According to the American Pregnancy Association, women who have a 28 to 32 day menstrual cycle generally experience ovulation between day 11 and day 21 of their cycle. When you are ovulating, an ovarian follicle will discharge an ovum (egg). The ovum then travels down a fallopian tube where, if healthy sperm is present in that fallopian tube, the egg can be fertilized.
The hypothalamus regulates ovulation by “telling” the pituitary gland and the brain’s anterior lobe to begin secreting follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH is need to initiate egg development and increase estrogen levels. LH assists in egg maturation and also triggers ovulation as well as release of ovum from an ovary.
Using an Ovulation Calendar to Determine When You are Ovulating
By noting the first day of your last period (January 1, for example), how many days separate your cycles (28 or 29) and the length of your period (five days), an ovulation calendar can help you determine when you are ovulating. However, ovulation calendars are not 100 percent accurate and should never be relied on for preventing pregnancy.
The March of Dimes offers a free ovulation calendar that performs menstrual cycle calculations for you. Other online ovulation calendars can be found at Ovulation Calendar.net and at Parents.com. Simply follow the instructions by inputting data needed to calculate when you are most fertile each month.
3 Other Ways to Detect When Ovulation May be Occurring
- Tracking Your Basal Body Temperature
Most women experience an increase of 0.5 to one degree in body temperature when they are ovulating due to rising levels of progesterone. Women are typically at their most fertile about two or three days prior to when basal body temperature reaches its maximum.
- Texture and volume of cervical mucus
When you are ovulating, secretion of cervical mucous increases and becomes thicker as estrogen levels rise. At your most fertile point, cervical mucus may have the consistency and color of egg whites.
- Slight to Moderate Abdominal Pain
A German word meaning “middle pain”, Mittelschmerz is a lower, one-sided pain in the abdomen that occurs during ovulation. Some women experience Mittelschmerz regularly while others never feel it. Ovulation pain does not require medical attention and can be alleviated with ibuprofen.
Reliability of an Ovulation Calendar
Ovulation calendars are fairly reliable and may lead to conception as long as the man and woman trying to conceive are not affected by factors implicated in infertility. Common reasons for infertility include a too low or too high body mass index, the woman’s age, smoking, heavy caffeine consumption, hormone problems and uterine/ovarian abnormalities.
If you have been using an ovulation calendar for the past year without success, call our New York Fertility Clinic today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zapantis to learn about alternatives to conceiving naturally. New York Reproductive Wellness is an established fertility clinic NYC residents have been turning to for help with starting a family for over 15 years. We offer state-of-the-art solutions to infertility that include in-vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination and donor egg IVF.