What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the moment when a mature egg is released from your ovary. This is the time when a pregnancy becomes possible. Usually, an egg is released from one of your ovaries every month. This happens on alternating sides. One month your left ovary will release an egg, the next month your right ovary will release an egg.
As the ripe egg travels through the fallopian tube, it may encounters sperm. If the sperm fertilizes the egg, it will continue into the womb and may implant itself into the lining of the uterus, which has thickened in preparation for a pregnancy. If no pregnancy takes place, this lining will be shed as a normal, monthly menstrual period.
Signs of ovulation can be, according to the Mayo Clinic, very subtle. They can include a slight pinching sensation low on your side, changes in vaginal secretions, or a slight rise in your normal resting body temperature, sometimes referred to as you basal body temperature. Some women also experience tender breasts or slight spotting when they are ovulating.
Why should I track my ovulation cycle?
Pregnancy can only take place when a ripe egg is available. Ovulation only happens once a month, and once an egg is released, it is only viable for about 12 to 24 hours. Sperm can only live in the reproductive track for three to five days. This gives you a rather narrow window of time when a pregnancy can take place. If you are trying to get pregnant, it’s important to know when ovulation is occurring so you can take advantage of your most fertile time of the month to try for a pregnancy.
What is an ovulation calendar?
Sometimes called an ovulation calculator, an ovulation calendar is simply a record you keep of your ovulation cycles. Using this record, you will be able to predict when you are at your most fertile and most likely to conceive. This can be very useful for couples who have tried for at least a year to start a pregnancy but have not been able to conceive.
How do I keep an ovulation calendar?
Tracking your ovulation is fairly simple, though predicting ovulation in this way works best for women who have regular menstrual cycles. You can keep track of your cycles using an ordinary calendar, or you can choose one of the many free online calendars. Simply track the start and end of your menstrual cycles. Most women can then predict their peak fertility to fall in the 11 to 21 days following the first day of their last menstrual cycle.