Couples looking to get pregnant are told to watch for fertile days in which the possibility of conception is maximum. Doctors suggest ensuring regular intercourse at this time. The good news is that you can calculate this fertile window in just a few seconds using an Ovulation Calculator. Read ahead to understand more about it.
Ovulation is the process by which the ovaries release an egg into the female reproductive tract. This egg makes its way through the Fallopian tubes to reach the uterus. This process is controlled by various hormones whose levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. Immediately before ovulation, there is a sudden increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) called LH surge. Medical tests to check for ovulation include the detection of LH.
An Ovulation Calculator is a simple method to identify the day on which the egg is most likely to be released. Every woman has a period of 5 to 6 days in the month known as the fertile window. If couples have unprotected sexual intercourse around this time, there is a higher chance that the sperm released in the ejaculate can fuse with the egg resulting in a pregnancy.
Couples trying to get pregnant use an Ovulation Calculator to identify which days of the month have the maximum chances of conception. Doctors recommend having intercourse every day or every alternate day during this period. The best time for this is from five days before ovulation until the day of ovulation. Although there are several methods to detect ovulation, a calculator is convenient and works very well if you have a regular cycle. This is because calculators rely on the average length of the menstrual cycle.
Using an Ovulation Calculator is very easy. You simply have to enter the first day of your last period and the average length of your menstrual cycle. It is best to track your periods for a couple of months to get an accurate assessment.
The calculator lets you know the ovulation day and fertile window (starting 5 days before this date). The egg remains viable for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation whereas the sperm can remain alive in the female reproductive tract for up to 5 days. Hence, these 5 days are ideal to get pregnant.
Ovulation Calculators are not 100% accurate as ovulation is affected by several factors such as physical and emotional stress, weight loss or weight gain, smoking and alcohol use, and any hormonal medical conditions. Therefore, if you have a regular 28-day cycle, your ovulation day will almost always be day 14 of your cycle. However, for those with irregular cycles, this timing can range from 10 to 15 days. They should preferably combine using the calculator with another method (stated below) to calculate the exact day.
Note that Ovulation Calculators are not a method of contraception. Doctors recommend using protection at all times if you are not planning to get pregnant.
There are several other methods that you can use along with an Ovulation Calculator to estimate whether the egg has been released. At-home methods include the following.
Your basal temperature rises slightly after ovulation and stays elevated until the next menstrual cycle. The basal temperature is the lowest body temperature at rest. By tracking your temperature every morning before getting out of bed, you can identify the day on which your temperature rises, indicating ovulation. However, the difference is slight and you need to use a basal thermometer (not the regular one most of us have at home).
This method involves tracking changes in the amount and consistency of your cervical mucus. As ovulation approaches, your cervical mucus becomes more abundant, clear, and stretchy; resembling raw egg white. When this mucus becomes most slippery and stretchy, it indicates the peak of fertility and imminent ovulation.
These kits detect the presence of LH in your urine. A positive test result means ovulation will likely occur within the next 24 to 36 hours. These kits are commercially available at medical shops in India. For women having fertility issues, ovulation is monitored using ultrasound or hormone levels in the blood.
Can I use an Ovulation Calculator if I have PCOS?
Ovulation Calculators are not as accurate in case of irregular cycles. Patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) also have anovulatory cycles (in which the egg is not released). Hence, it is best to consult a gynaecologist while planning a pregnancy with PCOS.
Are there any chances of getting pregnant outside the fertile window?
Yes! No day in the cycle is completely safe. Contraception is recommended to prevent pregnancy.
How soon can I get pregnant if we have intercourse in the fertile window?
It is important to remember that unprotected intercourse during the fertile window does not guarantee pregnancy, it only increases the chances of conception. The likelihood is about 10% during the fertile window and 30% on the day of ovulation. It is crucial to visit a doctor if you have been trying to get pregnant for over two years but have not been successful.
What is the benefit of tracking the menstrual cycle?
Tracking the length of your menstrual cycle and your fertile window helps maximise the chances of pregnancy.
Is the Ovulation Calculator the only way to track ovulation?
No, there are other methods such as observing Basal Body Temperature, Cervical Mucus Method, and Ovulation Test Kits as well. For a precise calculation, you can use the Ovulation Calculator as well as other methods in combination.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.