In this article we compiled all the essential information about ovulation in one article. We tried to cover every related topic from the basics of ovulation up to tips and tricks on how to calculate your personal ovulation date with our ovulation calculator to get pregnant quickly.
Most doctors begin to suspect infertility when a woman is perfectly healthy, less than 35 years, has regular periods, and is still unable to conceive after a maximum of 6 months of trying. While this suspicion might be true in some cases, a big percentage of such cases are simply as a result of ignorance or propaganda regarding ovulation. As soon as a woman is able to calculate her ovulation date, in most cases conception becomes easy
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Understanding Ovulation
Ovulation is the process of a female egg being released by the ovary in readiness of getting fertilized by the male sperm. This egg, also known as an ovum, travels through the fallopian tubes where it awaits the sperm for fertilization, after which it travels to the uterus and starts developing into a baby.
By this time, the uterus will have started preparations to receive the egg by thickening its lining so as to offer extra protection to the expected baby. The ovum/egg waits for the sperm for 12-24 hours, after which it dies if there is still no sign of a sperm. After some days, the body sheds the dead egg together with the extra layer of protection it had prepared for the baby through menstruation.
Ovulation occurs once a month and this is the only time of the month when a woman is fertile. If she fails to have sex during the 12-24 hours that the ovum is waiting to be fertilized, she will have to wait for her next ovulation. This is because she cannot release another egg until then. Seeing that a healthy woman only has 12-24 hours to conceive every month, it is important for every woman who intends to get pregnant to identify or predict her “fertile day/days” as accurately as possible.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – When Does Ovulation Occur?
So, when exactly does ovulation take place?
Ovulation normally takes place from day 11 -21 of a woman’s monthly/menstrual cycle. A monthly cycle is simply the number of days between the first day of bleeding and day before the next menstruation. A normal cycle can be 28-32 days, though some women have shorter or longer cycles. Also, most women have cycles that vary from month to month, for example, the cycle might be 28 days one month and 26 days the next month.
Many women have been led to believe that ovulation automatically occurs on the 14th day of their menstrual cycle. This is not always true because there are times when a woman will ovulate as soon as day six of her menstrual cycle, and as late as day 30 of her cycle, or even later. This means that it would be impossible for any woman to accurately predict her exact ovulation date or day.
In addition to all that, there are times when a woman will not ovulate at all. The uterus will still prepare for pregnancy as usual by thickening its lining, and the lining of the uterus will still be shed through menstruation. The factors that affect the normal progression of ovulation include illnesses, stress and routine interruptions, such as travelling to a location that has a different climate than what you are used to. When there is no ovulation, conception will not occur because there will be no egg to be fertilized.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – How To Predict Ovulation
So, as a woman who is looking to get pregnant as soon as possible, what can you do to ensure that your next ovulation does not pass you by? The truth is that there is a lot you can do by paying close attention to your body throughout your cycle. When you do this, you are very likely to detect the many changes that your body undergoes a few days prior to ovulation and therefore get busy with your partner before your fertile window passes you by.
Also, you probably know that there are various tools out there which can help you to accurately predict approaching ovulation, such as ovulation calendars, ovulation calculators and ovulation predictor kits. When used in the right way, such tools will help you get pregnant quite easily. We are going to look at all these tools in detail in a little while, but first we are going to discuss the signs that your body will portray a few days or hours to ovulation.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Ovulation Signs and Symptoms
Interestingly, nature always has its way of ensuring the continuity of the human race, and it does this through various ways as we are going to see.
1. Increased Sex Drive
Many women experience an increased sex drive a few days or hours before ovulation. This way, nature ensures that women engage in sex during their fertile day/days, and this as expected, ensures the continuity of the human race. If you have been keen enough, you must have already noticed this sign, if not, listen to your body closely from today and you will definitely identify this sign with time.
2. Cervical position
Nature is clever and will not only encourage you to have intercourse during your fertile period; it will also make sure that your cervix will change its normal position so that it can make it easier for the sperm to reach the ovum or egg. This is, therefore, one of the many reasons why you should start paying more attention to your body if you want to make conception easier. Normally, your cervix will be positioned quite low and you will be in a position to touch it easily if you insert a finger in your vagina. You will also notice that it is somehow hard and dry. As ovulation approaches, your cervix takes a higher position and you will notice that it becomes softer and less dry. If you weren’t already aware of this ovulation sign, it might take some time for you to understand the different positions and textures your cervix will present throughout your cycle. To check your cervix, wash your hands well and insert your longest finger into your vagina carefully. Remember that your cervix will indicate approaching ovulation only when it is as soft as your ear lobe, moist and difficult to touch.
