What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the period of the month when a woman is most fertile. Female body releases an egg (or in rare cases eggs) every month, which is ready to be fertilized. Actually, women are fertile usually a day or two before and after the ovulation. Conception happens if the fertile egg gets fertilized by a sperm cell in that period of time. Because of that, women need to know the exact time of ovulation in order to avoid conception or conceive.
There are several methods to find out when you are ovulating. The most common ways are the measuring of the basal temperature, counting of the days or monitoring the cervical mucus.
Measuring the basal temperature of your body is one of the easiest methods for finding out if you are ovulating. This method requires tracking your temperature for several months every day at the same time, just before waking up. Use the same thermometer and write down the temperature every day. After couple of months, you will be able to see the temperature pattern.
Usually, there is a slight increase of basal temperature on the day of ovulation (about 0.2 degrees Celsius or 0.4 to 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit). For 48 hours after the ovulation you will see rise of the temperature, and with the menstruation the temperature will drop to normal level.
This method is suitable only for women having regular menstrual cycles.
As the measuring of the basal temperature, day counting can’t be used by women with irregular cycles. It can be used, actually, but won’t get you the precise time of ovulation.
For those having the regular cycles, this is a good way to predict the next ovulation and plan your conception. Counting should start at the first day of the period and if your cycle last 30 days, you will ovulate on the 16th day. For the women with less irregular periods, this method can point to the most probable week of the ovulation.
Hormone changes in the body affects the mucus from the cervix and this fact can be used to estimate the date of ovulation. At the time around ovulation, there is plenty of mucus, and it looks like an egg white, stretching between the fingers. This time is probably the best chance for you to conceive. There are also slightly less chances to become pregnant, right before and after the ovulation. Mucus usually gets sticky then and it can’t be stretched.