Predicting ovulation is vital to successful conception. Ovulation is the release of a single, mature egg from the ovarian follicle following a Leutinising Hormone (LH) surge. When this egg or ovum is fertilized and implanted, it results in pregnancy. Knowledge of the when you ovulate can be very useful for women who are trying to conceive.
There are various methods used to predict ovulation. The best way to determine if you are ovulating is to pay attention to your body and learn to spot the signs that ovulation is imminent.
The first day of your cycle begins on first day of bleeding. Count from that day until your next period. If you see a regular pattern, you can determine ovulation from the 11th to 14th day of your next period. Note that, to use this method, you must know how long your cycle usually lasts. Our ovulation calendar works well to pinpoint when you are ovulating for those who have regular cycles.
Change in cervical mucus.
As your cycle progresses, your cervical mucus increases in volume and changes texture. The greater volume and changes in texture reflect your body’s rising levels of estrogen. You are considered most fertile when the cervical mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy. Many women compare mucus at this stage to raw egg whites. When it reaches this stage, you will be ovulating soon so you should consider having sex with your partner if you want to get pregnant.
Lower abdominal discomfort.
About one-fifth of women actually feel when they ovulate, which can range from mild achiness to twinges of pain in the lower abdomen. The condition, called Mittelschmerz (German for “middle-pain”), may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and it could indicate that you are ovulating. If the pain is more than mild or lasts for a longer period of time, you should not assume that it ovulation related.
A Rise in Body Temperature.
Following ovulation, your temperature can increase by 0.5 to 1.6 degrees. You won’t feel the shift, but you can detect it by using a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer. This temperature spike indicates that you’ve ovulated, releasing an egg and stimulating the production of the hormone progesterone which raises body temperature. It’s important to note, that this method does not predict the time of ovulation but can only help you in knowing whether you have already ovulated or not. This method works best when you have charted for multiple months.
Ovulation Tests / Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation tests work by detecting the pre-ovulation LH Surge in your body. These are very popular, can be used at home and allow you to predict, with great accuracy, when you will be ovulating.
Clearly, the dynamics of the menstruation differ greatly among women. Length and regularity of the cycle may vary between women or for a particular woman over time. However, if your menstrual cycle occurs more frequently than every 21 days – or if your cycle is longer than 35 days, your cycle can be considered a bit irregular. If it consistently lasts more than 45 days, you may want to talk to your doctor. An irregular cycle or missed period is not necessarily a sign of a medical issue and can be influenced by diet, stress, and increase in physical activity, or illness. However, prolonged irregularities can indicate irregular ovulation, or anovulation (no ovulating at all). In such cases, contact your doctor to set up an appointment.