Your ovulation dates occur during your menstrual cycle at the time when your eggs are released; normally around 2 weeks after the first day of your last period.
Tracking your ovulation dates can be a useful tool when you are trying to conceive, helping you understand your most fertile period during the month and identify the window during which you have the best chances of getting pregnant.
There are a number of scientific ways you can track your ovulation including:
Using a period tracking app – There are a variety of period tracking apps available on both the Apple and Google play stores. These apps not only help you understand your cycle length and due dates by recording the dates of your previous periods, but can also predict your potential ovulation dates based on these trends; normally visually showing a symbol such as a flower at the time you are likely to be ovulating during the month.
Changes in your body temperature – Some women may choose to track their basal body temperature throughout the month. Measuring your resting body temperature can help provide an estimated guess about the period of ovulation as your body temperature may increase slightly during this time.
Ovulation Testing kits – Ovulation test strips can be bought in most grocery stores and pharmacies. They work by measuring the amount of hormone in your urine and can predict when you are likely to be ovulating based on their readings.
For some women, they may also be able to predict when they are ovulating by the physical symptoms they are experiencing. Whilst less scientific, they can be a good was to make an educated guess about when during your cycle you are the most fertile.
Some physical signs you might be ovulating include:
A change to your mucus / discharge – You may notice that you produce more discharge or generally feel more moisture in your panties when you are ovulating. You may find that you produce a thicker, clearer discharge or simply that it is more noticeable.
Breast tenderness – Some women experience hormone-related cyclical breast pain which is normally mild but noticeable. If this is a common occurrence, you can use this as a predictor of when you may be ovulating.
Mild tummy pain – Some women notice that they feel slightly bloated or experience a dull aching sensation in their pelvic floor region during ovulation. If you are really in tune with your body, you may even notice a cramping or mild twinging sensation when your eggs are released.
Increased sex drive or libido – Finally, whether you are trying to conceive or not, you may notice that your sex drive tends to increase during your ovulation window – perhaps your body’s way of telling you that it’s ready to make a baby!
Trying to conceive can be quite stressful, so not everyone wants the pressure of scientifically tracking ovulation dates. If you don’t feel comfortable using ovulation tools you may simply prefer to look out for the physical signs and have sex regularly throughout the month. Three or four times a week is usually sufficient to give you a strong chance of conceiving and to ensure you have sex at least once during your ovulation window.