As it is not possible to become pregnant outside of your fertile 2-3 days each cycle, which is around ovulation. It is therefore very important that you know when you are ovulating. Ovulation typically occurs around day 14 of your menstrual cycle. Count the first day of your last period as day 1. There are some natural changes in a female body that indicate when your pre-ovulation days are. Knowing about these changes can help your chances of conceiving.
Ovulation to Conception
Methods of ovulation prediction
Before seeking a doctor’s advice, try the following methods of ovulation prediction.
Basal body temperature method
Your body temperature at rest (basal body temperature) rises very slightly after ovulation has occurred. This increase is as a result of a rise in the hormone progestogen. To detect this temperature increase, you have to take your temperature at about the same time everyday BEFORE you get out of bed and BEFORE you consume any fluids or food. You should begin checking your temperature on the first day of your period and continue throughout the month. Keep a record of your temperature for several months so you can see if there is a pattern to your cycle.
A rise in temperature by 0.2ºc to 0.4ºc suggests that you have ovulated sometime in the last few days. It is important that you understand this means you have missed your most fertile time. If you have regular cycles, you can use this method to ‘predict’ which day you will ovulate in your next cycle. This method should only be used as a general guideline as many other factors can affect your body temperature. There are special thermometers available called ‘basal thermometers’, which make reading this rise in temperature easier.
Checking your cervical mucus
The cells lining the cervix produce mucus. The appearance of this mucus ( vaginal discharge) changes as hormone levels rise to prepare your body for ovulation. You can check your cervical mucus change using, either your fingers or toilet paper, wiped over the entrance to the vagina .
In the early part of the cycle, the mucus is thick and sticky. As ovulation approaches, the mucus thins and becomes clear. When it is in this state, it is easy for sperm to pass through the cervix. The mucus stage, just before ovulation usually only lasts about 2-3 days and most women can learn to recognise it.
There are usually 3 stages in the change of mucus during your cycle and these are the changes you need to be aware of when checking your cervical mucus, they are as follows: –
You should be aware that changes in your mucus may also be a result of an infection. If you notice anything different from what is usual for you or if a strong smell is present, you should consult your doctor or local G.U.M. clinic for advice.
Ovulation prediction kits
Ovulation predictor kits are available to use in the privacy of your own home. The kits detect the ‘L.H. surge’ that occurs in your body before ovulation begins and so helps to work out the best time for intercourse. Once the ‘L.H. surge’ has occurred, ovulation will usually follow in the next 24 – 48 hours. Ovulation tests are the most reliable and accurate method of predicting your most fertile days.