Ovulation and why knowing when you ovulate is important
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. Knowing when you ovulate is very important, when you are trying to conceive.
Every month there is a short fertile window around time of ovulation that conception can occur. Outside this window, conception is unlikely to occur, no matter how many times you have intercourse.
How can I tell if I'm ovulating?
Your body actually wants you to know when your fertile time is and gives you certain signs and signals that you can read. The signs are quite subtle and easy to miss.
There are four easy ways to tell if you're ovulating and when
- Changes in cervical mucus
- A rise in body temperature
- Keeping a record of your monthly cycle.
- Using ovulation predictor test kits
We will go into these in more detail below
1) Changes in cervical mucus
Around the time of ovulation there are changes in your cervical mucus which increases in quantity and becomes clear, slippery, and stringy and is often described as being of egg white consistency. The medical term for this fertile cervical mucus is spinnbarkeit.
Why does the cervical mucus change during ovulation?
The changes in cervical mucus are caused by changes in your hormone levels around the time of ovulation. This is a very good indication that you are either ovulating or about to ovulate.
The changes in the cervical mucus are to make it easier for the sperm to penetrate through it, enter through the cervix, and swim up to the egg. This sign can be easily missed if you are having regular intercourse as the consistency of sperm can be similar.
After ovulation the cervical mucus under the influence of progesterone will return to being thicker, and is not easily penetrated by sperm.
2) A rise in body temperature
Just before you ovulate your body temperature will rise slightly. The temperature needs to be measured first thing in the morning on rising. You can chart your temperature on a daily basis, using a BBT thermometer and charts. If you do it over several months you will build up a picture of when you ovulate.
3) Keeping a record of your monthly cycle
This is the simplest method and for many women with regular cycles this is all they will need to do.
You need to keep a record of each monthly cycle, over several months so that you know how long your cycle is. You will then be able to predict when you period is due.
You ovulate 14 days before your period occurs so knowing your cycle length allows you to predict your fertile window. You can do this very easily on a wall calendar or using an app on your phone.
This method works best for women with regular monthly cycles. If your menstrual cycle is irregular and unpredictable this method may not work well for you.
4) Using ovulation predictor test kits
This is a very popular method to know when you are ovulating and useful for women who have less predictable monthly cycles. Ovulation predictor kits work by measuring a the level of a hormone Luteinising Hormone ( known as LH for short )in your urine that increases just prior to ovulation. By measuring the LH levels in your urine you can predict when ovulation is about to occur.
There are lots of different types of ovulation predictor kits available but they all work by measuring LH levels in urine.
Our ovulation test strips are the cheapest type of ovulation test kit that you can buy but just as accurate at predicting ovulation as more expensive brands. Because there is less packaging they are much cheaper to manufacture and less bulky to transport, making them friendlier to your purse and the planet.
We hope you've found this information helpful. Any questions please leave them in comments, and I will happy to answer them.
Dr Kate Garside