When a woman begins to ovulate, the mature egg is ready to be fertilized by sperm, the natural ovulation cycle which lasts for about 30 hours. This is a rough estimate as each woman’s ovulation cycle differs, becoming shorter or longer depending on her individual body rhythm.
However, on average the normal cycle lasts for about 30 hours. In the effort to conceive one of the most important things that you can do is to understand your ovulation cycle and to know roughly how long it will last so that you can actively try to conceive during that time sensitive window.
One of the common misconceptions prevalent today is that actively trying for a baby is only important during the short 30 or so hours of ovulation, but the act that brings on conception can happen outside of that time frame.
This is because sperm in the optimum environment (i.e where thin, watery cervical mucus is present in the reproductive tract) sperm can last in a woman’s body for up to 5 days; thereby allowing sperm that was ejaculated into the vagina up to five days before the beginning of ovulation to fertilize an egg during that time.
Due to this factor it is important to have sex in the days leading up to ovulation just as much as the 30 or so hours during ovulation.
Due to the fact that ovulation is crucial to conception it is important to track your ovulation cycle. Here are some of the most common means to track exactly when you ovulate.
Use Ovulation Tests (commonly known as Ovulation Predictor Kits) to help alert you of your body’s impending ovulation. You can find these tests in two different styles: a dip-strip test where you dip the test into a container of urine or a mid-stream test where you place the test strip in the urine stream to track the spike of LH (luteinizing hormone) in your body that signals ovulation.
Use a Basal Thermometer to track your basal body temperature. When you begin to ovulate your body temperature will elevate slightly. By using a basal thermometer, you can track your normal body temperatures and over the course of several months you can have a better idea of when your body has gone into ovulation.
Pay attention to the cervical mucus your body produces. Just before and during ovulation your cervical mucus will take on a thin, watery appearance that is similar to the look and feel of an egg white. Using this indicator can help you verify ovulation to better be able to prepare and actively try for a baby.