Sponsored by: The Stork® OTC
When a couple wants to get pregnant, there are many things they can do to increase their chances. There is only a small window during a woman's monthly cycle when conception can occur so it's important to own your body and educate yourself on the facts.
Eating healthy and taking supplements are great ways to start getting your body ready for pregnancy. But it’s also essential to know the timing of your cycles, including ovulation, which is the most important day for conception. The day of ovulation ranges anywhere from Day 12 to Day 16 of your menstrual cycle. Every woman's body is different.
In addition to knowing your body, there are several different approaches you can take to track ovulation.
1) Ovulation predictor kits
Just as your urine is used with an over-the-counter pregnancy test, it is also used to detect ovulation with ovulation predictor kits. These can be bought at a local drugstore or online. OPKs test for a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge, which increases during ovulation and triggers your body to release an egg.
2) Cervical mucus method
You must become very clued in to how your body acts if you want to track ovulation by cervical mucus. With this method, you check your cervical mucus a few times a day and keep track of it to determine your cycle timing.
Throughout your menstrual cycle, cervical mucus can vary in consistency and color. When your cervical mucus becomes wet and slippery or similar to egg white, this is an indication of ovulation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Ovulation most likely occurs during or one day after your last day of this type of cervical secretion — known as your peak day.”
When you have finished ovulating, your vaginal discharge will dry up or become thick again.
3) Basal body temperature method
This method requires more time and commitment. You will first need to purchase a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer, which is different from a regular thermometer. Next, you need to take your temperature at the same time every morning, before getting out of bed or making much movement.
There are several apps you can use to track your BBT, or you can print off a chart online and track it manually.
Note that taking your BBT at a different waking time, can affect your results, as can stress, travel, illness and alcohol consumption, so it's important to stick to the same schedule as much as possible.
Once you see that your temperature has a significant rise or a spike, you will be able to track when you ovulated. Your temperature spikes right after ovulation.
The key thing to know is that you’re most fertile two to three days before ovulation. Since, sperm can survive inside you for up to five days and the egg must be fertilized within 24 hours of ovulation, there is a tricky bit of timing required to be successful with this method.
After ovulation your temperature will remain higher until you start a new cycle. As time goes on and you continue to track your cycles, you should see a spike in your temperature at the same time in your monthly cycle, which will help you to plan accordingly.
4) Calendar or rhythm method
A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 to 32 days on average, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, cycles vary among women, and some have longer or shorter cycles.
With the rhythm method, you use a calendar to count the days of your menstrual cycle and determine the time of ovulation. Think of the first day of your most recent period as day 1. Typically women ovulate between day 11 and day 21 when they count from day 1 of their most recent period.
Since your menstrual cycles can vary, track them for a few months to get a better idea of timing. Luckily there are several apps and tools available to help you keep track.
5) Symptothermal method
The symptothermal method uses multiple ovulation tracking methods at once, combining the calendar, cervical mucus and temperature methods to help detect ovulation. This approach can be helpful because it gathers information from a variety of methods. It’s also a great way for women to become more aware of their bodies overall.
Before seeking the help of a doctor to become pregnant, be aware that there are plenty of methods you can use to track ovulation within your own home first.
It might take a few months to learn how to work with your body, including tracking with your BBT or tracking your cervical mucus, however when coupled with OPKs, you should be off to a great start.
If you are trying for a baby and are still having trouble even after tracking your ovulation, know there are options available to optimize your chances of conception.
The Stork® OTC is one over-the-counter, non-invasive product that may help. Using cervical cap insemination, The Stork® OTC captures sperm and delivers a sperm score concentration to the cervix that is 3.23 times higher than that which occurs via natural intercourse, according to their clinical study.
To learn more, visit: www.storkotc.com/
Reviewed November 5, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) 8 Ways to Test for Ovulation. Momtastic. Accessed 11/3/16.
2) Understanding Ovulation. American Pregnancy Association. Accessed 11/3/16.
3) Tests and Procedures Cervical mucus method for natural family planning. MayoClinic.com. Accessed 11/4/16.