Fertility Signs: How to Predict Ovulation

Your guide to predicting ovulation -- from basal body temperature charting to ovulation kits.
Trying to get pregnant? Experts agree that you can increase the odds of your success by predicting when you're ovulating and timing your intercourse. And because sperm can live for two to three days after intercourse and the egg can survive for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, the optimal time to have intercourse is one to three days before ovulation.

You can try these techniques to determine if you're fertile:

Chart your menstrual cycle

Most women usually ovulate around day 14 of the menstrual cycle. If your cycle is regular, your estimated date of ovulation is two weeks before your next expected period.

Record your waking temperature

Take your base temperature every morning before you get out of bed. During ovulation, your basal temperature will go up by about half a degree Celsius. As soon as higher-than-average temperatures have been recorded for three successive mornings, it indicates ovulation has taken place.

Check your cervical mucus

As your estrogen level rises before ovulation, you may notice your cervical mucus becoming slippery and stretchy (almost like raw egg white) - that's when you're most fertile.

Test with ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and fertility monitors

Commercial ovulation predictor kits can be very useful for pinpointing your fertile period, especially if you have a regular cycle. The kits work by detecting luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which surges just before ovulation occurs. Start testing a few days before your expected ovulation day. Two days before and two days after your date of ovulation is your most fertile time.

Fertility monitor, a newer device for predicting ovulation, works by analyzing urine samples and identifying days of low, high, and peak fertility. However, if your cycle is longer than 42 days or shorter than 21, this monitor may not be helpful.

Chart your fertility cycle with our basal body temperature & cervical mucus chart download.

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