13 January 2011

OPKs: Not for the Faint of Heart

I started a second month's worth of an ovulation predictor kit.  I opted for a name brand variety from Target that was slightly cheaper than last month's kit.  Instead of a smiling baby on the box, I got this:

Buy this Ovulation Predictor Kit and get…a free nap with a baby?

Yet another image to mock my less-than-stellar ovaries, but hey, at least this kit came with coupons!

There is still a sense of frustration in using such a kit.  First of all, there's the sheer dedication and timing of urine.  It can't be your first morning urine.  You have to count to 5 while testing.  Yadda yadda...  No one knows the significance of this personal milestone better than my mother.  Every time she took my brother, Erik, and me to the pediatrician for our annual check-up, he could pee in the tiny cup like a champ.  Such doctoral demands had my bladder frozen with fear, leaving me unable to perform even with the promise of a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.  Gritting her teeth, Mom would drive all three of us home: Erik, me, and an empty specimen cup.  My stage fright would cost her an extra trip back to the pediatrician because, apparently, I could only do the task in the comfort of my own bathroom.

Second, not all OPKs come with a protective cap for the testing end of the strip!  Imagine my expression when I realized that the reason why last month's test was more expensive was due to costs for the production of a plastic cover to prevent getting pee all over my hands.  *sigh*

Then, there is the reading of the lines.  Oh, those parallel, enigmatic pink lines.  Just like with some pregnancy tests, OPKs have a control line on the right side of the viewing window that shows up simply because you made a urinary contribution.  It's the variable line that is the tell-all.  If the variable line does not show up on the left side of the window, OR if it's lighter in shade, then your follicles have not been sent on their expedition.

This is what not ovulating looks like.

So for someone like me, I could easily convince myself that the OPK strip below was a positive result.  That line looks darker!  Well, it's darker in, like, one part of the line.  That counts, right?  Maybe it's positive if it's only slightly lighter than the control line?  This kind of conversation with myself is not at all out of the ordinary, but even I had to check the manual to convince my hopeful side that I hadn't ovulated.  It's obvious to all those out there with a keen sense of shade depth and color saturation that it is, in fact, another negative!

Stupid light-pink line.

Based on my frustrations with these derned OPKs, here's what I want to know: Why can't they dummy-proof these suckers like they have with pregnancy tests?  I mean, you can buy those handy-dandy digital pregnancy tests that spell it out for overthinkers like me, as seen below:

No sense of color perception needed.

Maybe OPKs could do the same, simply reading "Ovulated" in the window.  Even better, maybe they can have one that plays Barry White when you ovulate.  That would give you an obvious answer AND mood music!

1 comment:

MNicoleM said...


A happy face if you're ovulating, blank circle if you aren't - these are what I used (never saw a happy face though)


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