Couples trying to have a child or avoid pregnancy usually use a negative ovulation test strip to track ovulation. Simply put, ovulation refers to the time when you are more fertile and have a high chance of conceiving.
Besides the ovulation test kit, you can also test ovulation using an ovulation calendar, ovulation tracker, and fertility app.
Whichever method you use, it can be frustrating if you keep getting negative ovulation test results. If this has been you, then you are on the right page. Below is a detailed guide of the hormone responsible for ovulating, common ovulation disorders, and the main causes for negative ovulation tests.
What is Luteinizing Hormone and How Can it Help a Woman Ovulate?
For a woman to ovulate, they need the right amount of Luteinizing hormone, also known as ovulation hormone. This hormone is produced by the pituitary glands. A surge in luteinising hormone- or an LH surge– is responsible for triggering ovulation.
This hormone also helps in egg maturation and triggers eggs to be released from the ovaries. Hence, the luteinizing hormone aids in controlling the menstrual cycle. Luteinizing hormone is usually produced at low levels during the first half of the cycle, however, just before ovulation, the LH levels rapidly rise, making it the best time for intercourse if you are trying to get pregnant.
The luteinizing hormone is also responsible for controlling the function of the testes in men. Here, the hormone helps to stimulate Leydig cells to facilitate testosterone production. Testosterone facilitates sperm production and promotes male characteristics like facial hair growth, increased muscle mass, and more.
What Happens if my LH Levels are too High or Low?
Maintaining the right levels of the LH hormone is vital for ensuring fertility. On the other hand, too much or too little luteinizing hormone can result in infertility in both men and women.
In women, high levels of this hormone occur due to polycystic ovary syndrome, reducing infertility. On the other hand, low luteinizing hormone levels cause irregular menstrual periods and hinder ovulation. Also, low levels of this hormone can lead to a condition known as amenorrhoea.
The presence of this hormone in urine can be used to predict ovulation in women to know when they are most fertile. Ovulation prediction kits typically measure the hormone in urine to predict when a woman is most likely to conceive.
Common Ovulation Problems and Their Treatments
There are a variety of reasons that may cause you to receive negative ovulation test results. Some of these reasons include:
This is a common ovulation problem that occurs when the eggs are not released from the ovaries, hindering ovulation. This disorder also occurs when the eggs are not properly developed.
It can also result from hormonal imbalances, PCOS, and eating disorders. Some women with this disorder may miss their menstrual cycle for several months, while others may menstruate despite ovulation not taking place.
· Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Hormonal imbalances can cause the ovaries to produce excessive male hormones, leading to PCOS. Women with this disorder develop small cysts on their ovaries. Also considered the most common ovulatory disorder, this problem can be linked with several issues.
● Abnormal face and body hair growth
● Insulin resistance
Therefore, you may need to lose weight if you are obese or seek treatment for your insulin resistance. Generally, the right kind of treatment will depend on the disorder it is associated with.
· Hypothalamic Dysfunction
The luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones must be produced during the menstrual cycle, following a specific pattern, for ovulation to occur. However, these hormones may not always be produced in the correct pattern, due to factors such as:
● Emotional stress
● Physical stress
● Significant weight gain or loss
● High or low body weight. In rare cases
Hypothalamic Dysfunction can occur because of a tumour in the pituitary gland- where the luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones are produced. When you suffer from this disorder, you may experience low estrogen levels, which can affect ovulation.
You may also have irregular periods or miss them altogether. Depending on the cause, you may need to take medication to replace the two hormones. If it’s a pituitary tumour, the required treatments may be medication or surgery.
· Excess Prolactin Production
Prolactin hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for breast growth and milk production during and after pregnancy. While this hormone is useful, excessive production can lead to a generation of estrogen, which causes infertility.
Usually, this excess prolactin production occurs because of a problem with the pituitary gland. In other cases, it can occur as a side effect from medications that you may be taking. Therefore, the treatment will vary according to the cause.
If ovulation does not occur regularly, it can lead to oligo-ovulation disorder. Usually, women who suffer from this order have an abnormally long cycle between 21 and 35 days.
