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Ovulation is the term given to the stage of the menstrual cycle when eggs are released from the ovaries. Pregnancy is most likely to occur at this stage, and women who are trying to conceive are encouraged to monitor their ovulation and time sexual intercourse to coincide with ovulation. There are many ways of detecting ovulation, which will tell the woman when it is about to occur, when it is occurring and when it has occurred.
One of the most popular ways of detecting ovulation is through cervical mucus. During ovulation, cervical mucus becomes more watery and stretchy, and there is a higher quantity of it. When ovulation is not in process, mucus is likely to be creamy and sticky, or it might not be present at all. This method is completely free, and it often is the most accurate way to detect fertility. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and some medications can affect cervical mucus, however, which does affect the accuracy of this method.
Another natural way of detecting ovulation is through recording sexual desire. Women have a large increase in sexual desire when they are most fertile, and by being in tune with feelings and taking advantage of this natural sign, the odds of conceiving are increased. The stress of trying to conceive can affect desire levels, however, as can depression or anxiety.
Detecting ovulation through basal body temperature is another popular method. It is a low-cost method, requiring only a thermometer, but it can take a few months to become effective. Recording the temperature daily will make it easy to spot when a rise in temperature occurs, which happens right after ovulation. After a routine has been established, this information can be used to detect when ovulation is likely. Some lifestyles, such as erratic sleeping habits or working at night, might make this method unreliable, and it is very easy for charting temperature to become an obsession if conception does not occur.
A woman’s body will go through many changes when ovulation occurs, and these can be monitored as a way of detecting ovulation. The cervix will move higher and become more open just before ovulation. A lot of women find their breasts become more sensitive at this time as well, because of the amount of hormones being created. Both of these might occur irregularly too, however, so they should be used only as a guide.
A more scientific way of detecting ovulation is through the use of ovulation predictor kits. Like pregnancy tests, these involve urinating onto the test strip and checking the results against the information on the box to see whether ovulation hormones are present. This can become very expensive, however, and the tests might not pick up on hormone surges if they happen at odd times. These kits can be very useful to confirm ovulation dates, though, and are more accurate than some other methods.