Womens Health

Are You Ovulating?

Learning Your Body

If you want to get pregnant, you'll need to learn to read your own body. It's essential to spot the signs that you are ovulating, since, without ovulation, there's no conception. Here are some tips for determining if and when you ovulate.

Basal body temperature-Make a chart and keep a sensitive thermometer next to your bed. Take your temperature the minute you wake up before moving around or going to the bathroom. If you do this over the course of a month, a pattern may emerge which can indicate your time of ovulation. There's a catch: your temperature shows a change only after you ovulate. Still, if you chart your temperature for a few months, you should be able to spot when ovulation will occur.

Cervical mucus changes-Around the time of ovulation your cervical mucus changes in texture, color, and amount. Watch for stringy, clear, and copious amounts of cervical mucus.

Track cervical changes-A high soft cervix is a good predictor of fertility around the time of ovulation. When the cervix is low and hard, you are at an infertile point in your cycle. You can reach into the vaginal canal and check for the position and texture of your cervix on a regular basis so as to track your fertility.

Ovulation test strips or monitors-Forty-eight hours before ovulation, there is a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) which peaks just before ovulation. Monitors and test strips can track your LH levels. The monitors are expensive but easy to use. The test strips aren't always accurate and may produce false negatives.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have elevated levels of LH even when they aren't in ovulation. If you have repeated positives over the course of 48-72 hours, it's a safe bet that this is your situation.

Saliva scope-A saliva scope can help you to track changes in your saliva around the time of ovulation. There is a characteristic feature of saliva during ovulation known as "ferning," and this can be seen with the help of a saliva scope.

Save Time and Money

While any of these methods can help you track ovulation, none of them can give 100% proof of ovulation. The only way to prove ovulation is with a blood test. The tools for tracking ovulation are best used over a period of several months. Keep trying to conceive when you think you may be about to ovulate as well as just after probable ovulation. If 6 months to a year go by with no pregnancy to show for your efforts, bring your charted results to a doctor for a consultation. Your diligent tracking methods may just save you time and money in solving your fertility issues.

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