you’d like, however testing too often may not do you much good. If you’re really trying to pin down your surge, you can test multiple times a day when you notice that the test line is almost as dark as the control line. If there is still a large difference in the control and test line, testing more than once in a day will just cause you to go through your supply of tests more quickly. Also, if you’re testing later in the day after drinking a lot of water, your urine may be more diluted which can impact your results.
What Are My Chances of Getting Pregnant Every Day?Using ovulation tests should be helpful, not stressful. It doesn’t need to be an exact science where you’re forced to perform as soon as you get a positive test. As you can see from the chart below, the average woman still has about a 30% chance of conceiving even two days before ovulation. Because sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days, having sex leading up to your day of ovulation can still lead to pregnancy. 
What Can Affect Ovulation Test Results?
- Certain medical conditions: Hormonal medical conditions may affect the test’s ability to predict ovulation. These can include pregnancy (including a chemical pregnancy), post-partum, menopause, breastfeeding, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with medically diagnosed fertility problems should ask their physicians if this product is suitable for them.
- Medications: Some medications can impact your LH levels, especially hormonal medications such as birth control pills or fertility drugs. Ask your doctor for more information about your situation. If you’re taking medication like clomiphene citrate (e.g. Clomid) or letrozole, ask your doctor about how and when to use ovulation tests.
- Following instructions incorrectly: This can include waiting too long to read the results, not fully saturating the testing strip, etc.
- Ovulation tests are extremely helpful when trying to conceive.
- To get the most accurate results, it’s important to follow instructions perfectly and to test when your urine isn’t too diluted.
- Certain medications and hormonal conditions could affect ovulation test results, so be sure to talk with your doctor about your plans to use ovulation tests.
Keep Reading About Ovulation Tests
- What Does a Positive Ovulation Test Strip Look Like?
- How to Track Ovulation with Irregular Periods
- Why a Cycle Tracker is Useful in Tracking LH Progression
- Su HW, Yi YC, Wei TY, Chang TC, Cheng CM. Detection of ovulation, a review of currently available methods. Bioeng Transl Med. 2017;2(3):238-246. Published 2017 May 16. doi:10.1002/btm2.10058
- Suarez SS, Pacey AA. Sperm transport in the female reproductive tract. Hum Reprod Update. 2006;12(1):23-37. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmi047