5 Ways to Detect Ovulation
Ovulation is when your body releases an egg to be fertilized. If sperm happen to be waiting around to fertilize the egg, it results in a zygote that will grow into a human child 9 months later! Without sperm present when the egg drops, no baby. As such, knowing the timing of your ovulation is very important if you are trying to get pregnant. Here are 5 ways to tell if you're ovulating.
1. Wait for your body to show you
A one-sided cramp often signifies ovulation; mid-cycle bleeding often accompanies. As these symptoms may or may not show up from cycle to cycle and woman to woman, this isn't a very reliable way of knowing when you ovulated.
Used by: Women who consistently display mid-cycle cramping and bleeding symptoms.
Accuracy Rate: Decent, for the women who are sensitive to their bodies and know what to look for.
2. Pee on a Stick
An Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) is a test that you can pee on daily to test the level or variety of hormones in your urine. Once the right hormones surge, the OPK test will give you a positive result. A positive result means that you will most likely ovulate in the next 36 hours!
The only downside to OPKs is that they don't work for everyone (they often don’t work for women who suffer from PCOS, for example). What’s more, OPKs can get pretty expensive, pretty fast.
Used by: Anyone who is really motivated to learn when they ovulate.
Accuracy Rate: Excellent (if you do not have PCOS or other hormonal conditions that interfere with test results).
3. Use a thermometer
Yes, we are serious. If you measure your temperature first thing every morning you might be able to detect the slight rise that comes immediately after you ovulate. This is called tracking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and is incredibly cool and rewarding to do.
Used by: Anyone who wakes up at the same time each mornings and wants to marvel at how incredible the female body is.
Accuracy Rate: Pretty good, as long as you’re consistent and don’t have underlying conditions that make your BBT unreliable.
4. Stick your finger in your vagina. Daily.
This method is Glow’s favorite, because a) it is free, and b) it's weirdly empowering to know about the gunk that ends up in her underwear.
Get this: the consistency and color of your cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle. When the stuff coming out of your vag starts looking like uncooked egg-whites, that is when you know you are at your most fertile.
At the same time, your cervix (the little door to your uterus) changes positions and opens and closes depending on your cycle, too. If you want to track these changes or simply learn more about them, the Glow app can give you some informative how-to's.
Used by: Everyone. Seriously--there is no reason to not do this if you're trying to get pregnant!
Accuracy Rate: Great, over time. This method has a learning curve, but it doesn’t take much time to become a superstar pro in deducing your own ovulation through cervical mucus tracking.
5. See a Doctor
The most comprehensive and accurate way to determine ovulation is to consult a doctor. Doctors take ultrasound photos of your ovaries to determine how big your eggs have gotten. Then, at the right time, they can give you a shot that triggers ovulation 36 hours later.
Doctors use this method for fertility patients who want a bit of extra help in getting pregnant. Obviously, it's not how most of us will determine ovulation, month to month.
Used by: Fertility patients, mostly
Accuracy Rate: Excellent
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