If you’ve already been pregnant at least once, you may have a good idea of when you ovulate…unless you didn’t pay much attention when your OB/GYN calculated your due date and date of conception. If you’re currently trying to conceive or you’re thinking about adding a wee bundle of joy to your family and you don’t know when you ovulate (or even why it’s important!), or if you’re having trouble conceiving, figuring out your ovulation schedule is a very good idea.
The best time to try and conceive is during the ‘fertile window’ of the menstrual cycle; and this window of opportunity is different for every woman. Each woman is fertile for 2-3 days prior to ovulation until the date ovulation occurs.
Counting your cycles is the most low-tech. Figure out the length of your average menstrual cycle. Day one is the first day of the menstrual period and the last day is the day before your next period starts. For most women, ovulation happens approximately two weeks before the next expected period. So if your average menstrual cycle is 28 days, you should ovulate around day 14.
Another method is basal body temperature (BBT). Recording it every day before getting out of bed with a special basal body temperature thermometer. Your BBT rises about half a degree Celsius after ovulation has occurred. By charting your temperature, it’s easy to see when the rise in temperature and ovulation happens. This can help you work out your own pattern of ovulation. However, because at that stage ovulation has already passed, it does not help you pinpoint the fertile window but may guide you for next month.
A third way is to simply pay attention to your own body, keeping an eye out for changes in your vaginal mucus. Around the time of ovulation, you may notice your vagina’s mucus is clear, slick and slippery, the consistency of egg white. This is the best sign of when ovulation is actually happening.
The fourth (and probably most high tech and likely the most accurate) is to invest in an ovulation predictor kit. Traditionally, most ovulation predictor kits are urine-based, and they work similarly to an at-home pregnancy test but they can be messy, inconvenient and not ideal for many women. The good news is, traditional urine based kits aren’t the only option anymore.
New ovulation predictor kits use saliva instead of urine for an easy, mess-free, and discreet way to figure out your most fertile days. It’s called “ferning” and it reveals when you are showing signs of fertility and just about to ovulate due to hormone levels in your body causing your saliva to create a distinct crystal pattern that looks like little ferns when dried.
One such kit is the Ovu Control Reusable Ovulation Predictor kit. It comes with a miniature microscope (adorable!) onto which you dab a tiny bit of saliva. It then delivers immediate, accurate results with no pee on your hands (really, we do so much, those pee tests are the worst). Best of all, it’s reusable, which makes it a much more economical alternative to traditional kits–one kit gives you unlimited tests, and the cost works out to be about the same as 2 months worth of urine-based kits.
So…figure out your ovulation date and then make sure to schedule a romantic getaway with your partner…and get busy getting pregnant!