The Benefits of Tracking Your Ovulation
Getting the Timing Right
If you’re trying to get pregnant, timing is everything. Did you know there is a best time to conceive? It’s called the fertile window. But how do you identify your fertile window? Read on to find out.
The Fertile Window
What is the fertile window? It’s the days during a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. Pregnancy is only possible during the five days before ovulation to the day of ovulation. These six days are known as the fertile window in a woman’s cycle, reflecting the lifespan of a man’s sperm and the lifespan of the female egg. For example, if you were to have sex six or more days before you ovulate, your chances of conceiving would be slim to none. But if you were to have intercourse five days before you ovulate, your chances of pregnancy increases to 10%.
During that time, your chances of pregnancy increase steadily until two days before, including the day of ovulation. You are actually the most fertile in the three days leading up to ovulation, including the day of ovulation. At the end of the window, the chances of getting pregnant decrease and by 12 to 24 hours after ovulating, you are no longer able to conceive during that cycle. But if you’re not sure when your fertile window begins and ends, or when you ovulate, it’s recommended to have sex every two to three days to help optimize your chances of getting pregnant.
Tracking Your Ovulation
Ovulation is when a matured egg is released from the ovary and fertilized in the fallopian tube. In order to track your ovulation, you need to work out the length of your average menstrual cycle. Day one of your menstrual cycle is the first day of your period, and the last day of your cycle is the day before the next period begins. About two weeks before the next expected period, ovulation occurs. For example, if your menstrual cycle is 28 days between periods, you would ovulate around day 14 of your cycle. However, if you have longer cycles, let’s say 35 days between periods, ovulation would occur on day 21, making your most fertile days 19, 20 and 21. Depending on the length of your menstrual cycle, the most fertile days for intercourse vary in the cycle.
The Signs of Ovulation
Women’s cycles are not all the same and in many cases can be irregular. The best way to know if you are ovulating, and on which day, is to take note of any fertility signs during your cycle. Below are some of the ways to know when you are ovulating.
● Changes in Your Mucus
One of the best signs indicating that ovulation is taking place is if there are any changes in your vagina’s mucus. If you notice that your vagina’s mucus is clear, slippery and has the texture of an egg white, it’s a sign you are ovulating.
● Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Keeping track of your BBT can help you work out your ovulation pattern. You can record your BBT by acquiring a specialized thermometer and using it daily before getting out of bed for an accurate measurement. By writing down your temperature, you can see when your ovulation occurred by the rise in temperature. Your BBT increases about half a degree Celsius after ovulation has occurred. Although this may not help you identify your exact fertile window, it can help guide you and figure out your ovulation pattern for next month.
● Ovulation Predictor Kit
To ensure you are ovulating, you can use an ovulation predictor kit. You can start testing your kit a couple days before the day of ovulation. You can figure it out by subtracting 17 days from your average cycle length and start testing from that day. If your ovulation predictor kit yields a positive result, it means you are going to ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
Find a Fertility Specialist in New York
Timing is everything. If you need help tracking your ovulation, NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York can help. Our fertility specialists can help you and your partner with the timing of your intercourse. We’ll help monitor your ovulation with blood and urine tests to help determine when it will take place. For more information about your ovulation and fertility, contact us today to schedule an appointment.