How to Detect Ovulation

Do you have the desire to get pregnant but aren’t sure when to start trying? It’s fun to work on getting pregnant but can get frustrating if the end goal of pregnancy is not reached month after month. A way to help you conceive sooner is by being able to detect when you are ovulating and schedule intercourse around that to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant. Not only can you use your ovulation knowledge to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, but you can also use it as a means of birth control and avoid intercourse or use protection during that time. Here are some ways to help you to detect when you will ovulate.

What is ovulation? Ovulation is when an egg, and occasionally more than one, is released from your ovary. This is the most fertile time of the month for a woman. Each month, an egg matures and grows inside one of the ovaries and when it reaches a certain size, it is released into the fallopian tubes and moves towards the uterus.

Be familiar with your menstrual cycle. You can find and use an ovulation calculator online to help determine the time range for when you will ovulate. Determine when your next period is due and count back 12 to 16 days. This is when you will most likely ovulate. Women who have a 28-day cycle often ovulate on the fourteenth day.

A change in your cervical mucus. As you get further into your cycle, and the estrogen level rises, the cervical mucus changes texture and increases in volume. You are most fertile when the cervical mucus is comparable to an egg white–clear, stretchy, and slippery. This increase in mucus and change in texture allows the sperm to get through the cervix to meet up with the released egg.

Get the thermometer out. Once you’ve ovulated, your body temperature will rise by 0.4 to 1.0 degrees. When your ovary releases an egg, the progesterone level increases and your body temperature rises. You are considered to be most fertile in the two or three days before your body temperature hits its highest point. Keep an eye out for the rise in your body temperature.

Some women can tell when they’ve ovulated by the discomfort they experience in the lower region of their abdomen. These women say they feel activity such as mild achiness to brief moments of pain. This can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Use an ovulation predictor kit. You can purchase one over the counter at any grocery or drug store. Ovulation predictor kits detect the increase in LH (luteinizing hormone) in your urine right before ovulation, usually 12 to 36 hours before ovulation. Follow the instructions found in the kit.

Once you know how to detect ovulation, you’ll have a better idea of when your chances are optimal for conception or when to stay away from intercourse, using it as a method of birth control. Either way, it is always helpful to understand what your body is doing and why!