Did you know that women are only actually only fertile 1 day of your cycle?  Do you know what your ovulation day is? If you don’t and you are trying to get pregnant – this is a must to figure out!

Before we jump in let’s quickly review what ovulation actually is.  Ovulation is the release of a mature egg ready for fertilization.  Many things you read will suggest that a cycle should be 28 days and ovulation happens on day 14.  This is actually pretty unlikely for most people as everyone’s hormones are different and we can ovulate on almost any day of our cycle (which may be longer or shorter than 28 days) Some women ovulate mid cycle, and some ovulate at the beginning or near the end.  Some don’t ovulate at all! (Which for many women can be improved) Figuring out your ovulation will be extremely helpful in conceiving but it also tells you lots about your body and how your hormones are working.
There are a few different ways you can track your ovulation:

Ovulation Tests

You can buy fancy expensive ones from the drugstore…or you can just grab some from the dollar store – they all work about the same.  It is best to do it a few months in a row to either confirm that your cycle is regular or to see if you have an irregular cycle.  Start about one week into your cycle (day 1 = first day of bleed) and continue until you get a positive test.  If you find you are ovulating closer to the end you can start testing a little later next month.  This is a fairly reliable method, however can get expensive if you are using it long term.

2. Changes In Cervical Fluids

Monitoring your body and learning about the changes it goes through, throughout your cycle will likely be eye opening and empowering for you.  Learning about your cervical fluid and what changes indicate ovulation is extremely helpful in conception but many also use it for birth control which makes it quite a popular option. There are lots of great resources online for learning about this and books available on the topic to help walk you through it.  This option may take a few months to get used to and find your rhythm but can be very effective once you have sorted it out, not to mention it’s free.

3. BBT (basal body temperature)

This method involves daily tracking each month (each morning you take your temperature as soon as you wake up) It is simple and cheap (you just need a thermometer) A spike in body temperature usually will indicate ovulation so this is what you will be watching for.
There are some issues with this method – such as you must be very careful and consistent in taking your temperature every day as it can easily be thrown off by other factors (ie illness, different times, etc)

A few other things to keep in mind:
  • Sperm lives for 5 days
  • Women are only actually fertile for 24hours (when that egg is released)
  • Likelihood of of conceiving increases the closer intercourse is to ovulation
  • On average, each month there is a 20% chance of conceiving month to month
  • Please don’t panic if you start tracking and find you don’t ovulate.  It’s not abnormal for women to skip a month here and there
  • Ovulating mid cycle is ideal – if you find that you are closer to the end or beginning – email me and let’s chat!

If you want more information on ovulation and tracking fertility check out one of my favourite podcasts – Fertility Friday!

What methods of ovulation tracking have you tried??

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