At-Home LH Tests To Keep You Informed & Ready To Go

Family planning involves many moving parts: Understanding our menstrual cycles, diagnosing any fertility concerns, communicating our wants and needs with partners. As ovulation only happens for a few days each cycle, it’s important to pinpoint our fertile window, whether we’re trying to conceive or not. This is especially true for those of us with irregular menstrual cycles, as we can’t always rely on tracking apps to give us a heads up. 

Knowing when we ovulate can make us feel both empowered and educated about our bodies.

Ovulation tests can help take the guesswork out of the equation, especially when paired with basal body thermometers and cervical mucus tracking. Knowing when we ovulate can make us feel both empowered and educated about our bodies. It can also give us the information we need to make the most informed decisions about our families and future.

We’ve found the five best ovulation tests to consider below—many are doctor-developed and OBGYN-approved, regulated with the FDA, and eligible for reimbursement if you have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Savings Account. Some also have tracking apps, community groups you can join, and personalized guidance!

If pregnancy isn’t your goal, consider these birth control brands sent straight to your door. Or, if you’re hoping to conceive in the near future, these prenatal vitamins can help bridge any nutritional gaps and prepare your body for pregnancy.

How Do Ovulation Strips Work?

Ovulation tests detect luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which is the hormone that triggers the ovary to release an egg. Every person’s body is different, but generally LH levels begin to rise mid-follicular phase, or a week or two after your period ends, marking the beginning of your “fertile window.” 

You want to watch for two lines when peeing on an ovulation stick (alternatively, you can do the cup-and-dip method): one control line and one test line. Like with pregnancy tests, if there isn’t a control line, that means the test is faulty and you need to test again. Otherwise, you want to pay attention to the test line to help determine where your LH levels are at. 

LH levels begin to rise mid-follicular phase, or a week or two after your period ends, marking the beginning of your ‘fertile window.’

Testing in both the morning and evening is recommended. You don’t need to use morning urine with ovulation strips, unlike with pregnancy tests. As you progress in your fertile window, you’ll notice the test line gets darker until it is as dark as or darker than the control line (photos for reference). This signals an LH surge (or peak), meaning one of your ovaries is about to release an egg (often within 24 to 36 hours). 

If you’re trying to get pregnant, these hours are optimal for conception—though sperm can live for up to five days, so sex leading up to your LH surge may also result in pregnancy. If you are using natural planning for contraception and do not want to get pregnant, you will want to avoid vaginal intercourse leading up to your surge and for a few days after. 

Once ovulation occurs, you can also keep testing to see how your LH levels begin to drop, and the line will become lighter again. This signals the end of your “fertile window” and the second half of your cycle—called the luteal phase (or “two-week wait”).  

Again, this is all very dependent on the person, hormone levels, and the average length and regularity of menstrual cycles. Tracking apps can be helpful for noticing patterns and trends in your cycle month over month, and many allow you to upload photos of your ovulation tests. No matter your reason for tracking, here are the best ovulation test strips (with a range of pricing options)!

1. Natalist

Features | FDA registered, HSA & FSA eligible, certified plastic-neutral, ethically produced, available in select stores
Ships To | Continental US
Price | $18 for seven tests, discounted multipacks available

Take control of your fertility with Natalist’s Ovulation Tests. These LH surge strips come with clear, easy-to-understand instructions, and they help make understanding our bodies a bit easier. Plus, Natalist’s ovulation strips are registered with the FDA, eligible for reimbursement via HSAs or FSAs, and stocked at stores like RiteAid, Target, and Albertsons. We recommend grabbing the multipacks; you’ll receive 35 plastic-neutral tests for $65.

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2. Modern Fertility

Features | HSA & FSA eligible, Modern Fertility tracking app with customized predictions, online community, available in select stores
Ships To | US
Price | $16 for 20 tests; discounted subscriptions available

Modern Fertility makes fertility essentials for people with ovaries—whether you’re trying for kids or not. We’re big fans of its Ovulation Tests because they’re affordable at $0.80 per strip, and there’s a tracking app that shares customized predictions about your cycle over time. MF even has an online community so you can ask questions and find the support you need, as well as a robust resource library to learn more about fertility, including topics on egg freezing, thyroid levels, and PCOS.

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3. Oova

Features | FDA registered, HSA & FSA eligible, Oova smartphone app, tracks LH & progesterone
Ships To | US
Price | $159.99 for kit, refillable cartridges & subscriptions available

Designed to increase chances of conception, Oova’s kit is one that both partners can use in the TTC journey. It includes a handle, stand, and 15 urine strips for the month (with the option to order refills), as well as access to the Oova app for cycle analysis and actionable steps. We love that Oova gives updates, tasks, and action plans for both partners—so you’re not alone on the journey.

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4. Stix

Features | FDA registered, HSA & FSA eligible
Ships To | US
Price | $16 for seven tests; discounted multipacks & subscriptions available

Stix’s mission is to offer “OBGYN-approved and discreetly delivered fertility and vaginal health products.” Sent to you in a plain white envelope—and seen on your bank statement as “GS INC”—this brand is all about privacy and respecting your needs. The tests themselves are 99 percent accurate, designed by women and backed by doctors, and free of confusing jargon. You can order up to four boxes at once and set up subscriptions.

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5. Pregmate

Features | Plastic-free packaging, available in stores
Ships To | Worldwide
Price | $10.95 for 25 tests

For an affordable, accessible, and more sustainable option, consider Pregmate. These tests are sold online and in stores (like Target), and you can get up to 100 ovulation test strips for about $20—and all without a plastic holder! These tests are 99 percent accurate and easy to use, whether you’re trying to conceive, trying not to conceive, or just want to understand your cycle better. You can even upload a photo of the test to your favorite tracking app to analyze and monitor your LH reading.

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Featured image from Modern Fertility

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