3. Cervical Mucus
Your cervical mucus will also change its consistency or texture as ovulation approaches. In normal circumstances, you will notice that your cervical mucus will almost dry up right after a period. With time, it will turn sticky, then become creamy, after which it will turn watery. It is at this watery stage that you should realize that ovulation is on its way because it will soon take on a clear, oily and stretchy consistency. Most women have described this consistency as the white part of a raw egg. When you finally notice that your cervical mucous has taken the egg-white consistency, it is time to get busy because ovulation should be 1-5 days away. This is natures way of making sure that your cervical mucous is smooth and slippery enough to carry the sperms all the way to the waiting ovum. Also, this kind of mucus is usually alkaline and this protects the sperms from the acidic environment of the vagina. Checking your cervical mucus a few times every day can be a very reliable way to predict oncoming ovulation.
4. Ovulation Pain
Another sign that is usually used to predict oncoming ovulation is ovulation pain. This is a mild pain or discomfort that is experienced by most women (not all women will experience this sign). This kind of pain is called “Mittelschmerz” (a German word which means “middle pain”) and it is usually felt or experienced inside the hip bone or the lower abdomen. Ovulation pain can be felt on either the left or right side of the abdomen and this depends on the ovary that is ovulating or releasing the egg. To differentiate between ovulation pain and normal abdominal pain or cramps, just examine your cervical mucus and it if appears clear and sticky, you can bet that what you are experiencing is ovulation pain, and you should therefore get busy with baby making sex because ovulation should be hours away. If you notice that your ovulation pain is too painful, you should have it investigated immediately to rule out serious conditions which can cause infertility such as ovarian cysts.
5. Water Retention
When your ovary releases an egg into the system, water retention occurs, and you are very likely to feel bloated around this time. Remember that this sign occurs when ovulation has already taken place. Considering that the egg waits for the sperm for only 12-24 hours before being eliminated, you should make sure that you have unprotected sex during this time to allow the sperm to meet the egg so that conception can take place.
6. Other signs of ovulation
Other signs include the following:
- breast sensitivity and tenderness
- increased levels of energy
- an improved sense of smell, vision and taste
It is important to note that not every woman will experience ovulation symptoms or signs, and that those who experience them might have different signs every month. Bearing this in mind, it is important to take advantage of other ovulation predictors such as ovulation calculators and ovulation calendars so that you don’t have to depend entirely on ovulation signs that might not even appear when you need them most.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation predictor kits, also known as OPKs, can be of great help to you when used correctly. Currently, there are two types of OPKs in the market, urine-based kits and salivary ferning OPKs.
Urine Based Ovulation Predictor Kits
Urine based ovulation predictor kits work by testing your urine for higher levels of a hormone called LH (luteinizing hormone). LH is always there in your urine and blood, but it tends to surge or increase 2-5 times one or two days before ovulation takes place. Experts believe that it is when the levels of this hormone begin to rise that a woman stands the best chance of conceiving.
How to Use Urine-Based Ovulation Predictor Kits
Using an OPK is very simple and it all depends on the particular brand you are using. If it’s a urine-based kit, you will have to collect your urine in a clean cup or container and immerse the stick or card in the urine. Alternatively, you may hold the stick under your pee. Generally, two colored bands or lines should appear on the stick or card to indicate a positive result. Other kits will use a smiling face to indicate a positive. Experts recommend that you should stop the intake of any fluids 2 hours prior to taking the test for the best results. Too may liquids will obviously dilute the urine. The best time to take this test is between 10 in the morning and 8 in the evening, though experts believe that it is between 2-2.30pm that you are bound to get a more accurate result.
If you have used a pregnancy kit before, it will be very easy to use an OPK because they almost operate the same way. Also, a reliable kit should come with instructions that are clear and easy for everyone to understand. To read the results, wait for ten minutes or less, don’t wait further than that because some kits tend to display a fake positive (with a faded 2nd line) after some time.
Salivari Ferning Ovulation Predictor Kits
On the other hand, salivary ferning ovulation predictor kits work by detecting a rise of salt levels in your saliva. This rise takes place a few days to ovulation and OPKs detect this rise through very tiny microscopes. The saliva is applied on a slide and as it dries up, the salt content will crystallize into a pattern that resembles a fern or a leaf. This crystallization will only take place when ovulation is approaching.
