When it comes to having a baby, timing is everything! Every month you can only get pregnant during your fertile window.
This fertile window lasts 6 days total.
Six days out of the month is not much time!
Timed sex during your 6 day fertile window will increase your chances of becoming pregnant by up to 30%.
While a 30% chance each month doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s considerably better than the 0% to 10% chance during the rest of the month.
For pregnancy to occur, the stars need to align with the sperm and egg to meet within a 24-hour window after an egg is released.
Now you see why timing is everything when trying to make a baby!
In order to maximize your chances of pregnancy each month, you need to track your ovulation.
This will pinpoint your fertile window and tell you when it’s best to have timed sex.
To help you maximize your chances of conception, start tracking your ovulation cycle!
Let’s look at 6 different techniques for tracking your ovulation.
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How To Track Your Ovulation Days
1. Basal Body Temperature
Basal Body temperature or BBT is your resting temperature upon waking in the morning.
This method of ovulation testing requires a specific thermometer that calculates a tenth of a degree.
To receive an accurate temperature, you have to take it in the morning before getting out of bed.
Your movement will cause increases in temperature that can give you inaccurate temperatures.
When your BBT is calculated every day for a few months, you will begin to notice a pattern in temperature.
For most women with regular cycles, basal temperature will increase during the fertile window and drop after ovulation.
This method of tracking ovulation will help you predict when you ovulate month to month.
While this technique is great for predicting ovulation, it’s not perfect.
This method is perfect for making sure that ovulation actually did occur.
With BBT charting, you are looking for a .4 degrees shift after ovulation.
For normal cycles, your temperatures should be low before ovulation and higher temperatures after ovulation.
If your temperature continues to stay high leading up to your period, then it’s an indication of pregnancy.
However, basal body temperature charting should be combined with another method.
BBT alone will not help you accurately predict your ovulation since your cycle can have slight variations from month to month.
Although basal body temperature is great for showing patters in ovulation, it is a tedious method.
Your temperature has to be taken at the same time each morning before any activity.
Depending on your life style and work schedule, this can be difficult and temperatures can be wrong.
If you are trying for a second child, BBT charting at the same time each day becomes difficult.
A basal body temperature kit that makes BBT charting easy is the TempCue BBT Kit. This thermometer connects directly to a fertility tracking app that stores and charts BBT throughout the month.
No charting by hand! Everything is done for you!
If you prefer to chart by hand, here’s where you can find a blank BBT chart!
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2. Cervical Mucus and Position
You may have noticed by now that your cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle.
Due to hormones cervical mucus after a period is usually dry or non-existent.
Before ovulation moisture builds up to a watery cervical mucus. For ovulation, cervical mucus becomes slippery and stretchy.
This is referred to as egg-white cervical mucus and it’s the most fertile.
If you are familiar with your cervical mucus, it can help you determine when you are fertile.
To use cervical mucus as an indication of ovulation is easy. Just look for an increase in cervical mucus that is egg-white in texture and stretches 2 inches or more between your fingers.
But how about cervical position?
Just like cervical mucus, your cervical position varies throughout tracking ovulation cycle.
During ovulation your cervix will be positioned high in the vagina and will feel soft, wet and open.
Although cervical position and mucus are good indicators for helping to predict ovulation, every woman is different.
Many women will experience egg-white cervical mucus and a high and open cervix during ovulation.
However, this may not be true for you. There could also be cycles where cervical mucus and position are different from the norm.
That is why using cervical mucus and position should be combined with other reliable signs.
3. Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPK’s)
OPk’s work the same way pregnancy tests do. You urinate on them and they test for a specific hormone.
For ovulation prediction kits, that hormone is LH (luteinizing hormone). When you receive a positive on a OPK, it has detected your LH surge.
So why is that important?
Because LH is the hormone that triggers the start of ovulation.
After receiving a positive ovulation test, ovulation will occur 24 to 36 hours later.
OPK’s are one of the best ways to predict and track ovulation.
With OPK’s you will have an accurate time frame of ovulation to best time sex and inseminations.
With OPK’s there are many options on the market. Lucky for you, I have tried about every brand and type out there when it comes to OPK’s!
While each brand will give you the same accurate results, every OPK has pros and cons.
Let’s review some ovulation kit options and which would be best for you!
Basic Line Type OPK: Perfect if you are obsessed with peeing on ovulation sticks or have irregular cycles and will be using a lot of ovulation tests.
Pros: Inexpensive; can be used multiple times a day to pinpoint ovulation for inseminations.
Cons: Line OPK’s can be difficult to interpret.
Clearblue Digital with smiley faces: Perfect for anyone that doesn’t like to read line OPK’s and “guess” or assume their ovulating.
Also perfect for women who need clear accurate results for inseminations.
I use this OPK to pinpoint when to inseminate and I love the clear results!
Pros: Clear digital results with an empty circle for negative and a smiley face for your LH surge.
Cons: Expensive! The digital tests cost considerably more than regular line OPK’s.
Clearblue Advanced Digital OPK with smiley faces: Perfect for any woman trying to get pregnant naturally.
I would not suggest this OPK for anyone doing inseminations because it identifies 4 fertile days, which could cause some confusion for insemination timing.
Pros: Identifies 4 fertile days (2 days more than any other OPK); Identifies LH and estrogen to give you 2 “high” fertility days and 2 “peak” fertility days.
Cons: Expensive!; tells you two extra days that are not needed to identify when you’re fertile (this may hinder you pinpointing ovulation for timed inseminations).
