Will an Ovulation Test Give a Positive Result if Taken When Pregnant?

Deseré Davis - Writer for AskIris
By Deseré Davis
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published October 30, 2021.

Ovulation test and tracker during pregnancy

Ovulation tests are commonly used by women who want to get pregnant and do what's most effective, which is to keep track of ovulation.

These tests are urine-based and measure LH (luteinizing hormone) levels of the body. LH levels are important and can help determine when a woman is ovulating because they tend to surge shortly before ovulation.

The luteinizing hormone is also responsible for the stimulation of the ovary to help it release an egg.

What Will LH Levels Be When Pregnant?

A woman’s LH levels will increase about 36 hours before it is time for her to ovulate. That means you will get higher readings of this hormone’s level during your body’s ovulation cycle. During pregnancy, the woman will have less than 1.5 IU/L.

However, some factors can affect your LH levels and ovulation test, such as hormone imbalances. If that is something you are concerned about, it’s best to visit your doctor.

Can You Have an LH Surge When Pregnant?

Because of how your body works, it’s not possible to experience an LH surge during pregnancy. This hormone assists the body in ovulation, and when you’re pregnant, there is no need to ovulate. As such, the hormone doesn’t have any work to do.

Does Low LH Mean Pregnancy?

Once a woman has ovulated, her LH levels will decrease rapidly, and they do not remain the same throughout the time before her next ovulation.

Here’s a look at what a woman’s LH levels can look like:

  • The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.37 to 9 IU/L
  • Midcycle peak: 6.17 - 17.2 IU/L
  • Luteal phase: 1.09 - 9.2 IU/L
  • Postmenopausal: 19.3 - 100.6IU/L

Low LH levels can typically indicate pregnancy, but it’s always best to consult a doctor before assuming that you are pregnant.

Can Two Lines on an Ovulation Test Mean You Are Pregnant?

Ovulation tests are often used instead of pregnancy tests, but this might not be the best course of action. A pregnancy test is specifically made to test for pregnancy, and ovulation tests monitor ovulation — that’s what they’re best at.

Two lines on an ovulation test are not a positive result because the female body has varying levels of LH during its cycle.

If the line is dark (or darker than the control line), you have a positive result. This only means you will be ovulating within about 36 hours.

It is important to note that if you have a positive ovulation test five days in a row, you could be pregnant. You should either get a reliable pregnancy test or visit your nearest clinic or doctor for a pregnancy test.

Can Pregnancy Affect the Results of an Ovulation Test?

It is possible to get a positive result on an ovulation test if you’re pregnant. But, it’s also possible to get a negative test result and be pregnant.

Note that the protein in hCG and LH look similar, and no ovulation test can distinguish between the two, so the test can be positive when you’re actually pregnant.

How Accurate Are Ovulation Tests?

Ovulation tests are suitable for the purpose they were made for - checking ovulation of the female body. They are very precise and can detect an increase in LH levels with an accuracy of more than 97%.

However, for the most reliable ovulation monitoring, it’s recommended that you use other methods in addition to ovulation tests.

Ovulation tests aren't the best action to take when you want to know if you’re pregnant. Even the best ovulation test, such as Clearblue, won’t be able to detect and provide you with accurate and reliable information on whether or not you’re pregnant.

Will an Ovulation Test Be Negative if Pregnant?

Even the best ovulation tests can still produce a false negative. That’s why it’s important to use other methods to complement the way you’re monitoring your ovulation and fertility window.