How To Use Ferning Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ferning OPKs are also quite easy to use since all that needs be done is to apply some saliva on the kit. This can be done by licking the slide or using a finger. To get results that are more accurate, perform this exercise as soon as you wake up and without eating or drinking anything first. Your kit should come with some instructions, but you will generally have to apply just a little saliva that is completely free from air bubbles on a slide.
To read the results, you will have to wait for the saliva to completely dry then you can look at the slide with the little microscope that comes with the kit. The instructions should also display what the results should look like, a fern-like image will indicate positive. When you get a positive, you can expect ovulation to happen in the next few days and you should therefore have unprotected sex at least once daily for the next 7 days, starting from the day you get a positive.
If you can’t afford to perform these tests every single day, you may start using them on the 11th day of your cycle if you have regular periods, but you will also have to look out for the symptoms of ovulation to make sure that your ovulation does not come earlier than expected and pass you by in the process.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Online Ovulation Calculators And How To Use Them
Using an online ovulation calculator can also help you to predict ovulation if you know your average cycle length and the exact date your last period started. You don’t have to consider every cycle you have gone through in life to determine your average cycle, the last 3 cycles you have had will be enough to determine your average cycle. You can still go ahead and use our online ovulation calculator if you cannot remember the exact length of your last 3-5cycles; all you have to do is assume that your average cycle is 28 days (as is common with most women) and hope for the best. It is, however, important that you start monitoring your cycle for future references, and you can easily do this using an ovulation calendar.
To use an online ovulation calculator, just type in the information you will be asked for, which should be the date or day your last period started and your average cycle length. The results you will receive are just an approximation and not a guaranteed date of your next ovulation. If your average cycle length is 28 days and your periods are regular, your results will be more accurate than a woman who has a shorter or longer cycle length, but still not 100% guaranteed. In any case, you can still expect to ovulate a few days earlier or later than the date generated by the calculator.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Ovulation Calendars And How To Use Them
Ovulation calendars are perhaps among the oldest ovulation prediction methods known to man. An ovulation calendar is just a simple calendar where you can keep track of your monthly cycle and do some calculations to predict your next ovulation. You may download an ovulation calendar from a trusted site or you may choose to work with what you already have at your house or office. To use your ovulation calendar, mark the first day of your period and make sure you continue marking it on your calendar for the next 3-6 months. With time, you will be in a good position to see how your monthly or menstrual cycle works. After 3-6 months, you can now use your calendar to predict your ovulation.
The next step after monitoring your monthly cycle is to minus or subtract 18 from the number of days in your shortest cycle. For example, if your shortest cycle had 25 days, take 25-18 to get 7. The results you get are the earliest date you can expect to ovulate. In this case, you can expect to ovulate around the 7th day of your cycle at the earliest. To predict the latest date you can expect to ovulate, take the number of your longest cycle and subtract 11. For example, if your longest cycle was 30 days, subtract 11 from 30 to get 19. You can therefore expect to ovulate around the 19th day of your cycle at the latest.
Just like ovulation calculators, ovulation calendars are not 100% accurate because some women have unreliable cycles, some are shorter, while others are longer. Also, ovulation is not guaranteed to take place every single month. For best results, ovulation calendars should be used together with OPKs and other ovulation prediction methods.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Why the Results Are Not 100% Accurate
So, why are ovulation calculators and ovulation calendars not 100% accurate?
There are a number of reasons that affect the results, for example, not all women have regular periods. When a woman has irregular periods, it would be impossible to categorize her average cycle length, and she would therefore have to guess her average cycle length when using our calculator. Ovulation calculators and ovulation calendars are based on the average cycle length of 28 days.
Another factor that affects the results is the fact that there are times when a woman will ovulate much earlier or later than expected, and there are also times when a woman will not ovulate at all. With this in mind, it would be wise to still look out for the signs and symptoms of ovulation or to use ovulation predictor kits even as you use calculators and calendars. This is especially true if you have irregular periods, or if you can’t remember the first day of your last period, or if you are unsure of your average cycle length.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – How To Predict Ovulation With Irregular Periods
Irregular periods are periods that do not occur habitually or consistently. This means that the duration after which the periods occur varies from month to month. When a woman has irregular periods, her menstrual cycle becomes indefinite or unclear, and this makes it a bit difficult for her to predict her ovulation.
