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8 Potential Causes for Negative Ovulation Test

Ovulation tracking and testing can come in handy for people trying to conceive; it’s one of the methods that have been used and proven by many women before. 

There are numerous ways to track ovulation without medication:

 

Negative Ovulation Strip Tests
Negative Ovulation Strip Tests

Nothing is more stressful than continually getting a negative ovulation test when trying to track your cycle. This article will explore the ovulation process further and explain the top five reasons you might be getting a negative ovulation test.

Can a Woman Ovulate Without the Luteinizing Hormone (LH)?

A woman’s body cannot ovulate without producing sufficient amounts of the luteinising hormone, also known as ‘LH’. This hormone is produced in the pituitary glands and triggers ovulation. The first half of the menstrual cycle generally sees low levels of LH, and then it surges just before ovulation occurs.

At the midpoint of a woman’s cycle, the follicles containing growing eggs develop to a particular size, indicating that the eggs inside are mature. A signal will then be sent to the brain to release the luteinising hormone, causing ovulation, lasting between 24 to 36 hours. This is the best time for intercourse if trying to conceive, as there is a surge in LH. Ovulation will occur when mature ova are produced from the ovary, thus signalling the beginning of a fertile period.

The ova is then ready for fertilisation, with this window lasting around 12 to 24 hours. If the egg is not fertilised within the required time, pregnancy will not occur, and the egg will be released during the menstrual period. Male sperm can survive in a female body for 5-7 days; thus, a woman doesn’t need to have intercourse only during this period to conceive.

One of the most accurate tracking ovulation methods that every couple trying to conceive should use is an Ovulation Predictor Kit, or Ovulation Strip Tests. These tests are designed to identify your peak fertility days so you can maximise the chances for pregnancy and avoid getting inaccurate negative ovulation test results.

Negative Ovulation test — What Does This Mean?

Your ovulation test will result negatively if there is insufficient Luteinising hormone in your urine during testing. 

During your peak window leading up to your ovulation, we suggest testing with an ovulation strip test twice a day, 10 hours or more apart, to ensure accurate results and to reduce the chances of a negative ovulation test.

8 Common Reasons for a Negative Ovulation Test

1. Are you Testing at the Correct Time?

Even though ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) are a reliable way to test, a common reason that many women keep receiving negative ovulation test results is that they are using OPKs days before they’re ovulating.

You might miscalculate your ovulation time for several reasons, thus recording negative results. That is why it is advisable to test at least every day for the first month to understand your cycle better.

2. Using Wrong Tracking Methods

While tracking methods can predict ovulation, not all methods suit everyone.

Such methods include tracking your basal body temperature using basal body thermometer (BBT) and physically examining your cervical mucus. Although these methods are popular, they can be altered by lifestyle, genetics, and diet. It may take some time to recognise which strategy is right for you.

3. Misprediction of Cycles Using Calendars

Using fertility apps & the calendar method is another common method used to predict ovulation. This method can lead to negative results, especially if you test a few times per menstrual cycle. Ovulation calendars determine a woman’s next ovulation using an average menstrual cycle length, usually 28 days. It then moves the days back by 14 days, meaning this method works best for regular cycles.

Remember, however, that your cycle can shift based on various health and lifestyle factors. Using apps on your phone to track your cycles isn’t entirely accurate, and can increase the chance of a negative ovulation test. 

4. Miscalculation of Cycle Length

Misreading the length of a menstrual cycle is another reason for a negative ovulation test. Many women assume their menstrual cycle is 28 days, the estimated average. A typical cycle can range between 21 to 35 days for older women and 21 to 45 days for women in their teens. This could result in missing an ovulation period by a whole week. Thus, ensure your menstrual cycle’s length to avoid negative results when trying to conceive.

5. What Time of the Day Are You Testing?

Ovulation and pregnancy tests work similarly; the best time to take a pregnancy test is to use the morning urine sample. This is because, at this time of the day, the hCG hormone (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is highly concentrated and is known as the pregnancy hormone. Ovulation testing is best done later in the day because the LH hormone level usually peaks in the afternoon.

