For anyone that is trying to conceive this is one of the most important things to know as the window for conception each month is actually quite small. If your menstrual cycle is very regular and the same length each month then it is very easy to predict your most fertile days using an ovulation calculator. There is a very easy to use one at BBC Health
If you cycle is irregular or unpredictable then it may help you to use an ovulation predictor to identify your most fertile days each month as these may will from month to month.
There are several methods to predict when ovulation will occur, the most commonly used method is to use a urine ovulation test or ovulation predictor kit which identifies your LH surge. LH is the hormone which triggers ovulation to occur and it peaks just before ovulation occurs each month & so is a reliable predictor of ovulation. The advantage of using an ovulation predictor is because you know that you are about to ovulate, you can have intercourse just prior to ovulation, as well as at the time of ovulation, to make sure that plenty of sperm are around to fertilise the egg when it is released, thus increasing the chances of conception.
Other methods to identify your most fertile time are looking for signs that ovulation has occurred:
changes in cervical mucus which becomes more stringy and appears like raw egg whites this method is known as the billings method.
your basal body temperature increases so many women use a high accuracy thermometer to chart basal body temperature
There are also changes in saliva around ovulation and this can be identified using a saliva ovulation microscope.
The disadvantage to these methods is they do not give you prior notice that ovulation is about to occur just that is has occurred. studies show that if you have intercourse just prior to ovulation as well as at ovulation it increases your chances of conceiving. It means the sperm are ready & waiting for the egg.
Knowing when ovulation means that you know when your fertile time of the month is. The fertilisation window each month is actually quite small for women. If you are going to conceive, it is within 24 hours after ovulation.
Ovulation usually occurs approximately 14 days before your period is due ie the 2nd stage of the menstrual cycle (the luteal phase) is usually 14 days long. This is fixed for most women although it can vary between 11-16 days for some. The part of the cycle that more often varies is the first half ie the run up to ovulation or the follicular phase.
If your follicular phase is the same each month this makes knowing when ovulation occurs very easy and predictable using a calender. The problem occurs when the folicular phase of your cycle is erratic or unpredictable. Irregularity of the pre-ovulation phase are more common in young women under 25 years & in older women (over 40 years) often being shorter or longer and less predictable.
For some women the follicular phase can be very prolonged for example in polycystic ovarian syndrome or the cycle may be anovulatory (ie ovulation does not occur)
Ovulation is the term used for the release of a viable egg from the ovary.
Conception can not occur until the viable egg is released, and starts its journey down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
The trigger for ovulation to occur is a sudden increase in the blood levels of the hormone LH, released from the pituitary gland. Normally the egg is released 14 days before the 1st day of the next menstrual period is due to occur. If conception and implantation occurs the period does not occur and an early pregnancy is progressing.
”Your site was recommended by a friend. I have never used an ovulation kit and wanted to know which one was the easiest to you. I was hoping on instructions before I bought the kit to see which I could find the easiest.
How do they work, do you use them every day or just when you thing you’re ovulating? I really want something asap as I’m day 4 of my period. Thank you”
”Good day , pls i have been trying to conceive since January this year but I don’t know if I am not calculating my ovulation well. I saw my july period on 13th and august on 11th, pls when exactly is my ovulation day again, thanks. Reply soon pls.
My first child is 2yrs now
NN (Mrs) ” 17/8/11
Here is our answer:
Ovulation usually occurs in most fertile women 12-14 days before the period starts.If your cycle is regular (ie similar length each month) it is fairly easy to predict when you will ovulateThis means that if you are on a 28-29 day menstrual cycle then ovulation will occur around day 14-15 (the 1st day of your period is day 1 of your cycle)This is not an exact science however so you should also look for other signs of ovulation such as changes in your cervical mucus (the stringy watery vaginal discharge that occurs at ovulation)