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Ovulation Predictor

If you are trying to conceive a child, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is when you will ovulate.

Ovulation is defined as when your ovaries release one or more eggs into the fallopian tubes each month. This process may be performed by either ovary. The ovary that will actually release an egg is more or less random and doesn’t necessarily alternate between ovaries each ovulation cycle.

Your ovulation cycle is particularly important when considering the best time to have intercourse in order to conceive, since an unfertilized egg will only live for up to 24 hours after ovulation occurs, whereas sperm may live for up to 2 or 3 days. As a result, the best chance of conception will occur 1 to 2 days prior to ovulation and up to 24 hours after ovulation occurs. Generally, a normal fertile couple has a 25 percent chance of conception each ovulation cycle.

An ovulation predictor can be very useful in determining when your ovulation cycle will begin and end. Ovulation predictor kits measure the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which can help determine when ovulation will occur. If used correctly, an ovulation predictor can often predict whether ovulation will occur 24 to 36 hours in advance.

Other signs of ovulation also include the following:

Changes in cervical mucus. As an ovulation cycle progresses, your cervical mucus will change in texture and increase in volume as well. This indicates that the estrogen levels in your body are rising in response to ovulation. When your cervical mucus becomes clear, slippery and stretchy, this is when you are considered to be the most fertile.

Your body temperature rises. This is a very slight change in temperature, ranging from 0.5 to 1.6 degrees and will not be noticeable unless you check your temperature using a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer. This temperature change is stimulated by release of the hormone progesterone in your body. You will be at your most fertile in the 2 or 3 days before the temperature reaches a high point. If you want to use body temperature as an ovulation predictor, it is recommended that you take your temperature every morning for a few months and chart the results to determine the pattern and narrow down the most likely date you will ovulate.

Discomfort in your lower abdomen. Some women may feel signs of ovulation, which may be anything from a mild ache to twinges of pain. This is referred to as mittelschmerz, and may last from a few minutes up to a few hours.

It may also be helpful in predicting an ovulation cycle if you have a regular menstrual cycle. If your menstrual cycle occurs regularly, count back about 12 to 16 days from the beginning of your menstrual cycle each month in order to predict when ovulation will take place.

In the end, each woman is different. Ovulation does occur on a fairly regular cycle, but there is no set date for when the ovulation cycle will begin.

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