Tracking your Ovulation

As a married couple, my husband and I contemplate when is the best time to start having children. It’s a blessed event that begins a long chapter in any one’s life. Perhaps the top fears amongst men and women regard money, finding the time, impact on career’s and the ability to conceive. Thankfully, modern technology can make the guessing game of conception shorter. If you have ever taken a trip towards pregnancy tests, you will have noticed an array of “Ovulation Tests.”

Many couples can try to conceive for several months with no luck. In fact, healthy couples can try for up to a year. However it is important to keep in mind that a woman only ovulates for 24-48 hrs in her whole cycle. It starts by the release of the egg into the fallopian tubes and ends after the time period above. After that point, the egg disintegrates. It will not matter if you have exhausted yourselves silly if you miss that tiny window. So what can you do to speed up the process, especially if you and your husband are aiming for a specific delivery date?

Get to know your body: Start by grabbing up a calendar and marking the length of your cycle from the first day to the last. This is incredibly important if you are have an irregular cycle (like most women I know).

Many doctors will tell their patients their most fertile day is Day 14. What does that mean? If you have a seven-day period, you count it. Seven days from the end of your period on day 14 is supposedly the time you ovulate. However, a more real estimation of ovulation happens anywhere depending on the typical length of your cycle. For a traditional 28-day cycle, the day of ovulation is 14 (although you can still ovulate anywhere from day 10-18). For a 32-day cycle, it’s day 18 and so on. It is good to know how long your cycle typically is by charting it for at least three months. The best time to have sex is a day or so before you expect to ovulate so that the sperm are at the door, waiting for the egg as soon as it is released into the fallopian tube. In addition, you may not even ovulate every month.

That’s where ovulation tests come in handy: The best one I have found is the “Answer Ovulation Test Daily Tracker” kit. It includes 20 tests for $19.99. This is the wonderful for women who have no idea when to expect ovulation.

How to begin: These tests are quite similar to pregnancy tests. The day after the last day of your period, you start testing. You want to test at roughly the same time of day. Restrict your fluid intake a few hours before the test or test in the morning time for an increased accurate result. You collect your urine into a tiny cup (provided by the kit), dip in the “test” section for ten seconds, and then wait for five minutes before reading the result.

Two Lines: You have the control line and the test line. You are looking for the test line to become darker than or to match the color of the control line. If you obtain that, you are detecting an LH surge. However, if the control line is the darker line, you do not have an LH surge present. Do the full amount of test strips and mark your calendar to chart this new information. If you did not get a positive result during the 20 tests, buy a new set and keep trying. All that means is that you have a longer cycle or you may not have ovulated.

*If you look at the test strip later than five minutes, it will start to darken the lines, which may result in an inaccurate reading.

*When you remove a test strip, make sure you replace the cap of the bottle quickly and store the package in a dry, cool place.

What is an LH surge: LH stands for Luteinizing Hormone. It is released from your pituitary gland 24-48 hours prior to ovulation.

A positive result: As soon as you see that LH surge, you and your partner can get to work. When used properly, these tests are 99% accurate. One website stated that the third day after the positive test result is the day of ovulation. Keep in mind that sperm will survive and be able to propagate for at least three days. The Answer kit suggests having sex within the next 24-48 hours after the positive result.

A debated topic amongst professionals is how much sex a couple who are trying to conceive should have.  Too much sex reportedly can deplete the healthy sperm stores and too little sex will not due to the trick. I have heard every day to every other day. On one website, a doctor suggested the patient have sex every twelve hours after the positive result and she became pregnant in the first month of trying. The best advice is to try it all out and see what works.

Be comforted in the fact that these ovulation tests help you pin point the one week in your cycle you need to be focused on and good luck!

FYI: The best time to use a pregnancy test is one week after your missed period for the most accurate result (this includes the so called early detection tests).

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5 thoughts on “Tracking your Ovulation

  1. Bobbi says:

    Oh man. I really should start doing this. I’d like to know where i’m at in my cycle

    • Hey Bobbi! There is an amazing book called, “Taking Control of Your Fertility.” It has so incredibly much information that any girl after the age of 12 should know about her body. Every woman should have a copy of this book!

  2. Becca says:

    I am using NFP, in particular the sympto-thermal rule. It is similar to the strips but you are using up to 3 simple methods at once that optimize you ability to track you fertility and detect problems with your cycle if there are any. It also gives you about a 6 day wind around your ovulation so you can take full advantage of your fertility to achieve pregnancy. If you find problems with your cycle this method also helps you correct the problem with dietary changes.

  3. ulla says:

    Those strips are tricky to read at times. Some days i stare at the strip trying to figure out if there is enough darkness to confirm ovulation. My husband and i should have started trying 3 months ago, but one of us seem to be sick during ovulation. ugh. My friend said so just do it. I just can’t get in the mood and who wants to be swapping germs. is it me? happy fornicating!

    • Trying to conceive is such a tricky business! The best part is the fact that both parents are really ready to take that new step in their lives which is especially important for a new baby. I always hold the strip out far to try to judge which is darker…if that helps! I wish you and your husband good luck!!
      As for me, I’m the youngest of five and am still patiently waiting for one of my older sister’s to take the first jump. Hopefully, it will be soon… 😉
      Stay tuned for more pregnancy related articles regarding everything from nutrition to complaints…

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