In spite of this, such a woman can still predict her ovulation, but she will have to utilize all, or most of the ovulation prediction methods we have discussed. If you happen to be among the many women with irregular periods, the first thing you should do is to start paying closer attention to your body every single day. Learn to observe and differentiate between infertile and fertile cervical/vaginal fluid, fertile or infertile cervix position, ovulation pain and normal abdominal pains and other signs of ovulation we have already discussed.
The other step you need to take is to make use of OPKs every single day and to chart your BBT (basal body temperature) every single day. BBT charting is done using a special thermometer that can be purchased over-the-counter at most drug stores. You should be able to notice a slight rise in your temperature immediately after ovulation, and you can therefore have sex before your egg dies.
It is important that you use other ovulation prediction methods even as you chart your BBT because some illnesses such as colds and fever might interfere with your charting. Also, as a woman with irregular periods, the only sure way to ensure that your ovulation does not pass you by is to have unprotected sex every single day of your menstrual cycle. If you do not have an underlying problem that can cause infertility, you can expect to conceive within a few weeks of trying.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – When Is The Right Time To Have Baby-Making Sex?
Perhaps you have now predicted your ovulation date, or you already have an idea on when you will be ovulating next and are wondering what would be the best time to start having sex?
Well, the only sure way to make sure that ovulation doesn’t pass you by would be to have sex every single day. Unfortunately, not every couple will be able to afford to do that. Some people live miles apart, while others just can’t afford the time. For such people, predicting ovulation is very important if they have any hopes of having a baby. When people have an idea on when the woman will be ovulating next, they can reshuffle their schedules so that they can have unprotected sex at least once daily during her fertile period. The fertile period is the week that surrounds the predicted ovulation date.
As we have already seen, your egg will only be able to hang around waiting for your partner’s sperm for 12-24 hours. You should therefore make sure that the sperm is either awaiting the egg, or that it reaches your egg before it dies.
While your egg will only survive for 24 hours at the latest, your partner’s sperm has the ability to hang on for 3-5 days. After ejaculation, it will take around 6 hours for the sperm to swim into your fallopian tubes where it will either find your egg waiting, or it will wait for your egg for 3-5 days.
This means that if you have sex 3-5 days before ovulation, your ovum or egg might still get fertilized. Another interesting fact that not many women are aware of is that there are times when a woman will release a second egg a few hours after releasing the first one. It is therefore important to have sex once (or more times) daily during the week that surrounds your predicted ovulation date to maximize your chances of conceiving.
If you are using OPKs, start having sex the day you receive positive results and carry on for the next 7 days, or more. If you are depending on the signs of ovulation given by your body, start having sex as soon as you identify the signs and continue for a week or so.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – How To Tell If You Have Already Ovulated
Now that you know how to predict oncoming ovulation, you need to know the signs to look out for when you have already ovulated so that you can start planning for your next ovulation if you did not conceive this time round. Remember that after ovulating, you practically become infertile until the next ovulation where your fertile window will remain open for only 12-24 hours.
The first thing you will notice immediately after ovulation is that your temperature will go up by around .4 degrees and stay up for the next 3 days or so. Temperature charting, also know as BBT charting, will only let you know when ovulation has already taken place, not when ovulation is about to take place. This means that, unlike what many people think, BBT charting is not a dependable way to predict ovulation. Remember that your egg will only survive for 12-24 hours and you will therefore need to get busy with baby-making sex immediately you notice a temperature rise.
The other sure way to know if you have already ovulated is when you notice a change in your vaginal discharge consistency. During your fertile period, your vaginal discharge or mucus will be sticky or stretchy and will resemble the white part of a raw egg. Immediately after ovulation is over, your discharge will dry up and you can consider yourself infertile until your next ovulation.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Earliest Signs Of Pregnancy
As expected, you will be quite anxious to find out if your efforts bore some fruit or not. If you were able to successfully predict your ovulation and managed to have unprotected sex a few hours before and after you ovulated, there is a very high chance that you conceived. If you discover that you did not conceive, don’t worry; just take advantage of all of the ovulation prediction methods we discussed earlier so that you can prepare for your next ovulation.
The earliest sign of conception is implantation bleeding. Not all women will experience this sign but if you notice some minor bleeding 6-12 days after ovulation, you could be pregnant. Implantation bleeding can be accompanied by other signs like mild cramps, and it happens after the fertilized egg has implanted itself on the wall of the uterus.
The other early sign of pregnancy that you may notice 7-14 days after ovulation is swollen or tender breasts. Also, your areola might appear darker and bigger than normal. If you notice this sign, you could be pregnant.
