How can I tell when I’m ovulating?

Most people in the world consider menstruation as a sign of maturity of a girl becoming a woman. In most cultures, a woman is considered fertile when she successfully gives birth to numbers of children. Current statistics shows there has been a decrease of birth rate year by year due to many reasons such as women pursuing education or job careers and increased cost of raising children due to economic recession and inflation. However, for couples who are dreaming of having a child and had tried countless times yet failing, would understand nothing can stop them from fulfilling their dream.

            Fertility plays a big role in human reproduction. Ovulation in a woman’s body is most certainly a sign of a fertile woman. Ovulation is a process during the menstrual cycle which releases a mature egg (oocyte) to the ovary. During the ovulation period, such hormones required to support the foetus to grow after a successful fertilisation are at its highest level. Thus, recognizing ovulation helps a woman planning for successful conception knowing the chances are high.

How can you tell you are ovulating?

1-Knowing the menstrual cycle length. Ovulation generally happens around 10 to 16 days before your period begins. It is estimated that the fertility window starts 3-5 days (lifespan of sperm) before ovulation and continues around 1-2 days (lifestyle of oocyte; a mature ovum) after ovulation. You may want to make out or having sexual intercourse during this fertility window. However, ovulation calculation or estimation using menstrual cycle length is most likely successful for those with regular period cycles.

2-Cervical mucus check. You can observe changes of mucus consistency around your vulva (the lips around the vagina) or use your finger to swipe the area. You may notice the mucus is clear and slippery, sometimes with watery discharge mimicking raw egg white during ovulation period. This mucus change helps sperm to move and penetrate the ovum. This can be the easiest and fastest way for you to know if you’re ovulating.

3-Body temperature check. During ovulation, progesterone level becomes the highest during a menstrual cycle Progesterone, a hormone essential to prepare the womb (uterus) for pregnancy and providing a supportive environment for a baby to grow, causing a small rise in the woman’s body temperature. To use this method, you need to take your basal body temperature using a thermometer every morning when you first wake up and before doing any other activities. Repeat this everyday and record the temperature either by the classic jotting it down on paper or just use some designated mobile application. You should be able to see changes of the temperature (usually a slight increase with value below 0.3 C) during ovulation day.

4-Ovulation predictor kits. These kits determine ovulation by detecting luteinizing hormone (LH) level in the urine. LH surge indicates that ovulation period is going to happen soon.

5-Salivary ferning. Before ovulation, hormones such as estrogen increased and stimulated production of aldosterone which functions as electrolytes and fluid regulator of the human body. This in turn causes crystallisation of NaCl (salt) forming shapes of fern leaves in the saliva. Ovulation can be predicted by observing the salivary ferning using a small microscope and slides. Fret not, you can easily purchase these items from pharmacy or online healthcare supplies.

            There are also some symptoms links to ovulation such as breast tenderness, mild lower abdominal pain, heightening sex drives, nausea or headaches. It is advisable to combine methods of identifying ovulation period as it can increase successful rate of conception or contraception.

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/how-can-i-tell-when-i-am-ovulating/#:~:text=the%20length%20of%20your%20menstrual,around%20the%20time%20of%20ovulation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7164578/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5730019/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5689497/

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