You and your partner have decided that you are ready to have a baby. Great! You've checked gone over your finances, started eating healthy and exercising, started taking a multivitamin and you're tracking your period.
But the key to falling pregnant is knowing when you're ovulating. Ovulation is when an egg is released (usually 14 days into your cycle) and is viable to be fertilised between 12 to 48 hours. Yes, tracking your period definitely helps you pinpoint that day, especially if you have a regular period. But if you don't there are a number of ovulation kits to help you out.
Ovulation kits are expensive. Especially if you're buying a kit every month that and if you're not successful it can add up. We take a look at the other signs of ovulation that you can look out for in addition with your ovulation kit.
During your menstrual cycle the consistency of your cervical mucus changes. When you're ovulating your oestrogen levels increase and this changes the texture and consistency to resemble raw egg whites (clear and thin). This happens so that it's easier for sperm to survive in an otherwise hostile environment for them and it makes it easier for them to get to the waiting-to-be fertilised egg.
Keep a record of your basal body temperature. Before ovulation your basal body temperature is usually between 36.2 - 36.5 degrees Celsius. Two or three days after ovulation your temperature will rise by about 0.2 degrees Celsius. Use a BBT chart to track the changes (there are ones you can print or if you have a smartphone there is definitely an app for that!). You're usually fertile for the few days before your temperature increases and that's why establishing a pattern along with keeping an eye on your cervical mucus can help with pinpointing ovulation.
Otherwise known as Lower Abdominal Discomfort. About one-fifth of women can feel when they are ovulating. It's been described as mild aching to twinges of sharp pain and it usually occurs on either the lower left or right side of the abdomen (where your ovaries live!). There are number of reasons why this pain can occur:
- Follicular swelling - the swelling of follicles in the ovaries before ovulation.
- Ovarian wall rupture - because ovaries have no openings the mature egg has to break through the wall.
- Fallopian tube contraction - after ovulation the fallopian tubes contract to move it along.
- Smooth muscle cell contraction - at ovulation there is an increase in prostaglandin F2-alpha causing smooth muscle cell contraction in the ovary to contract.
- Irritation - when the mature egg ruptures through the ovary wall blood and other fluid is released and these could cause irritation to the abdominal lining.
You can also use our Ovulation Calculator to find out when you're most likely to fall pregnant.
How did you track your ovulation?