Keeping track of your ovulation cycle even with irregular menstruations

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Some couples seem to get pregnant without even trying. After six months or so of regular sexual activity without the use of birth control, they find out that they’re expecting. However, many others find themselves frustrated after trying and failing for what can seem like a very long time.

It’s true that Mother Nature engineered us to have children without understanding or trying to influence the process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do so. If you want to take matters into your own hands and help speed things along, it may be worth it to begin paying closer attention to your ovulation cycles. Here are some suggestions to help you aid Mother Nature.

How long does ovulation last and when does it occur?

The female body only ovulates once per menstrual cycle which creates a relatively short window of fertility. For some women, this will happen at precisely the same time every month, making it a snap to predict and track. Unfortunately, for many women, trying to pinpoint ovulation can be like trying to hit a moving target. Stress, exercise and all sorts of other little factors can shift the date a woman ovulates.

Watch out for a change in cervical fluid.

Although not all cervical fluid looks the same, most women experience more of it around the time they are ovulating. If you notice cervical fluid that bears a resemblance to egg whites (again, this varies somewhat with different women), that’s a sign that you are either about to begin or are already ovulating.

Pay attention to your cervical position.

Your cervix will be soft, high, wet and more open than usual around the time that you are ovulating. It may take a while before you can distinguish the various phases the cervix goes through, but this is one of the most reliable indicators of ovulation.

Track your basal body temperature.

Your basal body temperature will most likely stay around the same level throughout the month, dip slightly right before ovulation, then spike after you have ovulated. Tracking your basal (morning) body temperature is not the most effective way to predict ovulation because by the time you realize the temperature change, the window may have passed.  However, it is very helpful to your doctor to determine if there are other potential fertility issues.

Keep an eye on secondary symptoms.

Not all women experience the same (or any) secondary symptoms of ovulation, but it’s worth paying attention. When ovulating, some women experience an increased interest in sex, heightened sensory perception, tender breasts, slight abdominal bloating, pain in one side (left or right ovary) and light spotting.

Buy an ovulation predictor kit.

Realistically, it’s not that easy for some women to track what their cervix is doing throughout the month. If you’re having a tough time pinpointing your ovulation cycle, a kit is a fairly reliable way to go. Ovulation predictor kits keep track of the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine, which increases dramatically right before ovulation.

Yes, there’s an app for that.

Of course there is. For convenience, download a free app like this one for your phone [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-days-period-ovulation/id470179308?mt=8] to help keep tabs on where you are in your reproductive cycle.

References.

  1. American Pregnancy Association: Signs of Ovulation. Available from: http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/signs-of-ovulation/. Accessed on March 11, 2015.
  2. Parenting.com.  Myth:  Basal Body Temperature is Key to Determining Ovulation. Available from: http://www.parenting.com/article/basal-body-temperature-key-determining-ovulation.  Accessed March 15, 2015.

Photo Credit: Baby Time™ via Compfight cc

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We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah  /  August 30, 2015, 7:12 pm Reply

    Hello,
    Me and my partner lost our first child near one year ago, I am starting to ovulate again and have cycles.
    It has been a really sad time, we are trying for another baby. The problem is, I can’t seem to hit that window when I am ovulating at the precise time. I am in Chiang Mai and would very much like to buy an ovulation kit, can you give me any advice to which the best one is to get and where? I cannot find in Watson’s, do they sell them in boots as I can’t find them there either? I need a kit that is accurate and not overpriced, any thoughts or advice would be very kind. Thank you

  2. admin  /  September 3, 2015, 11:56 am Reply

    Thank you for your question. We are glad to help in any way possible.

    An ovulation kit should be available at Boots in stores in Thailand. Note that there are many brands available, so please consult a pharmacist to find the kit best suited for you. Additionally, you can go to any hospital nearby and consult a doctor about an ovulation kit.

    We hope that this answers your question.

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