Planning a pregnancy is an exciting and rewarding phase for many couples. While some couples may be able to conceive quickly, others may have a difficult time getting pregnant. Tracking the woman’s ovulation cycle is a helpful step that can increase their chances of getting pregnant. Couples can maximise their chances of conception by understanding the woman’s fertile window.
Dr. Aruna Muralidhar, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore discusses the different methods for tracking ovulation, and how to determine the most fertile days during the menstrual cycle.
The process by which a woman’s body releases an egg from her ovary is known as ovulation. This egg is then carried down the fallopian tube and fertilised by sperm. Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle, in the middle of the menstrual cycle. It is important to note, however, that every woman’s cycle is different, and ovulation can occur before or after day 14.
There are several ways to track ovulation. Here are the most common methods:
- Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs): OPKs are tests that detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs 12-36 hours before ovulation. LH is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for triggering ovulation. OPKs are available in most drugstores and are easy to use.
- Basal Body Temperature (BBT): BBT is the body’s temperature at rest, usually taken first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. After ovulation, the body’s BBT typically rises by 0.5-1-degree Fahrenheit due to the release of progesterone. By tracking BBT over several months, a woman can identify patterns and determine the timing of ovulation.
- Cervical Mucus: Cervical mucus is the fluid that is produced by the cervix. As a woman approaches ovulation, her cervical mucus becomes thin and slippery, which allows sperm to swim through it more easily. By tracking changes in cervical mucus, a woman can determine when she is most fertile.
- Fertility Tracking Apps: Fertility tracking apps use various methods, such as menstrual cycle length, BBT, and cervical mucus data to predict a woman’s fertile window. These apps can be helpful in identifying patterns over time and determining when the best time to conceive is.
Determining The Fertile Window
The fertile window is the period of time during the menstrual cycle when a woman is most likely to conceive. This window includes the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. By using one or more of the tracking methods mentioned above, a woman can determine when she is ovulating and when her fertile window is. When using the OPK method, keep in mind that when the LH surge is detected, the test is positive. Couples should plan for intercourse within 24-48 hours after the test is positive. A woman is most fertile two to three days before the temperature rises, according to BBT tracking. When it comes to cervical mucus, the most fertile days are when the mucus is thin and slippery.
It’s important to note that tracking ovulation can sometimes be challenging, and it may take several cycles to identify patterns. It’s also important to remember that timing intercourse does not guarantee conception and that there may be underlying fertility issues that need to be addressed by an obstetrician and gynaecologist.
In conclusion, if one is planning a pregnancy, tracking ovulation can be a helpful tool in increasing the chances of conceiving.
Source : Femina