Many women eager to start families wonder about how to know when you are ovulating. Some women, especially those with very regular periods, claim they can tell when they’re about to ovulate, but if you can’t, there are some very specific things you can do to help determine when you’re ovulating.
Counting the Days
If you have a regular period, figuring out when you will ovulate can be as simple as marking off days on the calendar. Most women with regular 28-day cycles begin ovulating approximately 14 days after the beginning of their last period. If your cycle is regular, but longer than 28 days, take the number of days of your shortest cycle, subtract 18, and then take the result and count ahead that many days from the beginning of your last period. The final result should be the day you begin ovulating.
The quality of your vaginal secretions will change with ovulation. Just before ovulation the volume of the normal clear slick secretions should increase. After ovulation, the secretions will either disappear or become opaque and slightly gummy.
Basal Body Temperature
Your basal body temperature is your oral temperature taken at waking before you get up or perform any activity that could raise your temperature. Your basal temperature will increase slightly, usually less than one degree, when you begin ovulating. It remains elevated for the rest of your cycle.
LH Urine Test
If the other methods aren’t working for you, you can get an over-the-counter luteinizing hormone test kit. The test looks for a rise in the hormone, which is a chemical that signals your ovaries to release an egg. The kits generally come with five to seven sticks. You test every day starting 11 days after the beginning of your last period until the test detects an increase in LH.
Ovulation and Fertility
These methods are useful for determining when you are ovulating, but because sperm can survive in the female body for up to three days before fertilizing an egg while the egg can only survive unfertilized for a day after ovulation, you are actually most likely to conceive if you have intercourse in the two to three days before ovulation occurs. These tests are still useful, however, as they can indicate the pattern of your cycle, which will help you know when you will be most fertile in your next cycle.
“How to get pregnant – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/how-to-get-pregnant/PR00103.
“LH urine test (home test): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007062.htm.