Causes - Ovulation - Resources

In this Topic Center, we review ovulation symptoms and treatments for ovulation disorders.

By learning to track your ovulation cycles, you may be able to tell whether you are ovulating regularly or not. If your cycles seem irregular and you are having trouble getting pregnant, see a doctor.

Choose a fertility calendar
Ovulation marks your most fertile time of the month. When you are ready to track your cycle to predict ovulation, choose a fertility calendar. Some women prefer to use a paper calendar while others like to track their cycles online. Handy phone apps allow you to track your cycles on your mobile devices and on your computer.

Getting started
Whatever the calendar method you choose, plan to start tracking your menstrual bleeding, cervical mucus changes, and basal body temperature (BBT) on day 1 of your next cycle (the 1st day of menstrual bleeding). You will also want to begin noting other factors that can affect your health such as illness, travel, stress, and other changes.

Because a woman’s menstrual cycle can vary, identifying your most fertile time is not always easy! Here are some recommended methods to help you determine when you’re most likely to get pregnant:

Track your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). Take your temperature first thing in the morning, using a digital thermometer, before you do any activity or get out of bed.  Normally, a woman’s BBT goes up almost one degree immediately after ovulation. If you track your BBT, after several months of charting, you may start to see a distinct temperature pattern.

Check the consistency of your cervical mucus. Your cervix regularly produces mucus that shields your body from bacteria and other organisms, even sperm. Changes in the consistency of your cervical mucus signal that your fertility is at its peak. By monitoring your cervical mucus changes, you may be able to identify your most fertile days.

Visit your local pharmacy
Some women prefer to get technical when tracking ovulation. A fertility monitor may help you find your most fertile time. Based on urine tests, this monitor records your daily fertility level (low, high, peak). An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) is another test to use at home. This kit measures luteinizing hormone (LH) levels to predict the best time for intercourse for pregnancy. These ovulation detection methods can help you learn more about your cycles.

Keep in mind that none of these charting methods are foolproof. If your ovulation cycles seem irregular, or if you are having trouble getting pregnant, ask a fertility specialist about fertility tests and treatments for ovulation problems.

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