Ovulation Calculators are a brilliant tool for anyone who is trying to conceive- but what are they? This article, “Ovulation Calculator and Calendar” will answer that question and many more.
In this article:
- What is an Ovulation Calculator?
- What is Your Fertile Window?
- What is the Difference Between an Ovulation Calculator and an Ovulation Calendar?
- How Does Your Menstrual Cycle Work?
- Spotting the Signs of Ovulation
- How Should You Time Your Sex if you are TTC?
- What Factors Affect Your Chances of Conception?
- What Other Methods Can I Use to Predict Ovulation?
What is an Ovulation Calculator & Calendar?
An ovulation calculator is a tool which is used to help women figure out when their peak fertile days are. These days are the days in which you are most likely to get pregnant.
Our ovulation calculator estimates when your ovulation window will be during your menstrual cycles- for the next six months. All you need to input is your average cycle length and the date of the first day of your last period. If you have not been tracking your cycle length to find your average menstrual cycle length, you can always use the length of your last period.
If you have regular cycles, the ovulation calculator is a great tool to help you to start planning your pregnancy. However, it is worth noting that an ovulation calculator can not be 100% accurate, as a woman’s menstrual cycle often varies in length from month-to-month by a couple of days, but it is still a useful aid in helping you to plan your sex for successful conception.
If you have an irregular cycle, however, it may be best to make use of ovulation predictor kits.
What is Your Fertile Window?
Your fertile window are the days during your menstrual cycle in which you are able to conceive. Your fertile window includes the day of ovulation, and the five days leading up to ovulation. This is because sperm can live in the fallopian tubes for up to five days leading up to ovulation, and then, on the day of ovulation, the egg is released, which can then be fertilised.
For a regular menstrual cycle, the fertile window is typically 6 days long.
What is the Difference Between an Ovulation Calculator and an Ovulation Calendar?
An ovulation calculator estimates how likely you are to ovulate- or release an egg- on certain days during your menstrual cycle. An ovulation calculator can help you to work out when your most fertile days will be.
A fertility calendar, on the other hand, tells you the days in which you are most likely to conceive if you are having sexual intercourse.
How Does Your Menstrual Cycle Work?
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your menstrual period, and ends on the first day of the following menstrual period. During the menstrual cycle, there are several stages.
After your menstrual period ends, your eggs within the follicles begin to mature within the ovaries. This process is initiated by the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Once a dominant follicle- containing a mature egg- has developed, the production of FSH is ceased and your brain begins to secrete the hormone, estrogen, to tell your body to begin thickening the lining of the womb (in preparation for a fertilised egg cell). It is usually around this stage that your cervical mucus becomes fertile, with the consistency of raw egg whites, to help the sperm to reach the egg.
Once the uterine lining has thickened, and the estrogen levels have reached their peak, a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) causes the dominant follicle to rupture and release the mature egg cell, ready for fertilisation. This process is ovulation and ovulation usually occurs around mid-cycle (day 10-16). If you have had sex in the five days leading up to ovulation, or on the day of ovulation, the egg can be fertilised and you may become pregnant.
The hormone, progesterone, is released to maintain the thickened lining of the uterus for a short time. If the egg is not fertilised, these progesterone levels drop, causing the uterine lining to shed away, and your next menstrual period begins.
Spotting the Signs of Ovulation
Whilst our ovulation calculator and calendar is a brilliant tool for helping you to predict when your fertile window and ovulation day is, it can also be useful to look out for your ovulation symptoms to help to determine when you are ovulating.
Changes in Basal Body Temperature
Tracking your basal body temperature can help you to determine when you might be ovulating. But how does it work?
To track your basal body temperature (BBT), you just need to record your resting temperature every morning at the same time.
Your basal body temperature- or your resting body temperature- slightly decreases just before ovulation to around 36.4 degrees celsius. At approximately 12 to 24 hours after ovulation occurs- and the egg is released- your basal body temperature rises slightly for a few days.
By looking at your results, you will be able to tell when ovulation likely occurs. Basal body temperature tracking is a form of natural family planning.
