Tracking ovulation to help you conceive
Our Austin obgyns can help you learn how to track ovulation. Tracking ovulation is an excellent way to help you and your partner determine when you are most likely to conceive. Ovulation occurs when your ovaries release a mature egg. Once the egg is released, it can be fertilized for the next 24 to 48 hours, so it’s helpful to determine your ovulation window.
Tracking ovulation to determine your fertile window
Women are most likely to become pregnant during ovulation, when sperm is present at or soon after the release of an egg. Sperm should be present within a day or so of ovulation. However, the exact time of ovulation is not always predictable. This has given rise to the concept of an ovulation window.
Our Austin obgyns suggest that the ovulation window starts about five days before ovulation and extends for a day or two after. Most women ovulate 14 days before the start of their next period. If you have a 28 day cycle, you will ovulate on Day 14 or 15 after the first day of your last menstrual period, with an ovulation window of Day 10 to 16.
Methods for tracking your cycle
Tracking ovulation can be difficult, but our Austin obgyns recommend several methods to help.
- The easiest method is the calendar method. Simply track your period on a calendar to determine your ovulation window. Apps can also help you keep track of your fertile days.
- The cervical mucus method is also simple. Observe the quantity and texture of your cervical secretions throughout your cycle. When the mucus becomes clear and has the consistency of an egg white, it’s an indication that ovulation has occurred.
- Purchase an over-the-counter ovulation kit designed for tracking ovulation. You use this kit to test the amount of luteinizing hormone in your urine. This hormone surges when ovulation is about to occur.
In addition to tracking ovulation and timing intercourse, it’s important to see our Austin obgyns for a preconception planning appointment. This is the ideal time to discuss steps you can take to plan for a healthy pregnancy. At this appointment, we discuss several issues.
- Your personal and family medical history, including preexisting conditions, past surgeries and past pregnancies
- Your diet and fitness plan, including working to reach a healthy weight
- Optimizing your natural fertility
- Preconception carrier screening and genetic counseling services
Concerns about fertility
If you are younger than age 35 and have been unable to conceive after a year of trying, or you are age 35 or older and have been unable to conceive after six months, you should see our Austin obgyns to determine if you have infertility issues.