Ovulation Signs to Look for While TTCby Elizabeth MacDonald
Trying to conceive can take more than just a roll in the sheets. Once you have decided you want to get pregnant, all patience seems to fly out of the window. The first thing you need to know is that having unprotected sex does not automatically equal a pregnancy.
Pregnancy takes perfect timing.
You can up your chances of conceiving a baby by learning your body’s ovulation signs.
Ovulation occurs each cycle when your body releases an egg. The window in which a sperm needs to fertilize this egg is quite small, but thankfully, sperm have a shelf life of a few days, which expands your chances a bit. But knowing when your body is fertile is the key to getting pregnant.
Your body will ‘gear up’ to ovulate for a few days; this is when you will experience the symptoms and signs to have sex. All ovulation symptoms will disappear within a few days, and just like that - the window is closed. In total, you have about a week in which pregnancy can occur, with a 24-48 hour period that drastically increases your chances. Healthy sperm can live for up to 5 days, and they can be waiting inside of you as your egg is released. Your egg will be available to sperm for only 12-24 hours after ovulation occurs. It is the sperm that are patiently waiting for the egg, or the fastest swimmers during ovulation that will win the prize!
Ovulation Signs to Look for While TTC
Most women assume that they ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle. And while this is possible, it is not probable. Many factors affect a woman’s ovulation, including stress, illness, sleep, and exercise. Ovulation is not an exact science and can occur at a different time each cycle, depending on outside influences.
Your discharge will become thick and stretchy, resembling egg whites. It’s not the same for every woman, but generally speaking, your ‘wettest’ days are your most fertile. (The cycle of mucus is: dry to none, sticky, creamy, watery, raw-egg-white-like, and then back to sticky or dry.)
You won’t notice a temperature change without using a basal body thermometer, but charting your temperature at the same time every morning before getting out of bed will show you the exact day that your body releases an egg. You are looking for a temperature spike and then the following days to remain above the temperatures throughout the first half of your cycle.
During ovulation, your cervix will be soft, high, open, and wet.
Some women notice twinges or light cramps the day before and day of ovulation.
The increase in cervical mucus combined with the shift in hormones tends to make you more interested in having sex. It may feel better, orgasms may be reached easier, and you may want it more often.
You can purchase an ovulation prediction kit at any drug store. The trick is to take the test at the same time every day and understand that a positive result means that your body is ABOUT to ovulate. It means that you have 12-36 hours from that time until your window will close.
By paying attention and learning your body, you will be ahead of the pregnancy game!