Are you ovulating?
Your preparations for pregnancy have started! You have checked you are eating healthy, fertility-boosting foods, you have stopped smoking and consuming alcohol and you are taking the necessary supplements, such as folate and vitamin D. The average woman ovulates on the 14th day after her last period, with the average cycle lasting 28 days. It is known that you are more likely to get pregnant if you have sex a 1-2 days or so before or after ovulation. So, checking when you are ovulating and continuing to check this for several subsequent cycles seems the next thing to do. Here are 5 ways to check you are ovulating.
You normally ovulate 14 days before your next period, so if your periods occur every 28 days then you should ovulate on approximately day 14 of your cycle. Similarly, if your cycles are 31 days long you should ovulate on approximately day 17.
For this, you should take your temperature first thing in the morning before getting up. This is called your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). Release of the hormones which effect ovulation cause a slight dip followed by a slight rise (up to 0.5 degree C) in BBT so charting your temperature throughout the month should tell you when ovulation is occurring. Natural Cycles is a great app for charting your temperature.
Cervical mucus is an indicator of ovulation. Examine your cervical mucus on a tissue and you will see that the consistency changes from the beginning of the month until around the middle of the month, when the mucus appears clear and can be stretched between the thumb and forefinger.
Around the time of ovulation, many women experience pain lasting a short while on one side of the back or stomach (Mittelschmerz) which coincides with release of an egg from the Fallopian tubes. Cramps, breast tenderness and mood changes can also be signs of ovulation.
Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) are useful tests to help you decide when ovulation is occurring. These stick tests measure the levels of luteinising hormone in your urine, which reaches a peak approximately 12 hours before you ovulate and remains at this level for up to approximately 24 hours. The test should be used to measure your urine LH levels at the same time each day. It’s best to test in the morning when the level is concentrated in the urine. Check out Babycentre for reviews of the best kits.
Fertility Monitors are able to predict the five days when you are most likely to be fertile (high fertility). They identify the time around ovulation (peak fertility) by digitally measuring the levels of LH and oestrogen in urine. These are more accurate but also more expensive than the other methods. Clearblue monitors can pinpoint your two most fertile days!
Are you trying to conceive? We have a team of fertility experts across Surrey, ready to support you in your fertility journey.