Monitoring your ovulation to get pregnant: If you are having problems in getting pregnant, it would be a good idea to monitor your ovulation. There are various types of ovulation tests available in the market nowadays.
Ovulation is what runs a woman’s chances of getting pregnant high because it is by virtue of ovulation that an egg releases from one of the ovaries that then waits to be fertilised by a sperm. Women who have been trying to get pregnant must first try to monitor their ovulation cycle before laying out the action plan to get pregnant including everything else i.e. a strict diet dominated by fertility foods, moderate exercises, reduced stress, prenatal vitamins, etc.
[Read: Tips to Conceive]
Below mentioned are the different ways in which ovulation can be monitored in the comfort of your home.
Mark a Calendar
- Use a day planner or another type of planner to mark the day your periods are likely to begin.
- Track the number of days your period lasts.
- Ovulation mostly starts at the midpoint of the cycle. If you have a cycle that lasts 28 days, your ovulation will start 14 days after the day the last period began.
Monitor your Cervical Mucus
Just before you ovulate, you will notice an increase in vaginal secretions that are clear and slippery in nature. These secretions will be in the consistency of egg whites. It is when the secretions are sticky and transparent that you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. When you are nearing the days when there is little chance of you getting pregnant, the vaginal secretions will turn cloudy and sticky or just disappear altogether. To check your cervical mucus:
- Wash your hands and allow them to dry.
- Insert your middle finger or index finger into your vagina and try to reach up to the cervix.
- When you pull your finger out, you would notice transparent fluid over it.
- Try to press the fluid between the thumb and your index/middle finger and try to pull it apart slowly.
Basal Body Temperature
You can also check your basal body temperature or BBT, to monitor ovulation. You could test your BBT with the help of basal thermometer. The thermometer will indicate whenever there has been an increase in the body’s temperature, thereby signalling that ovulation has occurred. A basal thermometer can be easily found in any drug store or hypermarket. You will notice a spike of between 0.5 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. You may follow these steps of measuring BBT:
- Take your body’s temperature in the morning before getting out of bed. Anything can get your BBT to increase. Therefore, it is important to be wary of any other symptoms along with the increase in body’s temperature.
- Take the body’s temperature the same time every day.
- Ensure that when you wake up in the morning or before you take the temperature, you have slept for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Once you take the temperature, record the date, time and the temperature.
- Also record circumstances such as you replacing the thermometer, there being a change in climate or room temperature, you sleeping under a warm blanket, etc.
By knowing the state of your ovulation, you can understand when you are the most fertile. You can get pregnant by monitoring your ovulation with the help of ovulation kits along with fertility monitors as they reveal the best time to conceive. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman has the LH hormone, also called luteinizing hormone, in her urine 24—48 hours before she ovulates. It is this LH surge that triggers ovulation and can be checked with the help of an ovulation kit, which when dipped in the urine tells if the woman is ovulating or not. While they are more accurate in giving us the results compared with checking of basal body temperature or checking the cervical mucus, the only drawback of these is that they are much more expensive.
The best Time to Monitor Ovulation
The American Pregnancy Association says that there is no particular time when one can monitor ovulation. Although, it is popularly believed that the first morning urine can be used to test for ovulation, the American Pregnancy Associations suggests that such is not required and that a woman can test for the LH hormone whenever she chooses to i.e. at any time of the day.
[Read: How to Get Pregnant Naturally]
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration say that the saliva test is not so accurate as the urine test when it comes to predicting ovulation. By virtue of this test, one may be able to predict whether she is ovulating or not by looking the patterns that the saliva forms. Saliva kit costs even more than ovulation kit. But the advantage in using it is that it can be used for one year. When the oestrogen levels increase by the time you are close to the time of ovulation, the dried up saliva may form the shape of a fern. The saliva test for testing ovulation is a qualitative test i.e. while the test will tell you if you are ovulating or not, it will not, however, tell you that you are not definitely pregnant. To do the test:
- You will need a small microscope with built-in or removable slides.
- Drain some of your saliva and place in on the glass slide, let it dry and wait for the formation of a pattern on the slide.
- When the saliva dries, you will see circles and dots, a full or partial fern. It may be a combination depending on which part of the monthly cycle you are in.
The test will be accurate as long as it is used within 5-day period i.e. around the time that you are expecting to ovulate. This test may not work for you because according to the FDA:
- Not all women fern
- Not all women can see the fern
- Women who indeed fern in some of their fertile days, they do not necessarily fern in all their fertile days.
- Whether a woman ferns or not depends on various factors. For instance, ferning may be hindered by brushing teeth, eating, smoking, how the saliva is put on the slide and your environment.
The best way to monitor ovulation more accurately is by keeping a journal where you would record the everyday happenings inside your body as they occur. The upside to this practice is that you would be more informed about your body when you visit your gynaecologist for any query.
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