While infertility is a problem for millions of people, many of those who are not getting the positive pregnancy test they want are simply not timing their conception attempts correctly. Tracking your ovulation is a key tool for our Dallas, TX patients, and has allowed many couples to become pregnant without the need for infertility treatment.
The fertility specialists at CARE Fertility are happy to teach patients how to properly track ovulation. If ovulation tracking does not result in a positive pregnancy test, we can look further into what may be causing infertility, and what types of treatments can overcome these obstacles so that our patients can finally experience the joys of parenthood.
What Is Ovulation?
Women who are trying to become pregnant tend to hear a lot about ovulation, and when it is the best time to have sex. However, many do not understand what ovulation is. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the body releases an egg for fertilization. Ovulation describes the day that the mature egg is released into the fallopian tube, where sperm can reach it and fertilize it.
Even with the best tracking tools, it can be difficult to determine a woman’s exact ovulation day, so we often refer to a fertile window. The fertile window is the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. Women who attempt to conceive outside of this fertile window have little chance of becoming pregnant.
Timing is one of the most important aspects of conception, so it is important for women to understand how to track ovulation. It can take a few months for women to accurately calculate ovulation, especially if they experience an irregular menstrual cycle. The first part of tracking ovulation is determining the length of your menstrual cycle. Women should count from the beginning of their menstrual cycle (which is day one of their period) to the end of their cycle (which is the last day before the next period begins). An average menstrual cycle is 28 days, though this can vary for each woman.
Ovulation typically happens two weeks before the next menstrual cycle begins. For a woman with a 28-day menstrual cycle, this means that ovulation should occur on day 14. Taking into account the fertile window, the best days to have sex would be on days 9 to 14 of the menstrual cycle, with the most fertile days being days 12, 13, and 14. These numbers will differ based on the length of each woman’s menstrual cycle.
If a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular, there are other methods for tracking ovulation, such as:
- Observe vaginal discharge. When mucus is clear and slippery (similar to the consistency of egg whites), it is a good sign that ovulation is about to occur.
- Record your basal body temperature (BBD) before getting out of bed each day. Right after ovulation, the BBD is likely to rise about half a degree celsius. This rise in temperature is a signal that ovulation has occurred.
- Consider using an ovulation predictor kit. The test will produce a positive result when the body is within 24 to 36 hours of ovulation.
When to Seek Fertility Treatment
Even when tracking ovulation, it can take time for pregnancy to occur because there are so many factors that go into conception. However, if a couple has been tracking ovulation and has not conceived within a year of trying, it is time to seek fertility treatment. Our doctors can test both partners to determine what may be causing infertility, and offer fertility treatment plans that may best eliminate these obstacles so that pregnancy is a success.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have concerns about your own fertility or that of your partner, the experienced fertility specialists at CARE Fertility can help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more about the comprehensive range of fertility services available at our center.