Getting pregnant isn’t as easy as you might think. The key is to get lots of healthy sperm in the presence of a high-quality egg so one of them fertilizes it.
This process seems simple but, in fact, most female eggs only “live” for about 12- to 24-hours before being reabsorbed by the body, making it a bit challenging from month-to-month.
5 Signs You’re About to Ovulate or You Already Have
Knowing the signs of ovulation is important when you’re trying to conceive. Here are 5 of the easiest signs to detect so you can plan your “conception strategies” accordingly.
Trying to get pregnant? Read, Timing Matters: How to Increase Your Odds of Conception.
1) You’re 14-days away from your period
Your menstrual cycle begins the first day you have your period, and lasts until the day before you start the next period. If you chart this cycle for a few months, you’ll begin to see a pattern. Most menstrual cycles last between 25- and 35-days. If this is the case for you, you probably ovulate around 14-days before your period starts.
2) Pair menstrual calendaring with basal body temperature
Your body temperature spikes a bit when you ovulate. This spike is measurable via special Basal Body Thermometers, available at most drug stores. Basal body temperatures (BBT) are sensitive to the .10 (tenth) of a degree, and must be taken daily, upon waking in the morning, and before you so much as put a toe out of bed.
Tracking your BBT is similar to tracking a menstrual cycle in that you’ll notice distinct patterns. If you see the spike usually occurs on day-12 or -16 of your cycle, you know to begin having intercourse the day or two before that so sperm are ready to meet your egg when she arrives.
3) Cervical mucous resembles egg whites
The cervix plays an important role in your fertility health, including making mucous that protects the cervix from infection, and invites sperm inside when you’re close to ovulating.
Keep track of the discharge on your underwear or reach gently inside to extract some of the mucous from your vagina throughout your cycle and begin noting the differences. When you’re ready to ovulate, cervical mucous is thicker, stringy, elastic and looks similar to egg whites.
4) An Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) says so
The body gives us lots of signs ovulation is about to happen – like breast tenderness, fluid retention, appetite or mood changes, and the above-mentioned change in cervical mucous. However, these are significantly less reliable than an over-the-counter OPK that tests your luteinizing hormone (LH) levels and tells you, almost without fail, you’re going to ovulate in the next 24- to 48-hours or so.
5) Breast tenderness and/or mild pelvic discomfort
Your breasts may be an ovulation barometer as they often get more sensitive, may swell and/or can become tender right before and after you ovulate. Some women can also feel a slightly uncomfortable sensation in their pelvis after the egg is released, but this might mean you’ve missed the fertile window if your egg has expired in the meantime.
Are you planning to get pregnant or in the process of trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully? Schedule an appointment with the all-women team here at Women’s Health Associates and we’ll support you as you’re trying to conceive as well as through your pregnancy, labor and delivery.