If you and your partner are thinking about having a baby, it can help to understand and track your ovulation cycle. Your ovulation cycle will give you a better idea of the best times to get busy in the bedroom, with the highest chances of conception!
We’d like to let you in on a few secrets that you may not know about your body, and how they let you know when your body is most ready to welcome a pregnancy.
Allow us to teach you how to track your ovulation cycle.
Timing, as always, is of utmost importance - especially when you are trying to get pregnant. You have probably already noticed that over the course of the month your body goes through a series of hormonal changes. While they are typically pesky, bringing mood swings and the occasional breakout, they also signal when your body is most or least likely to take on pregnancy.
In order to track your ovulation cycle, you need to first understand your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and ends the day before you’re due for your next period.
The average length of a menstrual cycle ranges from between 21 to 35 days. However, we all know how unpredictable lady red can be. Therefore, this number is likely to vary between women and even between each woman’s individual cycle.
To simplify things, just remember that your chances of becoming pregnant are highest when you are ovulating. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from either of the two ovaries within a woman’s body. This typically happens 12 to 14 days before your period is expected.
After an egg has been released, it attaches itself to the fallopian tube where it will hang out for the next 24 hours. These 24 hours are prime time for someone looking to conceive. Sperm needs to fertilise the egg, the fertilised egg then must travel through the fallopian tube, and finally implant in the uterus for one to successfully become pregnant.
You want to pay attention to what is known as the fertility window. The fertility window occurs over six days. This includes the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. These six days are when your chances of becoming pregnant are at their highest.
As we’ve mentioned, you ovulate between 12 to 14 days before your next period. So in order to track your ovulation, you will need to predict roughly when your next period is expected. If you are someone who frequently experiences irregular periods, fret not, as there are signs that you can look out for that indicate where you are in your menstrual and ovulation cycle.
It can be slightly tricky to pinpoint the dates that one is ovulating. However, there are some indicators that typically let you know that you are nearing or in your fertile window. Take note of changes in your vaginal discharge, an increased sex drive, a rise in your basal body temperature, and mild cramping.
It would be helpful to track these changes over a course of several months, along with the dates of your period, to give you a better understanding of your menstrual and ovulation cycle.
There are a plethora of applications that can be used to help you track the various stages of your menstrual cycle. Alternatively, if you’re a little old school, you can always opt for a simple calendar. Other methods of tracking your ovulation include an ovulation predictor, an ovulation calculator, or working with a fertility specialist.
Many women make use of a combination of various methods to maximise their chances of catching their fertility window.
An ovulation calculator (or a good ole calendar), helps you track your menstrual cycle of a few months. Since your period can often be unpredictable, tracking over a period helps you narrow down when you are most likely to be in your fertility window.
An Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) measures the hormone levels present in your urine to give you a more accurate idea of when you are at your best chance of conceiving.
Changes in your vaginal mucus is another way to understand the stage you are at in your menstrual and ovulation cycle. Wet and slippery vaginal mucus can be noted a few days before ovulation. This is the best time to hit the sheets with your partner as this type of mucus aids the sperm in travelling to the egg.
Your fertility specialist will be able to let you know when you are ovulating with the help of an ultrasound. They will track changes in the diameter of the follicles of your ovaries, which are an indicator that you are near your fertility window.
Now that you know a little more about the menstrual and ovulation cycle, you may want to start tracking your cycle so that you can find your fertility window. This is, without a doubt, the best time to have intercourse.
It is also helpful to have regular intercourse if you and your partner are hoping to become pregnant, as this naturally increases your chances.
You may also want to start making diet and lifestyle changes as you prepare to create a whole new being! Find a workout routine that suits you, spoil yourself with fresh food, and get yourself some supplements to improve your fertility levels. A healthy body and mind will create an environment that is more likely to become pregnant.
We hope we’ve helped you gain insight into your menstrual and ovulation cycle, and wish you and your partner a smooth journey towards conception.
If you are thinking of getting pregnant and would like to increase your chances of conceiving, it is highly recommended that you speak with your doctor and ask to do a pre-pregnancy check-up. During this check-up, doctors will look into any health conditions that might be affecting your chances of conceiving and determine the areas that should be worked on.