Understanding Your Ovulation Cycle | What You Need To Track

A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from day one of a menstrual period and continues until the first day of the next period. An average menstrual cycle is 28-32 days, though a woman may have a much longer or shorter cycle. Most women begin ovulating between day 11 and day 21 of each cycle (counting from the first day of the last menstrual period). Ovulation is the fertile period of the cycle and women who are trying to conceive will want to know exactly when ovulation has occurred.

 

OVULATION 101

During ovulation, an egg is released from a woman’s ovary into the fallopian tube. Typically, this occurs around 13-15 days prior to menstruation. Ovulation can vary from cycle to cycle. Some women may have an odd cycle where no ovulation occurs. On average, a woman will ovulate 400 times throughout the fertile period of life.

 

HOW TO TRACK OVULATION

A woman who is trying to get pregnant is most likely to conceive if intercourse takes place four days leading up to ovulation and up to two days after. An egg survives between 12 and 24 hours after being released from the ovary. Sperm can live up to seven days inside healthy cervical fluid.

 

SIGNS OF APPROACHING OVULATION

A few days before a woman ovulates, some changes take place in the female body. A woman will typically notice a clear, slippery mucus produced by the cervix. This is a sign that the ovaries are preparing to release an egg. Another way to keep track of ovulation is by taking body temperature each morning upon awakening. Shortly after ovulation, many women notice an increase in body temperature of about 1 degree F.

 

TECHNOLOGY TO THE RESCUE

The ovulation cycle can also be tracked by using an ovulation predictor kit to test the level of luteinizing hormone. This hormone increases when a woman’s ovaries are about to release an egg. Luteinizing levels are measured by testing a urine sample. Alternately there are saliva test available for ovulation but these tests are considered less accurate than LH testing. Many apps are available for ovulation tracking with varying degrees of precision. The best solution is to discuss these methods with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for tracking as every woman’s situation varies.

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