Are you dreaming of a new family member? Understanding the basics of ovulation will increase your chances of giving birth to that very special new member. So read on!
Methods used for detecting ovulation
- Body temperature system
During ovulation, the body’s temperature spikes up. This is because of progesterone secreted by the body. After ovulation, body temperature increases from 0.20C to 0.40C or 0.40f to 0.80f.
This increase in temperature can be determined by using a special thermometer or a standard clinical thermometer. Make sure you check the temperature before getting out of bed in the morning. If you are working at night, it is best to measure the temperature after about five hours of rest. Measuring the temperature of your mouth is sufficient.
Use the same thermometer during the same cycle. Also, measure the temperature from the same point (e.g. mouth). Make sure to record it as a graph in the following manner:
- Days of the menstrual cycle in the lower horizontal axis (the first day of the menstrual cycle is the first day of menstruation)
- Mark the temperature on the vertical axis.
- If the mercury level is between two values, record the lowest value as the temperature. For example, if it’s between 36.70C and 36.60C, mark 36.60C.
- Mark each day’s temperature as a dot and then connect all.
Interpreting the temperature chart,
- You will be able to recognise the stages of the menstrual cycle through the temperature variations shown in the chart. The temperature will remain low before ovulation and increase by about 0.2 degrees and remain that way until the next menstruation cycle.
- The day the increase occurs is the day your ovulation takes place. This is the perfect date to have intercourse. You can have a high success rate even on the following 2 days.
Cervical mucous membrane method
This method is used to recognise the changing levels of oestrogen hormone in the cervical mucosa.
Nearer to the ovulation and after
As the oestrogen level rises, the vaginal mucous membrane can be observed. As this happens, your vaginal opening may feel a bit wet and sticky. As the ovulation increases, the vaginal area will become more lubricated. You will also feel noticeable wetness during these times. The mucous membrane is thin and transparent. If you insert your fingers you will feel a sticky stretchy membrane like the texture and feel of an egg white. This stage is your fertile stage, the stage when a child is conceived.
The vaginal mucosa can be checked with a finger or with a thin tissue paper. When testing, you should do it twice a day. In the morning and evening and mark it for several days.
This is a mathematical method. Here you base your calculations on previous menstrual cycles to determine the fertility stage.
For accuracy, you will need dates of at least six previous menstrual cycles. The first day of menstruation should be considered the first day of the menstrual cycle. This is the day a new ovum begins to mature. Most women ovulate after 14 days from the day their menstruation started. Your ideal fertility period will fall between day 9 and 21. Intercourse during this time will give you a high chance of conceiving.
Symptoms of ovulation
- Soreness of the breast and tingling in the nipples.
The increased sensitivity of the breasts is a by-product of ovulation.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain.
This condition can last for a few minutes or last for several hours. It may occur on one or both sides. This pain is usually accompanied by slight vaginal bleeding or discharge and maybe a bit of nausea. This pain remains constant during ovulation. If you are in severe pain, seek medical advice. Since extreme pain could be due to an infection in the uterus (Endometriosis) or an ovarian tumour.
- Increased desire to have intercourse
This is a natural instinct in a woman when their body is preparing for conception.
- Minor bleeding or discharge
It is common to have a brown discharge or a few drops of blood during ovulation. This bleeding occurs when the ovum bursts after maturation. If the condition persists, it is best to seek medical advice as it may be an infection or an ectopic pregnancy (conception out of the womb).
Article by Dr. Krishan de Silva, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Balapitiya Base Hospital.