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Predicting Ovulation >> Am I Ovulating?
Am I ovulating? How do I know if I’m ovulating? And what exactly does it mean to “ovulate” in the first place…?
These are common questions that women ask themselves. Contrary to popular belief, menstrual bleeding is not the definitive indicator of normal ovulation. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs to look for to determine whether or not you are ovulating.
But first things first: what exactly is ovulation? Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovarian follicle into the fallopian tube. Inside the fallopian tube is where the egg will be fertilized, 12 to 24 hours before it begins to disintegrate. If the egg is fertilized, it must implant successfully on your uterine lining, which typically takes place 6-12 days after ovulation. If fertilization doesn’t take place, the egg disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining, which is then shed at the time of menstruation.
There are a handful of indicators that can help you determine if you are ovulating, including elevated levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and estrogen, and characteristic changes in basal body temperature and cervical mucus.
Prior to ovulation, your body experiences a rise in estrogen, which in turn stimulates a surge in LH levels. This estrogen surge can be detected with the assistance of saliva fertility monitors such as the Fertile Focus. The LH surge is what ultimately leads to ovulation and can easily be detected in urine using Ovulation Predictor Kits.
After ovulation has occurred, progesterone levels begin to rise – and along with it, basal temperature. You can detect this rise in progesterone by tracking your basal body temperature with a basal thermometer. After ovulation, you will notice a characteristic rise in your basal temperature; this could be as slight as just four tenths of a degree.
Another sign to watch for is a change in the consistency of your cervical mucus. After menses, you’ll experience a gradual change in the consistency of your cervical mucus, transitioning through the following stages:
dry > sticky > creamy > watery > clear & slippery
You may not experience each of the above mentioned consistencies, but it is important to notice when you have “fertile-quality” cervical mucus - the clear and slippery consistency (similar to egg whites). Keep track of these ovulation signs by creating your own personalized fertility chart at Ovulation-Calculator.com.
Recognizing these ovulation signals will help immensely in your trying to conceive efforts. Getting familiar with your body can help you understand whether or not you are ovulating, and if you are, it will help you determine when you ovulate – your most fertile time of month.