The duration of highest fertility is known as ovulation which is a consequence of the ovum coming out from the ovarian follicle. This period lasts from 4 days prior to ovulation until a day after the ovum is released. Although the ovum remains for 24 hours the fertile period may be longer since the sperm can remain in the woman’s body for about 5 days.
An accurate prediction of the period of peak fertility is very important for women who are looking to become pregnant. For this, the date when ovulation occurs must be estimated correctly. Some of the methods to increase chances of pregnancy are with the use of a saliva ovulation predictor, cervical position, testing for ovulation and BBT charting. Physical symptoms may include lower abdomen discomfort, cervical position and cervical mucus changes.
Fertility Charting and Basal Body Temperature
Once ovulation has occurred there will be a rise in body temperature by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, detected by a basal thermometer. This is caused by the increasing amount of progesterone, a hormone that is present during ovulation. The increase in temperature makes it warm and fertile for implanting the egg and also enables the subsequent development of the embryo.
2-3 days prior to the maximum increase in temperature a period of maximum fertility can be achieved in a woman’s body. Due to the fact that the thermal shift occurs after ovulation, BBT charting will not predict ovulation. But the variations in basal temperature can help you track the changes in menstrual cycle and predict when ovulation might occur. Once you have predicted your most fertile period you can schedule intercourse accordingly.
Zoom Baby supplies a digital thermometer and BBT charting pack that will allow you to track accurately the changes in your body temperature.
Luteinising Hormone, Ovulation and Ovulation tests
Ovulation Tests – Increased quantities of Lutropin before ovulation, called LH surge, can lead to ovulation. LH surge is an accurate way of predicting fertility. You can conceive 36 hours after an LH Surge has occurred. The LH Ovulation test can detect an LH Surge which is the most opportune time for ovulation and can help you schedule your intercourse. This surge happens over a period of 1-2 days and with a positive LH surge you can also be sure of a high degree of fertility and ovulation.
Saliva Ovulation Tests
These tests detect changes in the levels of hormones especially of oestrogen. A slow increase in oestrogen levels can be seen just before ovulation takes place. An ovulation microscope is used to gauge fertility by seeing the changes in saliva during your cycle. Although the oestrogen surge is slower to occur than a LH surge you can still predict ovulation to be occurring within the next 72 hours. The saliva will contain crystal patterns caused due to increase in oestrogen levels. The patterns look like fern fronds and are hence called ferning patterns. You can predict fertility and ovulation accurately if you see ferning patterns.
The tests above are useful but show different strengths. LH urine ovulation tests will give a window of 26-35 hours for ovulation whereas ovulation microscopes can do so more in advance which in turn will make it easy for you to plan sex 2-3 days prior to ovulation and increase chances of pregnancy.
Fertility, Ovulation and Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus shows an increase in volume during the menstrual cycle. It also shows changes in texture and consistency. Ovulation occurs due to hormonal changes which comes about due to such an increase in volume and changes in consistency. When the cervical mucus increases to its maximum volume and becomes very slippery it indicates peak fertility.
Pre-Ovulation – Dryness without mucus follows the menstrual period. Mucus will increase slowly and will have either a yellow, white or cloudy hue along with a sticky consistency.
During Ovulation – Mucus will increase and it will have a semi transparent, egg-white kind of look with a slippery texture. This is the period of maximum fertility.
Following Ovulation – The mucus will become less slippery and it will become sticky with the cloudiness hue increasing along with increased dryness as well.
This post first appeared in 2016 and has been updated since.