Your pulse is racing. Your heart is beating just a little bit faster in excitement. You can’t wait to start your journey with motherhood! But then the unending questions start bubbling up in your mind. How do you start? How do you know when you are most fertile? What is the best time for sex to get pregnant faster?
What is ovulation?
When trying to conceive, it may be confusing to keep track of your cycle. But the best time to target is the duration just before ovulation. Ovulation is when one mature egg is released from a follicle in your ovary in response to a surge in the levels of LH (luteinizing hormone).
Once the egg is released, it is then ready to meet the sperm for fertilization, where it forms the embryo, which grows into a baby in the uterus. Therefore, women tend to be most fertile in the days just before ovulation.
Every woman trying to get pregnant wants to track her LH surge and ovulation. Ovulation typically occurs around 12-14 days before your next cycle. Day 1 is the first day of your period. But the fertile window is harder to identify in women with irregular periods.
You may think that keeping track of your ovulation and a fertile window will be challenging. But once you know what you should be looking for, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy the process can be.
In this article, we will look at the 5 signs of ovulation to identify your fertile window so that you can correctly time sex for pregnancy.
5 Signs And Symptoms Of Ovulation
Some women may see light bleeding or spotting in the middle of their periods. It is much lighter than the flow of a regular cycle. Studies show that only 5% of women experience mid-cycle spotting. Ovulation bleeding may be easy to recognize because it usually lasts for only 1-2 days, and the blood you see is typically light pink in color because it is mixed with cervical fluid. This is yet another sign of ovulation, as women tend to produce more cervical mucus as they ovulate.
Results of an ovulation test
Ovulation tests measure the level of luteinizing hormone, or LH, in your urine. As the LH rises 24-36 hours before ovulation, it stimulates the release of the mature egg from the ovary. When done correctly, ovulation tests can be 99% accurate in testing for the LH surge.
An ovulation test is not as simple as a pregnancy test, where we are just looking for a positive or negative result with the absence or presence of a line on the strip.
Ovulation test strips are different because they come with a pre-marked dark line. After taking the test, you will compare the new line that appears in response to the LH levels in your urine to the ‘control’ line.
For the ovulation test to be considered positive, your new line has to be as dark or even darker than the control line. If your LH levels are lower than normal, you may only see a faint line on the ovulation test strip. This means that your LH hormone levels are high enough to be detected by the test but may not have reached peak levels yet. You may have to take the tests twice a day over the course of a few days to get a positive result. If the lines continue to stay faint or if you don’t get a positive test over several cycles, please bring it to the attention of your healthcare provider.
Basal Body Temperature
You may feel that your body temperature remains constant at all times. The truth is that our temperatures fluctuate during the day and during different times of the month. It varies depending on our activity levels, food, sleeping habits, and hormonal changes.
After ovulation, your progesterone levels begin to rise, and it stimulates your basal body temperature to increase as well. So if you track your body temperature at the same time every morning, right before you get out of bed, you can detect the change in readings, which will help you estimate the period of ovulation.
Many smartphone apps and websites online can help you measure and monitor your basal body temperature quickly. However, tracking your temperature is more difficult if you have an irregular schedule like working a night shift or poor sleeping and lifestyle habits.
Changes in the Cervical Mucus
Usually, during the rest of your cycle, your cervical mucus is sticky or creamy. But when you are getting close to your ovulation day, the cervical mucus becomes thinner and has a runny egg white-like consistency. This is believed to be the best time to have sex as it makes intercourse easier and more pleasurable. In addition, the thin mucus allows the sperm to swim up in the vagina and enter the cervix easily, which helps you conceive faster.
Along with the cramping that you may experience just before your period, you may also feel sharp pains near your lower abdomen around ovulation. These are called mittelschmerz, which is German for “middle pain”, felt by around 40% of women in the reproductive age group. Ovulation pain is due to the rapid growth and expansion of the ovarian follicle holding the mature egg just before it ruptures. With ovulation, there is a sudden release of the egg, which may cause minor bleeding and fluid release, irritating the abdominal lining and the pelvis, leading to a sharp pain.
Taking the medical route: Do Ultrasounds help?
For those who find it challenging to spot the signs of ovulation, doctors may recommend follicle tracking, a series of vaginal ultrasound scans that can pinpoint when the follicle will rupture to release the egg. It can help couples determine when they should have sex to have the best chance of getting pregnant.
While the methods we discussed above can help you determine when you could be ovulating during the month, they may not be able to give you the EXACT DATE of ovulation. However, it does tell you what your most fertile window could be, which allows you to plan sex for pregnancy more effectively.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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