What ovulation signs should I watch for if I am trying to conceive?
Understanding when you are ovulating and having sex regularly five days before and on the day of ovulation can improve your chances of conceiving.
Ovulation is the process in which a mature egg is released from the ovary. After it is released, the egg descends down the fallopian tube and remains there for 12 to 24 hours, where it can be fertilized. Sperm can live inside the female reproductive tract for up to five days after intercourse under the right conditions. Your chance of becoming pregnant is greater when there are live sperm in the fallopian tubes during ovulation.
In an average 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation usually occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period. However, each person’s cycle length may be different and the time between ovulation and the start of the next menstrual period may vary. If, like many women, you do not have a 28-day menstrual cycle, you can determine the length of your cycle and when you are most likely to ovulate by keeping a menstrual calendar.
Beyond the calendar, you can also look for signs and symptoms of ovulation, which include:
- Change in vaginal secretions (cervical mucus). Just before ovulation, you may notice an increase in clear, moist, stretchy vaginal secretions. Just after ovulation, the cervical mucus decreases and becomes thicker, cloudy and less noticeable.
- Change in basal body temperature. Your body temperature at rest (basal body temperature) increases slightly during ovulation. With a thermometer specifically designed to measure basal body temperature, take your temperature every morning before getting out of bed. Record the results and look for a pattern that emerges. You will be most fertile during the 2 or 3 days before the temperature rises.
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