When trying to conceive there are all sorts of new terms, phrases, and even products at the pharmacy you didn’t even know existed. You’ll likely find yourself taking your temperature first thing in the morning to determine your basal body temperature and spending more time than ever thought you would in the “Family Planning” aisle at the drug store perusing various ovulation predictor kits. In the article “How long does an LH surge last? The Luteinizing Hormone is a Big Deal,” Romper talked to Eric D. Levens, M.D., of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annandale, VA location to find out what these tests/kits are designed to tell us about how long a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge lasts and why it’s so important if you’re trying to conceive.

The average couple ages 35 years or younger has, at most, about a 20 percent chance of conceiving naturally each month. Typically, that 20 percent chance decreases with age. Since many couples are waiting longer to build their families, knowing and understanding the timing of ovulation and the LH surge, is really important.

Ovulation and the LH Surge

Ovulation is the time during your monthly cycle when it is possible to conceive. Using an over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit (OPK), you can test your urine to help detect when the LH surge is approaching. If you can pinpoint when the LH surge happens, you can estimate that ovulation will happen in the next 30 hours. Getting the timing right is crucial to conceiving during that small time frame each month. It’s important to focus on having sex once a peak is detected or schedule an insemination, the article states.

Dr. Levens tells Romper, “the endogenous LH surge lasts approximately 12 to 24 hours, and the onset precedes ovulation by approximately 36 hours.” While the focus is oftentimes on the female partner, Levens cautions not to forget about the sperm. He says, “Because sperm can survive for upwards of a week in the fallopian tube, avoiding intercourse during the LH surge alone is not sufficient to provide contraception.”

The article closes with the perfect bit of advice: “Fertility can be a tricky thing to figure out. But, getting to know your body and the way it operates can help you to take control of your fertility.”

If you’ve been having unprotected intercourse without conceiving for over a year and are 35 or younger, or 6 months if you are over 35, it may be time to see a fertility specialist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Eric Levens call 1-877-971-7755 to speak with a representative in our New Patient Center.

At Shady Grove Fertility, we’re here to give you the caring support you deserve as you start or grow your family. As a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence, we offer patients individualized careinnovative financial optionsover 30 accepted insurance plans, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. We offer patients the convenience of 19 full-service and 6 satellite locations across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 physicians choose Shady Grove Fertility to refer their patients, and more than 96 percent of our patients say they would recommend Shady Grove Fertility’s 35+ physicians to a friend. With 10 Shady Grove Fertility babies born each day, your dream of starting or growing your family is within reach.