When couples decide that they are ready to become parents, it is not unusual for conception to take longer than they imagined it would. In many cases, there are underlying fertility issues that may be making this process more difficult, in which case Dr. Janelle Dorsett can provide infertility information to determine how best to assist a patient in becoming pregnant. However, in some cases it is simply a matter of poor timing. Many patients are unaware that there is a small window of opportunity each month in which it is actually possible to conceive. Learning how to track ovulation, and when it is best to have sexual intercourse, may be just what is needed to turn those frustrating negative pregnancy tests into a triumphant positive. Dr. Dorsett is happy to discuss ovulation tracking options with our Lubbock, TX patients.
It is important to understand how ovulation relates to pregnancy. Ovulation describes the time that an egg is released from the female’s ovaries. Knowing when ovulation occurs is important to determining the best times to have sexual intercourse in order to successfully fertilize that egg. A woman is most fertile during the two to three days leading up to ovulation, and throughout the day of ovulation. This window of time is when a couple has the best chances of conceiving.
There are several ways in which a woman may track ovulation in order to determine the best time for sexual intercourse. Which method is right for each woman comes largely down to personal preference, although the regularity of her menstrual cycle can also help determine the best method. Below are the most common ovulation tracking options:
- Calendar tracking: For women who have a regular menstrual cycle, calendar tracking is probably the easiest method for determining ovulation. First, a woman should mark the first day of her menstrual cycle, and then the first day of her next cycle. The length of time between the first day of the menstrual cycle, and the last day before the next period is the length of the menstrual cycle. For most women, ovulation occurs about two weeks before the next expected period, which would work out to day 14 if a woman had an average 28-day menstrual cycle.
- Body monitoring: If ovulation is irregular, a woman may be more successful in predicting ovulation by monitoring her body, specifically the basal body temperature, and the cervical mucus. Basal body temperature is the body’s lowest body temperature during a 24-hour period. This temperature should stay the same, but will rise slightly (about .5-1 degree) a few days after ovulation. Tracking this rise in basal body temperature can help to predict when ovulation will occur the following month. Cervical mucus, or vaginal discharge, will also change as the body nears ovulation. Typically, discharge will increase, and cervical mucus will appear clear and slippery (like the consistency of egg whites) at the time of ovulation.
- Ovulation predictor kit: The most accurate ovulation tracker is an ovulation predictor kit. These kits use tests similar to pregnancy tests. The woman pees on one of the tester sticks and will receive a positive reaction one or two days prior to ovulation.
These ovulation tracking methods may help many couples plan sexual intercourse during fertile periods in order to successfully conceive, however, if other issues are present, fertility treatment may be necessary. Dr. Dorsett is happy to discuss these treatment options with patients who remain unsuccessful in their pregnancy attempts.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in learning more about ovulation tracking, or fertility treatment, we invite you to schedule an appointment at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine at your earliest convenience. Dr. Janelle Dorsett and her team of fertility specialists look forward to meeting you.