Some birth control methods, like combined oral contraceptives, the patch, the vaginal ring, the implant, and injectables, work primarily by suppressing ovulation. If you’re using an ovulation-suppressing method of birth control, you would not experience an LH surge because ovulation is not happening. Using ovulation tests while on these birth control methods is not recommended, but they can be a useful tool if you are transitioning off these methods and want to learn more about your menstrual cycle.
Other birth control methods work to prevent pregnancy in other ways and you may continue to ovulate — examples of this are the hormonal IUD, and mini-pill (aka the progestin-only pill), which primarily work by inducing changes in cervical mucus so sperm cannot get past the cervix. Some women who use hormonal IUDs or the mini-pill won’t ovulate, but others will. If you use one of these three methods, you can use ovulation tests to learn more about your body and your cycles, including whether you are ovulating. Keep in mind, however, that IUDs are extremely effective contraceptives, and you will likely not be able to conceive around ovulation if you currently have an IUD.
The last common method, the copper IUD, doesn’t affect ovulation. If you’re using the copper IUD, you can use the ovulation test.