6. Inadequate Luteinising Hormone (LH) Surge

Ovulation tests function by detecting a surge in the luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine. If this surge isn’t strong enough, the test may fail to detect it, yielding a negative result. Various factors can cause this, such as stress, illness, or certain medications that can disrupt your body’s hormone levels. 

Another possible cause is a condition known as luteinised unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS), where an egg matures but isn’t released from the ovary, leading to a weaker LH surge. This condition can often be overlooked, making it crucial to consult a healthcare provider if you consistently receive negative ovulation tests despite signs of ovulation.

7. Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders can significantly disrupt the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Both hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can cause irregular periods or even stop them altogether. This irregularity can make predicting ovulation challenging, often leading to a negative ovulation test. If you experience thyroid disorder symptoms, such as fatigue, weight changes, or mood swings, seeking medical advice is essential. Proper management of thyroid conditions can help restore regular ovulation and improve the accuracy of ovulation tests.

8. Certain Medications

Some medications can interfere with ovulation, leading to negative ovulation tests. These can include hormonal contraceptives, which prevent ovulation, and certain psychiatric medications, which can disrupt the hormonal balance necessary for ovulation. Chemotherapy drugs can also affect ovulation, as they can cause temporary or permanent changes in ovarian function. If you’re taking medication and consistently receiving negative ovulation tests, it’s worth discussing this with your healthcare provider. They can help determine whether your medication affects your ovulation and explore alternatives or solutions.

How accurate are LH ovulation tests?
Why can’t I get a positive ovulation test?

Common Problems That Can Affect Ovulation

There are certain disorders that some women suffer from that make them unable to ovulate. However, a negative ovulation test does not always indicate disease — there can be various reasons for this. 

Here are common problems that can affect ovulation:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This condition is when a woman’s ovary produces an excess amount of male hormones, leading to the development of small cysts. This hormonal imbalance can prevent ovulation and is one of the most common causes of ovulatory disorders.
  • Excess Prolactin Production (Hyperprolactinaemia): This disorder occurs when the pituitary gland produces excessive prolactin. This reduces oestrogen production, preventing ovulation and resulting in infertility.
  • Anovulation: This is a disorder where the ova is not released from the ovaries’ follicles, making ovulation unlikely to occur. Some women suffering from this disorder do not menstruate for several months or menstruate but do not ovulate.
  • A woman may experience a longer menstrual cycle than usual, ranging between 21 to 35 days. If you have not ovulated during your cycle, you will not have an LH surge, leading to a negative ovulation test during your expected fertile window.

Hypothalamic dysfunction: Two hormones responsible for ovulation stimulation are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). They are produced by the pituitary gland in unique patterns during the menstrual cycle. Various factors can affect this pattern, including emotional stress and high or low BMI weight.

These ovulation problems can result in infertility, but they are treatable. In Australia, if you believe you are having ovulation or issues with your fertility, we suggest you speak to your GP or OBGYN to assist with testing and detecting any issues you may have.

LH Surge peak ovulation
The Best Ovulation Tests in 2019, 2020 & 2021 as rated by Australians

Signs That You Might Be Having Ovulation Issues

Here are some signs and symptoms you should look out for that may indicate a disorder that makes you unable to ovulate.

  • No periods or irregular periods,
  • Excessive hair growth in areas like your back, chest, and face,
  • Loss of hair and thinning,
  • Weight gain,
  • Acne flare-ups,
  • Having trouble conceiving after six months of trying and frequent sex.

Many obstacles can hinder ovulation. If you identify you are experiencing ovulation issues, you should seek medical and professional assistance and guidance to get a precise answer. This will increase your chances of conceiving and reduce the chances of getting a negative ovulation test during your fertile window.

For those seeking to understand the complexities of ovulation tracking and test results, Fertility2Family is your comprehensive resource. Our extensive range of products, including ovulation tests and fertility kits, are designed to support your journey towards pregnancy and every step of your fertility.

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Evan Kurzyp
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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