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Tips to track the days you are ovulating or are at your most 'fertile'

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : October 9, 2014 5:13 PM IST

ovulationIf you are trying to conceive it makes sense if you track your ovulation period meticulously. This could help you know when you are most fertile to conceive and help you plan your pregnancy better. A typical egg can live 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, while sperm can survive up to 5 days in a hospitable vaginal environment. Your fertile days are the 5 days preceding ovulation and up to 2 days after ovulation. Here's how you can track your fertile days for better conception:

Keep track of your menstrual cycle: If you are planning your pregnancy, make sure you note the start date of your menstrual period. This is the first day of your menstrual cycle. Count each day of the cycle till you get your periods the next time. Then start all over again. In this way you will get to know the length of your menstrual cycle. Keep track of the cycles for three or four months to get an accurate assessment. This will also help you know if you are having regular or irregular menstrual cycles.

Make a rough assessment of your fertile days: For most women a regular menstrual cycle would be up to 26 to 32 days. Women with regular cycles may have cycles that vary in length a few days from month to month, but will not experience large variations in the duration of their cycles. To know your fertile period note the number of days in your shortest and longest cycles carefully. Now follow the steps:

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  • Subtract 18 from the number of days of your shortest cycle. For e.g. if your shortest cycle is 26 it would be 8.
  • Subtract 11 from the number of days of your longest cycle. For e.g. if your longest cycle is 32 it would be 21.
  • Circle the dates on your calendar that fall between the first and second cycle days you calculated. For e.g. in this case it would be the days from 7 and 22 i.e. 7th day after your periods to the 22nd day of the cycle. Now these are the days when you should try for conception.

Keep track of your basal body temperature: Your basal body temperature changes throughout your menstrual cycle due to the fluctuations in the hormones. The hormone progesterone increases the basal body temperature as it readies the uterus to implant a fertilized egg on its walls. The bottom line is your basal body temperature would be the highest during the time of ovulation. Keep track of this for a few months to get an accurate idea of the same. To do this record your temperature in the morning even before you get out of the bed.

Check cervial changes: Ovulation isn't a silent process, it gives enough signals. As the hormone shift happens it readies itself and also gives the egg the best position to get fertilized. In this process a lot happens to the cervix too. It looks different, cervical mucus or discharge increases in quantity and is thicker in consistency. Its more noble purpose is to carry the sperm to the ovum deep inside you.

Take help of an ovulation kit: To make things easy and simple get hold of an ovulation kit. Just like the home pregnancy test these strips can change colour and tell you if you are ovulating or not without much mess.

Look for other signs: Remember your body would give you enough signals subtly to know your ovulation periods. One sided pain in the lower abdomen during the middle of the cycle, spotting or tenderness in the breast all these could point that you are ovulating.

References:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Most-Fertile-Day-to-Conceive
  • http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/fertility/five-ways-to-tell-you-are-ovulating.aspx

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