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.
Determining the best time to collect your urine for LH testing
For best results, collect your urine at about the same time each day, for example, between 10:00AM and 8:00PM. Some women have found that their best specimen is after 12 noon.
Do not collect your first urine after waking up. Reduce your liquid intake approximately 2 hours prior to urine collection.
You can store your urine for later testing in the day. Your urine can be stored at room temperature for up to 8 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Do not freezeit.
For best results, test your urine on the same day that it is collected. If you refrigerate your urine, let it reach room temperature before testing (about 30 minutes). Do not shake the container. If a sediment forms at the bottom of the collection container, allow the sediment to settle. Use only urine from the top of the container.
Thought it may be helpful to some readers to run over the basics of ovulation and when the most fertilie time occurs.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. The egg then passes into the fallopian tube where it is ready to be fertilised. In order for pregnancy to occur, the egg must be fertilized by sperm within 24 hours after its release.
Immediately prior to ovulation , the body produces a large amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) ,which triggers the release of the ripe egg from the ovary.
This LH surge usuallly takes place in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
Ovulation Prediction Tests help you to predict the time of ovulation & therefore peak fertility.
It is during this fertile time that pregnancy is most likely to occur.
The ovulation prediction test detects the LH surge in urine, signalling that ovulation is likely to occur in the next 24-36 hours
”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”