Pinpointing Ovulation

Once upon a time, getting pregnant was something that happened almost as soon as you said the magic words, "Let's have a baby, Darling." In fact, it used to happen like that even when you had no desire whatsoever to become pregnant. But for a variety of reasons, infertility rules the day.

Too many modern couples are finding it hard to become pregnant. One way to change things around is to start charting your ovulation.

Low-Tech Ovulation Predictors

During the time of ovulation, a woman is at her peak of fertility. Her body is most receptive to conception at this time. We have a wide variety of tools and tricks to help us predict when ovulation will occur. Some of these predictors are easy and low-tech while others are costly and use the latest technology. In this article, we list a variety of some of the more low-tech methods for keeping track of ovulation.

One excellent method for pinpointing your time of ovulation is to pay attention to the signs of your own body. Your body holds a number of clues that can help to guide you in knowing where you are in your menstrual cycle. For example, a woman's cervical mucus changes all through your menstrual cycle.

Slippery Stuff: Cervical Mucus

As you come close to ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes thin, watery, elastic, slippery, and translucent. This mucus is the best vehicle for journeying sperm trying to make their way to your egg. When you see your mucus has these characteristics, it's time to go make baby-love.

You'll know you've passed ovulation when the mucus starts to thicken, turns white, and becomes less profuse. Your body is telling you that it's not a good time for you to conceive. 

Another signal that may help you know when ovulation is occurring is the lower abdominal pain known as mittelschmerz (from the German for "middle" and "pain"). The pain will be in the area of the lower right abdomen and may last just a few hours or up to a few days. Physicians tend to think of this type of ovulatory pain as a kind of secondary marker of fertility. That means it can be counted on as a second indication of ovulation in addition to other types of predictive measures.

Yet another way of learning when your body is going to ovulate is by taking your basal body temperature (BBT) each morning. This is the temperature of the body at rest. Your body will spike a very slight fever as you ovulate.

BBT should be taken first thing in the morning. For this reason, you should keep the thermometer by your bedside in addition to a writing utensil and some graph paper. Make sure to take your temperature at the same time every day. Record your temperature each time and watch for a rise in temperature from .4-1.0 degrees.

If you chart your BBT for several months, you'll begin to see a pattern emerge. This will help you know when ovulation is likely to occur during the coming cycle. 

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