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Pinpointing Fertile Days: 6 Ways to Know
on May 27, 2012
by Tiffany Merritt
How can you make the most of your babymaking? Start by knowing when you ovulate by reading these 5 body clues.
When are your most fertile days? There are a handful of things that you can do and they pretty much all involve paying pretty close attention to your body. It’s something that’s going to be really important so, while it may seem like a lot of effort and a lot of work I want to really encourage you to get started doing these things. Don’t skip it and just hope for the best. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
Conception is surprisingly tricky business and it’s not as easy as you think to get pregnant but with data on your side and having done your homework, you can make the process easier.
So the very first thing that you need to do during your fertile days is to keep an accurate record of your menstrual cycles. You may assume you know how long they last but if you haven’t been keeping track of exactly when they start, each month or each cycle, you could be off base. So write down the day your cycle starts and the day your cycle ends. For several months, this is just part of the process. You don’t have to do this before you start trying to conceive but get started as soon as you can if you know you want to get started in a couple of months or if you’re trying now just go ahead and start writing that down. It’s important for you to know is your period like clockwork. Do you have a period every 28 days? If so, you’re a pretty strong candidate for ovulating on day 14. Although there’s other factors that you need to research before you know that for sure. Maybe your period will be 23 days; maybe they’re every 33 days. Maybe they vary month-to-month. Maybe you have a high stress job or a high stress environment that you live in and your periods change from one month to the next. In any case for whether they’re regular or irregular, that’s something you need to know.
The second thing that you can do is keep track of your temperature-your body temperature. And I’ll explain to you why that matters. You need to record your temperature every single day at the same time. The strategy most women use is that they get a thermometer, they put it right by their bed on their night stand, when that alarm goes off, before they even get out of bed, take the temperature, write it down. Why do you need to know? Well, because when your body ovulates, 24-48 hours after you ovulate- your temperature will rise by about a half a degree. I know, it’s not very much but it’s such a great and helpful sign that you have already ovulated and when you start keeping track of this over a period of a couple of months, you’re going to see a pattern in your body and you’re going to realize when ovulation has already occurred. And by that point, 24-48 hrs after ovulation has occurred it’s too late to fertilize an egg. But once you start to know that information, you can know when you’re about to ovulate, and that’s really important.
Another thing to keep in mind since that temperature change is so slight you may want to consider getting what’s called a basal body thermometer. . They’re sold at drug stores and they’re easy to find but they are just a little more sensitive than your standard run of the mill thermometer. So you may find that they’re really helpful.
Another thing that you could do, and it’s very low-tech, and it kind of grosses women out for some reason but hey welcome to the world of trying to have a baby, this will not be the only gross thing you do. Another sign for you is to check your cervical mucus. Before you ovulate, and leading up to when you’re going to be ovulating, the cervical mucus in your body, it sort of becomes very thin, very stretchy, very slippery sort of like egg whites. It’s really the best way to describe it. And that really just forms, it’s almost like a web that it forms to try to help the sperm get up to the uterus quickly and do its job to fertilize an egg. After you’ve ovulated, it becomes thicker and then it goes away all together. So again it’s another really important clue for you about when are your most fertile days. When you have that egg white consistency, Aha! That’s when your most fertile days are so – ok maybe it doesn’t sound like the most glamorous thing to do, but it’s really, really helpful.
The final thing that you can do, and it is the most expensive and it isn’t necessary, but it could be helpful if you choose to do it, is to buy an ovulation predictor kit. These are sold in drugstores and basically, they’re little sticks that you, well – you pee on every day. . And what they’re testing is the LH amount in your body, that’s your luteinizing hormone. If you remember from the ovulation video you get the follicular phase of your cycle and the luteal phase so watching for that surge in your luteinizing hormone to happen that tells you that ovulation is about to happen. So this a pretty accurate test, maybe they’re a little more accurate than some of the other things that I’ve told you but it’s just more expensive. Don’t let that worry you; it’s not the only way to do this. But it could be very helpful in all of these cases, gathering this data, while it may seem tedious, is very helpful for you to really be able to clue in and pinpoint on when your most fertile days are. Because remember, once that egg is released, 12-24 hours it will live on its own, before it dies. That is a brief window and after ovulation happens, it’s too late! And so if you are trying to conceive after that point, maybe you’re having fun, but as far as conception goes, you’re wasting your time. Or if you have it too early, again, it could be fun but you’re not going to achieve your goal.
So this stage is very helpful if you find yourself after, you know many months of trying and collecting this data, still having problems conceiving. It will be very helpful to doctors as well to get a sense for what are your cycles looking like month-to-month, what’s going on with your temperature? Are we having that hormone surge, is it not really happening? What’s going on with your cervical mucus because there are any number of reasons that conception could be a problem, so all of these work, I promise, it’s not vain, it’s going to help you one way or the other.
Next time, we’re going to talk about specific strategies once you narrow it down, when your most fertile days are, where do we go from here.
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Tiffany is a mompreneur & editor whose parenting tips and product recommendations can be found at her popular blog, Stuff Parents Need, where she's busy making life a little less hectic for new parents.