Ovulation Calendar – Know Your Fertile Days

Ovulation Calendar – Know Your Fertile Days

In the USA, it is estimated that about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. For those women and / or couples who choose to plan their pregnancies there are many tools at their disposal. Some are blessings from technological advancements such as at-home ovulation tests and others are long relied on methods such as the ovulation calendar. Claim Your 20 Free Ovulation Tests – Click Here

Both the at home ovulation predictor tests and the ovulation calendar serve the same purpose – they let a woman know when she is ovulating, which will increase her chances of conceiving. While this does not guarantee that fertilization will occur, as other factors must be taken into account, knowing the days when she is most fertile is a powerful tool for a woman who is actively trying to become pregnant.

Understanding ovulation

Ovulation is the process by which the body releases an egg from either ovary into the fallopian tube
Women are born with millions of immature eggs
Once released, the egg is either fertilized and implants into the uterus resulting in pregnancy or if not fertilized, is reabsorbed into the uterine lining and is shed along with the lining as a monthly menstrual cycle
Sperm can live in a woman’s body in her cervical mucus and/ or genital tract for approximately 3- 5 days; an egg released by a woman’s ovary will live approximately 12- 24 hours
For most women a single egg is released during ovulation which, if fertilized by a single sperm and does not split, will result in a single embryo; when the single sperm fertilized egg splits, the result is identical twins (monozygotic)
There are times when a woman may naturally release more than one egg which, if fertilized, will result in fraternal twins (dizygotic)
6- 12 days after ovulation, fertilized eggs will become implanted into the uterus resulting in pregnancy or if it does not successfully implant will result in a woman going on to have her monthly cycle or an early miscarriage
Menstrual cycles and ovulation are not dependent on each other and can occur even if the other does not
Ovulation cycles are usually measured from the first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle to the first day of her next menstrual cycle
Stress, illness and other factors can affect the regularity of ovulation

Ovulation Calendar- What is it?

An ovulation calendar is, quite simply, a means by which a woman can track the stages of her monthly cycle in order to estimate days when she is most fertile. Ovulation cycles go through various stages throughout each month. While each woman and her cycle is different, on average, doctors have found that a woman’s cycles are between 28-40 days long and that ovulation occurs roughly between day 11 and day 21.

The longer you track your cycle, the more accurate your calculations will be. Ovulation calendars can help to determine when you are ovulating and when your next menstrual cycle will begin. Again, please note that each woman’s cycle is different and that the accuracy depends on the regularity of your cycle. Ovulation calendars are not useful for a woman who has irregular cycles.

How to track your cycle?

The easiest way to track your cycle is by using an online calendar or an app which can be downloaded to most smartphones. If you prefer to use a regular calendar, simply mark the first day of your period each month. The days which you are ovulating, and are most fertile, will be somewhere in the middle.

While this is a good rule of thumb, there are other tools which you should also use to help you determine if you are ovulating. While each of these indicators alone do not help to predict ovulation- when used together they can give a woman a greater chance for determining when she likeliest to conceive.

Your basal body temperature (BBT)

Ovulation causes many changes in the body including a slight rise in body temperature. If you are using a regular calendar, take your temperature each morning and write the result down on the calendar.

Do not have sex or even get out bed before taking your temp as both of these activities can inaccurately cause changes in your temperature. During ovulation, you may notice a slight increase in your temperature. For most women, whom are not ovulating a base temp of 96- 98 degrees is normal.

After ovulation, they may notice their temperature is between 97-99 degrees. Careful tracking of when your basal body temperature is rising can help to determine when ovulation is occurring. Some fertility experts find that once you notice the full degree rise that trying to get pregnant is most difficult if not all together unlikely.

Cervical mucus

The changes in hormones during the various stages of ovulation causes the mucus present in a woman’s vagina to change from thick and white to thin, stretchy and clear. It is believed this is because sperm can travel with greater ease in the thinner mucus. Keep track of these changes as well.

Listen to your body

Hormones are a fascinating part of life. These hormonal changes cause changes to your skin, your mood and to the slight pains you may feel inside your body. Many women experience what is referred to as “mittelschmerz,” the German word for “middle pain.”

If you experience this pain you will notice a slight pinch, twinges or even just soreness in your pelvic region or on either side of your body where your ovaries are located. For some women this pain last hours, while for others just minutes or even just moments. Learn to listen to what your body is telling you and what is normal for you.

Trying to get pregnant is a glorious time but can also be stressful. Using any and all tools at your disposal can relieve some of the anxiety related to trying to conceive. Look online for free calendars and calculators and/or download free apps to your phone to help you track the different changes and feelings in your body as you go through the various stages of your cycle.

With that being said- if you are trying to conceive- the most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the process. Let your body guide you.

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.