Timing is crucial: Some critical thoughts on using LH tests to determine women's current fertility

Lobmaier, Janek; Bachofner, Laura M. (2018). Timing is crucial: Some critical thoughts on using LH tests to determine women's current fertility. Hormones and behavior, 106, A2-A3. Elsevier 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.07.005

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Naturally cycling women reportedly go through a variety of psychological and behavioural changes over menstrual cycle. Evolutionary informed scholars have interpreted such changes as maximising reproductive success. However, concerns have been raised regarding this ovulatory shift hypothesis, since recent studies have yielded inconsistent findings. We suggest that the inconsistent findings regarding the ovulatory shift hypothesis
may result from a too simplistic definition of the fertile window. Presently, most studies use LH tests to determine the fertile window. The problem with this “gold standard” is that it builds on the misconception that fertility peaks with ovulation and that ovulation regularly occurs 24 to 48 hours after the LH surge. While commercially available urinary LH test strips are a cheap and easy way to reliably detect LH surges, the LH surge itself marks the impending end of the fertile window. So if women are invited to the laboratory after the LH surge (as is often done for practical reasons) there is a high probability of misclassifying women as fertile when in fact the fertile window has already closed. We discuss possible advancements that may help to increase the accuracy and reliability of determining a woman's individual fertile window, during which any adaptive changes that increase the chance of reproduction should be best observable.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology > Biologische Psychologie (SNF) [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Lobmaier, Janek


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Janek Lobmaier

Date Deposited:

13 Aug 2018 09:56

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 21:44

Publisher DOI:






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