Infertility is a problem that a number of couples face today. Sometimes, however, to get successful results, all that’s needed is a little planning. For instance, some women have charted their menstrual cycle and pinpointed the ideal time to have a baby. How is this done?
There are several ways to accomplish this task. One way is by examining the cervical mucus. Ok, let’s be big girls and get over the yuck factor because this has proven to be a very good way to predict the time of ovulation. The mucus has several purposes: when not ovulating, it blocks the sperm from the uterus; but as ovulation approaches, there is a release of extra mucus that carries the sperm to the egg when the time is right. At this point - when women are most fertile - even the look and texture of the mucus changes.
The medical website WebMD gives an example of what to look for. Keep in mind that this may vary from person to person. That’s why it is advisable that each individual do a check on a daily basis with tissue. After an examination is done, write it down so as to keep up with changes in order to know the best time to get pregnant. See the list below.
• Days 1-5: Menstruation occurs.
• Days 6-9: Vagina is dry with little to no mucus.
• Days 10-12: Sticky, thick mucus appears, gradually becoming less thick and whiter.
• Days 13-15: Mucus becomes thin, slippery, stretchy, and clear, similar to the consistency of egg whites. This is the most fertile stage.
• Days 16-21: Mucus becomes sticky and thick again.
• Days 22-28: Vagina becomes dry.
Ovulation Prediction Kits
If the above seems a little too difficult or messy, then try an ovulation predictor kit or OPK. They are a pretty effective way of pinpointing the time of ovulation, even if you’re irregular. This item can be purchased at a drugstore. However, women who have elevated levels of leutinizing hormones (LH) on a regular basis due to polycystic ovary syndrome may not find this alternative reliable since raised LH levels are what OPKs measure.
Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer and an advocate for at-risk children and families in Tennessee.