When Am I Most Fertile?
You are most fertile when your body has released an egg from your ovaries. While that may seem an overly simplistic explanation, it’s fundamental information. As for knowing when you, in particular, have released that egg, there are several methods of finding out.
Ovulation (the release of the egg) takes place in the middle of your menstrual cycle. You always calculate the cycle from the first day of bleeding in one cycle to the first day of bleeding in the next and that will give you the number of days in your cycle. This can vary in many women, even from month to month and while one cycle may be 28 days, the next might be 27 and so on. It’s a good idea to keep an ongoing chart so you can track the lengths of your cycles.
In women whose cycles vary in length, it can be less easy to know when ovulation is occurring, without following other methods of finding out.
How can I find out when I’m ovulating?
Ovulation predictor kits
You can buy an ovulation predictor kit from pharmacies that will detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the best signal you can get to tell you when you are about to ovulate. Then you can take advantage of the timing! Keep in mind that the timing of intercourse need not necessarily coincide with ovulation. Since sperm and eggs can survive inside of you for a day or two, you can potentially conceive even if you ovulate after intercourse.
Elevated body temperature
A rise in body temperature follows ovulation so while it does indicate ovulation, it may be too late to conceive unless intercourse has already taken place, as described above. To detect this rise, you will need a basal body thermometer and you should take your temperature on a daily basis and track it on the chart of your cycle.
Pain and discomfort
Some women know from the pain and discomfort in their abdomen that they are ovulating. Known as mittelschmerz, the German word for middle pain, this condition can bring subtle discomfort through to quite severe pain and can last from just minutes to up to a day.
Cervical mucus changes
Over the course of your cycle, you will notice that your cervical mucus increases in volume and the texture of it changes. This is as a result of your body’s rising levels of estrogen. When the mucus takes on a clear, slippery, and stretchy consistency, much like egg whites, you are at your most fertile stage of your cycle.
Obviously, when trying to conceive (or indeed trying not to conceive), knowing when you are about to ovulate is more important than knowing after the fact. Your best bet is to purchase an ovulation predictor test kit as this will give the most accurate indication.