07 Apr Fertility Awareness
Conception can only occur at a certain time of a woman’s menstrual cycle when the egg is fertilized by a healthy sperm at ovulation.
Fertility awareness means the ability to identify the signs and symptoms of fertility during the menstrual cycle so that you know which days you are fertile and which days you are not. This can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
When is ovulation?
Ovulation usually occurs between day 12 and day 16 of the cycle in women with a 28-day cycle. Women with shorter cycle ovulate earlier while those with longer cycles ovulate later.
How do you estimate your fertile time?
You can estimate fertile time by:
- Basal body temperature chart
- Observations of cervical mucus
- Use of ovulation kits
How to do Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Chart?
This is the simplest method of estimating the time of ovulation. It is done by charting daily oral temperatures using a special thermometer. Although normal temperature is stated to be around 36.5 degrees Centigrade, slight variations from the value occur. A woman’s temperature is lower during the first part of the menstrual cycle than it is during the last two weeks of the same cycle. The shift from lower to higher temperatures occurs at the time of ovulation. aLife Counselling Services has volunteers to help you with this.
Important points to note when doing BBT
- Take your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.
- Try to have a minimum of 5 hours sleep.
- You should try to place the thermometer under the tongue each day.
- Plot your temperature on your chart each day.
Observations on Cervical mucus
About few days before ovulation, cervical fluid or mucus starts to flow into the vagina. Your fertile time begins when you feel a sensation of discharge from the vagina. The mucus usually starts with a day or two of sticky mucus, which gets increasingly wet/slippery and becoming more fluid, similar to an egg white, as ovulation approaches. The fertile mucus helps protect the sperm from acid secretions in the vagina, nourishes and keeps sperms alive for several days, and helps the sperm to migrate.
Using Ovulation Kit
When you are about to ovulate, your body produces a large quantity of a hormone called LH, which triggers the release of a ripened egg from your ovary.
The phenomenon tells you that ovulation is likely to occur in the next 24-36 hours. Ovulation kit testing the hormone LH in your urine can help you to determine when you ovulate.
From our patient:
“…I continued to take my temperature and decided to visit the counsellors at aLife. She explained ovulation and how to determine fertile mucus to me. With the knowledge in mind, I put to practice… And bang, I was pregnant! Overwhelmed, my husband and I did not expect it to happen so fast…”