4. Fertility Monitors
Fertility monitors work by measuring and charting your saliva and/or cervical mucus electrolytes.
These electrolytes are influenced by estrogen throughout your cycle.
Fertility Monitors like OvaCue gives you two ways of tracking ovulation: saliva and cervical mucus.
OvaCue Fertility Monitor provides you with a 98% accuracy and gives you 5-7 days advance notice of when your fertile!
Plus, it confirms ovulation for you.
No more guesswork about if you ovulated or not…
By using a saliva fertility monitor like ClearBlue Fertility Monitor you time sex with high fertility days and peak fertility days with up to 97% accuracy.
This fertility monitor gives you 6 days total of fertility to maximize your chances of conception.
Instead of testing electrolytes in your saliva or cervical mucus, ClearBlue Fertility Monitor measures and tracks hormones in your urine.
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5. Ava Bracelet For Tracking Ovulation Cycle
Ava Fertility Tracking is fairly new in the world of fertility tracking. Since its release, the Ava bracelet has been FDA approved and is by far the easiest way to track ovulation.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while, you know timing sex and/or inseminations with ovulation is difficult.
You’re trying to pinpoint the days you’re fertile in order to make sure sperm and egg meet at the perfect time. It’s not easy!
Ava bracelet uses the latest technology to monitor and track a variety of physiological signs your body gives before and after ovulation occurs.
It identifies an average of 5.3 fertile days a month simply by wearing the Ava bracelet while you sleep.
The Ava bracelet measures the following to find your most fertile days:
Skin Temperature: Similar to basal body temperature, the bracelet tracks skin temperature that increases by one and a half degrees after ovulation.
Resting Pulse Rate: Identifies the beginning of the fertile window when your pulse rate increases by 2.1 beats per minute.
Breathing Rate: Your breathing rate increases during the luteal phase.
Heart Rate Variability Ratio: The time interval between heartbeats. Ava measures low and high frequency in heart rate to determine stress levels.
Perfusion: The process of blood flow to body tissues that helps regulate body temperature to heat up or cool down. During your fertile period, perfusion increases, then drops again after ovulation.
Movement: Tracks light, deep and REM sleep patterns
Bioimpendance: Vital information about the skin like sweating and hydration.
Heat Loss: Monitors heat loss related to your metabolic rate while you sleep.
Sleep: Tracks the quality and amount of sleep you get each night including the percentage of deep and REM sleep overtime.
The Ava Fertility Tracker seems promising in accurately predicting ovulation.
But what about after you conceive?
Once pregnant, you can continue to wear the Ava bracelet while sleeping to track pregnancy week by week.
6. Fertility Apps
There’s an app for everything now a days! And that includes your fertility.
If you’ve just begun your trying to conceive journey, a fertility app is the best way to start!
If you’re actively trying to conceive with other ovulation methods, a fertility app will still help you track symptoms, BBT temperatures and when to start taking ovulation tests.
Fertility apps will give you a way to track your period and tell you when you should be ovulating.
On top of that many fertility apps offer extra features in which you can log symptoms and even join forums to connect with others who are trying to conceive.
So, which fertility app is right for you?
Well here’s a quick list of some of the best fertility apps and some of the great features they offer!
Ovia Fertility: Track your symptoms, mood, PMS, exercise, sex and nutrition; Predicts fertile window and a daily fertility score; log your BBT, cervical mucus and position and medications; tips and articles about fertility are available in the app.
The Ovia Fertility app is my favorite fertility app I’ve used for a while now. It’s an all-in-one app.
You don’t have to search for multiple apps for multiple functions like logging your BBT, charting symptoms, etc.
Glow: Very similar features to the Ovia Fertility app, but includes an additional forum for those trying to conceive.
OvuView: Uses 14 total fertility methods; temperature and symptom charts; cycle statistics; ovulation notifications; a pregnancy mode; tips and information regarding fertility.
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When it comes to ovulation tracking cycle, there’s no short supply of different methods to choose from.
Some of these techniques need to be combined with more reliable, scientific methods.
For instance, basal body temperature charting, fertility apps, cervical mucus and position should be combined with fertility monitors, OPK’s or the Ava bracelet.
Typically, a rule of thumb when trying to conceive is: Look for two or more signs of ovulation line up.
Ex: Cervical mucus is egg-white and stretchy, cervical position is high and open and you got a positive OPK.
Once all the signs align, then it’s time for baby making!
However, certain methods like using fertility monitors, Ava Fertility Tracking and OPK’s can be used alone to determine ovulation.
The best bet for picking a method to help you conceive with is to find a method that works for you and where you are in your fertility journey!
If you’re just beginning your journey, stick to fertility apps, monitoring cervical mucus, ovulation tests, and/or BBT charting.
All of these options are within a decent price range and are perfect for couples trying to get pregnant naturally.
But, if you’ve moved forward with fertility medications and treatment like insemination or IVF, it’s better to pinpoint ovulation with fertility monitors or the Ava bracelet.
Yes, both options are the most expensive. But it’s better to be sure when you ovulate and your overall fertility when it comes to fertility treatment to get pregnant faster.
Always make sure to ask your doctor or fertility specialist about tracking ovulation.
Some fertility medications may interfere with tracking your ovulation cycle.
Your doctor could also suggest the best method for monitoring ovulation for you.
LH surge: Timing for fertility
How do I check my cervix for signs of ovulation?
Changes in cervical mucus: Look and feel of CM during your cycle
Using ovulation test strips to detect your most fertile time
Charting your basal body temperature
The 5 best ways to track ovulation