Ovulation and Pregnancy - While planning a pregnancy it can be very helpful if you can detect ovulation and time intercourse in this fertile phase. Read to know more about detecting ovulation for planning pregnancy.
Ovulation happens when an egg is released from the ovaries, an occurrence which happens every month in a woman’s menstrual cycle making it the most fertile phase for conceiving. The eggs in the ovaries mature one by one (at times there may be more than one in number) and a brain hormone called as luteinizing hormone (LH) rises which prompts the release of the matured egg. The matured egg travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus and waits for a sperm to help it fertilize.
While planning a pregnancy
While planning a pregnancy or getting pregnant it can be very helpful if you can detect ovulation and time intercourse in this fertile phase. An egg which is released lives for about twelve to twenty-four hours while sperm can live up to three to five days in the cervical fluid, therefore time intercourse a day or two before ovulation and about twenty-four hours after ovulation. Engaging in sexual intercourse near to the time of ovulation helps boost the chances of a pregnancy. In fact, one of the natural methods of birth control is following the ovulation cycle and avoiding sex during the fertile period though the success rate of this form of contraception has high failure rate.
Signs of ovulation
If you have a menstrual cycle of twenty-eight days count back to twelve to sixteen days to give you an approximate idea of your ovulation.
Body signs that it is ready for conception
Your body gives out certain signs to tell you that it is fertile and ready for conception.
- Changes in cervical mucus: When ovulation is about to approach, there is a noticeable change seen in the cervical mucus in its volume and consistency. The fertile phase is marked by clear mucus which is seen in abundance, slippery and is stretchy to touch. When ovulation is not happening, there might not be any presence of mucus or it may be gluey or creamy in texture. The cervical mucus serves a dual purpose of acting as a protective barrier as well as aiding the sperms in movement by acting as a fluid carrier.
- Increased basal body temperature: Basal body temperature is to be recorded as the first thing in the morning while awaking from sleep. A basal thermometer needs to be used and not a regular thermometer. Ovulation triggers hormonal changes which in turn increases body temperature. Elevated body temperature is a sign of ovulation and charting it every day can help you time your intercourse whenever there is an increased observation of body temperature. The previous two or three days before the elevated temperature are fertile phase and you need to know the pattern of temperature rise to time your intercourse.
- Increased sexual desire: A spurt of sexual desire may be due to various other reasons but many women experience a heightened desire for intimacy before ovulation or during the fertile phase.
- Tender breasts: Women experience breast tenderness around the time of ovulation but it might not be a definite sign as menstruation can also lead to tenderness in breasts.
Using kits to detect ovulation
You may take help of kits which can help you detect ovulation by checking the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. An elevated level of LH can help you detect ovulation twelve to twenty-four hours before it happens helping you time your conception. Follow the instructions on the label for an accurate reading.
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