How do you know if you’re ovulating?

Knowing when you’re ovulating can help you both to avoid and plan a pregnancy. Do you know which day of the menstrual cycle ovulates? In this space we tell you everything about it.

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When you want to get pregnant, you may want to learn how your menstrual cycle works. Knowing if you’re ovulating allows you to increase your chances of conceiving, as these are fertile days when your body has everything it needs for fertilization to occur.

What are the symptoms of ovulation? At what point in the menstrual cycle does it occur? First, let’s do a brief review of the characteristics of the normal menstrual cycle. Then, we’ll see when ovulation happens and how to know you’re having it.

Normal menstrual cycle

The normal menstrual cycle comprises a series of changes that occur in a woman of childbearing age, every month, preparing her for the possibility of carrying out a pregnancy.

These changes are due to the presence of different female hormones, which will increase or decrease in the blood, determining the different times that occur during the cycle.

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These hormones are produced in the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) and in the ovaries. In most cases, the menstrual cycle has the following characteristics:

It lasts between 28 to 35 days.

It consists of 2 periods: follicular phase and luteinizing phase.

Day number 1 is the first day of menstruation, and begins the follicular phase.

Follicular phase is the first period, lasting between 14 and 21 days. It covers menstruation and ends in ovulation.

Luteinizing phase is the second period, lasts about 14 days.

Ovulation occurs every month.

During the normal menstrual cycle there will be changes in the woman’s body. Some of these include alterations in body temperature, vaginal discharge, menstruation, and so on.

Ovulation is the release of one or more eggs by the ovaries, and occurs every month. This egg will remain for a short time waiting to be fertilized by a sperm.

Menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman, and month to month. This variation occurs, especially in the first phase, which is the follicular phase. As we mentioned earlier, it’s the one that includes ovulation. Therefore, the calculation of ovulation can be difficult. We’ll see how to know if you’re ovulating later.

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In addition, there are also variations depending on the stage each woman lives. In the first years of childbearing age, the cycles will be longer, and then shortened.

It is known that the increased chance of pregnancy will occur three to five days prior to the day of ovulation, including the same day of ovulation. It follows, therefore, that the possibility of determining that period, which we will call a fertile period, will maximise the possibilities of conception.

The chances of conceiving increase from three to five days prior to ovulation.

The first thing we will say is that there are no reliable home methods to predict the day of ovulation. Therefore, predicting the fertile period will also not be entirely reliable, unless it is the identification of hormonal changes that occur in this period.

We need to clarify that keeping a calendar and counting the days to identify the fertile period, it did not prove to be a reliable method, since, as we discussed, this changes month by month.

On the other hand, neither is the method of taking basal body temperature. There are new cell phone apps that value body temperature, but they didn’t prove to be 100% reliable.

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One method that has been shown to be more predictive of the fertile period is the identification of prior vaginal discharge and during ovulation. Vaginal discharge that increases in its amount, becomes clearer, more elastic and slippery, is known to indicate the fertile period (which includes the day of ovulation).

There is the possibility of measuring female hormones in urine, with a kit similar to that used to detect pregnancy; it is called an ovulation kit and serves as a predictor of the fertile period. They are quite affordable in terms of price, however, they can give falsely positive results.

Consult your gynecologist

Home methods of assessing body temperature and vaginal discharge can be used together to know when you’re ovulating, but they’re not entirely reliable. Both are outperformed by the use of ovulation kits, although it should not be forgotten that false positive results may exist.

If in doubt, it will always be advisable to consult with the doctor or gynecologist in order to evaluate the different possibilities that are available.

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