Your cervical mucus can tell you a lot about your reproductive health, and which stage of the menstrual cycle you are in.
Before ovulation, your vaginal discharge is usually white and thick (or even dry). This kind of vaginal discharge is hostile to sperm and makes conception (almost) impossible.
Just before ovulation, however, your cervical mucus becomes clear, stretchy and has the consistency of raw egg whites. This egg white discharge creates the ideal atmosphere for sperm to survive and for fertilisation to occur.
If you experience creamy discharge after ovulation, it may be a sign of pregnancy.
During- or just before- ovulation, you may notice that your cervix feels different, or that it is in a different position. This is completely normal.
- ..your body secretes cervical fluids to create the ideal environment for sperm to survive. It is these very same cervical fluids which soften the cervix.
- ..your cervix moves higher up into the body. This is because it is the ideal position for sex and conception.
How Should You Time Your Sex if you are TTC?
Regular sex increases your chances of becoming pregnant, but if you find it difficult to have regular sex, you may benefit from using our ovulation calculator to predict when the best time to have sex is.
However, if you prefer not to use charts or calendars, and enjoy being spontaneous, it is a good idea to have sex every 2 to 3 days to increase your chances of conceiving.
What Factors Affect Your Chances of Conception?
Your age can affect the chance of getting pregnant. The most fertile age for women is between the ages of 19 and 26. It is between these ages that 92% of women successfully become pregnant within a year.
If you are not in that age bracket and you are a woman below the age of 40, then 80% of women successfully become pregnant at your age.
Regularity of Sex
If you are trying to conceive, then regular, unprotected sex can increase your chances of getting pregnant. If you have enough regular sex, then you are much more likely to have sex during your fertile window and become pregnant than someone who has sex, for example, twice a week.
This is a rather obvious factor, but if yourself or your partner are using contraception, then it is unlikely that you will become pregnant. If you have recently stopped using birth control pills, it may take a while before your menstrual cycles become regular again. This can make it difficult to plan sex for successful conception.
What Other Methods Can I Use to Predict Ovulation?
Ovulation Test Kits
Ovulation predictor kits are test kits which test your urine for a surge of the fertility hormone: luteinising hormone (an LH surge), which is released just prior to ovulation. You can find ovulation test kits at most pharmacies and stores.
When Should I Take An Ovulation Test Kit?
If you have regular menstrual cycles, you should start taking ovulation tests daily for 4-5 days before your expected ovulation date. However, if you have irregular cycles- which means your menstrual cycles vary a lot in length from month-to-month- you should test daily from the day which your period ends, to ensure you do not miss the ovulation window.
The best time of day to take an ovulation test is with your second morning urine- which usually falls between 10am and 12pm. If you take an ovulation test with your first-morning urine, the luteinising hormone (which is responsible for giving you a positive ovulation test result)- may not have built up enough at that point, and you may receive a negative ovulation test result.
Fertility monitors are devices used to measure your fertility, by measuring your basal body temperature and fertility hormone levels in your urine, saliva or cervical fluid. Fertility monitors are a popular choice as, whilst their initial cost is more expensive than the price to purchase an ovulation test kit, they are reusable and save the user money in the long run.
Fertility monitors are a great tool for helping you to learn more about your menstrual cycle, and to help you to predict when your fertile window will be.
Basal Body Temperature Tracking
Basal body temperature tracking, as discussed in one of the sections above, involves measuring your resting temperature at the same time every day and charting the results, to determine when you may be ovulating. Ovulation is indicated by a fall in basal body temperature just prior to it, and then a rise in temperature 12-24 hours after the egg cell is released.
Menstrual charting is a method that many women use to figure out how long their menstrual cycle is- and when their next period starts. The method involves charting the days of your menstrual period on a calendar each month, to determine the average cycle length of your typical menstrual cycle, which can help you to figure out when ovulation may occur.
My name is Louise and I am the Digital Marketing and Administrative Assistant at MyBump2Baby. I have been writing in the parenting niche for over 2 years specialising in fertility, pregnancy, baby and baby name support articles.