There are different causes for this disorder, and the doctor may administer medication to help stimulate ovulation. Treatment also involves monitoring your ovulation through blood tests and ultrasounds.
Physical Signs of an Ovulation Disorder
If you are wondering how to know you have an ovulation disorder, here are some potential signs:
● Irregular or no period
● Hair thinning or loss
● Excess hair growth on your face, back, and chest
● Acne flare-ups
Top 4 Reasons for Negative Ovulation Test Results
Although the above ovulation problems can lead to infertility, they are not the cause for negative ovulation tests. It is possible to get a negative ovulation test but be pregnant due to various factors. Some of the issues related to negative ovulation tests include:
1. Testing the Wrong Time
If you want to conceive, an ovulation test can come in handy to help you predict when you will most likely be fertile. Although ovulation predictor kits are reliable, using them at the wrong time can lead to negative ovulation test results when you are ovulating.
Regardless of the length of your cycle, you need to use the ovulation kit several days after your period ends until it indicates signs of ovulation. Generally, the best time to use these kits is 10-18 days after your period. As for the time of the day, it is recommended to take the test in the morning, 10 am, and noon.
As written in our article- “How Long After An LH Surge Do You Ovulate?“, you are likely to get better results with your second urine sample than with the first urine sample, since the LH hormone can take up to 4 hours to be present in the urine. Otherwise, you can get a positive ovulation test result and a negative pregnancy test result but be pregnant.
2. Inaccuracy with Ovulation Calendar
An ovulation calendar, app, or calculator can help you predict when you are most fertile. These tools use the information about your past cycles to predict your expected fertility period. However, unlike ovulation kits, these tools may not be precise, which can lead to negative ovulation results. This is especially true if you perform the test several times in a menstrual cycle.
Ovulation calendars are based on averages, which vary from one cycle to another. Usually, the average menstrual cycle length is 28 days, and the calendar moves these days backward 14 days. Therefore, it works best for women with regular cycles.
Women with irregular periods can get the average cycle length by combining the length of their longer menstrual cycles and shorter menstrual cycles. The other way is to calculate the average cycle length and consider the wider fertility window.
Ovulation calendars are also associated with misprediction because of lifestyle and health conditions. These factors can increase your chances of getting a negative ovulation test.
3. Not Using the Right Tracking Methods
Various tracking methods can be used to predict ovulation. One such method is basal body temperature tracking using a basal body thermometer (BBS). The other ovulation tracking method is physically examining the cervical mucus to predict when you will be most fertile. However, you may inaccurately deduce that you are ovulating with the cervical mucus method, as it isn’t entirely accurate and can be used incorrectly. Similarly, some women may look out for ovulation symptoms to determine whether they may be ovulating, although this isn’t an entirely accurate method.
Although most tracking methods are reliable for ovulation tracking, they are subject to change. This is based on factors such as diet, lifestyle, and genetics. Therefore, you may get negative ovulation test results- when you are in fact ovulating– if you use the wrong tracking method. On the other hand, finding the right tracking method can increase your chances of positive ovulation test results.
4. Misreading the Cycle Length
Some women wonder, “Can I have a negative ovulation test but still ovulate?” Well, this is possible, and it can happen if you miscalculate the cycle length. A common misconception is that the actual menstrual cycle length is 28 days. However, this is not the case as this length is only an estimated average.
Typically, a menstrual cycle can vary between 21 to 45 days for young teens and 21 to 35 days for older women. Consequently, misreading your cycle length means that you are likely to miss your ovulation period, lowering your chances of conceiving. To avoid negative ovulation results, ensure that you understand your menstrual cycle.
If you have been getting negative ovulation test results, now you know the possible causes. Avoiding these mistakes will lower the likelihood of getting negative ovulation test results and increase your chances of conceiving.
If you have been trying to conceive for 6 months and are over the age of 35, or if you have been trying to conceive for a year and are 35 or under, you should consult your health care professional as it may indicate a problem.
Hi, I’m Louise- mum of one to a little boy called Mason.
I am the Digital Marketing and Admin Assistant for MyBump2Baby.
I enjoy working to provide excellent service to MyBump2Baby’s growing families.
Nice to meet you!