Ovulation Calendars - Other Options

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Pregnancy Ovulation Calendar - Other Options
By Diana Farrell

The idea behind the pregnancy ovulation calendar is simple: by keeping a record of your basal body temperature (your temperature at rest), you can familiarize yourself with your menstrual cycle. This can help you know when your fertile days have occurred and predict when they will happen going forward. Useful as this method might be, there are limitations to using a calendar to track your ovulation. Other techniques might be more efficient at predicting your fertile days.

Pros and cons of keeping an ovulation calendar

One of the main advantages of keeping a calendar is that it is the most affordable way of tracking your cycle. There are free calendars available on the web that you can download and print out for your own use. Digital basal thermometers cost an average of $10. All you have to do is keep your chart and thermometer handy in a bedside drawer and record your basal temperature first thing in the morning.

For some women, this is where the disadvantage comes in. This method is most accurate if you take your temperature at the same time in the morning, every single day. Oversleeping one morning or simply forgetting to take your temperature can disrupt the pattern in your basal body chart.

Another disadvantage is that your basal temperature only tells you when you've ovulated after it already happened, as indicated by the rise in temperature. Finding out your ovulation too late might mean missing the window of peak fertility. Although you can use the ovulation calendar to predict your ovulation, you can only do so accurately after you've kept several charts or records of several cycles.

Finally, an unusual event like a late night at work or illness can make significant changes to your basal temperature. This will disrupt the pattern of your chart and could mislead you into thinking that you have already ovulated.

Alternatives to an ovulation calendar

Although keeping a calendar will make you more familiar with your cycle, some women may not have the time to maintain one religiously. With your doctor's approval, here are some other ways that can help you time intercourse around your most fertile days.

Keep watch for fertile cervical mucus

The change in your cervical mucus is a helpful indicator of ovulation. Although every woman's body is different, cervical mucus is usually dry after menstruation. As ovulation approaches, you'll find that your cervical mucus becomes creamy and wet. During your most fertile days, it should have the consistency of raw egg whites.

To check your cervical mucus, wash your hands and make sure they are dry. Place your middle or index finger inside your vagina and try to swab a sample near the cervix. Remove your finger and observe the consistency of the mucus by rolling it on your thumb or pressing your finger together and stretching the mucus.

* If there is barely any mucus or if the mucus is sticky, you have not ovulated yet.
* If your cervical mucus is creamy, you may be nearing ovulation.
* If your mucus is more watery and stretchy, it's likely that you'll be ovulating in a few days. You can start having intercourse at this time.
* If your cervical mucus is very wet, resembles egg whites, and stretches for over an inch, then you are very fertile.

Have sex frequently

It makes sense to keep intercourse to a minimum for maximum fertility; after all, it takes 90 days for a new batch of sperm to be made. However, researchers from Sydney discovered that having frequent sex may be the key to conceiving. The findings, which were presented at the Fertility Society of Australia's annual meeting in 2004, examined the semen samples of 42 infertile men who were asked to ejaculate for seven consecutive days. Thirty-seven of them had fewer sperm with damaged DNA, as compared to those who went three days without ejaculating. The researchers believe that DNA damage in sperm cells occurs if they stay too long in the epididymis, the tunnel where sperm passes and becomes mature. Although these findings are only preliminary, there seems to be no harm in having frequent intercourse as you approach your most fertile days in your cycle.

Use ovulation predictor kits

Of all the tools used to predict ovulation, urine-based ovulation predictor kits are among the most accurate. Ovulation predictor kits are designed to measure the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH levels are low before you ovulate, but they start rising rapidly as ovulation approaches. The ovary releases a mature egg 38-44 hours after the LH surge. The remaining LH in your blood is filtered by the kidney and deposited in your urine.

Ovulation predictor kits work much like take-home pregnancy tests. All you have to do is place a urine sample where indicated, and wait for the results. The instructions in the kit will tell you which indicators on the testing strip to watch for to determine if the results are positive or negative. Testing positive is a signal to get busy, because you may ovulate in 12-24 hours.

Like all methods, the ovulation predictor kit has limitations. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have high LH levels, which means they will test positive even if they are not ovulating. And even though ovulation predictor kits can identify the LH surge that occurs before ovulation, it does not confirm ovulation itself.

Diana Farrell is an author who holds a Masters Degree in Psychology as well as advanced training in a number of alternative therapies. Through her own journey overcoming infertility she discovered a wealth of information that can greatly improve a couple's chances of fulfilling their dreams of parenthood. If you would like additional tips about getting pregnant as well as a pregnancy ovulation calendar that you can download and use for yourself, visit http://pregnancysuccessprogram.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diana_Farrell

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