Morning sickness, also known as nausea, is also an early sign or symptom of pregnancy. This sign will also not be experienced by all women but those who experience it will also notice unusual food cravings or loathing, a sharper sense of smell, and unusual tiredness. Nausea is also likely to strike anytime of the day and not in the mornings only.
The need to urinate frequently is also a sign of pregnancy that you may notice 2-3 weeks after conception. During this time, you may also notice some bloating and the need to pass wind often. After a few days, you might notice that you have missed a period and this will be another possible sign of pregnancy.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – How to Tests for Pregnancy
As we have already seen, not all women will experience most (if any) early signs of pregnancy. Some will only begin to suspect pregnancy when they have missed a period. But missing a period is also not a guaranteed sign of pregnancy. The only sure way to find out if you are really pregnant would be to take a home pregnancy test before taking another one at your doctor’s office.
The best time to take a pregnancy test is one week after missing a period. There are some pregnancy kits that claim to be able to show results much earlier, but waiting for at least a week will ensure that you don’t get a false negative.
To take a home pregnancy test, buy a pregnancy kit at the drug store and follow the given instructions. The best time to take this test would be right after waking up. Experts believe that the first urine of the day is more likely to give accurate results. After getting a positive result, schedule an appointment with your doctor who will take another pregnant test to confirm your pregnancy. Based on the information you provide, your doctor will be able to predict your due date.
If you get a negative result, don’t panic, there is still a lot of hope in your next ovulation.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – How to Naturally Improve Your Fertility
In addition to using ovulation calculators and other fertility predictors such as ovulation calendars and OPKs, you will need to adjust to a healthier lifestyle so as to improve your fertility. Some of the things you can start doing are the following:
1. Avoid Or Reduce The Intake Of Alcohol
Medical experts believe that alcohol damages fertility with time. Drinking is believed to lower testosterone levels in men and also to lower sperm quality. This means that if you are a drinker, you will not only need to stop or to minimize your drinking, your partner will also have to quit or decrease of his intake.
2. Change Your Diet
Both you and your partner will also have to adapt to a baby-friendly diet. Include fresh and organic foods in your daily diet to make sure your bodies absorb key nutrients and antioxidants that will help you to conceive easily. Nuts, turkey and chicken breasts will provide you with zinc, which will improve the maturity and the health of your eggs. Selenium is also important because it will improve the production of testosterone and formation of healthy sperm. Great sources of selenium include eggs, fish, mushrooms and Brazil nuts. Almonds, tomatoes, avocados, cabbages, kiwis, asparagus, yoghurt, beef and fresh salmon are also great for sperm health and mobility.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking has also been identified as a likely cause of infertility. It does this by hindering ovulation, damaging eggs and affecting sperm mobility. It is therefore very important to quit smoking if both of you are into it.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Being underweight or overweight can affect fertility in women and men as well. Discuss this with your doctor for tips on how to maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
5. Deal with stress
Studies show that fertility can shut down temporarily due to stress. To deal with stress, practice breathing exercises, meditate, do yoga, get a relaxing massage, go for nature walks, read books or engage in any other activity that you enjoy. Work-related stress is also not good for fertility and you can take a break from work if you are in a position to.
6. Take More Water
Consuming more water will boost your fertility by increasing your cervical mucus; this will allow your partner’s sperm to swim to your egg easily.
7. Practice Patience
If you have been on any kind of family planning, give your body time to readjust before panicking. Some women conceive immediately after stopping family planning, while others conceive after a few months.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Gender Prediction Calculator
A baby gender calculator is an online tool that is used to predict the gender of the baby soon after conception. These calculators are based on ancient Chinese pregnancy calendars which have been used for hundreds of years by the Chinese to predict the genders of their babies. To use a baby gender calculator, you will need to submit the mother’s real age and the date/month of conception. The calculator will generate the results as soon as the information has been submitted.
If you are wondering how accurate these calculators are, the truth is that they are not accurate :-). To get reliable results, visit your health provider for an ultrasound and other medical exams.
From Ovulation To Pregnancy – Conclusion
In conclusion, there is no fool-proof technique to predicting ovulation accurately, but the methods that we have discussed in this report will help you know when ovulation is days away. You may also talk to a midwife or a gynecologist for more information. Nonetheless, the key to conception is to have unprotected sex during ovulation. Also you may calculate your next ovulation right now using our online ovulation predictor.