How to check if you are ovulating |
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How to check if you are ovulating

Timing is everything

11 january 2012 |

When it comes to getting pregnant, the key is ovulation. If you can pinpoint the time of it, you greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. Pinpointing ovulation can be a simple process or a tricky one, depending on your body.

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The good news is that all women will have signs that they can look for to show them they are ovulating. All you have to do is find these signs. Below you will find the simplest methods that you can use to check if you are ovulating.

Check The Calendar

Most women will ovulate halfway through their menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle lasts approximately 28 days: conception most often occurs between the 12th and 16th days. There is however a wide range when it comes to a normal menstrual cycle and this can be anywhere from 25 to 35 days.

You will need to keep a menstrual calendar for a couple of months so that you can gauge what is normal for you. If you have irregular periods you will need to use different methods to check when you are ovulating.

Chart Your Temperature

Another way to check if you are ovulating is to chart your basal body temperature (BBT). All you need for this is a simple thermometer: take your temperature first thing in the morning, before leaving your bed. The results will show you when you are ovulating, because your BBT changes throughout your menstrual cycle as hormone levels fluctuate.

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During the first half of your menstrual cycle, estrogen will dominate. During the second half, once ovulation has occurred, there will be a surge in progesterone.

Progesterone increases your body temperature and gets your uterus ready for a fertilized egg. Your BBT will reach its lowest point at ovulation and then rise about half a degree as soon as ovulation occurs.

Charting your BBT for over a few months will help you to see a pattern in your menstrual cycles. This will allow you to predict when ovulation will occur in future months.

woman thermometer

Know Your Cervix

Your body gives you signs that ovulation is about to occur. One detectable sign of ovulation is the position of your cervix. At the beginning of your cycle, your cervix is low, hard and closed. As you approach ovulation, your cervix pulls back up, softens and opens just a little, to allow sperm through. You can check the position of your cervix daily, using one of two fingers, and keep a note of the changes.

An increase in cervical mucus is another sign that ovulation is near. The texture and amount change during the cycle, so check in the morning, after a thorough handwash, to see what stage it is in. Right before ovulation the mucus is completely clear and strechy, similar in texture to a raw egg-white. After ovulation it changes almost immediately, loses it’s stretchiness, and becomes dryer and more opaque, as well as decreasing in amount. It will remain this way until the next period.

Ovulation Predictor Kits

ovulation predictor kitThis method involves spending money. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK) can be used to pinpoint your ovulation date 12 to 24 hours before the event. This is done by looking at the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation. All you have to do is pee on a stick and wait for the indicator in your OPK to tell you whether you’re about to ovulate. This is a very simple procedure and if you don’t want to mess around with mucus or check your cervix to see if it has changed this is a great choice.

You can only conceive around the time of ovulation. This is a small window of opportunity that you have each month. There is a time frame of approximately 12 to 24 hours during which your egg is viable. Sperm live for much longer than your egg and this can be up to six days. This means that even if you have sex a few days before ovulation you could still have plenty of sperm inside you to fertilize the egg when it emerges. Having sex the day you ovulate is ideal so clearly knowing when ovulation occurs is key.

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