Being able to predict when a woman is the most fertile will increase the chances that conception will happen that month. When a couple has decided to have a baby they usually want to be pregnant right now. Unfortunately, while it may be a normal and natural event it is also one that is highly complex and a unique orchestration of hormones and environmental effects, namely sperm meeting egg.
Ovulation is defined as the release of a mature egg from one of the ovaries each month. It typically takes place during the middle of the menstrual cycle and, once released, the egg is able to be fertilized for between 12 and 24 hours. If it is not fertilized within 24 hours it usually disintegrates and is passed out with the menstrual flow which begins about 15 days after ovulation.
By being able to determine when an egg has reached maturation and ovulation has occurred, the couple is more likely to have intercourse at the right time so that sperm meeting egg is a much more likely event. There are several different ways to predict fertility. The first way is a natural process used by women who practice natural birth control in an effort to avoid that time of the month when they are the most fertile.
Often referred to as the rhythm method, women will evaluate cervical mucus on a daily basis to a time when it has become more “sperm friendly”, often in a good indicator that ovulation is occurring. Between watching cervical mucus, charting the dates of their last period and a good knowledge of how long their common periods usually are, most women using this rhythm method are able to avoid pregnancy successfully.
However, this same process can be used in order to determine when to have intercourse to increase the success rate of conception. By using that same information women can determine when ovulation is likely to occur and can have intercourse with their spouse or partner every other day for six days in order to increase the chances that they become pregnant.
Another method is to use a basal temperature chart. Women need to chart their basal temperature or use a special thermometer not designed to measure fever but rather to measure the ever so slight temperature changes associated with hormonal surges. The basal temperature should be taken directly before getting out of bed. In other words the woman shouldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom before taking her temperature in the morning. In this way basal temperature, the baseline temperature for the day, can be measured accurately and she can most accurately assess when ovulation is occurring.
Today science and technology also offers another option for women called ovulation predictor tests. These tests measure the secretion of a hormone called luteinizing hormone in the urine. This luteinizing hormone, or LH, is responsible for ovulation each month.
The ovulation predictor tests are designed to help couples have intercourse during peak fertility which is usually about four days before ovulation and ends about 24 hours after the release of the egg. Sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days and so her fertile period is actually longer than the 24 hour lifespan of the egg.
The most common ovulation predictor tests measure for luteinizing hormone in the urine but with even more advanced technology there are several other options available to women. The first of these is the fertility predictor watch. In the late 1950s and early 1960s researchers noted that different types of salts in a woman’s the sweat would fluctuate in relationship to the time on in the month of her menstrual cycle.
Today, using this knowledge, the fertility watch will measure a baseline salt levels for each woman and then accurately predict ovulation based on the timing of the release of salts. Interestingly it will detect a chlorides surge three days before the estrogen surge and four days before the LH surge, giving the woman five days notice prior to ovulation and making an earlier prediction of ovulation and other chemical measurements can.
Another option for fertility testing is a saliva ovulation tests. This product will track your estrogen levels throughout the cycle and give a visual graph when ovulation occurs by measuring hormone release in your saliva. There are two different types of monitors that evaluate saliva and estimate fertility. One product also offers a vaginal sensor which helps to confirm ovulation and fertility prediction. While it is not necessary or required, it does provide confirmation for the couple.
Predicting fertility and increasing the chance of becoming pregnant is a process that can consume a couple’s life. While the use predictor tests and processes can be fine for increased success, for couples who have extremely busy lifestyles they also should not become the focus of the process.