Woman: What you should Know about Ovulation and your Fertility

ovulation-facts

There is a peak period where women tend to be more fertile during their cycle and this is around the ovulation period. A woman has about 1.2 million eggs and releases just 300 – 400 eggs through ovulation, releasing one at a time during the ovulation period. Couples who want to make babies should have sex frequently at this fertility peak period to increase chances. If you have a normal 28 days cycle then your ovulation should be 14 days after you get your period.

HOW TO TRACK YOUR OVULATION

If you know how to keep track of your ovulation period, you will be doing yourself good and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Many couples do not plan their pregnancy neither do they prepare, they just assume it should occur naturally, but did you know that having the knowledge of when you’re most fertile will increase your chance of getting pregnant. There are three most common ways to keep track of your ovulation period, they are:

Tracking Ovulation by Basal Temperature:  For you to do this effectively you need to take your basal temperature in the morning before you go out of bed and make sure you do away with any underlying factor that can spike the temperature reading. These kind of activities stated below can alter your basal temperature reading:

  • Drinking alcohol the night before
  • Smoking cigarettes the night before
  • Getting a poor night’s sleep
  • fever
  • Getting involved in any activity before you take your temperature — including going to the bathroom and talking on the phone.

Because this temperature reading differs from person to person, you will need to rely on your body and take the temperature over some months to know your most fertile days.

You can get your Basal Thermometer over the counter at your local pharmacy. The basal temperature rises by only 0.4 to 0.8 degree Celsius. The body releases a body hormone called progesterone after the egg has been released, this hormone is responsible to the slight increase in temperature which you can use to determine if you ovulated or not.

Your fertility is at peak at:

  • Two to three days before your basal temperature hits the highest (ovulation period), and
  • 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.

Tracking Ovulation by Calendar or Rhythm Method: Calendar method is a proven way of knowing when you are most fertile (ovulating). Some women don’t know and this will guide you. You will need to take your menstrual cycle on a calendar for 8 to 12 months. Some mobile apps can help you ease this manual calculation. Here is what to do;

The first day of your period is day 1, circle Day 1 on the calendar. The length of your period may vary from month to month. Write the number of days it last each time. These records are what you need to calculate your most fertile days. The calculation goes thus:

  1. To find out the first day of your ovulation period, subtract 18 from the total number of days in your shortest cycle. Take this new number and count ahead that many days from the first day of your next period. Draw an X through this date on your calendar. The X marks the first day you’re likely to be fertile.
  2. To find out the last day of your ovulation period, subtract 11 from the total number of days in your longest cycle. Take this new number and count ahead that many days from the first day of your next period. Draw an X through this date on your calendar. The time between the two Xs is your most fertile window.

This method always should be used along with other fertility awareness methods, especially if your cycles are not always the same length.

Tracking Ovulation by Cervical Mucus/Billings Ovulation Method: You may need the service of medical personnel to put you through. You are more fertile when the mucus is slippery and as clear as egg white. And it can last for 4 days. This method can also be used to prevent pregnancy, serving as a natural family planning method. Also note that you can get pregnant within the 10 days around that period, which is the 3 preceding days and the 3 succeeding days inclusive.

Combining the above three methods is called the symptothermal (SIMP-toh-thur-muhl) method. Use a combination of the three methods for accuracy.

Tracking Ovulation by Hormones: The luteinizing hormone, triggers your ovaries to release egg. The ovulation testing kit which can be purchased over the counter looks out for the surge in LH (luteinizing hormone), which normally happens 36 hours before the egg is released. These kits are accurate and convenient. You may need to test 1 to 2 days before you expect the surge, so you can note the rise in the luteinizing hormone.

WAYS TO BOOST OVULATION

Do you want to boost your chances of getting pregnant? Then you may want to:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Consume folic acids-rich foods
  • Consume more of organic and green products
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine

FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR INFERTILITY

Your Age: fertility in women decreases with age. The quality of eggs you produce decreases with age, see this article.

Your Man’s Age:  study shows that the quality of sperm a man produces and the movement of the sperm decreases as the man ages. Even though, there is no cap of the age a man can father a child. Study shows that men who are 45 years and above finds it difficult to father a child once they start trying.

Being Overweight/ Underweight – if you’re obese or overweight, losing weight can boost your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. Being overweight can also affect a man’s testosterone level and can cause infertility. Being overly underweight can also lead to infertility.

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