Understanding Ovulation: Tracking and Predicting the Most Fertile Time in a Woman’s Cycle 

Getting pregnant is an exciting time for a couple, but it’s not without its own challenges and hurdles. For many couples, conception happens naturally, but you can also guide the process along by tracking your ovulation cycle. Knowing when you’re about to ovulate can increase your chances of getting pregnant significantly, so it helps to do your research beforehand.

To make the process easier, we’ll go over the basics of ovulation and what you can do to keep track of your cycle. From there, you can let nature take its course. We also invite you to visit our Melbourne fertility center if you have questions or need assistance.

A Brief Overview of Ovulation

Ovulation takes place over four unique phases – menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Each phase marks distinct changes in your body, so it’s important to understand what’s going on and how it can affect your ability to get pregnant. Here’s a quick breakdown of each phase:

  • Menstrual – This phase is when you have a period and shed the lining from your previous cycle. Periods usually last between four and seven days.
  • Follicular – This phase also starts on the first day of your period and lasts for up to 17 days. During this stage, follicles in the uterus race to mature and develop an egg to drop. The fastest follicle wins and drops the egg. Many hormones are released during this phase as well.
  • Ovulatory – This stage occurs once the egg drops into the ovary, and it’s the only time when you can get pregnant. It’s also important to remember that the egg is only viable for fertilization for one day (while sperm can last up to three days).
  • Luteal – This phase happens after the ovulatory phase, and it’s when the body starts releasing more progesterone to help a fertilized egg attach to the uterus and become an embryo. The luteal phase usually lasts about 14 days, and if the egg isn’t fertilized, the hormone levels decrease and the lining gets reabsorbed into the body to prepare for the next cycle.

How to Track a Woman’s Ovulation Cycle

If you have a regular cycle, it’s a bit easier to track your ovulation since you know when to expect your period. However, there are a few other ways you can monitor your ovulation so you know when to try and conceive.

  • Body Temperature – Your base body temperature will increase as you ovulate. However, you need to keep track of your baseline temperature so you know when it’s elevated.
  • Vaginal Discharge – Typically, this discharge is thick, but it gets thinner and stretchier as you ovulate to make it easier for sperm to travel through the uterus.
  • Abdominal Cramping – Many women experience cramps when ovulating, and sometimes they occur at the same time during the menstrual cycle. So, paying attention to this discomfort could give you a clear indication that you’re getting ready to conceive.
  • Ovulation Tests – When in doubt, ovulation tests can monitor your hormone levels and give you a better idea of where you’re at within your cycle. We can provide such tests at our fertility center in Melbourne

When is the Best Time to Conceive?

Since the egg is only viable for one day, it’s best to have sex in the days leading up to ovulation. Typically, having sex within five days of ovulation (including the day the egg drops) will increase your chances of conception substantially.

Factors That Affect Fertilization

If you’re having trouble conceiving, there could be numerous elements at play. While it’s best to talk with one of our fertility specialists to determine the exact cause, some common issues can include:

  • Lubrication – Unfortunately, many lubricants available for sex inhibit sperm, making it harder for them to reach the egg.
  • Obesity – While being overweight won’t prevent you from conceiving, it does throw off your hormonal balance, so you might not menstruate as regularly. Even a small weight loss of about five percent can be enough to bring everything back to normal.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol can interact with your body’s hormones, so it’s best to avoid alcohol entirely when trying to conceive.

Visit Viera Fertility Center

If you’re trying to conceive, we’d love to hear from you! We’re here to help you through this process, and our fertility center team is dedicated to providing the best care and attention possible. Call us to schedule an appointment today.