Planning Pregnancy: When Do You Ovulate?

You and your partner have been trying to conceive for the past few months, but it seems like things aren't moving along quite as planned. Somehow, you thought it would be a piece of cake to get pregnant. After all, almost everyone you know has managed to conceive as soon as they talked about it - or so it seems.

While you may think conceiving is a "no-brainer," it is really much more challenging than most realize, especially for those over 35. There are some pretty basic and simple things you can do to help your body along with the process.

Take Good Care Of Your Body

First, make sure you are in good health and the best possible shape. Taking good care of your body will go miles in preparing you for pregnancy. It is not only eating properly and exercising; it is taking the time to address any health issues you may have. You will want to know if there are any issues which may inhibit your ability to conceive, and if you know you have existing medical conditions, discuss your plans with your medical practitioner. You want to ensure your reproductive organs and breasts are healthy and that your heart, blood, lungs, urine and hormones all indicate good health. You may have some lifestyle choices that need revising. If you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs, chances are you will cause harm to your baby if you do conceive.

It's All About Timing Ovulation and Sex

Difficulty in conceiving may be due to timing. Knowing your body and when you ovulate is a great aid in planning conception. Do you know when you ovulate? Once you have that information you can be sure to make love within the 24-48 hour window of opportunity you have to become pregnant. Remember, sperm can live between 24-72 hours, so conception can happen before, during or just after ovulation.

Ways To Tell You Are Ovulating

There are a few ways to determine when you are ovulating, when your hormones and egg are ready to be fertilized. Some women experience a slight cramping mid-cycle, called a mittleschmertz. This cramping indicates ovulation and happens midway between periods. Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) is another way to find out when you ovulate. Upon waking in the morning, before you even get out of bed, take your temperature and record it. By charting your temperature over the course of a month, you will see your temperature patterns. When your temperature suddenly rises, it is usually the time of ovulation.

Checking Cervical Mucus And Pregnancy Hormones

Vaginal cervical mucus is a good indicator of ovulation. Usually clear and minimal throughout the month, when you come close to ovulation, the mucus becomes sticky and watery. Eventually, it becomes like raw egg whites and is stretchy when you grasp it between your fingers. The further it stretches the closer ovulation.

If none of these methods appeal to you, you can purchase an ovulation predictor kit which measures the amount of luteinizing hormone in your urine. LH is called the pregnancy hormone and the level will spike right before ovulation.

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