Are you having trouble conceiving?

If so, it may be time to start charting your fertility cycle. According to YourFertility.org.au, during ovulation, your chances of getting pregnant are 33 percent higher than any other day of the month, and during the three days leading up to ovulation, your chances of getting pregnancy are between 27 and 31 percent higher. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get pregnant on any other day of the month, but your chances are much slimmer. You have the highest chances of conceiving if you have sex with your partner during ovulation, or the three days leading up to it.

How do you know when you’re ovulating?

While it’s obvious when you’re menstruating, the signs of ovulation aren’t quite as easy to spot, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Charting your fertility can help to narrow down the best days to conceive throughout the month, which could help you improve your chances of getting pregnant. Whether you decide to chart your fertility the old-fashioned way, with a pen and a calendar, or you decide to track it through an app, here are a few things you should chart:

  • Basal Body Temperature – Prior to ovulation, your basal body temperature should be anywhere from 97 to 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit — this is the average, but keep in mind that it can vary from woman to woman. When you ovulate, your body releases progesterone, which, according to WebMD, can raise your basal body temperature slightly a couple of days after ovulation — typically by about .5 degrees. It’s important to note that, by the time your temperature goes up, you’ve already missed the window to conceive, but tracking it regularly over the course of a few cycles could help you predict when ovulation will occur.
  • The first day of menstruation – Ovulation usually (but not always) occurs approximately two weeks before your period is expected to start. If your menstrual cycle is 28 days, which is average, ovulation should begin around day 14. Since the menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period, keeping track of that day is important for knowing when ovulation will occur.
  • Cervical Mucus – Paying attention to your cervical mucus can alert you to ovulation. One study has found that monitoring cervical mucus is a more accurate way to predict ovulation than even basal body temperature. The mucus that your cervix releases has different purposes throughout the month. During ovulation, as well as your most fertile days of the month, the mucus is clear, stretchy and looks a lot like egg whites. Its job is to protect the sperm and help it make its way towards the egg. During the rest of the month, the mucus actually helps to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.

If you’re having trouble conceiving, tracking your fertility may help, but you should also consider turning to our obstetrician at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology. We serve Sarasota and the surrounding areas with preconception counseling and testing. Schedule your appointment today, and please feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns.