Ovulation predictor kits range from the very simple to the very high-tech. Let's take a look at them.
The simplest ovulation predictor kits are nothing more than test strips that you dip in urine. Then you wait for a blue line to appear. Sounds pretty simple until you actually use them, and then you will enter the crazy world of "is that a line or not?"
At least these test strips aren't very expensive.
Clearblue Easy came up with a digital monitor several years ago. It is very slick, and it tells you as your estrogen is rising, too, which is a precursor to the LH surge. It can take a few months for the machine to get to know your cycle, but I found that it did a great job in just the second month.
It's expensive, however, and the test strips that work with it are also expensive. This device is for the serious scientist or those who feel the need to know that ovulation is coming days in advance, like if you're trying to conceive a specific gender. Or if you're going through artificial insemination, it can help to know a few days earlier so that you can plan a trip to the doctor.
As an in-between, there are disposable digital tests that are expensive, but much more definitive than the regular test strips. Instead of a line, this shows a smiling face if the LH surge is occurring. Interpretation is much easier.
The key with any of these is how you use them. The test strips usually work best if you dip them into a cup of urine rather than urinate on them. The reason is that you don't want to over-saturate the strip. That can lead to a false response.
Of course, everyone wonders where in the LH surge they are once they get a positive response. The answer is: you don't know. You could be on the upswing or the downswing, but it doesn't really matter. You will ovulate 24-36 hours after the start of the LH surge, so somewhere in there, you need to plan to have intercourse.
The other variable is that some women surge quickly, and others have a very slow progression of LH in their system. You don't know which one you are unless someone took your blood every hour and plotted a graph of LH concentrations. It doesn't matter which one you are here either as ovulation is not faster for fast surgers versus slow surgers. LH triggers the final maturation of the egg and ultimately the release.
Whichever product you choose, I hope this month is your month!