The chances of successful conception are higher when you know your fertile period. Ovulation in women is a phase of the female menstrual cycle that involves the release of an egg (ovum) from one of the ovaries. New life begins if the ovum meets with a sperm during its journey down the fallopian tube.
Ovulation generally occurs about two weeks before the start of the menstrual period. For most women, ovulation occurs about once every month until menopause, apart from when they are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, some women experience irregular ovulation or no ovulation at all and they can be helped by reproductive technologies.
Having sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation means that the sperm and ovum have a good chance of meeting in the fallopian tube because the cervical mucus being secreted aids the movement of the sperm and propels it to meet the released egg and therefore enhance conception. In the other hand, knowledge of your ovulation period can naturally help prevent pregnancy.
Keep a menstrual cycle calendar for a few months so you can get an idea of what’s normal for you. If your menstrual cycle is not regular, then you have to depend on other ovulation signs. The female body shows several signs of ovulation and you may experience some or all of these signs, including:
Changes in cervical fluid
The cervical fluid that resembles egg whites is a sign that you are near ovulation or are ovulating. Every woman can experience her own type of cervical fluid, and not all cervical fluid looks the same. Ovulation takes place on the day a woman has the most amount of wet fluid. Pre-ovulation, the body starts to produce more estrogen, the sticky fluid may thin and look cloudy and eventually, it gets slippery and begins to look like egg whites. On the day of ovulation, any notice that their cervical fluid is very wet and viscous. A person may be able to stretch the fluid an inch or more between their fingers.
Changes in basal body temperature
For most women, you will see that prior to ovulation the basal body temperature is rather consistent. As you get closer to ovulation, you may have a slight decline, but it will be followed by a sharp increase after ovulation. The increase in temperature is the sign that ovulation has just occurred. Tracking your basal body temperature accurately over a few months can help you predict when ovulation is going to occur.
Other ovulation symptoms may include
- Light spotting
- You may feel a slight twinge of pain or mild cramps in your lower abdomen
- Your sex drive may increase
- Breast tenderness
- Abdominal bloating
- Heightened sense of smell, taste or vision.
Use of ovulation predictor kits
Ovulation test strips are urine-based tests that you use at home to detect impending ovulation. Ovulation predictor kits work by detecting the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. As ovulation approaches, LH spikes in order to push the egg into the final stages of maturity. This spike of LH is called the LH surge. About 36 hours after the LH surge, ovulation occurs.
Make sure you read the instructions of your particular ovulation predictor kit, since there may be slight variations on how they work.
Generally, an ovulation predictor kit comes with a set of test strips or sticks.
You should begin using the tests about two days before you expect to ovulate. If your cycles are irregular, you should test according to the earliest and latest dates you’d expect to ovulate. You either pee on the extended tip of the pregnancy-test-like version, or you pee in a cup and then carefully dip the test strip into your urine.
Ovulation predictor kits have two lines; one line is the control line. This just lets you know that the test was used properly and is working. The second line is the test line. When the test line is as dark or darker than the control line, LH is surging. This is when you should start having baby-making sex.
If you test for five days, you have an 80% chance of predicting ovulation. If you test for 10 days, you have a 95% chance of predicting ovulation.